Best religion & spirituality books according to redditors

We found 14,855 Reddit comments discussing the best religion & spirituality books. We ranked the 5,367 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Religion & Spirituality:

u/EndsWithMan · 2444 pointsr/AskReddit

Maybe your ambition is to just sit there. Maybe you should look into Buddhism and travel the globe and hone your meditation craft. Find peace within you.

Edit: since this is getting upvotes, I'll put some more advice in here. If you're looking to get into Buddhism, which personally I find to be so very very fulfilling. It teaches inner peace and happiness. I read about Buddhism during a very rough time in my life, where I was trying to find something or someone to blame on the problems. Buddhism taught me that anger, hatred & sadness are reactionary emotions. By reacting in that way towards those feelings, I am myself creating the anger and hatred. It taught me to look at every situation from other points of views. I was made angry by XYZ but their actions that cause my anger was because they had a shitty day and took it out on me, etc etc. It's my reaction that I can control, and it's my reaction that causes the anger and sadness.

The book that I read was by Thich Nhat Hanh and is titled The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation and/or Old Path White Clouds. I included a link to purchase on amazon. My best friend recently went through some trying times and I shipped him this book. I really recommend it to anyone going through struggle, or if you'd just like to see ways to handle stress.

Edit 2: So the book I suggested just went from around #2,300 on Amazon to #409 since the post. Reddit, that's pretty damn cool.

u/somedingdong · 700 pointsr/todayilearned

A knife in the hands of a chef can help to feed ourselves and loved ones, and can create culinary wonders; in the hands of a child it can do great harm, or even be deadly. Knives aren't illegal because a child might get a hold of one and kill or do harm--one might say that would be stupid.


"LSD-25 does not kill" is a true statement.

IMO, in most cases, one should supplement their psychedelic experiences with psychological or spiritual counseling, not use these drugs this way and that way. They're tools for our use, not abuse. Ironically, not allowing adults access to LSD and psychedelics seems to make them more available to kids who shouldn't be doing them.

u/[deleted] · 217 pointsr/science

>idolizing these mens ideals would lead to a better earth

Who says we don't? We certainly have great thinkers alive today and in recent years. No, not the majority, but when has it ever been that way?

>Even with our mighty intelligence and technological brilliance, we're still too ignorant to truly advance as a species.

It blows my mind that people think this way. Compare the progress of the last 100 years against the progress made by humans over the hundreds of millenia before then. How can anyone say we're not advancing? 150 years ago we were living in log houses lit by candlelight. Technologically speaking, we were pretty much still in the dark ages.

Our current rate of progress is absolutely astounding. What about the advances in transportation? Food production? Biomedicine? Genome mapping? Microprocessors? Nanotechnology? Instantaneous information delivery throughout the world? The freaking LHC? Our trajectory of progression is steeper today than at any point in human history.

If your argument is more on the humanitarian side than the technological side, I would still say we're making unprecedented progress. Look at the reduction in slavery and human trade, poverty and welfare assistance, equality for women and minorities, working conditions, treatment of the mentally ill, etc. No, we're not all the way there, not by a long shot. But we're starting to see pockets of civility take hold and spread throughout the world.

It's easy to look at the petty political bickering and dismiss our system as a lost cause, but would we rather go back living in a feudal system? It's easy to see the fundamental evangelicals as a harbinger of some new "Age of Ignorance," but when was the last time we had a massive crusade or inquisition? You can go to a bookstore and choose from a range of best-selling books on the topic of atheism, when it wasn't too long ago that both the author and reader may have been burned at the stake for such heretic thought.

It's easy to get depressed, but take a step back and look at the big picture. We haven't "arrived" yet, but we're well on our way.

>I wish these men were our prophets and messiahs

I think a lot of those men would be disappointed to hear someone advocate that.

u/flabbergasted1 · 120 pointsr/IAmA

Question 1 [asked by redditor Prom_STar]: What are your thoughts on Sam Harris' idea that we can eventually use neuroscience to quantify human well-being and use that information to empirically evaluate ethics?

Response. Sam Harris has written a new book, a very interesting book, called The Moral Landscape. And he takes on the almost cliché philosophy that science has nothing to say about morality; science can tell us the how of things, science cannot tell us what's good and what's bad. Well, I think maybe Sam's got a point – Sam thinks that you can. And he thinks that neuroscience can actually be used to tell when people are really, really suffering. You do have to make the assumption that what matters is suffering. You do have to make the assumption that the goal of morality is something like to reduce the total amount of suffering; to reduce the amount of suffering in either humans or sentient beings. But once you've done that, once you've accepted that that's your goal in your morality, then science, especially neuroscience, really can tell you when people suffer, when creatures suffer. And so I think he's good a very good point and I strongly recommend the book, The Moral Landscape.

tl;dr. Dawkins believes Sam Harris has a very good point, working under certain assumptions.

Direct Video Link [0:00]

u/jam3v · 96 pointsr/todayilearned

The overall goal is to do whatever it takes to make yourself enjoy life as much as possible. Of course, within moral reason. Check out The Satanic Bible. It's a very short and interesting read, and surprisingly unpretentious.

P.S. I am not a Satanist, I just like reading interesting things.

u/CapBateman · 95 pointsr/askphilosophy

It's hard to answer generally for all philosphers, but I think that the dislike stems from the fact the new atheists are at best shallow in their attempt to engage with philosophical debates and ideas and at worst philosophically illiterate or downright hostile to the field of philosophy.

For example, Richerd Dawkins bashing continental philosophy without even understanding what it is or Sam Harris writing a whole book on meta-ethics without addressing or citing the academic literature or experts in the field because he believes it's boring (I recommend watching the entire video if you have time to spare, it's great). And even when there not outright dismissing philosophy, philosophers are not huge fans, to say the least, of their work, both theists and non-theists.

u/pattyfritters · 86 pointsr/pics

For people who don't know, She wrote a book that basically consists of commas after every word. It's extremely weird to read. If you click on the picture of the book you can read the first few pages.

u/ComputerSavvy · 63 pointsr/atheism

> The fallout would be spectacular.

Well, if you want to stir up the shit pot a bit more, might I suggest setting the blender on puree with these titles?

u/Thomist · 54 pointsr/Catholicism

Catholics do not believe in blind faith, we believe in faith informed by reason.

The scientific method ("replicable and testable evidence") is not always the appropriate method to use in seeking knowledge. It works for that aspect of reality that is material and quantifiable. For other aspects of reality, we must use other methods, such as mathematical or philosophical reasoning. Arguments for the existence of God are mostly of the latter type.

Or in other words, read this.

u/logged_n_2_say · 44 pointsr/magicskyfairy

LOL, try a different book other than your FICTIONAL LIEble sometime!!!!

HERE i found the perfect one for you!!!!

written by:
> A preeminent scientist -- and the world's most prominent atheist

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/oldmajar · 39 pointsr/AsianMasculinity

Sorry brotha, but I can't allow you to do this. I'm not going to sit here and drop the usual cliche on how you can improve your life. I'm sure you heard it all before. I can only tell you that I know how you feel. My whole life I have been battling with mental health problems because of a fucked up childhood. I was only a kid when I first tried to end my life. I could never dream of a day where things would have gotten better for me.. but it did. There's no cookie-cutter solution I can give you that would immediately improve your life. We are all different and your particular outlook on life is a product of your own life experiences.

I know though my own experiences and interacting with others who were contemplating suicide that the main source of our angst is our own toxic mindset and loneliness. There is nothing wrong with you. Just to put it into context, if you were the same person you are now, but surrounded by many who adored and loved you, your outlook on life and yourself would be drastically different. In a way your validation of yourself and your life comes externally instead of from within. Because your life is void of many elements that you believe is needed to constitute a satisfying life you have come to the conclusion that it is not worth living.

If you believe race is a major contributor to your misery than remove race as a factor. Move to an Asian enclave where you are the majority and no one would give a second thought about your race.

If your dead end job is reinforcing this perception of yourself of being a person of little value than find something that will give you fulfillment. It doesn't have to be something that brings you a shitload of money, but just something that you can be proud of or you enjoy doing. Heck, if you're seriously thinking about ending your life, go balls to the wall and start your own business on the side! It can be anything that you have interest in. With outsourcing (cheap labor), cloud, and the wealth of information online, you can start many businesses without much capital. At my gf's workplace there's this doctor who didn't become one until he was 45. It's never too late to pursue whatever you want if you have the drive and willingness.

If past failed dating experiences have jaded your views on relationship than replace it with new experiences. The truth is, most of us have had bad experiences at one time or another. Most people in general make shitty partners. But don't let a few rotten apples prevent you from hopping on the horse and trying again. Download every dating apps you can think of, go on those dating meetups, or do whatever you have to do get your tip wet or find that true love if that's what you're looking for. There are just as many women out there who are single and nearing middle age/30s+ that are in desperate need of loving. For women it's even more difficult being single when you start getting older. Worst comes to worst, tap into the divorcee pool and get yourself a heartbroken hunny looking for a rebound.

If you have few close friends than it's time to make some more by opening yourself up and actively seeking some. A solid homie is not just going to pop up in your life. Good friends are hard to come by and takes work like any relationship. What are your interests or hobbies? It's easier to make friends when you have a common interest. There's a meetup, convention, local chapter, etc. for everything you can possibly conceive of. If being Asian is a big part of your identity and life, go join an Asian org or asian club sports team at your local community center. There's leagues for every age range, so you can find others similar to yourself. Once you graduate college, it's difficult for most to make new meaningful friendship. You're going to have to put in the effort. Finding that bromance is no different than find a great woman.

Ultimately, you don't have to be different to belong. You just have to find your place. For some it comes easy and natural, for others we have to work for it. The moment you adopt a defeatist attitude is the day you pretty much accepted that life is unfair and hard but it's not within your control to dictate. We both know that's not true. Yes, your cards may be stacked against you. Yes, being Asian is like playing hardcore mode in America, but it's not impossible. All you have to do is get more skilled at playing the game of life.

Ask yourself what you really want out of life. Make a list of short term/long term goals, things you want do, see, accomplish however big or small. Having a direction in life and something to work towards is very important because it gives our lives meaning.

And all it really takes is one person to really change our lives around. Whether it is yourself after finding that self-empowerment or through another, don't lose hope until the very end. We become discontent with our lives when our lives become stagnant. Progress is important. Keep working on yourself, read and watch a shitload of self-help books and videos. Start caring less about what other people think. Put yourself out there. Open yourself up to the world. Take risks. And after all this if you still feel the same than at least you have the satisfaction knowing that you didn't leave one rock left unturned and you lived your life to the fullest.

I recommend this book to you. It can help you on adopting a new outlook on life and replacing it with your current toxic views:

You deserve to be happy. You have to let yourself. Happiness is a state of mind. It truly is. Buddhist monks in Bhutan are considered the happiest in the world, yet they have none of the things you speak of. It's like if you took an exam for class that was hard af, and you just found out you aced it. Immediately, your whole day starts looking brighter and everything starts going your way. The exam itself did not give you the feeling of happiness or your newfound positive outlook on life, it's just a meaningless piece of paper.. you did. You created that sensation, that release of hormones, by perceiving things in a more positive lens. You have to become aware that your perception and reality is not actually reality. It is a sum of your own bias life experiences and exposures. Keep fighting for the life you want. We're all rooting for you brotha!

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/5py · 34 pointsr/philosophy

Even though your understanding of how choice works is correct, the conclusion that follows (life is "worthless") is false. You seem to be keen on explaining your depression with the fact that you have considered how choice works... but I feel like there's an underlying cause you didn't mention. You even hinted at this in your closing line (major factor means there are other factors at play).

I know this is /r/philosophy and not /r/psychology, but heck, I'm going to say it anyway: you might want to reconsider what the real reason is for your depression instead of (arrogantly) assuming that the "no-choice" life isn't good enough for you.

We do make choices, by the way. Every choice may be a culmination of past experiences and events but that doesn't mean there's not a lot to choose from. Introspection, reflection, meditation and creation can change us within the constraints of a formulaic universe.

Edit: Taking a risk here in /r/philosophy by suggesting this, but here goes: you might be interested in Sam Harris' "Free Will": Amazon link (I'd recommend getting it at The Book Depository alas, it's out of stock there).

u/Argy · 34 pointsr/UFOs

You should check out the book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials go on the Record. The author, Lesie Kean, is a skilled and objective investigative journalist who is adamant about not making assumptions about UFOs. But the evidence she presents in that book will leave you convinced that something is going on.

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/crystalisedorgasm · 32 pointsr/ireland

There have been thousands of reports from reliable and reputable people within the military, NASA, astronomers, scientists, pilots and lay people from around the world over the past few decades that have no reason to lie (in most cases they report the incidents despite ridicule and potentially damaging their careers), backed up by evidence

NY Times reporter Leslie Kean, who broke the most read story on NY times last year about the 2004 incident that the pentagon were looking in to, has written an incredibly well-researched book about the phenomenon with exhaustive details featuring first person reports from across the globe. It is worth reading before you make up your mind about the occurance

True the field attracts cracked types and more often than not videos that we see on youtube are hoaxes and poor ones at that, but look beyond the bullshit and read actual articles from the French and Chilean government who research such incidents and it will astound you.

The Americans shape the global attitude to the phenomenon - possibly because it shows their incapacity to handle and understand at - and that attitude is one of dismissiveness and ridicule. Fair enough too, if you are the global superpower with complete autonomy over the skies, you don't want to admit you've got a situation you cannot explain. Better to investigate it privately and publicly ridicule it

Ultimately we have no idea what it is, could they be a modern myth as CJ Jung hypothesised in his book "Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies", similar to religious visitations through the years but seen through the prism of our scientific world view, or could they be interdimensional beings as French computer scientist Jacques Valle posits.

fuck knows, but it is interesting just a pity you can't talk about it without being seen as a lunatic.

u/srosorcxisto · 31 pointsr/satanism

A good place to start is the sub’s sticky, followed by the Satanic Bible if you want to dig deeper. We are Egoists as well as atheists. Since we believe that all gods are the product of man’s mind, and that rational self-interest is the foundation of morality, it follows that if we are going to make up a fictitious god as a metaphor, the god that best serves that paradigm is ourselves. We do not believe that we are literal gods (as in the supernatural type), but rather use that symbolism as a tool to aid in decision making. If everyone puts themselves first, everyone is better off.

>“All religions of a spiritual nature are inventions of man. He has created an entire system of gods with nothing more than his carnal brain. Just because he has an ego, and cannot accept it, he has to externalize it into some great spiritual device which he calls ‘God.’

>God can do all the things man is forbidden to do—such as kill people, perform miracles to gratify his will, control without any apparent responsibility, etc. If man needs such a god and recognizes that god, then he is worshipping an entity that a human being invented. Therefore, HE IS WORSHIPPING BY PROXY THE MAN THAT INVENTED GOD. Is it not more sensible to worship a god that he, himself, has created, in accordance with his own emotional needs—one that best represents the very carnal and physical being that has the idea‐power to invent a god in the first place?” -- The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey

As far as ethics, we subscribe to the idea that each individual acting in their rational self-interests will also lead to the best outcomes on a societal scale. For more information on the ideas of rational egoism, I suggest the works of Stirner (or Rand if you want the pop-culture version).

It is also often missed that man is a social animal and empathy is part of the human condition. For most, in addition to the practical benefits of benevolent (but not altruistic) behavior, there is also happiness to be found in compassion towards the deserving.

As an example, I give to charities that I feel are helpful to the society (I just sent a donation to ProjectPrevention) which I live in (benevolence to others as a practical act) and to some specific causes simply because I derive pleasure from helping those causes like the Shire Free Churche’s Hope Project (compassion to satisfy my own ego). In both of these cases I am helping others for purely selfish reasons.

Likewise, inflicting harm on others (without their consent) usually does not bring happiness to most people. For those that do like to cause unnecessary harm, that behavior is tempered by the vast majority of people who do not want to live in that type of society. Morality is determined by the individual, but still subject to judgment by others; if someone believes they have a right to steal, they will not get far before running into a well-armed someone else that disagrees. We do believe in Law and Order as well as the individual’s right to self-defense and retribution. Criminal acts are not tolerated by Satanism.

Edit: Typos, sources, links and clarity

u/kent_eh · 30 pointsr/atheism
u/Pope-Urban-III · 27 pointsr/Catholicism
u/mbregg · 27 pointsr/Buddhism

The problem with Hagen, Batchelor, and other secular Buddhist authors is that they are so insistent that Buddhism is not a religion, that they want to remove so much of what makes it such a wonderful practice. It then winds up coming across as exactly how you put it: pseudo pop Buddhism for modern Western atheists.

