Best products from r/atheism

We found 1,173 comments on r/atheism discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 3,915 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top comments mentioning products on r/atheism:

u/BlunderLikeARicochet · 33 pointsr/atheism

Trying to talk to believers about their belief is often frustrating and unproductive. Based on a great deal of practice and a deep interest in the best techniques to approach these difficult conversations, I think I can offer some constructive tips. I've written the following to help skeptics have productive conversations about religion. These techniques are heavily based on Peter Boghossian's "Street Epistemology" concept, and Anthony Magnabosco's work. (Anthony's videos are highly recommended to see these strategies in action)


  • You cannot convince someone else of anything — You can only provide new information, and if they accept it, they convince themselves. Sounds simple enough, but the problem is the backfire effect. This is the defensive tendency, upon hearing something contradictory, to reflexively reject it in order to preserve a belief. The result is an even stronger belief. Simply put, people like to be right, and they dislike being wrong, especially about something they consider important. So we are faced with the difficult task of getting someone to question their cherished beliefs, while we avoid being contradictory. Sounds impossible, but it's just tricky. The key is to ask questions and inspire empathy.

  • Establish at the outset that you are open to new evidence, that you are willing to change your mind. Religious people like to define atheism as a religion because it's easier to dismiss dogma than an honestly curious person. But atheism has no dogma, and as an atheist, you are unattached to anything except a commitment to finding the truth, whatever it may be. You are not certain or closed-minded. You are agnostic, open, and honest, and it is this attitude that you want to inspire within the believer as much as possible. The best way to do that is to lead by example.

  • Your entire discussion (and every future discussion) should primarily concern the investigation of one subject: "Why do you believe, and is it a good reason?" Instead of engaging in an argument, establish a teacher-student dynamic, with you as the student.

  • How do we determine what is most likely true? Does your proposed method work consistently for everyone, or only when you use it? It's so easy to get entangled with irrelevant details, but stay on point. We want to help the believer discover that their epistemological method is unreliable, because this is the foundation of belief.

  • Socratic method. Ask questions often and make assertions as sparingly as possible. I cannot overstate how important this is. Ask "why" enough, and you'll soon realize how comfortable the faithful are at describing "what" they believe, and how unprepared they are to explain the "why". And the "why" is what matters.

  • Frequently summarize, in your own words, what you've heard. Ask if your summary is accurate. This assures them that you are listening and sincerely want to understand, and helps them to consider their own ideas, which can sound much less convincing when expressed with different verbiage and coming from outside one's own head. (No, I don't mean to summarize Christian doctrine as ancient blood magic. Be charitable.)

  • When you hear the word, "faith", ask for a definition and don't continue until you get something reasonably coherent. Explore the reliability of faith. Ask about scenarios where faith leads to false conclusions. Listen carefully for when they use "faith" to mean something else, then return to asking what faith means. Believers often use "faith", "trust", "hope", and "belief" interchangeably. This is symptomatic of a circular belief structure — If all those words mean the same thing, then, "I have trust in my belief because I have faith" is really saying, "I have faith in my faith because I have faith".

  • Avoid counter-apologetics. There are logical answers to every theistic argument, but they always fall on deaf ears. Why is this? The backfire effect plays a role, but also important to note: Apologetics are typically post facto rationalizations, and not the core reason for belief. Nobody ever converted to theism upon hearing the cosmological argument. Trying to rebut these kinds of excuses is not only argumentative, but irrelevant. If forced to engage apologetics, a good question is, "Were you a believer before you learned about these arguments?" The honest answer is always yes, so try to explore those foundational reasons for belief.

  • The example of other religions should always be at the ready. When a spiritual revelation is mentioned, ask how the authenticity of one revelation can be established over another. When they talk about their holy book, ask how we can determine which holy book is most correct. When they appeal to faith, ask about people who have faith in a false god.

  • "If the Muslim / Hindu / Mormon is mistaken about their revelation / book / evidence / faith... how can they discover their mistake?" You won't believe how effective and incisive this question is until you try it. It's a simple question about falsifiability, and believers, though well experienced with confirmation, don't think much about falsifiability. Whatever the answer, explore the reliability of the method.

  • These kinds of questions tend to make believers uncomfortable because they rarely (if ever) consider their foundational reasoning. Expect responses of rhetorical tap-dancing which don't really answer the questions posed. Expect elaborations on "what" they believe, and not "why". Be patient and try not to interrupt. But...

  • Don't get sidetracked. If you're asking good questions, you'll often get answers to questions you didn't ask. These answers will often contain fallacies or absurdities you'll want to counter, but resist that urge! Stay on topic, but don't be argumentative. If your question isn't answered, listen respectfully, then ask again, as gently as possible. I mean, avoid saying, "You didn't answer the question!" This is an accusation of evasion, and adversarial. Repeat what you just heard, ask if that's a fair summary, say, "Hmm" thoughtfully and then say, "But I don't understand how that explains..." Do you see the difference? The first response is an accusation. The second establishes that you are listening, and accuses yourself of a failure to understand. This humble attitude is important. Lead by example.

  • Where appropriate, instead of saying, "I" or "You", say, "We". For example, "How can we tell the difference between something non-physical (supernatural) and something that doesn't exist?" This is a subtle but effective way to inspire empathy. You are inviting them to be your partner in an honest search for truth.

  • You want to follow the beliefs of the person who is most correct. There are many competing religions and the reasons for belief offered by members of most religions are strikingly similar. Illustrate these similarities in your questions. Can the believer demonstrate that their reasons are superior to what other religions can provide? The object is to inspire empathy and get them thinking about the issue from your open perspective, faced with a variety of god claims, rather than from a position of closed certainty. If you are successful, you won't need to ask why their god hides from an honest seeker of truth — If they trust your sincerity, they'll ask themselves.

    I cannot guarantee that these strategies will make atheists out of everyone you encounter. But I can assure with some confidence that your conversations will be more productive, and will better provoke honest self-reflection in the believer. And that's the first step.
u/TooManyInLitter · 2 pointsr/atheism

> How did you come to the conclusion that God doesn't exist?

The person making a positive claim assumes the burden of proof. Your Christian friend rejected the null hypothesis that {supernatural deities exist} and accepted the alternate hypothesis that {supernatural deities exists}. What evidence is there to support/justification of the null hypothesis and accept the alternate?

Ask your friend to please present the reasons they believe in the God Horus. If you have evidence to support Horus as your God, evidence that is verifiable and falsifiable, or a philosophical argument that can actually be shown to be linked to a natural physicalistic causality-limited universe, evidence that is not an emotional or feeling based subjective experience based upon confirmation bias from prior knowledge of what your "God" image may be, please feel free to present it.

How is that justification for belief in Horus coming along?

I don't think the Christian believes in Horus. And this is the basis for the atheism worldview.

