Archive-name: atheism/resources Alt-atheism-archive-name: resources Last-modified: 6 July

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Archive-name: atheism/resources Alt-atheism-archive-name: resources Last-modified: 6 July 1994 Version: 2.1 ATHEIST RESOURCES Addresses of atheist organizations and other groups of interest This file contains listings of atheist organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. It also contains listings of some books of interest to atheists, both fiction and non-fiction. A list of religious humour and satire is included. Finally, there is a small section on other electronic resources for atheists. USA Freedom From Religion Foundation Darwin fish bumper stickers and assorted other atheist paraphernalia are available from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the US. They also publish a journal, "Freethought Today". FFRF, P.O. Box 750, Madison. WI 53701. Tel (608) 256-8900 / (608) 256-5800 Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia A local group affiliated to the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They're a non-profit educational organization who list their aims as: 1. Maintaining the Jeffersonian wall of church/state separation 2. Advocating non-theistic ideas through the unrestrained application of reason and human endeavour. They organize regular speaker meetings and publish a newsletter. Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia P.O. Box 242, Pocopson, PA 19366-0242. Tel 610-793-2737. Evolution Design Evolution Design sell the "Darwin fish". It's a fish symbol, like the ones Christians stick on their cars, but with feet and the word "Darwin" written inside. The deluxe moulded 3D plastic fish is $4.95 plus $0.50 shipping in the US. They also sell Darwin fish lapel pins (same price), and a range of T-shirts. Evolution Design, P.O. Box 26336, Austin. TX 78755. Tel (512) 338-9671 People in the San Francisco Bay area can get Darwin Fish from Lynn Gold -- try mailing . For net people who go to Lynn directly, the price is $4.95 per fish. Set Free Atheist stickers, T-shirts and books. Set Free, P.O. Box 3065-192, Garden Grove. CA 92642. American Atheists, Inc. Founded over 30 years ago, American Atheists works for the civil rights of Atheists and for state/church separation. It publishes a monthly newsletter and produces a weekly television series available on over 130 cable access channels. Membership and other information free on request, but only available by snail-mail. P.O. Box 140195, Austin, TX 78714-0195. Tel (512) 458-1244. Fax (512) 467-9525. BBS (512) 302-0223. Dial-THE-Atheist (512) 458-5731 (free recorded message service). Email American Atheist Press Carries books, booklets, bumper stickers, and videos on Atheist and freethought topics. Free catalog on request by only available by snail-mail. American Atheist Press books can also be ordered on the American Atheist BBS at 512-302-0223. Their books include critiques of the Bible, lists of Biblical contradictions, and so on. One such book is "The Bible Handbook", listed in the reading list. American Atheist Press, P.O. Box 14505, Austin, TX 78761-4505. Tel (512) 458-1244. Fax (512) 467-9525. Email Prometheus Books Sell books including Haught's "Holy Horrors". 700 East Amherst Street, Buffalo. New York 14215. Tel (716) 837-2475. An alternate address (which may be newer or older) is: Prometheus Books, 59 Glenn Drive, Buffalo. NY 14228-2197. Prometheus also have an address in the UK. African-Americans for Humanism An organization promoting black secular humanism and uncovering the history of black freethought. They publish a quarterly newsletter, "AAH Examiner". Norm R. Allen, Jr., African Americans for Humanism, P.O. Box 664, Buffalo, NY 14226. American Humanist Association Publish a journal "The Humanist". American Humanist Association, 7 Harwood Drive, P.O. Box 146, Amhearst. NY 14226-0146. Atheists United Atheists United, P.O. Box 5329, Sherman Oaks. CA 91413. Tel (818) 594-0678 Church and State Church & State, 8120 Fenton Street, Silver Spring. MD 20910. Tel (301) 589-3707 Skeptical Inquirer Magazine The journal of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims Of the Paranormal, CSICOP. An excellent publication which discusses Creationism and other pseudo-scientific beliefs, as well as New Age religion, the paranormal, and so on; all from a sceptical viewpoint. Sometimes a little too conservative and reactionary, but generally pretty good. Skeptical Inquirer, Box 703, Buffalo. NY 14226-0703. Skeptic Magazine Skeptic magazine covers religious matters, as well as the more scientific scepticism covered by Skeptical Enquirer. Subscriptions are $35/year U.S., $25/year for seniors/students, $55/year outside the U.S. 2761 N. Marengo Ave., Altadena, CA 91001. Free Inquiry Magazine Free Inquiry, Box 664, Buffalo. NY 14226-0664. Tel (716) 636-7571 A secular humanist magazine, founded in 1980 to challenge the forces of fundamentalism. It offers natural explanations for miraculous