I personally take offense to how they feel they can completely discount the practices of millions of Buddhists around the world, myself included, and I always recommend What the Buddha Taught as the best introductory book to Buddhism.

u/uncletravellingmatt · 24 pointsr/atheism

Dan Barker, who later became an outspoken atheist but used to be an evangelical Christian preacher, wrote about how back when he was a Christian he worked composing music and made a Christmas Musical for children called "Mary Had a Little Lamb" based on that pun.

(In his book "Godless" about losing his faith, he tells the story of working with the Christian record producer and getting that made, and how he even ended working for free and not demanding royalties, because he was doing it all for God, and besides it seemed as if Jesus was coming back any day then, so he didn't need to plan for his retirement... needless to say he regrets that decision today.)

u/trees916 · 24 pointsr/Catholicism

> I want to start going again, but dealing with his anti Catholicism and New Atheist Facebook posts, etc as a practicing Catholic just sounds emotionally exhausting. Plus I'd have to attend church alone with our toddler, who tries to make a break for the altar every time she's set loose.

Going to mass without your husband is better than not going at all. Moreover, other people should not inhibit your ability to practice the Faith. Concerning the New Atheist Facebook posts, if your husband finds that kind of material even remotely convincing, I would recommend he read Edward Feser's The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism.

> Then I start wondering what the point even is because she will probably just end up being an atheist because of his example.

Set a better example than your husband and make an effort to show your child that there are good reasons to be a Catholic. Read and study apologetic books like William Lane Craig's On Guard and/or Trent Horn's Why We're Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love so that you are better equipped to defend the Faith. When your daughter is old enough, she can read these books and other apologetics books for herself. Also, it wouldn't be a bad idea for your husband to read these same books. Although, William Lane Craig's On Guard for Students was written specifically for non-Christians; so it might be a better option than On Guard, which is intended for Christians.

> You can only pray for the same thing over and over so many times with no change before it starts feeling hopeless.

Keep praying. If you are not already doing so, pray the Rosary. Even if God is not granting you the request(s) made in your prayers, know that there is a good reason for doing so. The reason(s) may never be known during your time on earth, but do not allow this to damage your relationship with God.

> The prospect of returning just feels so lonely. Our parish is huge and no one ever says a word to me. Does anyone have any advice or encouragement?

Many parishes have bible studies or meetups of some kind that would give you the opportunity to meet other Catholics. It is better to feel lonely and do what is right than not feel lonely and fail to do what is right.

u/BearJew13 · 23 pointsr/Buddhism

I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder a few years ago. Buddhism helps with my anxiety in many ways:

  • meditation: learning how to meditate is not easy for many people. I meditated on and off for a few years before I starting doing it as a consistent habit every day. All I can say here is that once you learn how to meditate (either via books, online guided meditations or visiting a meditation center/sangha), the science is very, very convincing about the plethora of health benefits meditation will bring you. In particular, I find basic breath meditation and visualization meditations once a day helps me handle my stress and anxiety better, it just gives me an overall increased sense of well being

  • combat negative thoughts with positive thoughts: whenever you catch yourself having negative, anxious thoughts, simply recognize them, then combat them with positive thoughts. This simple exercise, if done habitually, will literally rewire your brain to start thinking more positively. Many psychologists and counselors will teach you this exercise

  • It gives my life meaning. People get anxiety for different reasons, mine was usually existential: worrying that everything is pointless and meaningless, etc. Studying and practicing Buddhism has given great meaning to my life. The Buddha was interested in the happiness of all people, and he taught people from a wide variety of walks of life, and showed them how to imbue meaning into their lives, no matter where they were at spiritually. There's such a rich variety of teachings attributable to the Buddha: teachings to husbands, wives, children, employeers, employees, politicians, monks, etc. It's exciting. My goal is to one day become a Buddha: someone who has discovered the path to obtaining an unshakable liberation of heart and mind, and who shares this path with others. Definitely not an easy goal, but an interesting, meaningful one nontheless :)

  • EDIT: here are some resources: I recommend Mindfulness in Plain English for learning how to meditate and practice mindfulness; and Taking the Leap for learning how to deal with negative emotions. Then I recommend What the Buddha Taught for the best introduction to Buddhism I've found yet. This book even includes an entire chapter about how what the Buddha taught relates to the world today. The author includes several suttas that specifically teach how the dharma applies to the ordinary lay life. Highly recommend.
u/wanyekest99 · 23 pointsr/microdosing

I'm blown away by how LSD seems to be able to actually get down to the core of our issues. I had my first trip two days ago but I had the exact opposite outcome - I had a rather small dose (approx 75-80ug) but had a wonderful time. The "message" I got is that I worry too much about work, and life in general, and that just need to I relax and that everything is okay. However, my issue is that I work up to 60-80 hours a week 9-10 months of the year. Weed on the other hand made me feel pretty much worthless and made me even more anxious and self-critical and even less motivated to get out of bed. My absolute biggest fear about doing LSD was what if I would find out that I'm an asshole? How the hell do I cope with that? Fortunately this relatively small dose helped me to step outside myself just enough to realize that I'm a much more decent human being than I give myself credit for.

Now, I'm obviously not an expert, and I still haven't had time to fully reflect on the trip and integrate the things I experienced but now that I've dipped my toes in psychedelics for the first time I've begun understand a little bit how it works, and it's no miracle cure for sure (and I don't know if anybody has ever claimed that, but it's easy to get that impression from all of the experiences people share).

From the information and stories I've gathered from other people (and it seems to be true from my short experience too) is that it can bring you immense clarity, but I won't fix your problems. There's a very interesting podcast I listened to last night, where Neal Goldsmith talks about the importance of the work that comes after the trip. If you don't do anything with what you experienced during the trip, he argues, it can create even more damage.

If I were you in your shoes (I once was, so I can relate to your situation and how you feel), I'd start with digging a little bit deeper about your past and history and try to find out why you can't muster any will-power to worry about life.

Just to give you an example from my own life, I used to care about nothing except partying and music. I wanted to become a rockstar (hah!) and/or a nightclub owner, even though I had no idea of what it takes to get there. I wanted to become successful (whatever that meant at that time) without doing all the hard work. Basically all my dreams (mostly just empty shallow daydreams) revolved around the nightlife (this was from when I was 20 until I was 30). I had some part time jobs here and there, but nothing that could support me 100%. Fortunately, a few years ago I had a little bit of luck and got some freelancing gigs which just grew and blew up, and within 2-3 years I went from my parents paying my rent and being $20.000 in debt to driving a nice car and earning within the top 10% However, and this is the moral of the story, I'm absolutely not happier now than I was before. If anything, I'm more anxious and scared and I haven't really felt pure joy in years. And what I've learned about myself, mostly by reading books and meditating, is that everything in my life has been driven out of fear. 5-10 years ago I was doing nothing to get out of the bed because I was scared of the world and everything and everybody. Rejection in my world view has always been such a hard thing to cope with, that I'd rather not even try. Fast-forward 10 years and to anybody on the outside world I'm probably considered successful, but I feel nothing like that. I'm still struggling every dingle day with the exact same fears as I did back then, but they manifest in a different way. I now work 80 hours a week because I'm scared to turn down work. What if I turn down a project and they'll find somebody else? I haven't had a proper vacation in 3 years. Do you see the irony? I used the be scared to get out and look for work, now I'm scared to say no to work. It's not really a fun way to live.

If I were you, I'd take a break from drugs completely, and spend some time (a LOT of time) reading some books. Start with psychology and spice it up with some business (or whatever it is you want to do). You actually seem to have the luxury of time to be able to do that, so make use of it. Try to find out what fears inhibit you from going to where you want.

Here's a book that I'd recommend you starting with:

It's a relatively short read (less than 150 pages), and when I first picked it up, it spoke to me already in the first pages and gave me the motivation to start digging deeper within myself. I'm not sure if it's available on kindle, but I'm sure you can find it on PDF or audiobook if you know where to look. If not, let me know and I'll dig it up for you. If that book resonates with you I'd be happy to share some more with you.

Sorry for the long rant - I hope it helps. Good luck!

edit: Also, if you haven't already and you for whatever reason won't decide to stay off drugs for a while, at least read Fadiman's book on psychedelics before proceeding. There are lots of valuable information in there on how to conduct a safe practice:

u/NumidianMasnsen · 21 pointsr/Catholicism

I think you have a misunderstanding about angels, they aren't creature made of light with wings who battles demons in duels, if you have this view of Catholicism or of the supernatural it means that you don't understand Catholicism. Rather angels are immaterial, they are a mind without a body.

I recommend that you read Dr Feser's book The last superstition .

Please don't leave RCIA just because you are receiving bad catechism, there is nothing "goofy" or "crazy" about the Catholic view of the supernatural, you think this simply because your idea of it is a strawman.

u/auwsmit · 21 pointsr/badscience

> If you can accept that Muslims are inherently violent, uncivilized, brain deficient, unintelligent, etc then

This is an extreme misrepresentation. His position is that many of the ideas of Islam (as well as those of most mainstream religions) are potentially or likely dangerous, such that they can lead good people to do bad things. What else explains the majority of suicide bombings (within the last few decades) being committed by jihadi groups?


>... Harris' inherent anti-theism.

Also, fun fact, did you know despite being an "anti-theist" (a label he would likely disagree with), he has spent much of his life studying Eastern religions directly? He's a proponent of many Eastern meditative practices, as well as a borderline Buddhist. He's also co-authored a book with a Muslim.

u/MagicOtter · 21 pointsr/Catholicism

Former fedora atheist here. For a long time, I felt like I belonged to the "skeptical, rational, atheist" tribe. But at one point I became disillusioned with the crowd, and realized that I no longer want to be part of it. I started looking for alternatives, groups I'd want to be a part of, and I settled upon Catholicism. I first approached it from a purely secular perspective, as a serious and reliable institution. But I ended up accepting the faith and God as well.

Here's my progression, what drew me in more and more:

I. The intellectual life. I was always fascinated by science. It was interactions with promoters of dishonest creationism (usually evangelicals) that originally pushed me towards rejecting religion and to become a militant atheist.

Then I read a book that changed how I view the relation between Church and science: God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science. I now follow @catholiclab and similar profiles on Twitter, which post interesting facts about Catholic scientists. It's simply astounding how this information is completely absent from contemporary popular culture.

II. Just on an emotional level, feeling "closer" to Catholics. It helped that my family is Catholic. On YouTube, I've watched many videos by Bishop Robert Barron, Fr. Mike. They are very lucid and reasonable in addressing contemporary issues. I'm sure there are many others.

I'm also reading biographies of martyrs who died persecuted in modernity by revolutionary ideologies. My TODO reading list includes books by Thomas Merton, Joseph Ratzinger, and the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola.

III. The aesthetics. I'm subscribed on Twitter to profiles like @Christian8Pics which post a lot of inspiring imagery. Familiarity breeds liking. I also listen to music on YouTube: liturgy, Medieval chants, Mozart's Requiem, Byzantine chants (usually Eastern Orthodox).

All these sideways might seem very strange to a Catholic convert or someone raised Catholic who stayed Catholic. But if someone is immersed in a materialistic, mechanistic and atheistic worldview, there's no available grammar or impulse to even take God or the life of the Church into consideration.

IV. Actually knowing what theism is all about. The "god" dismissed by popular atheist debaters is a caricature of God as understood by classical theism and the actual tradition of the Church. So is the "god" argued for by Intelligent Design proponents, biblical literalists, fundamentalists.

I read 2 books by Edward Feser (Catholic) and David Bentley Hart (Eastern Orthodox) to finally become comfortable with this very simple point. The books I read are, in order:

By Edward Feser:

  • The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism

  • Aquinas (A Beginner's Guide)

    By David Bentley Hart:

  • Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies

  • [The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss] (

    Each author has his own biases, which might trip the reader up at times (Hart is biased against evolutionary psychology for some reason). But these books produced in me a fresh view of where to begin seeking for God. They gave me the confidence to proceed.

    Atheism always addresses "god" as if it's simply one entity among others, part of the natural world, for which one ought to find physical traces and then one simply "believes in the existence of god" (much like you'd believe there's a car parked outside your house, once you look out the window and observe it's there -- meaning it could just as well NOT be there).

    Creationists just muddy the waters with "god of the gaps" and "Paley's watch" style theories, which simply postulate "god" as an explanation for why this or that aspect of the natural world is a certain way, a tinkerer god which molds the physical world into shape, or which created it at some point in the past.

    This has nothing to do with how God is presented by the authors I quoted, and they go to great lengths to make this point.

    I started by understanding that there needs to be an ultimate answer to certain metaphysical questions which, by definition, can't have a physical answer (e.g. "why does there exist a physical world in the first place?"). There's a qualitative difference between physical questions and metaphysical ones, and the gap simply can't be breached by adding more layers of physicality. Hart makes this point very well (he differentiates between the Demiurge that deists, atheists and creationists discuss, and God as the "necessary being" of classical theism).

    The ultimate metaphysical cause is "necessary" because it's simply a necessity for the physical world to have a non-physical cause which keeps it in existence. If the only thing that existed was a quantum field that didn't produce any particles, or a single proton that always existed and will always exist, the "necessity" would be exactly the same. Nothing would change even if it turned out our Universe is part of a Multiverse.

    Then, through reasoning, one can deduce certain characteristics of this ultimate answer, which ends up forming the classical theistic picture of God as a "necessary being" which continuously creates every aspect of the physical universe. Feser is very good at explaining this part and especially at underlining how tentative and feeble our understanding of the unfathomable is. He also explains why it has to be a "being" rather than an unknown impersonal cause. It's a humbling experience.

    But as Bishop Robert Barron stated in his interview on the Rubin Report, philosophy only takes you halfway there. Looking back, the existence of God simply makes sense and is a no-brainer. Faith doesn't have to do with "accepting that God exists with no evidence". Faith is about what you do once you realize that the existence of God is an inescapable conclusion of rational thought. What do you do once you realize that He exists and is conscious of us? You have to go beyond the impersonal, and engage, interact. Here's where prayer, the liturgical life and spiritual exercises come into play.

    Unlike conversion, faith isn't a one-time historical event, it's a daily effort on one's part to drive one's thoughts towards the infinite and the ultimate cause of everything. This requires individual effort, but it is not an individual venture. One has the entire tradition and life of the Church to guide you: selfless persons who dedicated their lives to help people like you and me.

    Here's how Feser, in his "Last Superstition" book, describes the various ways of conceiving of God:

    >To understand what serious religious thinkers do believe, we might usefully distinguish five gradations in one’s conception of God:

    >1. God is literally an old man with a white beard, a kind if stern wizard-like being with very human thoughts and motivations who lives in a place called Heaven, which is like the places we know except for being very far away and impossible to get to except through magical means.

    >2. God doesn’t really have a bodily form, and his thoughts and motivations are in many respects very different from ours. He is an immaterial object or substance which has existed forever, and (perhaps) pervades all space. Still, he is, somehow, a person like we are, only vastly more intelligent, powerful, and virtuous, and in particular without our physical and moral limitations. He made the world the way a carpenter builds a house, as an independent object that would carry on even if he were to “go away” from it, but he nevertheless may decide to intervene in its operations from time to time.

    >3. God is not an object or substance alongside other objects or substances in the world; rather, He is pure being or existence itself, utterly distinct from the world of time, space, and things, underlying and maintaining them in being at every moment, and apart from whose ongoing conserving action they would be instantly annihilated. The world is not an independent object in the sense of something that might carry on if God were to “go away”; it is more like the music produced by a musician, which exists only when he plays and vanishes the moment he stops. None of the concepts we apply to things in the world, including to ourselves, apply to God in anything but an analogous sense. Hence, for example, we may say that God is “personal” insofar as He is not less than a person, the way an animal is less than a person. But God is not literally “a person” in the sense of being one individual thing among others who reasons, chooses, has moral obligations, etc. Such concepts make no sense when literally applied to God.

    >4. God as understood by someone who has had a mystical experience of the sort Aquinas had.

    >5. God as Aquinas knows Him now, i.e. as known in the beatific vision attained by the blessed after death.

    What I've been talking about is at #3. Atheists and creationists are debating #1 and #2. #4 is a gift to be accorded by grace, and is what people strive for in their spiritual life. #5 is the ultimate goal of the Christian life.
u/Hypersapien · 20 pointsr/atheism

It's actually a pretty good system if you strip out all the supernatural stuff like karma and reincarnation.

Stephen Batchelor wrote a book on that subject called Buddhism Without Beliefs

u/Friend_of_Augustine · 20 pointsr/Catholicism

Check out Pints with Aquinas by Matt Fradd. Haven't personally listened to it but his podcast comes highly recommended by a plethora of users here.

A good book that goes over this stuff, among other things, is The Last Superstition by Edward Feser.