It's not so much the evidence that one can provide (unless you will accept the 'lack of evidence' as evidence) for atheism. Rather it is such an overwhelming lack of any credible evidence that one can identify, or is put forth by others, to support a belief in supernatural deities. One cannot justify rejection of the null hypothesis that {supernatural deities do not exist} and accept/justify/support the alternative hypothesis that {supernatural deities do exist}.

It is possible to argue that this same position can be used for a theist to justify their belief structure over other differing theistic positions, as many theists claim that they believe based upon a feeling or emotion and/or have Religious Faith (i.e., religious belief without evidence) that supernatural deities are real and that their religious belief in supernatural deities is correct.

However, this position of Religious Faith for their own religious worldview is often the same reason they do not subscribe or believe in many other theistic worldviews - there is no evidence to support belief in the supernatural deities of other religious worldviews; they do not have Faith in other supernatural deities. For example, do adherents to any of the following example supernatural deity triads accept or propose belief in the existence of the other triads listed to which they do not have Religious Faith (or belief without evidence)?

  • Egyptian: Osiris, Isis, Horus<br />
  • Canaanite – Early Israelite: El the Father God, Asherah the Wife/Consort (depicted as a Serpent), Baal-Hadad
  • Hindu Trimurti: Brahma - the Creator, Vishnu - the Maintainer, Shiva - the Destroyer
  • Olympian Greek Religion: Zeus, Athena, Apollo
  • Roman Capitoline Triad: Jupiter, Juno, Minerva
  • Sumerian: Anu, Ea, Enlil
  • Babylonian: Shamash, Ishtar, Tammuz
  • Christianity: Yahweh, Holy Spirit, Jesus

    Related statement concerning the belief in "God": We are all functionally atheists, there just is no evidence to justify support of one, or more, (depending on mono- vs. poly-theistic beliefs) supernatural deity(ies) than a Christian, a theist does.

    &gt; Return and repent before its too late. Death may be around the corner...

    Pascal's Wager? But let's take that self-serving piece of shit statement at face value - What is the purpose of an infinite eternity in Heaven?

    Why? Or better, why strive for Heaven?

    What is Heaven? According to Christianity, heaven is the purpose of all things. Heaven is the reason we live. Heaven is the reason Christ came and the reason he died for our sins. Heaven is the motivator of all of the apostles. Nothing is more important than heaven. Family, love, money, all of these things come second to heaven. [Source]


    What is the purpose of Heaven? Heaven is life in its perfected state. We, as creatures of God, are not designed to live in an imperfect world. We are designed to live in a world free from the corruption of sin. We are designed to live in the presence of God where we are free to worship, socialize, and discuss. This life is only a temporary existence. Heaven is where we can exist forever. The day heaven’s gates are opened is the day we begin our lives, not here on earth. The purpose of heaven is to provide a place for us to live. [Source]


    What is the purpose of living for eternity in a perfected state with God? In a perfected state with God to provide all it would be Eternally Perfect (and ultimately, Undifferentiated) Bliss, all there is to be known would become known; eternal life in Heaven would quickly become static, unchanging, unremarkable and boring spent in worship of God. Eternal life is ultimately pointless and without merit.

    The real question is: Ultimately, what is the difference between heaven and hell?

    Nothing. Against an infinite eternity, Heaven and Hell are interchangeable.


    Here are some suggestions for Christian debate topics:

  • The actions attributed to God in the bible are all of a positive morality
  • Yahweh is and always been the one and only true God
  • The purpose of an infinite eternity in heaven and why that purpose is good for those in heaven
  • Evidence to support the mind-body dualism of a soul
  • Evidence to support that the Christian God is the creator of the universe and still intervenes within the universe in a meaningful way
  • Present a coherent definition of God and show how free will is possible (or impossible) under that construct
  • Evidence to support the resurrection of Christ that is non-Biblical
  • Why has prayer never resulted in the healing of an amputee to include at least one healed and fully finctional bone joint?
  • How the conclusion of the parable of the Ten Minas concludes with a positive morality:

    Luke 19:27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them — bring them here and kill them in front of me.

  • Genesis 3 (if you are a Genesis literalist) - Justify Christian morality against the Serpent (or Adversary) giving humankind morality (knowledge of good and evil) when God/Yahweh had decreed that humankind was not to have morality (forbid humans to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil).
  • Why the divine or inspired word of God and Christ and the Spirit was so directed and appropriate for a small low-population tribe of desert dwellers with it's late bronze age/early iron age society applies to today's society.
  • Why the overwhelming majority of Christians, in the one true religion for the one true and only God, seem to be only located in geo-political-socio-groups that they were born, and indoctrinated, into rather than distributed throughout other regions where other religions are prominent.
  • Does God have free will?
  • Why worship a God, Yahweh/YHWH, as the one true and only mono-theistic God when all historical documentation shows that Yahweh did not start out as anything more than a subordinate desert rain/fertility/warrior god to the Canaanite/Ugarit people that would later become known as Israelites (and hence to Jews and from there Christians and Muslims). During the period that Genesis and Exodus (1450-1410 BCE'ish) were (supposedly) being written, represented a time when the religion of the region was still in convergence, differentiation and displacement (synthesis and syncretism) of the polytheistic triad of the most prominent Canaanite and Ugarit Gods: El (the father God), Asherah (goddess, wife or companion to El), and Baal (storm/rain God, son of El) [though there is reference in Ugarit documents to Yahweh also being one of the sons of El] to the monolatry of the storm/rain God Yahweh and from there to monotheistic worship where Yahweh took the supreme position. References to Gods that predate, and are contemporary to, Yahweh can be found throughout the old testament.

    More online references with discussion the origin of the monotheistic God of Israel:

  • Israelite Religion to Judaism: the Evolution of the Religion of Israel
  • The Origins and Gradual Adoption of Monotheism Amongst the Ancient Israelites
  • The evolution of God
  • Ugarit and the Bible


  • The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel by Mark Smith
  • The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts by Mark S. Smith
  • A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong
  • The Religion of Ancient Israel (Library of Ancient Israel) by Patrick D. Miller
  • Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches by Ziony Zevit

u/NukeThePope · 35 pointsr/atheism

Hi there, and thank you for your trust!

It sounds like your boyfriend is going about this a bit insensitively. Logical arguments are OK for debates, when both sides do it for the intellectual challenge. It's not humane to tear a person's world view out from under them when they're unprepared for it and a captive audience. I'm sure he means well and wants you to be closer to him, but he's being a bit of a caveman about it. Don't be mad at him, but tell him you think you'll be better off if you do your own information seeking, at your own pace. Ask him to have the patience and the trust to let you educate yourself. If he really cares for you, he should be fine with this: It may even be taking a burden off his shoulders.

I think there are some things you can consider and think about that will put things into focus and make this mess seem less of a problem.

Do you remember that song by Elton John Sting? "I hope the Russians love their children too."