claims, defends the separation of church and state, advocates a nonreligious way of life, and demonstrates how to be a moral person without relying on supernatural beliefs. Some sample articles are on-line; if you have gopher access, connect to, port 2100, /11/collected/free_inq. The American Rationalist The American Rationalist, P.O. Box 994, St. Louis. MO 63188. "Creation/Evolution" and "NCSE Reports" National Center for Science Education, P.O. Box 9477, Berkeley, CA 94709. Tel (510) 526-1674 CANADA Humanist Association of Canada Publish a magazine "Humanist in Canada". Have local groups in Toronto, Victoria, Hamilton-Burlington, Alberta and elsewhere. Humanist Association of Canada, P.O. Box 3769, Station C, Ottawa, Ontario. K1Y 4J8. The above is also the address for the local Ottawa group. UNITED KINGDOM Rationalist Press Association Rationalist Press Association, 88 Islington High Street, London. N1 8EW. Tel 071 226 7251 National Secular Society Publish "The Freethinker", a monthly magazine founded in 1881. National Secular Society, 47, Theobalds Road, London. WC1X 8SP. Tel 071 404 3126. British Humanist Association British Humanist Association, 14 Lamb's Conduit Passage, London. WC1R 4RH. Tel 071 430 0908 Fax 071 430 1271 South Place Ethical Society South Place Ethical Society, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. WC1R 4RL. Tel 071 831 7723 Prometheus Books Prometheus seem to have a distributor in the UK now. They sell books, including Haught's "Holy Horrors". Prometheus Books, 10 Crescent View, Loughton, Essex. RG10 4PZ. Tel 081 508 2989 GERMANY IBKA e.V. IBKA e.V. Postfach 880, D-12118 Berlin. Germany. Tel +49 30 826 61 52 IBKA is Internationaler Bund der Konfessionslosen und Atheisten, They publish a journal "MIZ -- Materialien und Informationen zur Zeit (Politisches Journal der Konfessionslosen und Atheisten)." (Snappy title, huh?) Write to "MIZ-Vertrieb" at the IBKA address. For atheist books, write to: IBDK-Verlag GmbH, Postfach 167, D-63703 Aschaffenburg. Germany. Tel +49 6021 15744 IBDK is Internationaler Bücherdienst der Konfessionslosen, Books FICTION Thomas M. Disch "The Santa Claus Compromise" Short story. The ultimate proof that Santa exists. All characters and events are fictitious. Any similarity to living or dead gods -- uh, well... Walter M. Miller, Jr "A Canticle for Leibowitz" One gem in this post atomic doomsday novel is the monks who spent their lives copying blueprints from "Saint Leibowitz", filling the sheets of paper with ink and leaving white lines and letters. Edgar Pangborn "Davy" Post atomic doomsday novel set in clerical states. The church, for example, forbids that anyone "produce, describe or use any substance containing... atoms". Philip K. Dick Philip K. Dick wrote many philosophical and thought-provoking short stories and novels. His stories are bizarre at times, but quite approachable. He wrote mainly SF, but he wrote about people, truth and religion rather than technology. Although he often believed that he had met some sort of God, he remained sceptical. Amongst his novels, the following are of some relevance: "Galactic Pot-Healer" A fallible alien deity summons a group of Earth craftsmen and women to a remote planet to raise a giant cathedral from beneath the oceans. When the deity begins to demand faith from the earthers, pot-healer Joe Fernwright is unable to comply. A polished, ironic and amusing novel. "A Maze of Death" Noteworthy for its description of a technology-based religion. "VALIS" The schizophrenic hero searches for the hidden mysteries of Gnostic Christianity after reality is fired into his brain by a pink laser beam of unknown but possibly divine origin. He is accompanied by his dogmatic and dismissively atheist friend and assorted other odd characters. "The Divine Invasion" God invades Earth by making a young woman pregnant as she returns from another star system. Unfortunately she is terminally ill, and must be assisted by a dead man whose brain is wired to 24-hour easy listening music. (Look, I said this stuff was bizarre, OK?) Margaret Atwood "The Handmaid's Tale" A story based on the premise that the US Congress is mysteriously assassinated, and fundamentalists quickly take charge of the nation to set it "right" again. The book is the diary of a woman's life as she tries to live under the new Christian theocracy. Women's right to own property is revoked, and their bank accounts are closed; sinful luxuries are outlawed, and the radio is only used for readings from the Bible. Crimes are punished retroactively: doctors who performed legal abortions in the "old world" are hunted down and hanged. Atwood's writing style is difficult to get used to at first, but the tale grows more and more chilling as it goes on. Kingsley Amis Wrote an 'alternate history' where The Armada was not defeated and Europe is dominated by the Catholicism. Depicts life in a quasi-modern society controlled by the old-style Catholic church. Various Authors "The Bible" This somewhat dull and rambling work has often been criticized. However, it is probably worth reading, if only so that you'll know what all the fuss is about. It exists in many different versions, so make sure you get the one true version. NON-FICTION Antony Flew "Thinking Straight" A readable introduction to logical reasoning. Originally published as "Thinking About Thinking". Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-088-X. Peter de Rosa "Vicars of Christ" Although de Rosa seems to be Christian or even Catholic this is a very enlighting history of papal immoralities, adulteries, fallacies etc. Bantam Press, 1988. (German translation: "Gottes erste Diener. Die dunkle Seite des Papsttums", Drömer-Knaur, 1989). Michael Martin "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification" A detailed and scholarly justification of atheism. Contains an outstanding appendix defining terminology and usage in this (necessarily) tendentious area. Argues both for "negative atheism" (i.e. the "non-belief in the existence of god(s)") and also for "positive atheism" ("the belief in the non-existence of god(s)"). Includes great refutations of the most challenging arguments for god; particular attention is paid to refuting contempory theists such as Platinga and Swinburne. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, USA. 541 pages. ISBN 0-87722-642-3 (hardcover; paperback also available) "The Case Against Christianity" A comprehensive critique of Christianity, in which he considers the best contemporary defences of Christianity and (ultimately) demonstrates that they are unsupportable and/or incoherent. Temple University Press. 273 pages. ISBN 0-87722-767-5 James Turner "Without God, Without Creed" Subtitled "The Origins of Unbelief in America". Examines the way in which unbelief (whether agnostic or atheistic) became a mainstream alternative world-view. Focusses on the period 1770-1900, and while considering France and Britain the emphasis is on American, and particularly New England developments. "Neither a religious history of secularization or atheism, Without God, Without Creed is, rather, the intellectual history of the fate of a single idea, the belief that God exists." The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA. 316 pages. ISBN (hardcover) 0-8018-2494-X (paper) 0-8018-3407-4 George Seldes (Editor) "The Great Thoughts" A "dictionary of quotations" of a different kind, concentrating on statements and writings which, explicitly or implicitly, present the person's philosophy and world-view. Includes obscure (and often suppressed) opinions from many people. For some popular observations, traces the way in which various people expressed and twisted the idea over the centuries. Quite a number of the quotations are derived from Cardiff's "What Great Men Think of Religion" and Noyes' "Views of Religion". Ballantine Books, New York, USA. 490 pages. ISBN (paper) 0-345-29887-X. Richard Swinburne "The Existence of God (Revised Edition)" This book is the second volume in a trilogy that began with "The Coherence of Theism" (1977) and was concluded with "Faith and Reason" (1981). In this work, Swinburne attempts to construct a series of inductive arguments for the existence of God. His arguments, which are somewhat tendentious and rely upon the imputation of late 20th century western Christian values and aesthetics to a God which is supposedly as simple as can be conceived, were decisively rejected in Mackie's "The Miracle of Theism". In the revised edition of "The Existence of God", Swinburne includes an Appendix in which he makes a somewhat incoherent attempt to rebut Mackie. Clarendon Paperbacks, Oxford. J. L. Mackie "The Miracle of Theism" This (posthumous) volume contains a comprehensive review of the principal arguments for and against the existence of God. It ranges from the classical philosophical positions of Descartes, Anselm, Berkeley, Hume et al, through the moral arguments of Newman, Kant and Sidgwick, to the recent restatements of the classical theses by Plantinga and Swinburne. It also addresses those positions which push the concept of God beyond the realm of the rational, such as those of Kierkegaard, Kung and Philips, as well as "replacements for God" such as Lelie's axiarchism. The book is a delight to read - less formalistic and better written than Martin's works, and refreshingly direct when compared with the hand-waving of Swinburne. Oxford. James A. Haught "Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness" Looks at religious persecution from ancient times to the present day -- and not only by Christians. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 89-64079. Prometheus Books, 1990. Norm R. Allen, Jr. "African American Humanism: an Anthology" See the listing for African Americans for Humanism. Gordon Stein "An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism" An anthology covering a wide range of subjects, including 'The Devil, Evil and Morality' and 'The History of Freethought'. Comprehensive bibliography. Prometheus Books. Edmund D. Cohen "The Mind of The Bible-Believer" A study of why people become Christian fundamentalists, and what effect it has on them. Prometheus Books. George H. Smith "Atheism: The Case Against God" Describes the positions of atheism, theism and agnosticism. Reviews many of the arguments used in favour of the existence of God. Concludes with an assessment of the impact of God on people's lives. Prometheus Books. Isaac Asimov "Asimov's Guide to the Bible" Asimov surveys and describes contemporary Biblical scholarship on the Bible, book by book, coupled with his own very interesting asides and speculations. Especially worthwhile are his descriptions of the apochrapha and many Christian and Rabbinical legends and traditions, some of which the general public only knows as idioms of speech. Outlet Book Company, Inc. 2 volumes, 1988, ISBN 0-517-34582-X Also available as two paperback volumes: 1. "Asimov's Guide to the Bible: Old Testament" 2. "Asimov's Guide to the Bible: New Testament" Avon Books, 1971. ISBN 0-380-01031-3 and ISBN 0-380-01032-1 "In the Beginning" A book describing the differences between science and the Bible vis a vis the first several chapters of Genesis. Different in outlook, content, and purpose from the same chapters of his "Guide". The intent is to present an even-handed explanation of each side, but science comes off rather better overall, since the focus is on the science of the book of Genesis. Bertrand Russell "Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects" This book has many essays (some clearly transcriptions of lectures) with Russell giving religion in general and Christianity in general a much harder time than is ordinary in common discourse. However, many of the discussions in alt.atheism have recognizable echos in these essays and Russell's lucid arguments, whether one agrees with them or not, are worth reading for their succinct description of the atheist position on issues that are taken up almost daily on alt.atheism. Touchstone Books, Simon & Schuster, 1967, ISBN 0-671-20323-1 Charles Mackay "Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds" Most of us give too short a shrift to the reality of fad, fancy, and its serious side-effect; mob-think. This classic book describes witch trials, slow poisoning (a fad where Italian and French nobles were socially sanctioned to murder each other provided a sufficiently subtle poison was used) and the various forms of "Ponzi" schemes such as the South Sea Bubble and the Dutch Tulip Mania. One gets the feeling the US' Founding Fathers were familiar with this book. Those who assume they will always be on the same side as the majority or that the majority can be counted on to be rational would particularly profit from reading it. Besides, it is enormously entertaining as it highlights human folly in an engaging way. Crown Publishing Group, paperback, ISBN 0-517-53919-5, Harmony Lee Carter "Lucifer's Handbook" A compilation of all the arguments for the existence of God, condensed and simplified into one neat volume. Academic Associates. ISBN 0-918260-01-9 W.P. Ball and G.W. Foote "The Bible Handbook" Bible contradictions, absurdities, atrocities, immoralities... contains Ball, Foote: "The Bible Contradicts Itself", AAP. Based on the King James version of the Bible. American Atheist Press. 372 pp. ISBN 0-910309-26-4, 2nd edition, 1986. HUMOUR / SATIRE Jeremy Pascall "God: The Ultimate Autobiography" God gets the chance to put the record straight after being misquoted for so many years. Jeremy Pascall acts as "Holy Ghost Writer". "In most autobiographies the subject starts at the beginning, but in My case that's tricky. I have no beginning. And, for that matter, I have no end. I'm Infinite. So it makes starting the story difficult. Not to mention ending it. In theory this book could continue indefinitely, which, of course, raises practical difficulties like the immense size of it and the fact that no one would live to read it all the way through. Except Me and that narrows its commercial appeal." Includes the eleventh commandment, why Adam and Eve were fired from the first Theme Park, Top of the Popes, and so on. Ebury Press, ISBN 0-85223-657-3 (hardback). "Satan: The Hiss and Tell Memoirs" The other side of the story, as told by the Prince of Darkness. A great book for the bookshelf if fundies visit. "Right from the start I intended to set up a rival attraction to Heaven. Somewhere that was not run, as He ran His place, like a boy scouts camp but somewhere you could, if you so wished, scout for camp boys, not to mention willing girls and every animal of every possible gender, all in a constant state of sexual arousal. Includes the eighth delightful sin, Hades Leisure Park disorder form, and so on. Ebury Press, ISBN 0-85223-766-9 (hardback). "God: The Ultimate Autobiography" and "Satan: The Hiss and Tell Memoirs" have also been published as a single paperback volume. The SubGenius Foundation / Rev. Ivan Stang "The Book of the