Here is a quick and basic rundown of multiple arguments for God's existence with Aquinas's Five Ways in here as well. Breaks it down very well, in my opinion.

u/SaintJoanOfArc · 19 pointsr/badphilosophy

Around 1:48:12 "I will pay you $1,000 for every nonsensical statement you can find of mine in the book. Go ahead, bankrupt me."

The book:

Omer Aziz Contact Information:

Edit: "I'll give you a year to do this."

u/ReturnedAndReported · 18 pointsr/exmormon

The thesis of this book is : Don’t attack specific truth claims. Undermine faith and epistemology to create critical thinkers.

u/oreith · 18 pointsr/islam

My struggles with the image of Jesus as God also drew me away from christianity and as I started to learn more about Islam I came to realise that my view of Jesus as a prophet rather than God was exactly what Islam teaches us. My advice to you is to read a lot, there is so much information out there, I struggled a lot with the language used in many translations of the Quran, the one that I found the easiest to read is this one.

There are other books that really helped me, one that I really enjoyed reading is "Stories of the Prophets" by Ibn Kathir, especially coming from a Christian background. Somebody else mention videos by Nouman Ali Khan, he's very engaging so you could look up some of his stuff too. If you have any further questions don't hesitate to contact me =)

u/mushpuppy · 18 pointsr/atheism

Respectfully, your first question is a bit too personal for me to answer. You didn't mean it that way; I understand. But to answer it I would have to reveal more than I choose.

What I can say is that I have survived grief. I experienced it, explored its depths, and came out the other side. There was a time in my life, literally, when everyone I ever had loved was dead.

Life doesn't offer any promises. All it offers is itself. And it will end soon enough, anyway.

To address the issues you raise in any sort of competent way would require far more space than I have here. I suggest--and I don't mean this as a brush-off--that you read the Bhagavad-gita, the other Upanishads, the writings of the Buddha. You also probably would want to read commentaries, as the texts probably would be indecipherable without them. You also might want to try The Razor's Edge and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which are a couple of accessible novels that at least introduce certain ideas.

This may seem like a puzzle, but the main thing to understand is that your sense of permanence is illusory. This concept is so fundamental to life that it transcends and infuses atheism, philosophy, religion. From it flows the idea that many other things also are illusory--pain, suffering, grief, desire, hope, happiness.

In any event, as you ask such valid and profound questions, it would make sense to arm yourself with the equipment to answer them, right?

u/distantocean · 18 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

You might want to look into street epistemology, which is specifically geared toward making people rethink their religious views in a non-confrontational way. You should check out some of Anthony Magnabosco's videos or the book A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian.

u/mavol · 17 pointsr/atheism

No doubt! but, please buy them a replacement copy.

u/Martin81 · 16 pointsr/svenskpolitik

Det finns över en miljard muslimer och många, många miljoner av dem är progressiva. Jag skulle definiera det som att de vill att Islam ska utvecklas så att den fungerar bra ihop med ett modernt, demokratiskt samhälle. [Maajid Nawaz]( tror jag är ett bra exempel på en sådan muslim.

Lyssna gärna på denna diskussion mellan honom och islamkritikern Sam Harris;

Islam & the Future of Tolerance - Maajid Nawaz & Sam Harris

De har även skrivit en bok om detta:
Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue

u/The_Dead_See · 16 pointsr/Buddhism

"life is suffering" is a pretty poor translation. The four noble truths are mentioned in several suttas - the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta probably being the most famous.

The first noble truth more literally translates as "there is dukkha" - "dukkha" in this case being the term for a chariot wheel that was out of alignment causing an uncomfortable, bumpy, unsatisfactory ride. What the Buddha was essentially trying to say is that worldly existence is predicated upon dissatisfaction and suffering. The goal was to find release (escape if you will) from the cycle of birth and death (samsara) that the prevailing Vedic spiritualties of the time taught. The second, third and fourth noble truths tell us that there is a way to do this. The eightfold path is the Buddha's prescription for doing this.

If you are interested in Buddhism from a more secular or atheistic viewpoint, Stephen Bachelor's Buddhism without Beliefs may appeal to you. Be aware though that it does skip some of the central tenets of Buddhism and verges on not really being Buddhism at all.

The other way to approach the path while avoiding the metaphysics is to focus on the mindfulness and compassion practices. With that in mind, John Kabbat Zinn's Wherever you go there you are is a worthwhile read.

You might also try the books of Pema Chodron. She has a no bullshit way of bringing Buddhism to bear on real life.

u/raoulduke25 · 15 pointsr/Catholicism

The Last Superstition is probably what you're after.

u/HapHapperblab · 15 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

I've come to enjoy this youtube channel specifically for the way he engages with people in a largely non-confrontational role.

I believe the techniques are well described in a book by Peter Boghossian called A Manuel For Creating Atheists. The guy in the youtube channel might even be the author, I don't know.

Anyway, I think it's a good basis for discussion. It's not about "You Are WRONG!". It's about taking a closed door and nudging it ajar so the person goes home and thinks about the topic more.

u/z9nine · 14 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Godless by Dan Barker.

u/cannonfunk · 14 pointsr/oldpeoplefacebook

This reads more like schizophrenia than "old person."

See: Lark Voohies' [Lisa Turtle from Saved By The Bell] book True Light: A, superior, take, unto, the, premier, haloing, of, tenuation. Readily, available, True Light, provides, resource, into, time's, motifed, and, vestuved, authenticate, revelation.

And, yes, that's the actual title.

u/noflippingidea · 14 pointsr/exmuslim

Definitely. Ironically, /r/Islam is what started me on my journey, because half the content on that sub was stuff I totally disagreed with on a fundamental level. The questions that were being asked were silly (in my opinion), and the answers were even sillier. I didn't realise people actually thought that way. I was a pretty liberal Muslim at the time and thought that you didn't have to follow the Qur'an by the book to be a good Muslim, all you had to do was have good intentions. Seems I was the only one who thought that way.

So I went out looking for a sub that countered that one, which is when I found /r/exmuslim. The more I lurked around this sub the more I started to question organised religion, but still somewhat believed that god existed. Then I read The God Delusion, and that, I think, was the final blow.

But yes, /r/exmuslim played a huge part.

u/lotictrance · 13 pointsr/videos

LaVeyan Satanism is fairly reasonable. It's basically just atheism with certain philosophical tenets added in.

...mostly. I should mention that there's a big current of occult practice in most Satanism; LaVey himself wrote out a lot of 'spells' in his books, for whatever reason. How Satanists justify that basically comes down to personal preference (if they do so at all).

Philosophically, though, Satanism is pretty sane stuff. I identified myself as a Satanist for years, I still would but 'secular humanist' fits more accurately now, I think.

Edit: For those curious, there are, more or less, three major camps of Satanism, with varying degrees of differentiation.

LaVeyan Satanism is largely based on the works of Anton LaVey, and is more or less represented by the Church of Satan. The Satanic Bible basically outlines its essential positions. Like he says in the video, this form of Satanism is essentially atheist, using Satan as a metaphor for human potential and drive, as well as other things. By nature it tends toward iconoclasm, and many people (myself included) use LaVeyan Satanism as a transitory period between theism and atheism.

Setian Satanism is an offshoot from the 1970s of LaVeyan Satanism that's directed by the Temple of Set. It's an officially recognized religion in the US which even boasts chaplains in the military. Unlike LaVeyan Satanism, Setians focus very heavily on magickal and occult doctrine, and the Temple's organization mimics many other magickal orders. It's very ritual-heavy and there's some debate about whether it's atheist or not (mainly, whether Set is a symbol or an entity). The ultimate goal is Xeper, which (more or less) comes from the Egyptian word Kheper, a dung-beetle deity who's name symbolized transformation.

Luciferian Satanism is a decentralized, theist form of Satanism. The different approaches to Luciferianism are too wide to list here, but they commonly identify with a literal Satan figure to whom they pray, in the hopes of achieving a transhumanist, Promethean transformation (similar to Setians). Traditions vary between Hebraic Satanism to Norse and everything in between. There are many organizations based on Luciferianism, but none really have the size and weight of either the Church of Satan or the Temple of Set.

Hopefully someone finds this interesting.

u/SuperAngryGuy · 13 pointsr/atheism

I remember being in the army and having Christian types trying to preach to me. Even in the chow hall I'd have some asshole come sit down next to me and say something like, "Have you heard the Good News?" and then start talking about Jesus.

I kept a copy of the Satanic Bible by Anton Levay as a joke and would invite them to my bible study group. They mostly left me alone after that.

u/Underthepun · 13 pointsr/Catholicism

You're welcome! Another piece of advice I have is that while I firmly believe conversion is a result of grace, breaking down intellectual barriers to belief is absolutely critical for many atheists. I found I had a lot of baggage and bad history/bad philosophy in my overall worldview previously. I didn't know what I didn't know or believe in. To me, God was a silly, antiquated idea used for control and comfort. Things like classical theism, divine simplicity, act/potency, essentialism, forms, four causes...were either completely foreign to me or unintelligible.

The first part of getting past that was classical philosophy, as I previously mentioned. I don't just mean Catholic thinkers like Aquinas either (though he's the mastermind!). It was studying the metaphysics of Aristotle, the forms of Plato, Ockam's pre-nominalistic, how enlightenment philosophers shifted the thinking towards epistemology and metaphysics; that I think really broke those barriers for me. It turned out that the materialism, reductionism, naturalism, and empiricism that I took for granted...were not on the strong ground I thought they were. Indeed, philosophers like Ed Feser, David Oderberg, Peter Kreeft, GEM Anscombe, Roger Scruton, Bernard Lonergan, James Ross, and even Thomas Nagel (himself an atheist!) have been articulating strong arguments against those things for years. I never knew the power of logic, deductive reasoning, and philosophy. I took the view of scientism as the default truth without ever challenging it. But just knowing how strong the intellectual arguments are against atheism/materialism are, and for theism; has helped immensely in growing in God's grace. And that is to say nothing for my moral realism, courtesy of Alasdair MacIntyre and C.S. Lewis, that was the initial crack in my previous worldview.

For those of us who are more head than heart, like I suspect you and your wife are, this kind of deep dive into philosophy is a crucial aspect of conversion. If you can articulate the strength of theism and weaknesses of atheism from just a purely intellectual standpoint, you may at least get her to be more understanding of your shift in thinking. I think reading this book is a good start and that this one is slightly more thorough. Feser isn't the world's greatest philosopher but he is very articulate. This book of his helped me greatly in beginning to solidify and defend my own epistemology and metaphysics.

u/equalpartsgoodand · 13 pointsr/EnoughTrumpSpam

New Atheists like Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, and Sam Harris are constantly getting accused of Islamophobia, even though they do things like co-write books with practicing Muslims. The core problem is that a lot of people have difficulty separating out criticism of Islamic doctrine with racism against Muslims, and on the other side you have people like Trump who really are just racist.

But at the end of the day, Maher was a Bernie supporter who switched to Clinton when the time came, Harris supported Clinton from the start, and even Dawkins even got in a few kicks.

u/HenkPoley · 13 pointsr/TrueReddit

Also wrote a book when discussing that topic further:

u/proverbialbunny · 13 pointsr/history

Robert Anton Wilson wrote about this experiment and how it works in the book Prometheus Rising. It is a surprisingly fascinating subject.

u/warnakey · 13 pointsr/AskThe_Donald

Here is why your question is stupid:

African Americans were not hated between the 1850's and 1960's because they were trying to conquer the world and force everyone to worship their God. They were hated because of the color of their skin.

I want you to buy a copy of the Quran and the Hadith and read them, like I have.

As you read the Quran and the Hadith (the writings that are considered written directly by Allah himself) you will come to learn the true feelings and motivations of both radical and moderate Muslims. You will then understand what is actually happening.

If you would like me to save you some time, Muslims are commanded by Muhammad to conquer the world and make every human on Earth a faithful Muslim by either forcing non-believers to convert, forcing non-believers to pay taxes to Muslims, or by killing non-believers.

Every Muslim on Earth actually believes that 100% of the Earth will be Muslim eventually, and some of them actually follow the commandment of Muhammad to kill non-believers and wage war with them. It's right there in the Quran for all to see.

u/supes23 · 12 pointsr/islam


Thoroughly recommend Professor Abdel Haleem's translation of the Quran:

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

My recommendations mostly more recent stuff, I think written well for a western audience

Understanding Islam and the Muslims: The Muslim Family, Islam and World Peace

The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad

Understanding the Qur'an: Themes and Style

Being Muslim: A Practical Guide by Asad Tarsin et al.

The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad

Worth YouTubing:

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Professor Tariq Ramadan
Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

u/wamp_that_puck · 12 pointsr/woahdude

I believe he's referring to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

u/mikedMORMONS · 12 pointsr/exmormon

Two things to toss on your bed...



u/gensek · 12 pointsr/funny
u/KingPabo · 12 pointsr/exmormon

Try less of being an immature asshole and more of a critical thinker. Read some books on church history, the ces letter, A Manual For Creating Atheists, How to be a really good pain in the ass, etc and provide helpful rational polite commentary as the appropriate topic comes up. Really know your stuff and where the sources are coming from. Think about what their responses are likely to be and how to counter them. Consider it waging a polite private war on seminary if it helps you. If the teacher see you as an articulate and convincing influence on the other kids they won't want you there. Otherwise they will just think you are just another immature kid throwing a tantrum.

Or if that sounds like too much work for you than you can just nap your way through seminary or read a book for the few minutes a day they take up. I got a lot of good reading time in there when I was your age.

u/Rakajj · 12 pointsr/hillaryclinton

Salon remains full of absolute trash opining articles that do fuckall to actually inform on the issue and simply are poorly written, selectively cited hitjobs.

I'd highly recommend Islam and the Future of Tolerance which is effectively a transcript of a conversation between Sam Harris, a liberal atheist, and Maajid Nawaz a former recruiter for a radical islamist organization, discussing the make up of the Islamic world and the problems that need to be addressed by moderates and rational thinkers.

While Maher is running a comedy show and often doesn't devote the time or detail necessary to make the required political arguments / points on a litany of subjects, his fundamental perspective on Islam is not accurately described as 'Islamophobia' any more than his views on Christianity make him Christphobic. It's a lazy way to sidestep having an actual conversation about the subject and the Left really has dropped the ball as we have a responsibility to denounce radicalism while still protecting normal / moderate believers.

The entire conversation is very dependent on nuance; Muslims generally are different from Islamists, Islamists are different from Jihadists. Muslims are simply believers in Islam, Islamists are Muslims that want to create political laws and governments based on their Islamic theology. Jihadists take it one step farther and want to spread that Islamic theology via aggression.

There are then ways to break down these categories even further, but Islamists and Jihadists are both very real, political organizations that have agendas that run counter to Western Democratic ideals. Islamist countries are by definition theocracies, the concepts of pluralism and separation of church and state are fundamentally in conflict with Islamist ideology.

Legitimate studies have shown that Islamists and Jihadists only make up 15-20% of Muslims worldwide, but that minority still need to be seriously considered and addressed. Religious extremism of any sort, whether it's from Christians attacking Planned Parenthood or Jihadists attacking clubs and concerts - the religious motivations and implications cannot be ignored and the Left has done itself a great disservice by refusing to make a nuanced argument for rational thought in defense of Muslims generally while still decrying radicalism.

u/JohnnyShit-Shoes · 12 pointsr/Buddhism

The first two books I read were The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching and Mindfulness in Plain English. They'll get you started with the basics.

u/CutieBK · 12 pointsr/askphilosophy

Mark Siderits has written a wonderful introductory overview of many key features of Buddhist philosophy in a book that I would consider a must-read on the subject. It is called Buddhism as Philosophy and offers both great depth and critical examination of the arguments at play in many of the Buddhist traditions.

I would also recommend Owen Flanagan's The Bodhisatva's Brain for an insightful discussion on some of the problems facing the very hyperbolic and enthusiastic view that many contemporaries express when discussing the effects of Buddhist practice and meditation.

If you are interested in a broad and concise overview of Buddhist thought from a Buddhist scholar, I'd recommend Walpola Sri Rahula's classic What the Buddha Taught. This book is very lean in terms of metaphysical speculation and portrays the Buddhist path in a philosophically austere and precise manner.

Since there is no one universally accepted interpretation of Buddha's teaching I would highly recommend reading wide and deep on the subject. There are many contemporary philosophers who have done great work in interpreting and examining Buddhist philosophy through the lens of modern day thought. To name a few: Miri Albahari, Jonardon Ganeri, Evan Thomspon and Matthew Mackenzie. Galen Strawson has also engaged with Buddhist thought in his writing on questions of selfhood and consciousness. Have a look at their respective academia pages and you should find much ongoing discussion on the subject and recommendations for further reading in their published articles.