Consider, first, some family in Tibet. Mom and dad live in a simple hut, doing some farming or whatever Tibetans do, and they have a bunch of children. They work hard to feed the family, and in the evening when they get together for supper they talk and smile and laugh a lot. They hug their children, they care for them when they're sick. They observe some kind of religious rituals, though they've probably never heard of Jesus. When a neighbor has a problem, they help them out. When someone dies, they mourn their passing and wish them a happy afterlife. Apart from the fact that they look Asian, they're people just like you, and they're good people. They have similar hopes and fears, they have stories to share and comfort them, and so forth. Two thirds of the world's people don't believe in Jesus, yet they're humans just like you and mostly decent people, just like your neighbors. Do you think they're all going to hell? Do you think they're paralyzed by their distance from your god, from their fear of death? No. Forget what religion these folks are, they're human.

Atheists are just a special case of those "other" humans. They believe in even less "other-worldly" stuff than the folks in Tibet do. Yet you probably meet atheists on the street every day. Some of them greet you and smile, most of them would help you if you had a problem and they were around. Atheists are not like vampires: They're not evil, they don't have to stay out of God's sunlight, and they don't burn up in churches and from contact with holy water ;)

Atheists have stories too, about the creation of the universe, which is really awesomely huge and inspiring. About the struggle of life to evolve to the fine humans we are today. About the many important achievements humans have made in their short time of being intelligent and basically masters of the world.

Rather than wrenching at your faith, I suggest you take a look at other cultures and religions for a bit. Consider that there humans out there who think other things than you, yet manage to be good people and lead happy lives. I'm almost embarrassed enough to delete my sappy paragraph about the Tibetan family, but I'll leave it in there to let you know what I'm getting at.

Then, inhale a bit of science. Go to church if you feel you need to, but also listen to videos by Carl Sagan. Get an appreciation for the wonders of the universe and of nature here on our planet. It's a rich and wonderful world out there. There is so much to see, to learn! Some people are in awe of God for producing all this; but you can just as easily be in awe of nature, of the intricate mechanisms that brought all this about without anyone taking a hand in it.

More stuff on nature and evolution can be learned, more or less gently, from Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth. Get your boyfriend to buy it for you! But stay away from The God Delusion. While Dawkins is thoughtful and sensible, you don't want him telling you about how bad your god is - at least not right away.

A thought from me about a metaphor for God. Training wheels! You know how you have those wheels on your bike to keep it from tipping over as you're starting out? And how, once you've learned to keep your cycle straight, those training wheels are no longer really doing anything any more? That's God. It's comforting to feel that God is behind you in everything you do, it gives you strength and confidence. But everything you've achieved... that was you! You're standing up straight and doing fine, God is the training wheels you don't really need. On the other hand, I'm not going to say he really, truly absolutely isn't there. If you want him to be there, let him be there. Your BF will just have to put up with him for a while longer as you outgrow your training wheels.

Finally, about death: The good news is, it's not nearly the problem you think it is. There's a statistic that says, devout Christians are more than three times as likely, in their final week, to demand aggressive life-extending treatment than atheists. In English: Christians are more scared of dying than atheists are. You'd think that with heaven waiting, they'd be anxious to go! Actually, their religion -your religion- is telling them a comforting lie, letting them stick their heads in the sand all their lives. At the end, they panic because they're not sure what they believe is true. And they struggle for every minute of life.

I was religious once, and I had the "fear of death" phase, as many other atheists here report. You know what? I got over it. I confronted the idea, wrapped my head around it, got over it... and I've been completely unworried about death ever since. You'll get other people quoting Mark Twain for you here: About death being the same as the state you were in before you were born, and that didn't inconvenience you either, did it? Seriously, while I worry that my death may be painful or unpleasant, being dead is something I almost look forward to. It's like the long vacation I've always been meaning to take.

Well, I don't know if that will convince you, but... other people have been there too, and it turns out not to be the horrible problem you think it is. Things will be fine! Just allow yourself some time, and remind your BF to not be pushy about things. You can keep a spare room for when God comes to visit, but don't be surprised if that room turns out to fill up with other junk you're throwing out ;)

u/porscheguy19 · 4 pointsr/atheism

On science and evolution:

Genetics is where it's at. There is a ton of good fossil evidence, but genetics actually proves it on paper. Most books you can get through your local library (even by interlibrary loan) so you don't have to shell out for them just to read them.


The Making of the Fittest outlines many new forensic proofs of evolution. Fossil genes are an important aspect... they prove common ancestry. Did you know that humans have the gene for Vitamin C synthesis? (which would allow us to synthesize Vitamin C from our food instead of having to ingest it directly from fruit?) Many mammals have the same gene, but through a mutation, we lost the functionality, but it still hangs around.

Deep Ancestry proves the "out of Africa" hypothesis of human origins. It's no longer even a debate. MtDNA and Y-Chromosome DNA can be traced back directly to where our species began.

To give more rounded arguments, Hitchens can't be beat: God Is Not Great and The Portable Atheist (which is an overview of the best atheist writings in history, and one which I cannot recommend highly enough). Also, Dawkin's book The Greatest Show on Earth is a good overview of evolution.

General science: Stephen Hawking's books The Grand Design and A Briefer History of Time are excellent for laying the groundwork from Newtonian physics to Einstein's relativity through to the modern discovery of Quantum Mechanics.

Bertrand Russell and Thomas Paine are also excellent sources for philosophical, humanist, atheist thought; but they are included in the aforementioned Portable Atheist... but I have read much of their writings otherwise, and they are very good.

Also a subscription to a good peer-reviewed journal such as Nature is awesome, but can be expensive and very in depth.

Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate is also an excellent look at the human mind and genetics. To understand how the mind works, is almost your most important tool. If you know why people say the horrible things they do, you can see their words for what they are... you can see past what they say and see the mechanisms behind the words.

I've also been studying Zen for about a year. It's non-theistic and classed as "eastern philosophy". The Way of Zen kept me from losing my mind after deconverting and then struggling with the thought of a purposeless life and no future. I found it absolutely necessary to root out the remainder of the harmful indoctrination that still existed in my mind; and finally allowed me to see reality as it is instead of overlaying an ideology or worldview on everything.

Also, learn about the universe. Astronomy has been a useful tool for me. I can point my telescope at a galaxy that is more than 20 million light years away and say to someone, "See that galaxy? It took over 20 million years for the light from that galaxy to reach your eye." Creationists scoff at millions of years and say that it's a fantasy; but the universe provides real proof of "deep time" you can see with your own eyes.


I recommend books first, because they are the best way to learn, but there are also very good video series out there.

BestofScience has an amazing series on evolution.

AronRa's Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism is awesome.

Thunderfoot's Why do people laugh at creationists is good.

Atheistcoffee's Why I am no longer a creationist is also good.