SubGenius" The official holy book of the Church of the SubGenius. Read it and prepare for X-day, July 5th 1998, when the flying saucers from Planet X will land. Jehovah-1 the Space God is an alien, and still threatens this planet. HAS FEAR OF THE UNUSUAL PREVENTED YOU FROM JOINING THE CHURCH OF THE SUBGENIUS? Or, if yo are already a member, has Conspiracy harassment kept you from enjoying your full rights as a SubGenius? Do they constantly reinforce your Conspiracy programming by making it financially necessary that you attend endless pink-ins, gatherings of dull blandoid Normalcy Dupes who bore you to death, making you sit there while you secretly daydream of wreaking havoc on their pallid world? Or do they try to intimidate you out of SubGeniusness? For instance, are you having trouble getting a good job, or laid? Is it increasingly difficult for you to "relate"? Is your mail being opened? Have you recently had a Close Call of the Third Kind?" An unholy mix of profundity and profanity; a satire on religion, or a religion of satire. Simon and Schuster, NY. ISBN 0-671-63810-6 See also the newsgroup alt.slack. Malaclypse the Younger "Principia Discordia" The Bible of Discordianism, the worship of Eris, Goddess of Chaos and Confusion. "A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone and Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns)." In some ways, Discordianism is the sister church of the Church of the SubGenius. SubGenii and Discordians are everywhere; read their respective Holy Books, and an awful lot more of what you see on the Internet will make sense. The Principia Discordia is available online, if you know where to look. Electronic Resources SKEPTIC DISCUSSION GROUP Analogous to sci.skeptic, but higher quality. Debates about religion-associated factual claims happen regularly. Ask for information from . Also available as bit.listserv.skeptic. OBJ-REL: FOR "OBJECTIVE DISCUSSION OF RELIGION" Both religious and irreligious people argue their points of view. Ask for information from . LOGIC-L: FOR THE DISCUSSION OF TOPICS RELATED TO THE TEACHING AND STUDY OF ELEMENTARY LOGIC The primary purpose of this List is to provide a forum for the exchange of views, experiences, techniques, and professional information pertaining to the teaching and study of elementary logic. By 'elementary logic' we mean the areas of logic customarily taught up through the undergraduate level, and including the concerns of both deductive and inductive logic, with special emphasis upon the apparatus of first-order predicate calculus. The intent of the List is to have a strong pedagogical emphasis, though this is not to be regarded as exclusive of discussions of a theoretical character. We anticipate and encourage discussion on this List of such topics as: * Developing trends in the teaching of logic * Comparison of the levels at which elementary logic is taught -- symbolic logic, metatheory, etc. * New developments in the teaching of elementary logic -- modal logic, relevance logic, speech act theory, etc. * Issues in the philosophy of logic, epistemology, cognitive science, linguistics, computer science, psychology etc. as they bear upon the teaching of logic * Logic software available as teaching and learning aids * Consideration of new (and old) textbooks and their merits * Successful (and unsuccessful) practices in the teaching of logic -- the use of puzzles, humor, paradoxes, differing testing methods, etc. * The relations of logic to ordinary language, and the strengths and limitations of formalization * The interrelations between logical and rhetorical modes of communication * The history of the teaching of logic, and where it seems to be going as we move into the 21st Century The list is unmoderated and open to anyone, from any discipline, with a serious academic interest in this area of study. Questions, shared research and insight, relevant conference announcements/calls for papers, etc. are welcome and encouraged. To subscribe, send a message to containing in the body of the message the subscription line: SUB LOGIC-L Your name For example: SUB LOGIC-L Charles S. Peirce When you subscribe you automatically receive explanatory information both about the group and about the "listserv" mechanisms you will use to communicate with the other members of the group. ALT.ATHEISM FTP ARCHIVE A selection of files culled from alt.atheism is available for anonymous ftp access at For those without access to FTP, a mail server provides access to the files; send mail to with the single word help in the Subject: line. When calling the ftp site, please try and pick times which are not office hours in the UK -- that is, not between 09:00 and 18:00 UTC. SKEPTIC MAGAZINE ARCHIVE There is an archive of selected articles from Skeptic magazine available; the files are also accessible via ftp at in /pub/zines/skeptic. Subscription information is also available there, with special rates for Internet users. mathew


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