Hope this helps!

edit: spelling

u/krunk7 · 12 pointsr/worldnews

If NAMBLA set up on a island and established a culture of raping 3 year olds in the ass and then eating them alive while they were awake would you step back and say "Hey, hey, hey. It's their culture who are you to say raping children in the ass is bad and dismembering them for the purpose of a good goulash is immoral?"

I'm just trying to figure out what your line of reasoning is.

If you're just trying to pose the question of which metric is most valid, without asserting that all moral behavior is relativistic and cannibalism of conscious persons, child rape, torture, etc. are, in fact, moral within a given context then this method is probably a good start.

u/macaronisalad · 11 pointsr/pics

Did you co author this?

u/Paddlesons · 11 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Neither do I, it's nonsensical any way you slice it. If you'd like to know more about the arguments against "free will" I'd recommend Sam Harris' new book.

u/Avo69 · 11 pointsr/conspiracy

You've got my upvote. For those interested in understanding this topic but wanting to start with more basic ideas, I suggest "The Holographic Universe" by Michael Talbot. It does an excellent job of introducing this theory to beginners.

u/Rabie-A · 11 pointsr/islam

Thanks everyone for commenting,

I'm going for the translation of Abdul-Haleem since 6 out of the 7 people recommend him.

His translation on amazon and as a pdf.

u/3spoop56 · 11 pointsr/UFOs

The one that got me into UFOs was the Chicago airport incident: Sadly there are no photos, but this is striking to me because the skeptical explanation really does not hold water IMO - nobody is going to mistake a cloud for a solid metal object.

In terms of sheer documentation and lack of alternate explanation though I think the Tehran incident is best. The best debunking I could find of it is here, but I don't find it very compelling:

For more along the same lines, Leslie Kean's book has a lot. (I've heard, I haven't read it myself.)

u/markevens · 11 pointsr/TrueAtheism

If he doesn't want to read something, don't push it on him.

Even if he does end up reading it, it won't be a proper reading, just something to please you that he begrudgingly does.

It is like reading a book that you were forced to read in school years after the fact, and you love the book on the 2nd reading but because you were forced to read it the first time you didn't engage it the way you should have. Same thing.

If you want to have a good discussion with him, you need to stop telling him things and instead start asking questions. With the right questions, he comes to his own answers instead of some kid (which you are in his eyes because he is your uncle) telling him.

This is the socratic method, and it works. If you want to learn more about applying it to atheism, check out A Manual for Creating Atheists.

u/jordaniac89 · 11 pointsr/booksuggestions

Godless by Dan Barker

Also, not really coming of age, but some good starting points from the atheistic viewpoint:

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

Breaking the Spell - Daniel Dennett

God Is Not Great - Christopher Hitchens

The End of Faith - Sam Harris

u/Dudge · 11 pointsr/atheism

Stephen Batcher, a former Buddhist Monk who is now an atheist, has written several books about Buddhism as a non supernatural system. He May be able to help you on your journey. I enjoyed Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening.

u/jozaud · 10 pointsr/mildlyinteresting

yeah the joke was about The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

u/BlackbeltJones · 10 pointsr/circlejerk

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It was that easy I racked up $450 in 3 days just spending time online! I love this site it made it all possible! To visit this website click here or copy this URL into your web browser:

It is totally recession-proof, and read this news article from a reputable source about how this awesome Fortune 500 company is not a scam! To visit this website click here or copy this URL into your web browser:

u/holyschmidt · 10 pointsr/atheism

If you value your relationship (long term), i would suggest taking a different approach.

I went through a similar situation with my GF (now wife). We were both pretty confident YEC's (then i took a Critical Thinking class and boom). The method i used was explaining my thought process and asking her what she thought about it. It's important not to make the issue adversarial, but to make it a conversation. No debate will make her change her mind (or better yet see where you come from).

The problem is not god/religion/church (not directly anyway), but faith. Faith is what causes logic/critical thinking not to work. It allows for magic. Faith is a bad epistemology (how you know what you know). My old CT professor wrote a book about it: A Manual For Creating Atheists. (foreward by Michael Shermer)

The edgy title is a little misleading, the book is about critical thinking and about how you know what you know. It tackles the issue of faith. The method advocated (honest, non-adversarial conversation etc) is pretty well demonstrated by this guy on youtube.

My relationship was very important to me and i almost lost it because of difference of belief. She was also reasonable and agreed to hear me out. Now we both still share utter incredulity that we could have ever held those views. Don't listen to the "just dump her" comments. Relationships with people are too important to just discard.

*full disclosure Amazon link is Smile link to support the skeptic society.

u/SuperDaleCooper · 10 pointsr/TrueAtheism

You're not likely to change theists minds through debate or argument. I find that Street Epistemology/Socratic Method is the best method for examining beliefs and what methods someone uses to arrive at a particular belief (e.g. faith vs scientific method). Check out Anthony Magnabosco's Youtube channel or Peter Boghossian's book "A Guide for creating atheists".

u/Natasha10005 · 10 pointsr/oldpeoplefacebook

That girl from Saved by the Bell Lark Voorhies wrote a book kind of like that, but with commas.

u/sanchopancho13 · 10 pointsr/reallifedoodles

No, OP is Lark Voorhies.

u/lady_wildcat · 10 pointsr/exchristian

I've become rather obsessed with deconversion narratives recently

Why I became an Atheist

Deconverted FYI I recommend the audiobook


Farewell to God

u/tanvanman · 10 pointsr/Buddhism

If you're looking for an overview of the concepts of Buddhism, I think reading would be better. Perhaps the short scholarly classic What the Buddha Taught or The Buddhist Handbook, a book that Altar_Spud recently recommended that looks like a great survey of Buddhism.

If you're looking for the practical application of Buddhism, especially as it applies to meditative practices, then I recommend the teachings of Gil Fronsdal. His seven part audio series, Buddist Meditation, provides a framework for the practice. There are other series in the left column if you want to further explore core teachings. There are also podcasts under the name of Audiodharma that are updated regularly, but cover all different aspects of the practice and are less concisely organized for a beginner.

Mindfulness, The Most Fundamental Skill is a Shinzen Young talk I found on Grooveshark that explains mindfulness in beautiful simplicity.

u/thesunmustdie · 10 pointsr/atheism

There's a book called "A Manual for Creating Atheists", which talks about various non-confrontational techniques like Socratic questioning.

u/PotatoPotahto · 9 pointsr/teenagers

Kay I'm home now.

oh god, where to start.

Anton LaVey called his religion Satanism for two reasons.
Reason #1) He only wanted people with an open mind.
Reason #2) He believed that humans crafted the idea of God from our ego, as we needed something to guide us, something to have us know right from wrong, a moral code, with a punishment for not following it. If the God is the Ego, and Satan is the opposite of God, then Satan would be the carnal human desires. Satanists "worship" these bare, core, carnal desires of human nature. (Lust, Greed, Rage, etc. (Known in the Christian Religion as "The 7 Deadly Sins")) This is why you'll sometimes see people wearing a shirt that says "Worship Yourself".

Satanists DO have principals they follow. For instance, The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth.

Personally, I like to describe LaVeyan Satanism as "the religion of not giving a single fuck" because of what we believe. You are free to do what you please as a Satanist, so long as your actions do not harm another (without justification) or impose on their rights as a human. Example: Free Love. Go ahead, be gay if you want, be lesbian if you want to be, love who you want. If you want to have a 5 person all-male orgy, there's nothing stopping you from doing that, so long as everyone consents.

Another thing about Satanism people may find "wrong" is:
>If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
>If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.

These are some things that are entirely up to the practicing individual. Use whatever force YOU DEEM necessary to stop the problem. If YOU PERSONALLY BELIEVE murder to be the appropriate response to someone's actions towards you, GO FOR IT.

Personally there's only 3 things that condone murder for me:

  1. Threatening my life
  2. Threatening my family's life
  3. Threatening my loved one's life

    You may have noticed that yes, we have rituals, and yes we call on "demons" to help us complete these rituals.

    We're not actually asking for literal demons help. (This next part is where I usually lose people, fast.) We're using what we believe to be the power of our minds to will something into happening, I'm really not experienced with that though so don't take my word for it.

    There you go, a very quick, very sloppy, kind of half-assed overview of LaVeyan Satanism. That was a LOT harder than I thought it would be to answer, Fuck.

    For more info, check out:
    Our Fundamental Beliefs
    The Nine Satanic Statements
    The Nine Satanic Sins
    Pentagonal Revisionism: The 5 Point Program
    Buy the bible!

    If you do have further questions, PLEASE PLEASE feel free to ask me. Hell I'd be willing to do an /r/teenagers AMA if it gets enough interest.
u/anomoly · 9 pointsr/atheism

Ok, I'll give it a go...

The first thing that got me questioning religion was seeing massive amounts of hypocrisy in church leadership. I was extremely involved as my father was a deacon and my mother worked at the church we attended. It was a common practice for us kids to go to one friends' house or another between morning and evening services, so I saw how the adults acted differently at home then they did at church. I realize not all religious people are like this, but it was the first step for my questioning. Once I was old enough I became a leader in the youth group and started seeing the same hypocrisy in myself.

Despite realizing my hypocrisy I continued to believe, even to the point in participating in multiple missions trips held by the organization Speed the Light. While on these trips we were told to write down our personal testimony so that we could present it during presentations and services. When I tired to put into words why I believed in God and, more importantly, why the audience should believe, I couldn't come up with a good reason. I sat in a bed in the country of Belize thinking, "If I can't come up with a good reason why these people should believe what I do, then why do I believe it?". Despite this thought I continued my charade for two more missions trips and a few more years.

Eventually I stepped down from youth leadership and entered a state of apathy towards religion. I didn't go to church, but I didn't really think about it much. Every now and then something really bad would happen and I'd wonder if God was punishing me, but they were more of fleeting thoughts than anything.

The next big hit for me was when I went to Iraq for a year. When you see good people with families who love them (some of which who were religious) die, the answer "God allows us to suffer so we learn/build character/build faith etc" just doesn't cut it anymore. About a year after I came home from the deployment I actually started looking for information that refuted religion. I'd say that was when my state started the path from apathetic to agnostic to atheist.

The book Letter to a Christian Nation was a big eye-opener for me. Along with other works of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christoper Hitchens, and other authors I'm sure you'll become aware of if you continue to question things. The more I investigated, the more absurd religion seemed; and the more science explained all of the things that I attributed to the supernatural. When I was a child I believed, truly believed, that when I was lying in bed one night I saw an angel appear in my room. It wasn't until I read The God Delusion that I realized there was a scientific explanation for things like that.

The more I found that science could prove things, really prove things, the more I realized that "it's true because the Bible says so" didn't work for me anymore. In the last few years I've learned things that have blown my mind. Things that I thought would take away the wonder of the world have actually enhanced it. I'm a good person because I want to be, not because I'll burn in hell if I'm not; I don't steal because I realize that it's unproductive in the long run, not because some ancient stone tablet and a preacher told me not to, etc.

I'm not saying I don't have personal issues like anger, sadness or depression. You can only fight evolution to a point, we are still human. I guess I'm just saying that the answers I found leading me to atheism were far more satisfying and comforting than anything religion ever offered me. Hope that helps.

tl;dr: it's basically a de-conversion story, read if you'd like I suppose.

u/jlew24asu · 9 pointsr/DebateReligion

> I've had spiritual experiences I believe are from God, so in a way, yes.

but you've never met him. the answer is no

> I've never met President Obama. Should I believe he doesn't exist? That's your best evidence?

neither have I but others have and we can prove his existence. are you trolling?

> I'll agree with the ones other than Christianity that I've researched.

ah, so you are an atheists towards other gods.

> Can you provide what convinces you of this in regards to Christianity?

this is going to require some research and time which sadly I dont think you'll do. but here are a few. I could go on and on and on if you'd like.

this, this, this, this, this, this

u/LIGHTNlNG · 9 pointsr/islam

List of Islamic resources here - All are in English.

Based on your post, I would recommend the following:


u/NobodygoingNowhere · 9 pointsr/Buddhism

The heart of the Buddhas teaching:Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation by him is a really good book. If you ever have time to read it I highly recommend it.

u/AreaManReddits · 9 pointsr/rupaulsdragrace

Maybe Bianca went to the Lark, Voorhies, school, of, writing.

u/kablamokablamo · 9 pointsr/Foodforthought

This article is not a great jumping off point if you want to understand Harris's position. If you don't want to read his book, Free Will (which is short, compact, and easy to read), this talk summarizes his position. It is about 55 minutes long after which there is a Q&A session.

u/tryptronica · 9 pointsr/RationalPsychonaut

My suggestion would be to get a good understanding of how belief systems work, how humans are hardwired to react to the world and the mechanics of creating and trying out new reality tunnels. The best place to start is with Robert Anton Wilson's Prometheus Rising. He presents an amazing way to approach this whole topic including suggested exercises to make it understood deep in your neurons.

Once all this is clear, you will be able to really start communicating with nearly everyone, not just the hippy-aliens. :)

u/HaiKarate · 9 pointsr/exchristian

First of all, recognize what fundamentalists already know: conversions/de-conversions don't happen over night. It takes a long time to change someone's mind.

With that in mind, keep pushing her towards critical thinking.

  • If God loves everyone, why was he a mass murderer in the Old Testament?
  • If preaching is all that is needed to change people's hearts in the New Testament, why didn't he have the Jews preach to people instead of killing them?
  • If the Bible is divinely inspired, how does it get the creation account so wrong?
  • Why is the Bible at odds with archaeology?
  • How can you say that God loves us all when his laws condone slavery and misogyny?

    It really depends on how deep she wants to get into it. The average Christian does not wrestle with these questions, they just stick them in a mental file called, "To Be Answered At A Later Date". When that file gets too fat, then they start re-evaluating things.

    Best book I can think of would be Godless by Dan Barker. I think it's a great book for the average Christian because he really unpacks the evangelical/pentecostal experience.

    The main thing is to just be patient with her, and give her room to explore ideas on her own.
u/tom-dickson · 9 pointsr/Catholicism

There are two (or more) aspects to "proving God exists" - you could prove His existence intellectually and still not feel Him, if you know what I mean.

Books that deal mainly with the intellectual arguments abound, from the Summa contra Gentiles to The Last Superstition or Answering Atheism.

But that doesn't directly address the emotional side; for that I'd recommend things like going to Adoration and just sitting there, and reading books such as The Confessions (this is a good introduction).

u/multirachael · 8 pointsr/atheism

I went through a very similar experience in losing my faith; it was rough, and it was rocky. I had a lot of the same feelings--wanting to believe, just in case my doubts were wrong, feeling sad at losing what had been a huge part of my identity, but feeling relieved also...and then feeling really guilty about it. It's a real roller-coaster of emotions, and it's hard to go through; I sympathize!

I feel much better, having lost my belief entirely and let go of religion; those feelings of self-loathing, self-doubt, and fear that are given to those of us who grow up in religious settings are hard to let go of, but we are better off without them. They are not healthy, psychologically or emotionally. Someone else pointed out that the kind of relationship we're taught to have with god is very similar to the relationship you'd have with an abusive spouse; it's a connection I've made before, too, and making it gave me a lot of courage and strength, which is what it takes to walk away from an abusive relationship of any kind.

My advice? Give yourself some time to relax and breathe. It's not the devil making you have these thoughts; it's the exercise of your reason, and you should feel proud that you are intelligent and perceptive enough to see through the bullshit given to you by people whose real motive (whether they know it or not) is to control you.

Also, now is a great time to gather some information. If you've got $10, I recommend picking up Godless, by Dan Barker. It's a great book, and it made me feel a lot more comfortable with my own growing atheism; it addressed a lot of the concerns I had, and talked about some very similar experiences, and gave me a place to start looking for other information.

As for how to get to a place of being comfortable and not feeling guilty...that just takes time, as do all major adjustments. For me, it mostly consisted of examining what it was I was feeling guilty about, and then realizing that there was no objective reason to feel guilty--that I hadn't done anything wrong, and that the things I had been taught to hate about myself (doubt, questioning, curiosity, sexuality, etc.) weren't bad; all of those things are natural, and beneficial as well.

If you're having a really difficult time, I'd recommend spending some time with a support group or spending a few sessions with a counselor. There are lots of sites on the web that offer support and services for those going through the de-conversion process; do a search for "ex-Christian support group" or something along those lines and spend some time exploring, or try a place like or Losing My Religion.