Also check out TheraminTrees for more on the psychology of religion; Potholer54 on The Big Bang to Us Made Easy; and Evid3nc3's series on deconversion.

Also check out the Evolution Documentary Youtube Channel for some of the world's best documentary series on evolution and science.

I'm sure I've overlooked something here... but that's some stuff off the top of my head. If you have any questions about anything, or just need to talk, send me a message!

u/Valendr0s · 7 pointsr/atheism

The god of the bible itself is a logical fallacy... but more to that in a moment...

Here's my subscription list in YouTube in alphabetical order:

  • C0nc0rdance - dedicated to cutting through scientific hype and helping the laymen understand the real science behind the hype. Not so much anti-religion as pro science.

  • cdk007 - Evolution explanations. General creationist lie busting. Try his "Logic of Religion" Series.

  • DarkMatter2525 - sort of a humorous site, he pokes fun more than most, but he exposes some fallacies.

  • DonExodus - His older stuff is better IMO, but still a very solid channel.

  • dprjones - some good stuff here, he's more up on the YouTube drama than some of the others.

  • Evid3nc3 - Some interesting, "how I became an atheist" stories. But the real gem of this collection has to be: A History of God part 1. Which is essentially a book report on the book "A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam"

  • GreatBigBore - His newer stuff is way off base of his older stuff... He used to do critiques of creationist/atheist debates, creationist papers, and religious propaganda, pointing out every logical fallacy he can find. Try the "God's Quality Control 2.0" series.

  • Jon LaJoie - not religiously related, but HILARIOUS nevertheless, you needed a break anyway - start with everyday normal guy and keep the laughs coming.

  • National Center for Science Education - The group trying very hard to keep Evolution in schools and Religion out of them. Dr Eugenie Scott is probably one of my personal heroes.

  • NonStampCollector - very funny, has lots of biblical contradictions in here. He loves em. Funny guy. But if there is a hell this guy's goin there unless god's got an infinite sense of humor too...

  • Philhellenes - If there was an atheist church, this would be the pastor. Warning, it can be a tear jerker... Science Saved My Soul. Deliberately uses religious tactics to invoke emotions in scientific minds to great effect.

  • potholer54 - Another personal hero. Former science news correspondent, destroys creationist arguments with his huge hammer of justice. Also has Potholer54debunks.

  • ProfMTH - again, older stuff is amazing. His "Brief Bible Blunders" series was really good.

  • QualiaSoup - Now we're cooking with fire. This guy is who you're looking for. He destroys religion's base arguments. He decimates every argument with his soft accented voice. Putting faith in its place is where I'd start.

  • A single video by smsavage32 - Was Jesus a Myth? - very enlightening.

  • TheraminTrees - Here's the brother of QualiaSoup. Deals with the psychological effects of religion. Amazing two guys here, can't go wrong with them. I'd suggest Atheism as congruence and Transition to Atheism for his personal story.

    To recap, almost everything in TheraminTrees and QualiaSoup's channels are just amazing. Watch them and have your mind grapes soar. I wish I could watch Science Saved my Soul again for the first time. That was such an experience - I envy you.
u/Darth_Face2021 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I find from reading the comments you seem to be getting a lot of flak for various things. I think part of it may be your insistence on labeling positions as worldviews. I don't think it is necessarily wrong, but the word carries some baggage that may be implying more than you intent, or more than others would wish to be labeled with. While labels can be useful for quickly describing a position you or someone else may hold, be certain to know of the variations and try to attach specific answers to specific questions that underly labels, and to make sure you have specific definitions as well (i.e. Q: Do you believe in God? A: Generally no, but it would help if you could define God, as I can't say if I believe in something that I can't define or describe).

&gt;Atheism is not a stance, not really. Atheists do not believe in anything

I think I can see what you mean here but be really careful with -ists and -isms. Atheism being a stance or not a stance is very much in how someone views themselves. One can be a "strong atheist", as it has been put, and actively believe and assert that there is no God, god, gods, godesses or supernatural beings (which is the term I will stick with), or one can be a looser form of agnostic atheist. There are many who would even say that, regardless of what agnostics say, they are in fact atheists because atheism, being not the opposite but the negaitve of theism (a- theism) is the lack of belief in supreme supernatural beings (this includes Penn Jillette, as he mentions this view in his book "God No!). So I think the error you made here is saying Athiest do not believe in anything, as that is not true. I call myself an Atheist (or Real Big Atheist; mild or moderate anti-theist; Ignostic Agnostic Atheist; etc) but I believe in lots of things. I believe I am sitting in a chair while I write this. What I think you meant to say was Atheism does not imply a belief in something. Under any definition it is either the lack of belief or belief that another belief is false, it is not a statement on the existence of a thing.

&gt;Anti-Theism, on the other hand, IS a worldview.

Again, worldview is a risky word to use as it suggests that there is larger over-arching position to it. I would call secular humanism a worldview, but I don't know if I would call anti-theism a worldview (and there are secular humanists who would see themselves as anti-theist and some who wouldn't). I would be more tempted to call it a position. Regardless of semantics, I think anti-theism is easier to define. Anti-theism is the opposition to theism. Simple. Theism being the belief in one or more gods (Theos), and thus being anti that.

On anti-theism, I agree with you, but I find anti-theism is subservient to a larger desire for truth. As has been argued below, theism can be used for good or bad. People could be motivated to work harder for Dear Leader, and improve life for us all. If theism is not true though, then can we truly consider that an appropriate course of action? In doing so we would subvert informed consent, and undermine the freedom of a person live their own lives and to choose their own beliefs. However, I have never been shown a case where theism was used where a non-supernatural alternative could be used. The teaching of philosophy to elementary students has shown be very useful for improving not just academic outcomes, but also social outcomes 1. Here is the group that published that document, there are many more on their resources page.

The above paragraph completely ignores any harm that may come from religion, and I do that intentionally. If a given religion is true, then extreme measures can be justifiable if you are preventing someone from enduring annihilation or eternal torture. Utilitarian defenses of religion can only be relevant if they are false. However, if they are false, then any harm that comes along is thus completely unjustifiable unless the benefits outweigh them AND you are willing to admit that truth is not intrinsically valuable. The first constraint is difficult to measure, and does not seem to add up, especially when considering that magical thinking can overlap into other areas, and thus a firm belief in the supernatural (as opposed to an allowance of the possibility, or a thought experiment) could be a hindrance to honest political or philosophical discourse, and technological progress. I prefer discussing religion and supernatural beliefs in an epistemological framework, epistemology being the philosophical study of knowledge, or how we know what we know. While I have enjoyed Hitchens, I find his arguments to fall short of compelling in terms of convincing me of the accuracy of atheism or value of anti-theism; his moral arguments work for a current common moral standard which I happen to agree to a fair degree, but they do not do much to convince me of any implicit truth, nor that the moral standard being used is necessarily correct and thus failing to adhere to it is truly as abhorrent as would naturally appear.

