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Full title The Happy Atheist [permalink]
Language English
Author P. Z. Myers (author)
Publisher Pantheon Books
Categories Religion and skepticism
Publication year 2013
ISBN 978-0-307-37934-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 190
Synopsis

The Happy Atheist is Myers' first book. Readers familiar with his blog Pharyngula will know what to expect. The book deals with religion and atheism from a lot of different angles, and in essence it's a popular book written for a popular audience, using popular arguments. This is not to say that the book is simplistic, just that it isn't scholarly. If you want a preview of the book, read his essay "Planet of the Hats", which in the book is the chapter called "About the Author".

Review

I half-expected the book (having read Myers' blog) to be much more angry than it is. In fact it's a very funny, lively, and readable book, and at no point was I bored. (In fact, I had trouble putting it down. I didn't read it in one sitting, but two.)

Images Back flap of The Happy Atheist.Back of The Happy Atheist.Spine of The Happy Atheist.Front of The Happy Atheist.Front flap of The Happy Atheist.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Morning in the Midwest
  • About the Author
  • The Joke
  • The Great Desecration
  • Get a Job
  • It's So Easy to Be Outraged!
  • I Am Not a Spoiled Child Having a Temper Tantrum
  • The Proper Fate for a Holy Book
  • Ask but Don't Tell
  • Dirty Words
  • The Top Ten Reasons Religion Is Like Pornography
  • The Purpose-Free Life
  • Happy Easter!
  • Afterlife? What Afterlife?
  • Soulless!
  • What Dreadful Price Must We Pay to Be Atheists?
  • Imagine No Heaven
  • Daughters of eve
  • Prometheus's Sin
  • So Alone
  • One Nation Free of Gods
  • An Embryo Is Not a Person
  • The Courtier's Reply
  • The Big Pink Guy in the Sky
  • The Karen Armstrong Diet
  • God's Little Crisis of Confidence
  • Laugher as a Strategy for Diminishing Religion
  • We're Happier out of a Straitjacket than in One
  • Marketing Godless Science
  • "Science Is What We Do to Keep from Lying to Ourselves"
  • Our Brains Are Full of Contradictions
  • Ken Miller, Poster Child for Compatibility
  • Religion Fails as a Source of Knowledge
  • Science as a Lever to Move the World
  • The Active Hand
  • The Proper Reverence Due Those Who Have Gone Before
  • Niobrara
  • We Stand Awed at the Heights Our People Have Achieved
  • Acknowledgments
Full title The Reason-Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? [permalink]
Language English
Authors Robert M. Price (author) and Julia Sweeney (foreword)
Publisher Prometheus Books
Categories Bible, philosophy, religion and skepticism
Publication year 2006
ISBN 978-1-59102-476-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 363
Synopsis

The Reason-Driven Life is written as a response and critique of Rick Warren's similarly-titled book, The Purpose-Driven Life. It's structured in much the same way as Warren's book, with 40 chapters meant to be read over 40 days. At the end of each chapter is a Point to Ponder, a Quote to Remember, and a Question to Consider. It's written mainly for Christians who have actually read Warren's book, which I'm not and which I haven't.

Review

It's a somewhat interesting read in that Price is a Bible scholar and really knows his stuff, however the book is meant for someone with a different mentality than my own. So I had to imagine I was a fundamentalist Christian for most of the book. The tone of the book is very respectful, though forceful and to-the-point (all this to say that it's a very personal and honest book). I imagine a wavering intelligent (fundamentalist) Christian would really enjoy it, and maybe even be deconverted by it. Go for it if you're curious, but if you're like me (skeptical and non-religious by nature) you can safely skip it! There are other, better, Price books.

Images Back flap of The Reason-Driven Life.Back of The Reason-Driven Life.Spine of The Reason-Driven Life.Front of The Reason-Driven Life.Front flap of The Reason-Driven Life.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  1. It Is about You
  2. You Are a Work of Art
  3. One-Track Mind?
  4. Sons of Dust
  5. My View Is God's View
  6. No Changes Are Permanent, but Change Is
  7. The Mystery of Everything
  8. God: Planned for Our Pleasure
  9. What Makes Me Sick
  10. The Achilles' Heel of Worship
  11. Becoming Imaginary Friends with God
  12. Providence and Superstition
  13. Worship That Creates God
  14. I Can't Get No Sanctification
  15. Joining the Sect
  16. The Greatest of These
  17. A Place to Conform
  18. Heretics Anonymous
  19. Price's Ten Commandments
  20. Healing Religious Divisions
  21. Damage Control
  22. The Character of Christ
  23. When Is a Religion Not a Religion?
  24. This Paper Idol
  25. Jesus with a Jackhammer
  26. Satan's Sunday School
  27. Temp Job
  28. Jerusalem Wasn't Built in a Day
  29. Service Industry
  30. Cut Out the Holy Ghost Noise!
  31. Cogs for Christ
  32. Being Who You Are
  33. How Twisted Texts Scream
  34. Meetings with Unremarkable Men
  35. Was Is Peace/Freedom Is Slavery/Weakness Is Strength
  36. Made into Missionaries
  37. Fabricating Your Life Message
  38. The Hidden Agenda of Witnessing
  39. Juggling Your Life
  40. Not without Reason
  • Bibliography
Full title Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time [permalink]
Language English
Authors Michael Shermer (author) and Stephen Jay Gould (foreword)
Publisher W. H. Freeman and Company
Categories Philosophy, science and skepticism
Publication year 1997
ISBN 0-7167-3387-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 306
Images Back flap of Why People Believe Weird Things.Back of Why People Believe Weird Things.Spine of Why People Believe Weird Things.Front of Why People Believe Weird Things.Front flap of Why People Believe Weird Things.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword: The Positive Power of Skepticism by Stephen Jay Gould
  • Introduction to the Paperback Edition: Magical Mystery Tour: The Whys and Wherefores of Weird Things
  • Prologue: Next on Oprah

Part 1: Science and Skepticism

  • 1. I Am Therefore I Think: A Skeptic's Manifesto
  • 2. The Most Precious Thing We Have: The Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience
  • 3. How Thinking Goes Wrong: Twenty-five Fallacies That Lead Us to Believe Weird Things

Part 2: Pseudoscience and Superstition

  • 4. Deviations: The Normal, the Paranormal, and Edgar Cayce
  • 5. Through the Invisible: Near-Death Experiences and the Quest for Immortality
  • 6. Abducted!: Encounters with Aliens
  • 7. Epidemics of Accusations: Medieval and Modern Witch Crazes
  • 8. The Unlikeliest Cult: Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and the Cult of Personality

Part 3: Evolution and Creationism

  • 9. In the Beginning: An Evening with Duane T. Gush
  • 10. Confronting Creationists: Twenty-five Creationist Arguments, Twenty-five Evolutionist Answers
  • 11. Science Defended, Science Defined: Evolution and Creationism at the Supreme Court

Part 4: History and Pseudohistory

  • 12. Doing Donahue: History, Censorship, and Free Speech
  • 13. Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened, and Why Do They Say It?: An Overview of a Movement
  • 14. How We Know the Holocaust Happened: Debunking the Deniers
  • 15. Pigeonholes and Continuums: An African-Greek-German-American Looks at Race

Part 5: Hope Springs Eternal

  • 16. Dr. Tipler Meets Dr. Pangloss: Can Science Find the Best of All Possible Worlds?
  • 17. Why Do People Believe Weird Things?
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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