Above all, don't stop exercising your curiosity and your reason! I wish you good luck, support, and a good journey. :)

u/nismos14270r · 8 pointsr/atheism

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ The Buddha

Buddha never wrote down anything he taught, nor did he ever appoint a "successor". This was done for the explicit purpose of allowing for changes and interpretations amongst different cultures and generations. Tibet just so happen to create its own variety that is more of a political tool and religion. Buddhism at its core is completely agnostic and devoid of any supernatural or metaphysical ideas. Its merely a way to train your mind to be at peace with your present reality.

I highly recommend you do a bit of reading on the subject. Especially Stephen Bachelors book, Buddhism without Beliefs

u/An_Angry_Badger · 8 pointsr/satanism

Church of Satan (LaVeyan)

The Satanic Temple (Humanists using Satanism for shock value)

Joy of Satan (If you ever receive a link to this site, turn around and go home)

I also recommend reading the Satanic Bible. It's a quick read, and will explain everything you need to know about LaVeyan Satanism. Here's a link to Amazon for $10. LINK

Good Luck :)

Also, what is a sidebar?

u/Bwongwah · 8 pointsr/satanism

1: [Amazon](The Satanic Bible or call your local bookstore to see if they have one in stock. My Barnes and Nobles only carries one at a time to prevent people from vandalizing it.

2: You can say Hail Satan to anything. I said it multiple times today, my wife and I say it when something cool happens or something works out in our favor. Essentially it is the vocal equivalent of "praise god", but since we don't believe in god or Satan and we praise ourselves, saying Hail Satan is like "yay me" or an affirmation.

As far as Lucifer, one of the titles for Satan, no we(LaVeyan) do not worship Lucifer. Luciferians on the other hand revere Lucifer as a liberator character but also a deity who they do not worship.

If you have more questions I would be glad to answer them through PM at any time. :)

u/TooManyInLitter · 8 pointsr/atheism

> Every time I talk to them, they tell me to go to church or pray or read the bible or some other nonsense.

Agree to their request - IF they do the same for you. You will read the bible and discuss what you find in it with them if they will read something you suggest and they discuss it with you.

Here is a couple of suggestions for reading in the bible:

Luke 19:11-27 The Parable of the Ten Minas - What is the meaning behind this parable? When are your parents gearing up for the slaughter?

Ok, I am too lazy to list other examples - so here is a link - A Book of Blood: Biblical atrocities :D

As for reading material for your parents - check the FAQ for a good list. The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, is a popular choice.

Or you can work with your parents to investigate the foundations of the Catholic religion together. The primary most basic foundation to Catholics , and all the Abrahamic Religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) is the belief in one and only one monotheistic deity, Yahweh/YHWH/Allah. All of these religions also have established the precedent of accepting the revealed and religious literature/oral history of previous cultures regarding Yahweh/Allah. A fun and informative activity that any good adherent to Yahwehism should undertake is to investigate the origin story for Yahweh. Where did Yahweh come from? Yahweh did not just pop up fully revealed to the early Israelites (as documented in the Torah). SPOLIER: Yahweh started out as a second tier fertility/rain/warrior local desert God under the El, Father God, Pantheon.

Online evidential sources related to the development and growth of Allahism/Yahwehism:

u/RickHadANubianGoat · 8 pointsr/IAmA

Read A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian. Also, check out Anthony Magnabosco's YouTube channel. He interviews people while using the methods from Boghossian's book. I was able to get my parents out of Mormonism because of that book and YouTube channel.

u/oh_the_humanity · 8 pointsr/Buddhism

If your interested in Zen, I recommend Zen Mind, Beginners Mind.

u/ThePsylosopher · 8 pointsr/shrooms

Glad to hear things went okay and thanks for posting a follow-up!

>I am a little sad for him because he didn't find what he was looking for. Any advice on this?

Where to start? There are so many differing approaches and ideas on how best to use mushrooms for self-improvement that it's difficult to offer proper advice. I guess the best general advice I could offer is to learn as much as you can and then experiment with techniques to find what works best for you and your husband but also don't become too attached to any technique; it's best to remain fluid.

To be more specific, consider some of the following ideas...

Work on setting specific intentions beforehand. What do you want to get out of this trip? What are your emotional intentions? Write it down, talk about it, just put some energy into forming and understanding your intentions before the trip.

During the trip, let go of your intentions. Your conscious mind does not now how to achieve your intentions otherwise you wouldn't need mushrooms. Often times during a trip I come to the realization that my compulsion to label, understand and rationalize are what is inhibiting me from progress. To that end meditation is quite useful for quieting the compulsions of the mind.

After the trip journaling is again useful. The ineffable lessons learned are best assimilated by attempting to articulate those lessons, whether that means talking about them or writing it does not matter.

But, as many will say, mushrooms won't always give you what you seek but they do tend to give you what you need. I deeply understand the desire for results but gaining a handle on tripping is essential otherwise it's just brainfuck masterbation (sorry for the crude wording.) In that sense, it's probably best that your husband didn't get as deep as he felt necessary. The brain's ability to deceive us is uncanny so it's important to begin to recognize the self deception before going too deep.

Personally I believe mushrooms only suspend your mental barriers; the hallucinations are a product of your mind's inability to fully comprehend your personal truths and see through the deception. Everything you encounter in a trip is nothing more than you, whether you see a hideous monster or yourself as a scared, crying, vulnerable child (for example) depends on your ability to recognize your mind's deception. Your mind deceives you in this way to protect you from something you were unable to cope with at the time you experienced it.

On a side note, check out The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide and also consider looking into a practice known as holotropic breathwork, it can produce very similar effects to mushrooms and works incredibly well as an adjuvant to tripping. I found this article in particular rather compelling.

If there are any ideas I can expand upon, don't hesitate to ask. Good luck to you and your husband on future travels!

u/refrigeratordiamond · 8 pointsr/atheism

I think the first thing you need to do is undermine the idea of faith. The opposition to evolution, and science generally is deeply rooted in faith and if that isn't talked about, there is a good chance you will talk past each other. Peter Boghossian wrote a good book on this

u/0xDFCF3EAD · 8 pointsr/Meditation

> it's hard to discuss ethics and morality apart from religion

I know what you mean., it is hard to talk about morals without religion. Someone like Sam Harris should write a book about it. It should have a nice and simple title that conveys the subject of the book without hyperbole, something like The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

u/Callidor · 8 pointsr/atheism

Have you read The Moral Landscape? Sam Harris is a neuroscientist and a philosopher, and the book is an argument for Utilitarianism, a philosophical position which states that the morality of an act is determined by the amounts of suffering and/or well-being it causes.

That's not to say that Harris doesn't adopt a scientific approach to this question (or to the questions he examines in his other works of philosophy). His thesis is essentially that well-being can be measured objectively by using scientific tools like MRI scans etc.

But if what you're trying to suggest is that Harris is a scientist who somehow does away with that pesky philosophy nonsense, then you're deeply mistaken, both about what sorts of things science and philosophy are, and about Harris as an individual.

u/monk123 · 8 pointsr/islam

>Is there any difference between a Jew converting, and a follower of another religion converting?

A Jew is a "person of the book." As such, if you convert to Islam, you will get a double reward.

>Third, I have read about people choosing a new Muslim name when they convert. How does one go about this?

It is not obligatory, but you can choose any name you want if you choose to take an Arabic name, as long as it has a good meaning. Names of prophets and "servants of" a particular attribute of Allah are common.

>Also, in your opinion, what is the best and closest English translation of the Qur'an for me to read? Maybe someday I will finally be able to master Arabic... :)

This one.

u/romandhj · 8 pointsr/JoeRogan

you mean like this?

"Islam and the Future of Tolerance has been published with the explicit goal of inspiring a wider public discussion by way of example. In a world riven by misunderstanding and violence, Harris and Nawaz demonstrate how two people with very different views can find common ground."

so how does hunter's point work now?

u/ClaudiaGamon · 8 pointsr/Austria

> Brexit (aus Sicht der Engländer) gute oder schlechte Entscheidung?

Schlechte Entscheidung.

> Österreichisches Politikergehalt zu niedrig/gerecht/zu hoch

Kommt auf die politische Entscheidungsebene an. zB Bürgermeister zu niedrig, der Job wird immer unattraktiver.

> Homo-Ehe Ja/Nein


> Haben Sie schon einmal gekifft. Wie stehen Sie zur Legalisierung von Cannabis?

Nope aber bin trotzdem dafür das jeder gerne soll wenn er will. Den Beschluss der NEOS-Mitgliederversammlung dazu gibt's hier:

> Sollen Kassen die vollen Therapiekosten für psychische Krankheiten wie Depression, etc zahlen? (Derzeit nur Teilerstattung, bzw begrenzte Vollerstatung)

Grundsätzlich wird hier vom den Kassen verknappt. Mit Sparmassnahmen im System wäre das finanzierbar.

> Welche Partei würden Sie diese Wahl wählen, wenn es die Neos nicht gibt und warum?

Schwierige Frage, bin froh dass ich sie mir nicht stellen muss.

> G!lt reine Politiksatire oder ein Zeichen, dass unser demokratisches System Fehler hat?

Oida, really?

> Religionsunterricht veraltet oder noch Zeit gerecht?

Ethikunterricht statt Religionsunterricht: DRINGEND notwendig.

> Verbot von Vollverschleierung sexistisch oder notwendig/wichtig

Es ist nicht sexistisch sondern eine Einschränkung der persönlichen Freiheit. Ich find die Burka ehrlich gesagt auch scheiße aber durch dieses Verbot können Frauen die Burka tragen de facto das Haus nimmer verlassen. Ganz abgesehen davon, dass es kaum welche betrifft in Österreich (und ich wohn im 20. bezirk, man würde meinen ich hätte schon ein paar Burkas gesehen aber max. 15 in 10 Jahren)
Wir brauchen einen säkularen Staat der solche Themen ehrlich angehen kann und auch die Freiheit hat, Religionskritik zu üben.
Kann zu dem Thema folgende Lektüre empfehlen:

> Ist das derzeitige Tierschutzgesetz ausreichend?

Da gibt es noch Luft nach oben. Bei der letzten Änderung haben wir mitgestimmt da es einige Verbesserung enthalten hat.

u/the-mad-one · 8 pointsr/pics

I don't know if a computer dictionary is the best source of authority on eastern philosophy, though that definition isn't wrong per se. Karma is about cause and effect. Certain intentions produce certain actions which produce certain outcomes, which change the pattern of events in the world in subtle ways, which, gathering momentum, have the potential to affect everybody including yourself in the future. It's "what goes around comes around" in that sense, but it's basically just the truism that, if you do bad shit, you're going to increase the sum total of bad shit in the world, and therefore have to live in a shittier world as a result. It's not like, if you kill someone then at some random time in the future you'll get run over by a bus. Subtle difference but hopefully that makes it clear.

The Buddhist idea of reincarnation is related but a bit different, you have to understand their theory of mind and consciousness which is a bit weird and hard to grasp at first.

EDIT: If you're interested in a proper source on this stuff, I recommend this very readable book: What the Buddha taught

u/rodmclaughlin · 7 pointsr/ukpolitics

It's odd when people claim that racial prejudice in the UK drove them toward violent Islamic fundamentalism. One can understand how Bloody Sunday might have inspired an Irishman to join the IRA, while still saying he made a mistake. But how could white intolerance of South Asians (Tania is Bangladeshi) lead one of them to want to murder Shiites and enslave Yazidis?

Maajid Nawaz says something similar in his
Islam and the future of tolerance with Sam Harris. He claims there was a lot of “racism” against people like him when he was young. This caused an “identity crisis”, which led Nawaz to join a group which tried to persuade army officers in Muslim countries to stage coups. What?!?

In short, these Sunnis are talking shite.

u/ViciousNakedMoleRat · 7 pointsr/atheism

Yeah, I've first read about it in Nawaz's last book about two years ago. But it has experienced a great boom and has been refined in the past 3 months after Sam started using it. Their book is already finished by the way. Islam and the future of tolerance

u/TheBlueberryPirate · 7 pointsr/books

I like anything by Thich Nhat Hanh but this in particular:

It's an amazingly practical manual for applying the Buddhas teachings to transform suffering into liberation.

u/KazuoKuroi · 7 pointsr/Buddhism

What the Buddha Taught is a good start. Its brief, its easy to read and gives you an overview of what Buddhism is about. If you like it from there, get a copy of the Dhammapada

u/babney · 7 pointsr/atheism

Because morality is not determined by the existence or nonexistence of a god.

u/Thunderhead · 7 pointsr/books

Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson. It just may change your perspective on life and reality.

u/AngelOfLight · 7 pointsr/atheism

Tangentially related to the Christian/Pagan thing, Richard Friedman's Who Wrote the Bible? and Randall Helm's Gospel Fictions both demonstrate how the Bible arose as an amalgam of ancient myth and oral tradition. I believe Dan Barker also covers some of that ground in Godless.

u/nekoniku · 7 pointsr/

Well, they might not be Buddhist, because Buddhism has been around long enough to develop offshoots and variants that believe stuff as wild as creationism. However, that having been said, I find the core principles of Buddhism satisfying in that they do not contradict what has been scientifically proven true about reality. Some even argue that some Buddhist notions anticipated the spooky behavior of the subatomic world.

Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism Without Beliefs may be a productive starting point for some.

u/JoanOfSarcasm · 7 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

This summarizes it beautifully. However, to add to the original question, I felt I should share with you all my story.

I grew up a Southern baptist. I always had questions that no one had answers to, and I always felt guilty for asking them. Regardless, I felt like I was "required" to be Christian to be good, and so I was.

As I got older and I started to experience more, my doubts creeped in. My Christian friends told me it was a test of my faith, and I looked up to them for their strength. They seemed strong, good, and loving.

It made me feel guilty for being a "bad" Christian. I didn't believe in all aspects of the Bible, and that made me a hypocrite in my eyes. Could God forgive a hypocrite who consciously knew she was sinning? It felt wrong, but I wanted to live my life as I felt was right -- I didn't want to get married, I wanted to have sex in my loving relationship, I didn't want to be submissive to a man. The list goes on.

Then, last year, I finally broke.

I took a leap of faith and love and flew halfway across the world to spend a month with a man I loved dearly. When I left, I just remember the sinking realization I would probably never see him again. I've never cried so hard in public -- the 16 hour plane ride home was easily the worst experience of my life. I came home beaten, angry, and woefully depressed. I reached out to a friend -- a childhood friend who I had always looked up to for being so strong in his faith -- and his family was there for me, until I told my friend one night during an argument that I felt like his hatred for gays was wrong and not dissimilar to hatred of different races of people. As a result, my friend betrayed me -- he lied to his parents about me, spread rumors all over Facebook, and even called me with a suicide threat. The next day, I lost my dog suddenly to a fat embolism following an amputation that was suppose to save her from cancer.

I fell into a hole so deep and so dark that I've struggled over a year to find my way back. In the process, I did a lot of thinking, questioning, and reading. I hated the idea that I was putting my mortality in what could potentially be the wrong box. I hated that I felt guilty for living my life the way I wanted to. I hated the "grey area." I hated that some believers hid behind the Bible to do things awful or excuse terrible things. I had seen death, and there was nothing pretty or serene about it. It was awful and gruesome and heartbreaking. And more importantly, I realized how not everything has a point -- not everything is part of some radical plan of a higher being -- some things are just bullshit.

Losing my faith was one of the hardest things I've gone through. The worst was exactly the question the OP was asking: how to cope with bad things, especially loss. I felt empty -- I could no longer ignore my questions, my doubts, or my logic -- and I could no longer fill that hole with an idea given to me by an archaic text.

Coping became easier as time went on. I started talking to people who had experienced something similar -- a Catholic friend who had died in Iraq, only to wake up 3 months later in a coma in Germany, realized that in death he saw nothing -- and I realized I wasn't alone with my questions, my contradictions, or my pain.

I began to delve deeper into science, too, in an effort to answer questions I had about where I had come from, if not a higher being. In doing so, I learned some of the most beautiful things. For example, did you know that we are all, essentially, star dust? I remember crying when I heard this for the first time. It gave my life purpose again, or at least meaning. I realized that yes, we were alone, but we are special, we are beautiful, and we are all connected.

I was reborn, to put it theologically, and I have never felt happier.

Edit: Expounded on my original post, since it was originally written on my phone. Also, I wanted to add this NdGT video, because it is choking me up again as I watch it.

Edit 2: Wording, also, I highly suggest The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, even as a believer. It raises many interesting points (and questions) about religion in general.

u/drinkmorecoffee · 7 pointsr/exchristian

If by 'lacking' you mean 'nonexistent', then yes.

I went to public school but with heavy influence from my folks and church, all of whom seem to be involved in some sort of Fundamentalism competition. I learned exactly as much as I had to in order to pass the test, but I was always convinced it was a lie because scientists are all "out to get" Christianity.

I'm still wrapping my head around just how unhealthy this worldview can be.