A book I recently listened to on audiobook (from was "A Manual for Creating Atheists" by Peter Boghossian. I would strongly recommend this book, especially if you want to actively act as an anti-theist and atheist activist.

I would love to discuss any other aspects of atheism or anti-theism, especially if you disagree with any points I have made. I would also suggest looking into ignosticism (as it is a good additional label for getting people into discussion), the /r/philosophy subreddit and the /r/antitheism subreddit.

u/MJtheProphet · 4 pointsr/atheism

There's a lot to answer in this simple question. Here's something I've written before that might help, as it gets to the roots of the Abrahamic religions.
Which Bible are you reading? If its one of the millions of Bibles in the US, then its likely an English translation, and it isn't actually describing the god worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For that, we have to go back to the Canaanite religion, which we've learned about from clay tablets found at the Ras Shamra site. The Canaanites were polytheists who worshiped a great number of gods. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were primarily followers of El Shaddai, "God of the Mountains", another name for El Elyon, or "God Most High". El Elyon appears to Abraham in human form at one point. Jacob is described as asking El Elyon to become his elohim, or primary god, in order that he might receive special protection. He also climbs a ladder to heaven and speaks with El Elyon in person, and later even wrestles with El Elyon.

Its also not the god of Moses. Moses was a follower of Yahweh, the war god of the ancient Israelites. Yahweh wasn't a Canaanite god, but he also wasn't a monotheistic god. In the (likely mythical) story of Exodus, the Israelites even note after gaining their freedom "Who among the gods
is like you, Yahweh?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?." (Exodus 15:11) It helps the verses make more sense to get the full context; upon reaching the promised land, the Israelites stray and worship other gods. That seems silly in today's version; why worship Baal or Asherah when you know that there is only THE LORD? But when you realize that Yahweh was just the war god, as Ares was to the Greeks, it makes more sense. Once you're no longer in a time of trouble, why not worship Baal (god of fertility and storms) or Asherah (the mother goddess) instead of Yahweh (god of the armies)? And its a lot more obvious why the Old Testament god was so obsessed with blood and death; he was the war god, like Ares.

Yahweh didn't become the primary god of Israel until the reign of King Josaih, a strict Yahwist, in about 640 BCE. This was the period of the Deuteronomic reforms; it was at this time that the book of Deuteronomy was "found" in the temple, supposedly a new book of law written by Moses that placed Yahweh above all other gods. However, its rather convenient timing and the linguistic signature indicate that it was actually a forgery, created for political expediency. Even here, though, there is still evidence of polytheism, in the Ten Commandments themselves. "6 I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 7 You shall have no other gods before me." (Deuteronomy 5:6-7)

Only in about 600 BCE, when the Israelites were exiled into Babylon, did the monotheistic god appear. An author known as Second Isaiah had his words appended on to the original Isaiah, the book of Leviticus was authored, and the history of Israel was rewritten to say that El Elyon and Yahweh were the same god, and that this god was the only god. The other books extant at the time were rewritten to make it look like there had only ever been one god of Israel. So despite the story saying that this god has always existed, he only appears in the archaeological record 2600 years ago.

A very different picture appears when you know where all the stories came from, and put them in their proper historical context. The Old Testament just screams polytheism, even through the multiple rewrites and translations. I recommend A History of God by Karen Armstrong for more details. Or, you can find a good summary on YouTube from Evid3nc3.


You can find obvious parallels to the biblical creation story in the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation myth. It probably dates back to the 18th to 16th centuries BCE. The myths of the ancient Near East have their oldest expressions in the Mesopotamian and Egyptian beliefs, which date back to around 2500 BCE. So there were about 2000 years of religious traditions before the monotheistic god appeared.

Christianity first showed up around 51 CE, with its earliest known writings being the Pauline Epistles. You might note that this is 20 years after the supposed events related in the Gospels, and that Paul didn't say when Jesus had lived; we have no writings that mention Jesus that were authored during his supposed lifetime, or by anyone who ever claims to have met him during his life. This is rather suspicious, considering he was supposed to be perhaps the most famous person around at the time, based on the Gospel accounts.

I'm not as well versed in Islamic history, but the basic facts are these. Muhammad, who is considered by Muslims to be the final messenger of god's word, lived from around 570 – June 8, 632 CE. He began receiving visions that he thought were from god in 610 CE, and wrote them down as the Quran. He then transitioned from trader to religious, political, and military leader, and began the history of conquest that Islam is known for.

u/astroNerf · 40 pointsr/atheism

A few pointers:

  • Get yourself a copy of Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists and read it yourself. It's a good manual for teaching people how to talk to people of faith about their faith in a non-confrontational way using the socratic method. I liked the audiobook version. Gently challenge him on things he learns at church. Try to get him to explain what he's learned in his own words. Ask him if that makes sense, and so on.
  • Science: get your kid interested in science, whether it be dinosaurs, astronomy, chemistry, electricity - something. If there's something he's already into, encourage it.
  • Supplement his church with other mythologies. Take him to a mosque or synagogue. Talk about how different people have different beliefs. Read him Norse and Greek mythology before bedtime. Get him a book like C. Scott Littleton's Anthology of Mythology. It's got lots of pictures.
  • Cosmos. If you have not seen it with him, you need to see it with him. Prepare to pause each episode when he has a question. Do your best to answer them and if you encounter something you don't know, be honest but follow up afterwards with a visit to wikipedia. You can get it on DVD as well as stream it on Hulu and Netflix, I think. If he likes science shows like that, there are plenty others folks here could recommend.

    One common theme here is this: teach him that it's important to value having as many true beliefs as possible. Instruct him on the importance of wanting to have good reasons or evidence for the things we believe. Part of this is the scientific method, but also a general desire for intellectual honesty comes into play here as well.

    You might also get some good suggestions are /r/atheistparents.

u/efrique · 8 pointsr/atheism

&gt; as I have no proof that we evolved from other animals/etc.

Such proof abounds. If you're going to debate these people, you need to know some of it.

I don't mean enough to ask a couple of questions, I mean enough to carry both sides of the conversation, because he'll make you do all the heavy lifting.

Start with

First, the FAQ
Maybe the 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution next,
then the pieces on observed instances of speciation

See the extensive FAQs index

Here are their questions for creationsists - see both links there

and then read the index to creationist claims

That's just to start. Take a look at the Outline (which starts with an outline of the outline!)

If you're going to talk with a creationist, you either need to get some idea of the topography or you'll end up chasing in circles around the same tree again and again.