I'll echo /u/Cognizant_Psyche - kudos on taking that first step and deciding to get smart on this topic.

I talked to my church pastor, who passed me off to his wife (who has apologetics degrees out the ass). She recommended The Language of God, a tactic which soundly backfired on her. That book was fantastic. It explains evolution from a DNA perspective but then tries to tell me I can still believe in God if I want to. For me, from such a fundamentalist, literalist background, the bible had to be true word-for-word, yet this book flew in the face of the entire Genesis account of creation. If that wasn't real, how could I trust any of the rest?

Once I was 'cleared' to learn about Evolution, I grabbed Dawkins' The God Delusion. I watched the Ham-Nye debate. I grabbed Who Wrote The New Testament, and Misquoting Jesus. That pretty much did it for me.

u/costofanarchy · 7 pointsr/islam

No translation is perfect, and they generally have their pros and cons. Whatever translation you choose, if you start reading and a particular verse stands out to you for one reason or another, you can always jump online and compare with different translations ( has at least 10 translations available, including Saheeh International, Muhsin Khan, and Yusuf Ali, which were mentioned in other replies to you).

I mainly use the Abdel Haleem (Oxford World's Classics) translation, which you can pick up in print for about $7 US if you live in the US. It also has a great introduction which contextualizes the Qur'an, briefly summarizes the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family), and gives a short history of past English translations of the Qur'an. To the best of my knowledge, this is the standard English translation used in Western academia these days (it's also available on

u/gambit87 · 7 pointsr/islam

Amazon has them for $7.

Otherwise I can mail you one as I have an extra. PM me your address if you want.

u/thrik · 7 pointsr/Christianity

The Last Superstition by Edward Feser.

Feser used to be an atheist.

I'm willing to buy the book for you if you want it.

u/GetsEclectic · 7 pointsr/philosophy

I'd recommend Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. It's dense and interesting, but can still be a quick read.

u/monkey_sage · 7 pointsr/Soto

Hi Steve!

I would recommend reading Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki who was a Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the West. I would also recommend The Mind of Clover by Robert Aitken which is an excellent guide on Zen Buddhist ethics (and important part of the practice).

If you haven't already started, I would recommend you pick up a regular zazen habit, sitting daily even for just five minutes if that's all you can manage. Sitting zazen is the most important thing in the Sōtō school and Master Dogen could not recommend it enough!

Books are good but practice is much better!

Beyond that, I'm a big fan of all of Brad Warner's books. He has a great approach to Zen, I think, and makes understanding some of its more obscure and hard-to-penetrate ideas easier to digest.

And of course you can always come here and ask as my questions as you like!

u/hahahalie · 7 pointsr/booksuggestions

please start by encouraging her to seek help from a mental health professional. a book is not going to help anyone truly depressed, no matter how enlightening it is.

that out of the way, I did find "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" helpful for dealing with anxiety and smaller bouts of depression.

best of luck to you.

u/PacificTwins · 7 pointsr/Drugs

As a tool for personal and professional success. I use MDMA, cannabis and psychedelics as tools for personal and professional success. I treat them like any other food supplement and use them judiciously as enhancers for meditation, business, creative pursuits, accelerated learning, networking, goal planning, visualization, yoga, exercise, sex, general mindfulness, guided meditations and visualizations, examining habits to break bad ones and form new ones, breaking out of routine ways of doing and thinking, connecting with people, nature, animals, wildlife and all that is. Now and then I do let loose and party like an animal - gotta nurture the hedonist and binge on the beauty and pleasures all around us.

I am currently experimenting with using these experiences to quickly make my first million. For example, a few months ago I dosed 50mg of MDMA at an important networking event and I made more substantive, meaningful connections that day than I ever have in similar events, and that has led to some incredible working relationships that I credit to the heart-opening presence I had with people. I always work on capturing the feelings and states during those experiences so I can access them during my sober times and make it a part of who I am.

Some resources:

Micro-Dosing: The Revolutionary Way of Using Psychedelics

Using Psychedelics Wisely: A veteran researcher explains how psychedelics can be used to give beneficial results

Cannabis Shamanism (free monthly video-streamed cannabis-guided journeys by an Ayahuasca shaman)

u/pckizer · 7 pointsr/TrueAtheism

I'd argue that trying to leave them dumbfounded is actually the wrong approach, instead you need to get them thinking and accepting that when they're really trying to solve problems, even when they claim to be relying on faith, if they're really trying to resolve the problem they'll end up using reason and critical thinking (or rely on those that do so like doctors, engineers, etc).

To do that, the arguments you use will vary greatly depending on the individual, their background, and how open or closed they are to reason and new ideas.

A good recent book that covers an overview of the topic is Peter Boghossian's recent book:

  • A Manual for Creating Atheists, by Pater Boghossian

    as he points out, sometimes bringing up arguments just for argument- or "gotcha"- sake can set them to trying to refute what you just said or double-down on explaining their own beliefs and can entrench them further that can also insulate them even from reason.

    Seek out ways to not only get them to agree with you, but ways in which they want to agree with you that faith is useless (or worse) and reason is the best way to approach their problems.
u/VitruviannMan · 7 pointsr/atheism

I've read the Letter to a Christian Nation and the Moral Landscape. Like the derpy gentleman below said, LTCN is very short and easy to read. I'd recommend starting with that over the Moral Landscape, which is a denser book.

u/Doc-in-a-box · 7 pointsr/funny
u/MarvinParanoidDroid · 7 pointsr/Jokes
u/elphabaloves · 7 pointsr/Meditation

Free will being an illusion doesn't mean you can't change - you can do something today (read a book, go out and meet someone, meditate) that will change your life. But, because free will is an illusion, you don't know why you may choose to do that "something"'s all a result of causes and conditions that stretch back to before you were born. But what you do today becomes part of causes and conditions that shape tomorrow.

I suggest reading Sam Harris' "Free Will" - or, watching this YouTube video. Free will being an illusion does not mean your future is set in stone regardless of what you do/don't do...Sam Harris explains it well: it simply means what you do/don't do is a result of previous causes and conditions.

edit - fixed link.

u/Rodeopants · 6 pointsr/atheism

Sam Harris talks about this a lot; he wrote a book called The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values , and also did a TED Talk about the subject.

u/lanemik · 6 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist
  1. Morality must be based on something. The real life effects that moral decisions have on beings that are conscious enough to understand those effects is as close to an objective standard as we can get. For more, read The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris.

    Kudos to Sam Harris, but as it turns out, my interest level in debating the merits of utilitarianism is much lower than I suspected it might be. All I can say is that Harris fully recognizes that it is a problem that the only people who are absolutely certain of their morals are those who are the most zealous about their religious convictions. And, of course, due to the mutually exclusive nature of religion, not all religious convictions can be right so most moral absolutists must be wrong. A good counter-question might be, "what makes you think that your version of absolute morality might be right?" I suspect that would be labeled as "dancing around the question" so I'll simply make that a rhetorical and move on.

  2. Laura Mersini suggests that there is in fact good reason to think that other universes do exist. Her hypothesis makes novel predictions that have since been observed and, unlike any other hypothesis (if memory serves), her theory explains the blue shift we see in our universe as the interaction of an external universe. Do some research into Mersini's idea of the universe as a wave function on the landscape multiverse.

    I think I've answered your questions directly, though not in a great deal of depth. Sadly, I'm a long way away from being a philosopher and I'm even farther from being a theoretical physicist so the best I can do is to point you towards those who have answers (even if just preliminary or as yet unproven answers) to your questions.

    I'm interested to see your thoughts particularly about Dr. Mersini's hypothesis.
u/corporeal-entity · 6 pointsr/atheism

>Actually, we can source our morality beyond subjectivity.

Sam Harris wrote a book about this.

u/respectthegoat · 6 pointsr/television

The actor that played Screech went a little off the deep end, He stabbed a guy a few years ago on Christmas. He also stared in the Saved by the Bell porno parody.

Lark Voorhies the actress who played Lisa Turtle has also gone completely insane. She now writes books that are pretty much unreadable.

u/tartacus · 6 pointsr/gaming

Nope. More like Lark Vorhees (Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell)

u/EnuffDakka · 6 pointsr/videos

It has to be difficult if you keep telling yourself that, mate.

Here, just for you, because it's all in your mind. And if you aren't in control of your mind, who is?

u/not_thrilled · 6 pointsr/TrueAtheism

> Where do atheists and non-Christians get their sense of morality? I’ve been taught that without God there would be no basis for human morality. However, I’ve met non-Christians who are subjectively (and perhaps objectively) more moral than some Christians. I’m asking, philosophically speaking, where morality “comes from”.

The way I see it, treating others how you wish to be treated is both in your own self-interest and in the interest of others. When writ large, it's simple morality. Do you want to be killed? Raped? Your stuff taken away? Then don't treat others that way either. You can take the thought process further or more abstract, in which case you get philosophy. I'm not smart enough for that, or just don't have the patience for it, take your pick. I just do what I'd want others to do, and on most days, I'd rather someone didn't kill me, thank you.

> Where do I start looking for the science behind evolution? I’ve been told that there is a massive amount of science, research, and evidence behind evolution that I’m inclining to believe is true. I know what evolution is and how it works, but I personally need more hard evidence. I’d love some resources if anyone here has any recommendations.

To be honest, I've never taken the time to truly dive into this. Someone else can probably answer better than me.

> From the outside looking at Christians, what are some of the biggest flaws in our arguments for God’s existence?

Most arguments I see involve one or both of two things. First is the Bible. It claims to be the word of God, and is really old, and people have said it's proof of God, so that's basically enough. Spoiler alert: It's not. If I found a 2000 year old Spider-Man comic, would that be proof that he existed? You're taking the oral traditions of primitive people, written down centuries after the alleged events, or in the case of Jesus, third-hand accounts written down decades later, and then centuries after that culled into a canonical document by someone looking to rule his empire with a single religion, as an accurate representation. Second, the concept of "god of the gaps," where anything not sufficiently understood is assumed to be proof of God. Or, the "look around, it's so beautiful/amazing, this couldn't have happened by chance" argument. The realm of things that hasn't been explained by science is rapidly dwindling, and at this point basically all religious people can do is reject the science. Don't be one of those people. I will say, it's impossible to say there is no god, but what is more likely? That there is a being that runs counter to every known tenet of science, that existed before anything else, that is all-seeing and all-knowing, yet gives no concrete proof of its existence, or that there...simply isn't? At this point, I'd accept the whackadoodle ancient alien explanations of the Bible over the supernatural, because at least those are plausible.

One book I'd recommend is Dan Barker's "Godless." He was an extremely passionate Christian, who had the same doubts, followed them to their logical conclusion, and left the faith. He's now actively involved in the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

u/pahool · 6 pointsr/atheism

Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor is a good read for anyone interested in the perspective of a long-time practitioner who has become an atheist and has found Buddhism compatible with his atheism.

u/slick8086 · 6 pointsr/atheism

If you haven't read it I suggest

Buddhism Without Beliefs

u/anjodenunca · 6 pointsr/atheism

You're basically trying to accrue Buddhism into something solid so that you can dismiss it. I don't agree with the Dalai Lama either, and think that most of the adherents of Buddhism tag on things that are nonsense and not worth your consideration, however...

Buddhism isn't like Christianity, you don't have to listen to every part of it, there's no danger in taking things as allegory or questioning particular parts of canon. If taken to it's dramatic extreme, misunderstanding what enlightenment actually is or getting a fact wrong because of sloppy translation or cultural assimilation would at worse mean that you're reincarnated again, assuming there's a real way to actually achieve enlightenment/prajna/satori/contentedness.

I don't believe in reincarnation, anyway. It's obviously not scientifically testable and there's a strong trend in opinion within Buddhism that thinks that metaphysical ponderances like that don't really fucking matter, and I respect that.

If you're someone who appreciates particular parts of Buddhist philosophy and enjoys the tangible potentials of things like meditation for things like stress management, you could reasonably call yourself a Buddhist. If you think that even a marginal factor of your enjoyment of life is determined by your perspective, some of these ideas are really useful.

The analogy that I'm not a Buddhist because I respect and follow some of the ideas and not others doesn't work, and the idea that you control the definition of something as fluid and widespread as modern Buddhism comes off as pretty obnoxious. It's like trying to tell a Christian that he's not a Christian because he doesn't believe that God is triune.

You could definitely hold me accountable if I believed in something like karma or reincarnation or the different realms of reality as fact and tried to scoff at the assertions of other religions, but I don't, and I know a lot of Buddhists that don't.

For more information along these lines, I recommend this

I realize that the statements in the cartoon are someone else's, but I assume your reposting of it indicates that you agree.

u/ur2l8 · 6 pointsr/Christianity

Of course.


The Last Superstition

His blog (check out his latest blog post, actually, and read (or listen to) his speech)

Philosophy of Mind - not directly related to religious belief, but gives background to understand some of the inconsistencies in an atheistic worldview

u/Ibrey · 6 pointsr/Christianity

The Christ Myth is a book from 1910 that argues that the Jesus of the gospels is just a made-up character based on other mythical gods and heroes, and that there is no historical person behind it. This hypothesis is really out of date, and not defended by anyone in academia today. A good book debunking this by a respected mainstream historian, who isn't even a Christian (and therefore can't be accused of a religious bias), is Did Jesus Exist? by Bart Ehrman.

The End of Faith and The God Delusion are basically empty rhetoric. The Last Superstition is a book by a Christian philosopher rebutting their arguments with the same harsh and satirical tone they take towards religion, but with rather more intellectual substance.

u/Sergio_56 · 6 pointsr/Catholicism

Ed Feser's books are great:

The Last Superstition, or "Why he's wrong."

Aquinas, or "Why we're right."

And Scholastic Metaphysics: An Introduction, or "As close to the truth as we can get without Revelation."

u/Cool_Bastard · 6 pointsr/samharris

This is precisely what Sam and Maajid Nawaz talk about in their most recent book Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue; the regressive left. I stumbled upon the regressive left several years ago (was verbally attacked) when I was in a liberal secular (atheist) group talking about religion. Islam came up and I happened to mention that 9/11 was religiously motivated. It was then that everyone jumped me, saying it was politically motivated.

I was totally confused at the time since after all, it was an atheist group and they unabashed bash the hell out of Christianity all times. I chose to read up on it and picked up a couple Ayan Hirsi Ali books. She explained this phenomenon as well; resulting in her working at a conservative think tank on how to handle Islam.

The YT video Islamophobia does an excellent job in explaining this. Well worth watching, twice. Sam chastises both Hillary and Obama for not saying the words "radical Islam" in one of his recent podcasts; there are so many I've listened to recently I'm not sure which one it was.

> Where does one even go with that?

...I don't know. This singular topic is what forced me to stop labelling myself as a liberal. Just like when dealing with super Christians or 2nd Amendmenters or hard line right wingers, there's no reasoning with the regressive left. None. They are entrenched, they will not budge. You can't engage with them, you can't reason with them because your very existence is anathema to that which they believe to be just and true. How DARE you say anything about those poor brown people suffering under the Western imperialist boot.

Where to go? I'd suggest just getting educated on the subject as much as possible. listen to every single podcast of Sam's of this year. Read Hirsi Ali's books (Infidel and Heretic, you can skip Nomad). And read Sam & Maajid's book on Islam, it's real small.

And after reading, listen to Sam's 3.5 hour mind numbing interview of Omer Aziz who is the worst kind of Islamic apologist; an educated, regressive, liberal, secular, Muslim apologist.

u/arconreef · 6 pointsr/dontyouknowwhoiam

I recommend this book as a starting point if you genuinely want to learn more.

u/Phish777 · 6 pointsr/Buddhism
  • Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu has lots of videos and covers tons of stuff. He does weekly videos explaining scriptures and frequently does Q&A. Check out his most popular videos for beginner stuff. Watch his videos for tips on meditation.

  • The Heart of Buddha's Teachings by Thicht Nhat Hanh and What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula are going to be the two most recommending books you'll hear from most people in this sub. I've only read Thicht Nhat Hanh's book, I can can definitely vouch for that.

  • This is a basic quick read guide covering the fundamentals. Here is the Noble Eightfold Path in more detail. and this is an archive of Dharma talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Each of these sites contain other good info, so I encourage you to do some exploring

u/Bukujutsu · 6 pointsr/Anarcho_Capitalism

My perspective on drugs: I like them. I think they can be valuable tools and provide wonderful experiences.

I currently have a good reading list I'm working through for a planned project that will require a lot of LSD. I'm interested in LSD and MDMA psychotherapy to help solve some deep-seated problems (you have no idea how far from normal I am) and for general self-improvement. Fascinating subject, particularly the works by Stanislav Grof.