Yes, it looks like a major time investment, but once you start to become familiar with it, it gets easier quickly. Don't aim to learn it all by heart - but you should know when there is an answer to a question, and where to find it.

read books like Your Inner Fish and Why Evolution Is True and The Greatest Show on Earth

I list Your Inner Fish first because it tells a great story about how Shubin and his colleagues used evolutionary theory and geology to predict where they should look for an intermediate fossil linking ancient fish and amphibians (a "transitional form") - and they went to that location, and found just such a fossil. This makes a great question for your creationist - given fossils are kind of rare, how the heck did he manage that? If evolution by natural selection is false, why does that kind of scientific prediction WORK? Is God a deceiver, trying to make it look exactly like evolution happens?? Or maybe, just maybe, the simpler explanation is true - that evolution actually occurs. (Then point out that many major Christian churches officially endorse evolution. They understand that the evidence is clear)

It's a good idea to read blogs like Panda's Thumb, Why Evolution Is True, Pharyngula, erv (old posts here) and so on, which regularly blog on new research that relates to evolution.

Make sure you know about the experiments by Lenski et al on evolution of new genes

Don't take "no proof" as an argument. The evidence is overwhelming.

u/pretzelzetzel · 2 pointsr/atheism

Don't trust everything you read online, either. Books are still generally your best bet, because people who might not know what they're talking about can't edit them while you're reading them.

Obviously I'm not saying all books are better than all internets, but find some credible ones and you're much better off.

I'm not a scientist by training, but I can suggest a few books that will provide a pretty good counterbalance to what your mom will be teaching you. (A few of them have quasi-religious-sounding titles, too, so if she happened to find them lying around she might not get too angry.)

The Chosen Species: The Long March of Human Evolution

The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

A Brief History of Time

I can recommend more if you'd like. These ones are pretty broad surveys of the topics of (in order) evolution, more evolution, the role of science in society, and the physical nature of the universe. If you're homeschooled, I'm assuming high school-level? None of these books is technical - they're all 'popular science', intended to explain broad concepts to non-scientists. They're very, highly interesting, though, and it's easy to find recommended reading lists once you discover some specific topics that interest you. The Chosen Species itself has a lengthy and detailed bibliography and recommended reading section at the end.

I hope I've been able to help! Good luck!

u/tikael · 3 pointsr/atheism

Overviews of the evidence:

The greatest show on earth

Why evolution is true

Books on advanced evolution:

The selfish gene

The extended phenotype

Climbing mount improbable

The ancestors tale

It is hard to find a better author than Dawkins to explain evolutionary biology. Many other popular science books either don't cover the details or don't focus entirely on evolution.

I will hit one point though.

&gt;I have a hard time simply jumping from natural adaption or mutation or addition of information to the genome, etc. to an entirely different species.

For this you should understand two very important concepts in evolution. The first is a reproductive barrier. Basically as two populations of a species remain apart from each other (in technical terms we say there is no gene flow between them) then repoductive barriers becomes established. These range in type. There are behavioral barriers, such as certain species of insects mating at different times of the day from other closely related species. If they both still mated at the same time then they could still produce viable offspring. Other examples of behavior would be songs in birds (females will only mate with males who sing a certain way). There can also be physical barriers to reproduction, such as producing infertile offspring (like a donkey and a horse do) or simply being unable to mate (many bees or flies have different arrangements of their genitalia which makes it difficult or impossible to mate with other closely related species. Once these barriers exist then the two populations are considered two different species. These two species can now further diverge from each other.

The second thing to understand is the locking in of important genes. Evolution does not really take place on the level of the individual as most first year biology courses will tell you. It makes far more sense to say that it takes place on the level of the gene (read the selfish gene and the extended phenotype for a better overview of this). Any given gene can have a mutation that is either positive, negative, of neutral. Most mutations are neutral or negative. Let's say that a certain gene has a 85% chance of having a negative mutation, a 10% chance of a neutral mutation, and a 5% chance of a positive mutation. This gene is doing pretty good, from it's viewpoint it has an 85% chance of 'surviving' a mutation. What is meant by this is that even though one of it's offspring may have mutated there is an 85% chance that the mutated gene will perform worse than it and so the mutation will not replace it in the gene pool. If a neutral mutation happens then this is trouble for the original gene, because now there is a gene that does just as good a job as it in the gene pool. At this point random fluctuations of gene frequency called genetic drift take over the fate of the mutated gene (I won't go into genetic drift here but you should understand it if you want to understand evolution).

The last type of mutation, a positive mutation is what natural selection acts on. This type of mutation would also change the negative/neutral/positive mutation possibilities. so the newly positively mutated gene might have frequencies of 90/7/3 Already it has much better odds than the original gene. OK, one more point before I explain how this all ties together. Once a gene has reached the 100/0/0 point it does not mean that gene wins forever, there can still be mutations in other genes that affect it. A gene making an ant really good at flying doesn't matter much when the ant lives in tunnels and bites off its own wings, so that gene now has altered percentages in ants. It is this very complex web that makes up the very basics of mutations and how they impact evolution (if you are wondering how common mutations are I believe they happen about once every billion base pairs, so every human at conception has on average 4 mutations that were not present in either parent)

This all ties back together by understanding that body plan genes (called hox genes) lock species into their current body plans, by reducing the number of possible positive or neutral mutations they become crucial to the organisms survival. As evolutionary time progresses these genes become more and more locked in, meaning that the body plans of individuals become more and more locked in. So it is no wonder that coming in so late to the game as we are we see such diversity in life and we never see large scale form mutations. Those type of mutations became less likely as the hox genes became locked in their comfy spots on the unimpeachable end of the mutation probability pool. That is why it is hard to imagine one species evolving into another, and why a creationist saying that they will believe evolution when a monkey gives birth to a human is so wrong.

Hopefully I explained that well, it is kind of a dense subject and I had to skip some things I would rather have covered.

u/ethicsengine · 1 pointr/atheism

Oh man, you've hit on a really hard topic.

First off, before I get into any of the juicy topics, let me say this: Consider where your parents are coming from based on their views. An analogy: If you were evacuating a building on fire and saw someone who didn't know they are in danger, would you try to notify them? For the sake of argument, let's say yes (I expect so). They see this world as a building burning down and they view themselves as trying to warn us of the danger we are supposedly in. Expand this to the fact that they are your parents and as their kid, you told them you are walking back into a burning building. They are literally scared for you. Irrationally scared, but still scared non the less. I am not sure if your short term situation or plans, but in the long term you need to accept that they are not going to share your views and may not accept you. Don't let them abuse you! They have to independently accept you for who you are or you need to distance yourself if they don't. Take care of yourself, maintain your dignity and self respect, and make decisions that make you happy and lead you towards living a happy and fulfilled life.

Some information on their reaction:

&gt; I tried to be gentle about it and not criticize her but she kept telling me to defend why I didn't believe in God, and then when I answered she was like "you're trying to disprove God and attack my beliefs" . she later said I was being rude, (I was being as respectful as possible) when I explained that she said I was being "politely rude"???? But because of my beliefs I obviously thought she was a moron and I reject her values. (I never called her a moron and I said that I respected her faith and I didn't want this to be a source of contention for us)

Let's step back and parse this. Typically, strongly religious people follow a form of ethics called "Theological Ethics." The theological ethics system may incorporate other forms of ethics such as utilitarian, kant or phenomenological, but it is ultimately rooted in theology. Do [Action] because god demands it in or through [insert religious book, prophet, etc...]. In their view, all ethics and morality flow only from god. If god says give to the poor, you give to the poor. If god says kill that tribe, you kill that tribe. All ethics and morals are literally rooted in their version of god.

So, when you say "I don't believe in god," many people will imply "therefore I am not a moral person" OR "you think I am an idiot because I need god to work out what is right or wrong." In some cases, a person "without god" is seen as downright evil. However, we know that people can be moral and develop an ethics system without attributing it to or believing in god. We often follow heuristics such as the golden rule, informed consent or "no person is a means to an end."

Some theologians argue that this is only by the grace of god that he has allowed us to be a tool for good despite disbelieving, never mind that in many religions we are still considered doomed to eternal torment no matter how much good we do in the world and that an immoral or amoral person who believes in god has a higher chance into being accepted into paradise over an atheist who genuinely wanted to help others.

A few things you can do is work out why you can continue being a good person without needing to believe in a god. I personally see value in both society and individuals. I want the world to be a better place so that I can enjoy less violence, longer healthier lives. I want to see people individually succeed because it betters our society. Society is made up of individuals. Because life is precious, and this is our one life, we must make the most of it but not at the expense of others because their life is precious too. Informed consent is incredibly important. A society following informed consent reduces or prevents rape, murder, irresponsible or malicious human testing, robberies, etc...

Anyways, if you are interested in ethics and morality in the context of atheism and why reason will likely lead to a more just society, you should pick up a copy of The Moral Arc by Michael Shermer.

If you're interested in why atheism and why you don't need religion to be moral, you should pick up a copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (who is giving an AMA this may 27).

I personally think you will have a hard time converting your family to atheism, but if you want to shore up some of your arguments about why atheism, you should pick up a copy of A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghassian. I don't recommend you actively seek out these conversations with your family at this point, but they can help give you a better grounding about your belief system (yes, atheism is a belief system).

To conclude, don't stop loving your parents but don't let them abuse you either.

[edits for minor typos and formatting]

u/Seekin · 1 pointr/atheism

One great place to start is the Talk Origins Archive. Their "Guide to Creationist Claims" is also very good.

Also, the /r/atheism Wiki has a pretty good section on Creationism that's worth checking out.

There is plenty of evidence of large scale changes over geological time in the fossil record of many lineages. I'll let you research the sites I've linked (and hopefully many others you find yourself from credible sources) rather than linking to any specific ones.

I'm not sure what /u/OldWolf2642 has a specific problem with, but judging by his "humans &lt;&gt; apes" statement I think he's simply trying to point out that modern H. sap. did not evolve from other modern apes. We all (H. sap. are simply one example among several species of modern ape) evolved together from a common ancestor. He's right about that but his phrasing might make it seem as though macro evolution isn't part of modern evolutionary theory - IT IS. It's just that some of us feel that the the terms "micro-" and "macro-" evolution are used as an excuse for creationists to acknowledge the easily demonstrable (on a human timescale) case of natural selection within a species and still be able to dismiss larger scale changes over larger time frames. But, in fact, the terms are often used to distinguish research in some fields from research in others. The phrases are perfectly acceptable. But, as many have pointed out, "macro-" is just an unavoidable consequence of "micro-" happening over long periods of time. The creationists' ploy, here, is comparable to saying "I accept the existence of this glass of water, but refuse to acknowledge the "oceans" you people keep going on about". It's all the same thing, just on different scales.

My personal favorite books laying out the case for all sorts of evolution are:

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne


The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

But the /r/atheism Wiki has a great list of Recommended Reading and videos. Many of these are about atheism generally, but they include good stuff on evolutionary theory as well.

Keep studying and have a blast!

u/LadyAtheist · 5 pointsr/atheism

What the heck, I'm in the mood to toy with a troll on a Saturday night.

"People assume evolution is true because they say it's the most logical thing to believe, but I believe that intelligent design is more logical if you examine the evidence with no presuppositions."

First, scientists don't assume anything, and people who have gone to actual schools rather than Christian schools have learned the scientific method and possibly even proven evolution to themselves in a laboratory experiment (yes, it happens in the lab)

If you examine THE evidence? ... with no presuppositions? Funny. Because the Intelligent Design lie was invented by the Discovery Institute, whose mission is to prove that God is behind it all -- i.e. they are starting with a presupposition.

". Evolution has no proof. They have fossils and dating methods that they say is proof, but subjectively they must not truly be proof because if they were truly proof then there would be no intelligent people who believed in creation left"

hahahahhahaa that's a good one! They have thousands of fossils, and dating methods that have been proven... and when they dig where they expect to find certain kinds of fossils based on the theory of evolution, they find them! They have found fish that were able to walk on land, the transitional fossils between the hippo ancestor and the whale, etc.

The fallacy of appeal to authority is no kind of proof especially in this case because you're not appealing to biologists of the modern era, 99% of whom see evolution as the central defining theory of their life's work.

"Evolution has never, in human history, been observed. Their have been many cases of micro-evolution"

Caw! Caw! Caw! You, my friend, are a parrot. You are parroting Ken Ham, which is pretty funny. You obviously don't know that ALL evolution takes place with tiny steps -- i.e., there's no such thing as "macro evolution," so you and the people you parrot are demanding to see something that wouldn't fit the theory of evolution, then claiming that the theory is bunk because the experts haven't provided it. Guess what? That's a dishonest and shameful tactic. You should be ashamed of yourself for mindlessly parroting something so intellectually dishonest.

"3. Evolution goes against the law of entropy." That's just nonsense, again parroting Ken Ham and his ilk. Read this instead: Meanwhile, consider these points: A. How can crystals form if entropy governs everything and B. The sun sends radiation energy to the Earth, so the Earth is not a closed system - additional energy is added every day.

" it's more logical to believe that an all powerful God created everything than things evolving"

No, it's not more logical. Consider: A perfect God wouldn't have given us the appendix, the tailbone (and in some people actual tails), goosebumps, and other vestigial traits. These things are only logical in light of evolution.

So.. show me the proof? You have a computer. You can use google. You are literate. You can read a book. Why should random redditors be challenged to prove what you are too lazy and ignorant to discover for yourself? The evidence is not that hard to find. Try reading Jerry Coyne's book Why Evolution is True.