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys:

LSD Psychotherapy: Exploring the Frontiers of the Hidden Mind

LSD: Doorway to the Numinous: The Groundbreaking Psychedelic Research into Realms of the Human Unconscious

Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures

The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell

Through the Gateway of the Heart (about MDMA)

Thanatos To Eros, 35 Years of Psychedelic Exploration

Had to do a lot of searching and reading just to find what was worth reading, avoiding pseudoscience and quasi-religion. Oi, this is going to be a lot of work, but that's probably what it will take to sort out the trainwreck of my mind.

u/soxruie1414 · 6 pointsr/seduction

I'm taking 100 ug shortly, once I have the house to myself. I've taken mushrooms a few times but haven't experienced anything too spiritual. . I just finished reading The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, and I feel like I'm at a good point in my life to try LSD now. Thanks for the well wishes!

u/pater_familias · 6 pointsr/exmormon

I was this missionary. Not really, but I could rationalize with the best of them. Logic just did not enter my way of thinking. This missionary is SMART. You have to be smart to maneuver a conversation the way he did.

Looking back on it, I'm not sure if one conversation could change my mind. My mind was changed very, very slowly and by many, many conversations. With that said, I think you should just debate one topic and stick to it. Don't change...don't let him change. The reason to select just one topic is because five years from now, that's all he'll remember.

I had a conversation 10 years before I left the church with a guy. He said "Is the world more righteous now than it was 50 years ago?" I said "NO! We are more wicked now than ever!"

Then he said, "We're curing cancer, providing insulin, creating artificial limbs, and generally healing more people with more technology and medicine than in the history of the world. Surely God wouldn't bless us with such longevity for no reason? We're SUPER righteous!"

That stuck with me for a long time. It made no sense to me. Why would God do that? If God wasn't doing that, then why would Satan bless us with long, happy lives?

I guess what I'm saying is that this conversation might have been a major victory for you, but we won't know for years to come. People need lots of time to abandon their delusions.

Personally, I think you were on the right track when you attacked faith. Everyone feels the spirit. Everyone thinks it tells them what is true. Everyone believes in really different things. Therefore, faith and the spirit must be an unreliable way at arriving at truth. His central message is that faith is the ONLY reliable method for arriving at truth. He's using a method that is deeply flawed at finding ANY truth.

This is directly from Peter Boghassian's book, A Manual For Creating Atheists

u/bjlmag · 6 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Arguing in the sense of counter-apologetics and debate will very rarely change anyone's mind. Generally people have to be open-minded and willing to be wrong in order to change, and a debate setting immediately turns off both of these factors.

If you haven't already heard of Street Epistemology, [this channel] ( is an excellent place to start. Based on [this book] (, Anthony uses the Socratic Method to get believers to start considering the reliability of their beliefs on their own, which is generally much more effective than slamming down silly arguments with counter-apologetics.

If you get into a debate, especially with fundamentalists, you're only hurting yourself.

u/epicskeptic · 6 pointsr/TrueAtheism

You need this book. You're debating on his turf. Try using the Socratic method and treat him like a "patient" on your couch of psychology and find out "why" he thinks these things, then he will (maybe), realize that he is wrong in the future. Other than that, there is no other way for you to make him see the light.

u/redalastor · 6 pointsr/pettyrevenge

The Satanic Bible is 9 bucks on Amazon. For best effect, I suggest asking if they would like to study the Bible with you, then get this book out and open it to chapter 5 (Hell, the Devil, and how to sell your soul).

u/johnnywatts · 6 pointsr/skeptic

I've found The Satanic Bible to be great for skepticism, if you're looking for a more religious bent. Some parents read The Holy Bible to their kids, and The Satanic Bible teaches you to ask hard questions and make up your own mind about things (instead of simply taking someone's word for it).

u/earthforce_1 · 6 pointsr/canada

Don't forget the Satanic Bible. Watch the do-do hit the fan over that!

u/Bujutsu · 6 pointsr/exchristian

Nicely done, and certainly true.

You could also show an inverted curve on the secondary y-axis that illustrates the former believer's interest in engaging in rational debates with believers. The curve peaks out until finally dropping down again as the former believer realizes that believers are self-delusional (using Dawkins' phrase), and attempts at rational discussion are more akin to pigeon chess (where the bird just shits all over the board).

u/ShavedRegressor · 6 pointsr/atheism

Watch debates on YouTube. Dawkins is good for cold logic. Hitchens is good for more historical or anti-organized-religion arguments.

Read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

Keep in mind that a good debater should remain a gentleman. A kind word can go a long way. Be blunt but polite. Satire is useful, but crass ridicule may alienate your audience.

u/bla2bla1bla · 6 pointsr/atheism

PM me if you want me to mail it to your folks place.

u/n3wu53r · 6 pointsr/islam

As /u/Abu_Adderall mentioned the Creed of Imam Tahawi which is quite short and can be found here.

His list is pretty good.

Also if you need an English translation of the Qur'an, in my opinion MAS Abdel Haleem's is the best.

u/eternityisreal · 6 pointsr/UFOs

Please don't judge by this sub, it does no justice to the genuine mass of sightings and phenomenon that has occurred all over the world for all of recorded human history. Check out Leslie Kean and her work, she does a great job gathering some of the credible more credible testimonies all together and presenting them.

Also check out the disclosure project conference:

And Fingerprint of the Gods by Graham Hancock, available in full for free here:

Despite its sensationalist name it's actually quite factually based and makes no bold claims but rather only shows the reader where traditional historical accounts do not match with historical evidence and record.

Another great one by Hancock sort of but not entirely related to this sub is "Supernatural" which you can also easily find in full for free online. Again, stupid title but amazing book on the history of human beings use of psychedelics, the potential existence of other dimensions, and exploring how it relates to folklore spanning human history including modern ufos and abductions. It retains a fairly academic tone throughout which I appreciate. It never makes any assertions but rather presents the reader with the strange evidence to draw ones own conclusions. Granted the "evidence" is often circumstantial, hearsay, or anecdotal but it's still compelling.

One of my favorite chapters was his analysis of DNA, his problems with the current explanation of its evolution, and Walter Cricks psychoactive drug experience to discover it. I've never read a 400+ page book so fast in my life! (except for Harry potter)

I have my own theories and believe it to be a spiritual/trans dimensional as well as physical phenomenon and that the true identity of these beings can be found in the book of Genesis of the Bible/ Torah. No I'm not one of those crazy religious nuts I'm normal I promise! If you're ever interested in more on that aspect of it I've got lots of resources and references.

But yah, I agree this sub isn't strong in presenting the compelling evidence. But that can change! Everyone who complains about it sucking let's all just start posting all our favorite, quality stuff ;)

u/obiwanjacobi · 5 pointsr/conspiracy

It depends on what you're interested in really. You can get the general explanation of Federal Reserve, Illuminati, 9/11, CIA, NSA, etc from just about any YouTube video. Some books that have recently opened my mind to other topics, however include:

The Source Field Investigations by David Wilcock - The best written and most well-sourced book I've read concerning alternative history, conspiracy theories, suppressed science, and a host of other topics. Main thesis being that consciousness is a nonlocal field.

Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock - Some of the best evidence out there for a lost civilization which fell out of power and memory sometime around the end of the ice age. A bit outdated, but a sequel is due this year.

Genesis Revisted by Zecharia Sitchin - Read this if you want to understand why some people think the Annunaki are a thing. Some interesting info, but I don't really buy into it that much.

Dark Mission by Richard Hoagland - Occult history of NASA, coverups of what was found on the Moon, Mars, and some suppressed science.

The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot - Exactly what it sounds like

Rather than reading about the same theories in different words over and over, these books gave me perspective on possible reasons why TPTB do what they do. And an idea on what some deeper purpose for their intensive consumerism propaganda might be for, other than profit. Additionaly they exposed me to new/old ideas on what the universe fundamentally is and how it works, with some good science to back it up. Highly recommend all of these books.

u/februarytea · 5 pointsr/keto

Its not offensive at all. I do recommend if you want to fast and learn/read Quran that you find someone from a mosque or Muslim Student Association in your area willing to guide you through those processes. I am Muslim and I no longer read Quran WITHOUT a secondary reading guide known as "Tafseer," which is basically interpretation support. Some Quran's come semi equipped with this. There is nothing worse than reading out of context and since the Quran doesn't read like a novel or in sequence it can become confusing. This is great for fear mongers who cherry pick words or lines from religious text to castigate Muslims for their faith, but really can be done with every religious text. I have this version which is easier to digest than some of the older translations. I don't like reading Shakesperian style literature. Finally, as an online resource, is great for 1) selecting multiple translations to compare words for more nuance, 2) listening to quran recitation if youre curious 3) viewing the Arabic text. Finally, fasting is not incumbent upon the young, sick or the infirm as well as nursing or menstruating mothers and its certainly not incumbent upon a non-Muslim so if abstaining from water is too difficult for you then drink water. If you're committed to having the full experience, even just for a day, see if you can do it. Whatever you want really. My husband is also Muslim, we don't discuss our religious "shortcomings" because its neither of our business but I'm fairly certain when he works 15 hour days in the sun, he will drink water if he feels ill. Fasting isn't meant to harm you. Some Muslims would NEVER and all the power to them, again, its considered "between you and God."

u/ConfessionBeer_ · 5 pointsr/aliens

Dude what is wrong with this person do they not know how to hold a camera? The thing wasn't moving erratically at all but it was like he was filing from a boat in rough seas. Super frustrating.

Despite the terrible camera work, super interesting. I am reading this book by Leslie Kean on UFOs. She interviews generals and air force pilots, police and other military personal who gives descriptions of UFOs they have no rational way of explaining. These people drew pictures of what they saw and a lot of those pictures kinda resemble whatever this was towards the end when it was multiple lights. I highly suggest everyone read her book. Here is link.

u/paulobecker · 5 pointsr/UFOs

The best thing in order not to doubt your "beliefs" is not to have any. Doubt is good, it makes you question things and become uncomfortable and do more research. Personally I don't "believe" in UFOs, but I don't disbelieve them either. I'm just always looking for good evidence.

If your parents are journalists, ask them about Leslie Kean. She's a journalist that once was very skeptical about UFOs, but as she got to researching and talking to people who had first hand experiences she started to think maybe there's something about it. I definitely recommend her book.

u/The_Woodsman_TP · 5 pointsr/aliens

I'd recommend this UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record

u/Flumflumeroo · 5 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

Here's a free PDF of Bhikkhu Bodhi's Noble Eightfold Path book. If you can get your hands on a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh's Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, it's an excellent complement to Bodhi's book, and expands on the 8fold path and other Buddhist teachings in a very accessible way.

u/thundahstruck · 5 pointsr/Buddhism

I'll second What the Buddha Taught and In the Buddha's Words. Access to Insight is also a good resource. And of course /r/buddhism!

u/lucilletwo · 5 pointsr/pics

I normally avoid discussion religion and atheism outside of /r/atheism, but I wanted to respond to your comment because I think it's missing the point of why atheists tend to make these statements.

The point the atheists are trying to make when they bring up certain passages is not to deny that there is good content mixed in with the bad, or to argue about whether the bible on the whole has more good vs bad content. The real argument is that if you read the bible you find plenty of both, and that when people try to claim it is an infallibly good book, it simply isn't true. Atheists do not believe the bible is the divine word of God, and pointing out the many contradictions in the bible (various facts, historical inconsistencies and contradicting moral directives) is just one way of providing evidence of this. When we hear people claiming that other people should "read and follow the bible", we ask "which part?" as a way of reminding them of the problems inherent to their suggestion.

We recognize there is plenty of good in the bible, but that there is obviously bad stuff too. We do not believe it is the inspired divine word of God, rather we generally think it is just a very interesting collection of ideas and stories put together by ancient authors. If the original 'good book' was really just written by ancient men as an attempt to provide a moral guide for their people, why shouldn't we as modern men come up with new versions of morality to live by today; ones that aren't internally and externally inconsistent, and which reflect the vast amount of knowledge we've gained in the interim? Ones that remove ideas about sexism, racism, and homophobia?

To sum up, when it comes to morality, many atheists are in the secular humanist camp - basically the idea is that as modern, self-reflecting, philosophical, intelligent humans we should define what is moral in a modern context, rather than relying on cultural traditions forged in ancient history, from a book that clearly has a large number of moral and factual contradictions throughout it. If you're at all interested to see one view of what this modern reanalysis of morals might look like, I'd highly recommend The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris.

u/alassus · 5 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Read Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape. And for a primer on the topic you can also watch his TED talk.

EDIT: This TED talk on oxytocin in regard to morality is also interesting.

u/sakodak · 5 pointsr/atheism
u/electricfistula · 5 pointsr/Showerthoughts

It depends what you mean by "Moral ethics" and what you mean by "opinions". I'd suggest you read Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape for a pretty interesting examination of this topic.

If you think of ethics as rules intended to maximize the well being of sentient creatures, then they hard to measure and quantify, but no, they aren't opinions. Torturing a child to death, while we can't really quantify how bad or wrong it is, is clearly a departure from the maximum well being that could be achieved.

Analogously, we can't really quantify health. We can't say "How healthy" something is, and yet, it isn't an opinion to say that smoking isn't healthy for you, or that a person with a broken limb is less healthy than an Olympian in their prime.

u/EricTboneJackson · 5 pointsr/WTF

> Calling him a "demon child" and "fucked up" just reeks of insensitivity to me. The kid has problems and should probably be institutionalized, but let's not bash him.

The bottom line is that all bad behavior is the result of deterministic processes in the brain over which we have no control. Despite the profound subjective impression we have that we're in control of our own actions, from a logical and scientific perspective, the notion of free will is untenable. If you were to swap places with Jeffrey Dahmer, atom for atom, you would do everything he did. You'd have every thought he did, ever impulse, his exact ability/inability to resist various impulses, etc.

Doesn't stop me from wanted to slap the shit out of this kid when I see stuff like this, but that's an emotional reaction. And it doesn't mean he shouldn't be institutionalized, if we have no way of fixing someone like him. But it does mean that the notion of "punishment" for punishment's sake is nonsensical.

u/GratersGonnaGrate · 5 pointsr/Psychonaut
u/somerandomguy2003 · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism

> I [...] was wondering if there were any books out there [...] about how living peacefully without [religion] is possible.

Maybe I'm just being cynical and reading into the phrasing here too much, but do you really need to read an entire book to convince you that it's possible to be an atheist and live peacefully? Shouldn't that be a given?

At any rate, there are only three types of atheist-related books that I'm aware of - counter-apologetic books (books that deconstruct arguments made by apologists), anti-theistic books (books that attempt to demonstrate the problems with religion), and what I'll call post-theistic books (books that address the issues that religion likes to claim a monopoly on - issues like ethics and morality).

I'm assuming, based on your question, that you are opposed to reading anti-theistic books. As such, I'd suggest Godless. Besides Dawkin's introduction, it's pretty light on the anti-theism. The first half is really more of a deconversion narrative than an argument, and it's pretty sympathetic to Christian believers. Also this video series might be of interest to you.

u/GregoireDeNarek · 5 pointsr/Christianity

A recent work by David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God is well worth reading (it is more philosophical than its title lets on).

Ed Feser's The Last Superstition is good and I would also recommend his Scholastic Metaphysics.

u/jared_dembrun · 5 pointsr/Christianity

So I only saw one other guy give you apologetics material, and another person made the point that life is pointless if there is no God (which I agree is true).

But you're asking for intellectual material.

I would start with Dr. Edward Feser's Aquinas (A Beginner's Guide). It's $12 paperback on Amazon, $5 on kindle if you have a kindle-enabled device.

After this, if you find yourself convinced, I would go with The Last Superstition by the same man, for $15 paperback on Amazon or $12 on kindle.

Next, you can read excepts from the Summa Theologiae at your leisure for free on

If you're very intellectual, Ed Feser's book Scholastic Metaphysics can really get you into Thomism after you've done the above, or you can pick up some MacIntyre.

u/SpiritKarmicDragon · 5 pointsr/sydney

Get one. Works wonders.

Edit: It's actually not a terrible read if you ignore the enochian key section.

u/Ladikn · 5 pointsr/atheism
u/iamcorvin · 5 pointsr/news

The Satanic Bible and Satanism are not "globally rejected", even the US armed forces has a document that outlines religious requirements with Satanism included (DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PAMPHLET NO. 165-13).

That said, I'm with you on the whole hand kids a stack of religious texts from various religions and let them decide for themselves.

u/nbtry · 5 pointsr/satanism

>You can't just pick what you like and throw away the rest!

No one here is doing that. I recommend you read the sticky, the Church of Satan website and pick up a copy of The Satanic Bible while you're at it.