Read up on fossils -- and not in Answers in Genesis or whatever source you parroted in your OP. Read up on how it's been true over and over and over that fossils are found in layers, in exactly the same order everywhere, and that you can predict which fossils you might find in a layer of ground based on evolutionary theory. Note, nobody has EVER found a fossil in a layer where it doesn't belong. A find like that would at the very least shake up one portion of the story that other fossils have told.

Evidence that points to evolution IS proof.

Look up "equivocation." This is a favorite trick of Ken Ham and his ilk. Don't do it! Stop it! Grow up and accept reality! You don't have to equivocate on words like that to learn science - you only have to do it to cling to the creator-god. The bronze age people who made up that story can't be faulted for believing it because they didn't have the scientific method, the technology to study the world like we do, or centuries of scientific findings that have told a much more interesting story.

But you are not a bronze age person, so let go of that fairy tale and embrace the real world.

u/Jim-Jones · 7 pointsr/atheism

Some help:

Maybe Yes, Maybe No (LINK)

by Dan Barker

In today's media-flooded world, there is no way to control all of the information, claims, and enticements that reach young people. The best thing to do is arm them with the sword of critical thinking.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No is a charming introduction to self-confidence and self-reliance. The book's ten-year-old heroine, Andrea, is always asking questions because she knows "you should prove the truth of a strange story before you believe it."

"Check it out. Repeat the experiment. Try to prove it wrong. It has to make sense." writes Barker, as he assures young readers that they are fully capable of figuring out what to believe, and of knowing when there just isn't enough information to decide. "You can do it your own way. If you are a good skeptic you will know how to think for yourself."

Another book is "Me &amp; Dog" by Gene Weingarten.

And Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story : Books 1, 2, 3

Here Comes Science CD + DVD

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

Bang! How We Came to Be by Michael Rubino.

Grandmother Fish: A Child's First Book of Evolution
Grandmother Fish, free in PDF form online


Greek Myths – by Marcia Williams

Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs – by Marcia Williams

God and His Creations – by Marcia Williams

"I Wonder" by Annaka Harris

"From Stardust to You: An Illustrated Guide to The Big Bang" by Luciano Reni

"Meet Bacteria!" by Rebecca Bielawski

See also Highlights for Children - this has materials for younger children.

Atheism books for children by Courtney Lynn

"It Is Ok To Be A Godless Me", "I'm An Atheist and That's Ok", "I'm a Freethinker", "Please Don't Bully Me" and "I'm a Little Thinker" etc.

Courtney Lynn has a couple more for grown ups as well.

Grandmother Fish, free in PDF form online

A child's first book of evolution.

15 Holiday Gift Ideas for Secular Families

Bedtime Bible Stories by Joey Lee Kirkman - for mature teens only

Coming up: TINY THINKERS is a series of books introducing popular scientists to children, by telling their stories as if the scientists themselves were kids!

u/HunterIV4 · 1 pointr/atheism

I glanced at the thread, and it seems like you were very unprepared for this sort of discussion. If you just wanted to dispel myths about a secular lifestyle, I would have made that clear from the outset. Frankly, you were unprepared to make arguments supporting atheism as a philosophical position.

Part of the reason you got trolled so hard is that you made assumptions about theists and they noticed. Your own prejudices got in the way. Theists are not stupid; I personally was a theist until late into college, and I learned Christian apologetics in detail. I don't consider myself stupid, and I still believed the Christian side of things. It's not like I've suddenly become smarter as an atheist...I've just abandoned some unjustified beliefs based on new evidence that convinced me those arguments were false.

Unfortunately for you, it seems you aren't familiar with these've either only had to deal with the most straightforward of religious beliefs ("I believe because it's so!") or you never really examined your own beliefs. This is don't need a master's degree in philosophy or natural sciences to be an atheist. If you're going to argue those positions, though, it helps to be prepared for what the opposition is going to bring. You weren't. You naively assumed they wouldn't have good reasons for believing what they believe, and they wielded it against you.

Some general things that could have helped you:

  1. Asking you random questions that are unrelated to the subject is common and acceptable in an AMA. This is not (necessarily) trolling, and if your original goal was to dispel myths that you are some sort of strange person, answering these in a straightforward manner would have helped, not hurt, your position. Also, people are going to assume when you do an AMA that you have a good understanding of the subject (frankly, and I'm not trying to don't).
  2. It's always risky to assume what other people believe. If you aren't sure, ask. There were many "gotcha" moments where people pointed out your own straw-men regarding the Christian worldview. There are many Christians who are highly educated and have a deep understanding of their beliefs, and these beliefs may not conform to the Bible-belt anti-science faith healing shenanigans (stereotypes intended). You confronted their beliefs with an assumption that they lacked reason yet showed an incredible lack of interest and knowledge in science and philosophy. Again, you don't need these things, but if you're going to argue they support your position you should damn well know what they are.
  3. I found it odd that you came from a position of doxatic closure (in plain terms, close-mindedness). Several times you mentioned that nothing would change your mind. This is a terrible place to begin a debate from, and isn't a very intellectually honest one. You invite comparisons to religion by doing so, because such closure is usually associated with strong dogmatic belief. I recommend saying coming from a position of doxatic openness, as you are more likely to get honest responses and discussions, not to mention it's generally a good idea. One of the key differences between most atheists and theists is around this an atheist, I am willing and able to adjust my beliefs based on evidence, and theists generally are not. If God were proved by solid, scientific data that could not be explained any other way, I would change my mind. If you're going to have a rational position, you need to be able to accept "Reason 101"...all hypothesis must be falsifiable (in other words, all your beliefs must have criteria that would disprove them, or they cannot be justified beliefs as there would be no way to discern truth from fiction). At one point you tell someone they weren't "devoted" enough to atheism, which is an extremely strange statement, and negates other statements you made about how atheism isn't a religion.
  4. Finally, you really need to learn some philosophy. I know, I know, for some reason many atheists (especially young atheists) have this thing against philosophy, thinking it's some anti-scientific nonsense about mystical caves and pretending that nothing can be true or known. This couldn't be further from the truth. Philosophy is all about logic and conclusions, and science is heavily based on philosophy. In fact, physics used to be called "natural philosophy", and you could argue that science is a specific form of philosophy in regards to reality. Is there bad philosophy? Absolutely. Is there practically meaningless philosophy? Oh, definitely. The same is true of virtually any area of human knowledge, but if you really want to get involved in learning about atheism you can't really do it without a basis in philosophical thought. The fact is you're using philosophy whether you think you are or not, but without a solid base you were running into issues when people brought up common arguments against your philosophical position. While learning general philosophy will be useful, if you want something specific, I recommend A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian. It really gets to the essence of epistemology and would have greatly helped you in your discussion. It appears you came to the conclusion of atheism because you experienced a situation where you had to deal with a lot of asshole Christians. While this may be your reason, it's not going to be something that will convince anyone of anything. I highly recommend finding out why you believe the way you believe.

    Hope that helps. Good luck on your journey.