Satanism has nothing to do with pedophilia, and never has. Do your research and come back when you're ready to have an actual conversation.

u/slugboi · 5 pointsr/atheism

Wow, almost an exact account of my deconversion, except my wife played a large role. We were in love, but she was an atheist and I was holding on to religion. Then I realized that if we died, how could heaven possibly exist for me if I knew she was in hell, and if god blinded me to the fact that she was in hell or made me forget her, how would that be me? Then I started watching some videos, and doing some reading, and I said, "Fuck this." Now I am happier and more whole than I've ever been. There is a certain freedom that comes with realizing that you are solely responsible for your actions.

u/secretDissident · 5 pointsr/AskReddit
  • The God Delusion
  • The Demon-Haunted World

    This question comes up a lot. Start with these. But you must understand that atheism IS NOT a religion. It's not LIKE religion. It's the absense of religion. As is famously bandied about, atheism is a "religion" as much as "off" is a channel on your TV.
u/Manfred1816 · 5 pointsr/books

The only one I can help you with is religion. For Christianity, I always suggest The Bible. I know this is obvious, but it seems that very few people read it from cover to cover. This may be going away from what you want, though. Personally, I read The Bible as literature, so that does, for me, place it in fiction. If you want an atheist perspective, I highly recommend The God Delusion; for some shorter pieces, I think one should look at Existentialism is a Humanism (if you like this read, it is basically taken from his book Being and Nothingness). If you want to get into some Asian faith, maybe get a copy of the Tao Te Ching to better understand Taoism. Just to add another, and this is one of my favorites; look at Food of the Gods. This is a really interesting read about how substances have affected cultures and their beliefs. It ranges from different foods to the most illicit intoxicants. For me, it really gave me a greater perspective of the uses and benefits to "drugs" that go beyond taking them simply for a good time. If any of these interest you, I can list more for what specifically interests you. It's not much, but I minor in religious studies, so I guess I have a decent grasp on what is worth one's time.

u/zeroJive · 5 pointsr/exchristian

I went through almost the exact same thing. After leaving our main church, my wife and I stopped going all together. Several years later, after we moved because of jobs, we started going again. Needless to say, that didn't last long.

My wife and I both come from very strong Christian backgrounds; my wife's father was a Southern-Baptist minister for decades, and my dad went to Dallas Theological Seminary and taught church classes most of his life. So let's just say that leaving wasn't an easy thing.

However, my own search led me to realize the truth. Since my wife and I are very close, I talked with her about these things but was very careful about what I said. I'm still careful. I approach the discussions from the standpoint of "searching for answers" rather than declaring that I've already decided.

My mantra over the last few years has been "If it were possible to know the truth, and one of the possibilities was that God didn't exist, would you really want to know?" Well, my answer is yes. I don't want to be a blind-follower Christian. If God is real, then I want to know for sure!

I recommend approaching it like that. It let's your spouse see that you are truly searching for answers. The truth is all we really want, and we can't use a 3000 year-old book to do it. We need real answers, not mythology.

Be sure to talk about it a lot, and be open minded to your spouse's point of view. Let them know you still care for them deeply.

This sub-reddit has been so helpful and caring, so good job starting here. Also grab some books or find some web-sites that discus these things. Here are a few I recommend:


u/slackwaresupport · 5 pointsr/atheism
u/Shoeshine-Boy · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Personal research, mostly. I'm a big history nerd with a slant toward religion and other macabre subject matter. I'm actually not as well read as I'd like to be on these subjects, and I basically blend different sources into a knowledge smoothie and pour it out onto a page and see what works for me and what doesn't.

I'll list a few books I've read that I enjoyed. There are certainly more here and there, but these are the "big ones" I was citing when writing all the comments in this thread. I typically know more about Christianity than the other major faiths because of the culture around me.

Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years - Diarmaid MacCulloch

A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam - Karen Armstrong

The next two balance each other out quite well. Hardline anti-theism contrasted with "You know, maybe we can make this work".

The Case for God - Karen Armstrong

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

Lately, I have been reading the Stoics, which like Buddhism, I find to be one of the more personally palatable philosophies of mind I have come across, although I find rational contemplation a bit more accessible to my Westernized nature.

Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters - Translated by Moses Hadas

Discourses and Selected Writings (of Epictetus) - Translated by Robert Dobbin

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - Translated by George Long

I'm still waiting on Fed Ex to deliver this one:

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - William B. Irvine

Also, if you're into history in general, a nice primer for what sorts of things to dive into when poking around history is this fun series on YouTube. I usually watch a video then spend a while reading more in depth about whatever subject is covered that week in order to fill the gaps. Plus, John and Hank are super awesome. The writing is superb and I think, most importantly, he presents an overall argument for why studying history is so important because of its relevance to current events.

Crash Course: World History - John Green

u/Morpheus01 · 5 pointsr/atheism

I would recommend a few changes to your approach. Instead of telling him what to think in a briefing, begin trying to teach him how to think. Because religion thrives in an environment where kids are told what to think and not taught how to think.

I'd use this video on critical thinking to start:

I would also recommend that you only allow him to go if he reads this book:

It's also a book on critical thinking. The premise is if you learn critical thinking it eventually leads you to atheism. Oh, and you should read it together.

An easier book may be:

Critical thinking is about learning how to ask questions. And this book asks critical questions about Christian beliefs in a friendly manner. It would provide great questions that he can ask his peers.

But if books are not the right approach for him, then you can also try this video series:

Good luck.

u/sbicknel · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Anthony's approach is based on Peter Boghossian's book A Manual for Creating Atheists, and there is also the Street Epistemology website.

u/crash4650 · 5 pointsr/exmormon

What an awesome perspective! I've been out for four years and I'm constantly frustrated that my exmormon missionary efforts have been mostly fruitless.

Recently I've been studying Street Epistemology and though I'm still inexperienced, I'm hopeful that I can finally talk to friends and loved ones without anybody getting defensive. You should check it out if you haven't already. This book is literally a manual for using Street Epistemology. Interestingly enough, the goal isn't too de-convert people but rather get them to recognize, just by asking the right questions, the flaws in their own reasoning. If you can get them to be less sure of their beliefs, even slightly, then your encounter is considered a success.

u/discardedyouth88 · 5 pointsr/zen

Actually I do have a Zen suggestion for you. I highly recommend Zen Mind Beginners Mind by Suzuki Roshi.

Also while Lojong is more out of the Tibetan Tradition. There is a Zen teacher by the name of Norman Fischer who has given many talks on and written a book about Lojong from a Zen'ish perspective.

u/Enthusiastically · 5 pointsr/psychology

Well, maybe, but having a psychedelic experience in the clinical context is much different than just doing a psychotherapy session an hour after ingesting LSD. No one is suggesting psychotherapy stays exactly the same with just adding LSD.

You would be wrong if you thought that LSD is these clinical settings causes a bad trip. It's very rare for someone to have a bad psychedelic experience in a clinical context. But even if they do, the very best place for somebody to be if they start to have a bad trip is in the hands of a skilled clinician. A recommended book to learn techniques on guiding people through psychedelic experiences, including managing bad experiences.

Further, these people are already in bad places with lots of anxiety, such as PTSD, alcoholism or end of life anxiety. This isn't a matter of choosing between no anxiety and a chance of an experience that provokes anxiety. This is a matter of treating already existing and severe anxiety (or another condition) that hasn't responded to other alternatives.

It's simply a matter of doing the studies and comparing outcomes. For example, a retrospective analysis of studies of alcoholics found this across a single dose of LSD:

>Of 536 participants in six trials, 59% of people receiving LSD reported lower levels of alcohol misuse, compared to 38% of people who received a placebo. “We were surprised that the effect was so clear and consistent,” says Krebs. She says that the problem with most studies done at that time was that there were too few participants, which limited statistical power. “But when you combine the data in a meta-analysis, we have more than 500 patients and there is definitely an effect,” she says. In general, the reported benefits lasted three to six months.

u/HermesTheMessenger · 5 pointsr/atheism

The question and the follow up steps are there to understand what someone else means. If you try and use what you learn to convince them that they are mistaken, they will start to spout propaganda as a defense mechanism. I covered that a bit when I wrote;

> Why are they convinced? Almost always, they are convinced because they felt something or experienced something. That's it. Yet, if you criticize them or mock them or simply point out why a personal feeling or experience is not very good evidence, they will just switch back to telling you some of the BS about scripture, or the wonders of nature, or some philosophical puzzle; they will stop talking about what they think and they will only focus on the BS.

If you want to get them to change their minds, you have to use an entirely different set of questions and comments but the basis is still on understanding the individual even if their ideas are not (ever?) unique.

> Could you perhaps elaborate on what further questions should be asked and good explanations should they ask something in return?

While there are only a few things that I usually do, I assume that I will not have enough time to deconvert someone. To be honest, if I can get them to stop giving money and time to organizations that do bad deeds, I'm happy. I have no personal interest in deconverting them and it would take a few weeks to do it even if I found it a compelling goal to reach. The time needed is mainly because people tend to take a while to absorb these ideas, and if you are over aggressive they will just reject them and double down on their personal biases out of comfort or to have a sense of certainty.

The primary goal in any conversation is to have the conversation. You don't want to have them drop into a propaganda loop where they just repeat the words and/or ideas they have been indoctrinated with. So, you have to keep them off of their script.

You also have to keep in mind that very few thoughts are constructed in the moment. Our brains don't work that way. Instead, we piece together bits over time and our nerves are biased towards keeping the old structures in place. To change someone's mind over a deeply held socially taught construct takes time and if you rush it they will just re-write the old structures and make them stronger. You want cognitive dissonance. You want them to think things through on their own time for their own reasons, not to robotically reprogram them even if that is exactly how they were trained before to adopt those bad ideas.

So, what are the few things that I discuss with them?

  • The moral value of facts; that all moral decisions by humans require facts and that obedience/subservience is not morality.

  • How do they know what they say is true (when they pop back into the BS; I do not challenge the intuitive felt experience ... at least initially).

  • I listen and I show that I understand exactly what they mean and why they say what they say.

    To tie those three things together, I point out that while we are in agreement on these points -- that I am not debating the facts nor am I challenging their personal conclusions -- I have reached a different conclusion. With that in mind, I ask why can I understand all that they think, agree with the details, and yet not come to the same conclusion? What is the difference?

    The difference is their intuitive felt personal experience that they attribute to some deity or proxy for a deity. **Yet, wait ...*** that's the exact same thing that they said in the last wall of text, so what has changed? Nothing, actually, except for the time you have spent talking with them.

    As an experiment, go and ask other atheists that used to be firmly theistic (religious or not) if they have had some similar personal felt experience when they were theists. Many will say yes or that they attempted to have that and failed. Of the atheists that had that experience, many of them did not realize that it was possible not to think any gods existed. They thought that everyone must think that gods exist since that is what they have been told.

    So, by showing that you have the same facts, and understand the same ideas, yet you are not personally convinced that any gods exist, you demonstrate to them that what they have thought about what others think is not entirely true. That opens up the possibility that they themselves can also change their minds. So, do they? It depends on many factors, and while emotions are a factor so is the need to be honest about what can be known and how conclusions should be reached.

    I don't know if this method is similar to Peter Boghossian's book, but it is likely to be complementary. I've listened to his interviews and his emphasis on epistemology overlaps with some of my 3 points, but I have not read his book yet so I can't say how much of an overlap there is.

    Edit: Tag: waterfall part 2
u/Toru_El · 5 pointsr/exjw

What you're saying actually applies to the much more broad area of talking people out of their beliefs. You're on point about many things.

You do have to create cognitive dissonance. Another term for it is "doxastic openness". The worst way you can do this is start directly attacking God, the Bible, the org, the GB, etc. People immediately go on the defensive and shut down. In other words, don't engage in apologetics. You have to attack their epistemology. Ask them to prove how they know what they know. Provide counter examples to those if you can.

There's a book that I cannot recommend enough. It's called "A Manual for Creating Atheists", by Peter Boghossian.

It's a very gentle, accommodating approach and is rather effective.

u/massimosclaw · 5 pointsr/exmuslim

I know how you must feel. I went through the same thing. I was threatened by my mother, grabbed by the chest, and threatened to be kicked out of my house. I refused because I had no place to go, as my dad tried to calm her down, luckily they had to leave. I've learned a lot since then, and went back into the closet (though you seem to have a job, and security, so I'd say you don't have to do that) I think there's one effective persuasion technique that you may have not been exposed to - but maybe now it's too late because you're out of the closet. You might even be going through what many people call "an angry atheist phase", this can cause you to become more tribal which can send you into a downward spiral of anger and pain, and suck time like hell.

Here's the effective strategy I came across - this must be approached after you are both cool and preferably the other person doesn't know you are an atheist (but again, to me, it just seems too late):

It's called Street Epistemology. It's most concisely put in this book "A Manual for Creating Atheists", and you can see a good example of it on video here.

If you were an American Indian and you were dancing around the fire with feathers in your head gear, and I walked up to you and said "What are you dancing around the fire for?" You don't take your hat and throw it on the ground and say "You know I never thought of it that way!" We can't do that, we look at the world with our background, we have no other way of doing it.

Why is it that a Nazi gets a lump in his throat when he sees a swastika, and an American feels anger? The difference is the environment they've been brought up in. And if you're brought up in an environment with misinformation, you will behave that way.

No Chinese baby was ever born speaking Chinese, no matter how many generations of Chinese.

A child never writes his own alphabet

I believe, all behavior and actions that all people take are perfectly lawful to their environment and background. How your wife reacted, while it is very harmful to you, and I certainly empathize all the pain that my family has caused me specifically, is perfectly appropriate to her background and upbringing. Not saying what she did to you was beneficial. I'm saying that that is perfectly appropriate to the way she was brought up, and because of her indoctrination, it requires a different approach if you would like to change her beliefs and behaviors.

Over the years I've discovered a better way to convince believers. It's not hard either. It just takes some reading, and understanding on how human behavior works and how people are brainwashed. And how they are victims of that, not acting with their own free will and their own ideas.

A few books that helped me with convincing believers were: Nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenberg, and semantics to clear language, the easiest book: Language in Thought and Action by Hayakawa. To understand psychological biases check out You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

But perhaps the most helpful person was being exposed to Jacque Fresco - I shared some of his thoughts above. I highly recommend him - his ideas have changed my life.

I shared this snippet from Jacque Fresco on another post in this subreddit, but it bears repeating:

Conflict occurs when a person doesn’t seek your advice but you advise them.
So the way to get along with people is to let them be what they are unless they say I don’t seem to get along with pollocks whats my problem? Very few people say “What do you think of my value system?” If they do that and it’s sincere, not an ego thing...
If they ask a question, thats where you can get in and suggest but if they don’t, don’t s superimpose your values even if they’re better

If you suggest, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

and they say I don’t like 4 and 5,

don’t argue.

Your question is: How different is the persons background than yours? And does the person seek information? And if they did, don’t feel like you’re instructing them.
If you come home and you brother is using a shovel in the lawn, and he's struggling with it and you come up to him and say "That's no way to use a shovel!"

That's not going to change him. If, however, you say nothing - and he comes up to you, and says "I can't seem to use this shovel efficiently, can you help me?" then you can instruct them but don't feel like you're instructing them so you say "I used to do it that way, then another person taught me to push it down with my foot, and that was easier"

Sometimes people don’t want advice. They feel they’re being put down. So stop giving one another advice, that produces antagonism, unless they ask for it.
You can’t point out “The trouble with you is you don’t listen to anybody” That doesn’t cause em to now listen. They’ll go on with their same pattern.

Unless they say to you “Am I inattentive? Or Do I appear inattentive?” Very few people talk like that. That’s what sane means. Sane means when a person comes over “I’m not familiar with that jigsaw. How do you use it?” Then you instruct them. If they come over everyday and ask you - watch them and guide them through it.
Making a comment “Your’e dimwitted or slow. The trouble with you is you have no imagination.” That doesn’t alter behavior, it only increases conflict.

In order to avoid conflict don’t generate it. You generate it when you offer something to somebody that they didn’t ask for. Let them be. Whatever they say. Unless they turn to you.

If someone says “I’m a catholic” Say “Do you fully accept everything in the catholic doctrine?” “yes!”

The door is shut. It’s welded.

But if he says “Im not sure” thats an opening.

That goes for any subject. Check for openings before you talk. If you’ve had conflict all your life cause you believe that what you say enters their head the way you want to - thats projection. When you tell something to somebody for their own good. “If you keep drinking the way you are - you may become addicted” But if you come at a person and he says “fuck you” then shut up.

If I’m talking to religious people I would say “The bible says thou shalt not kill” How do you handle war?

I would say “The bible says love thine enemy - if a man strikes you turn the other cheek” How do you deal with that?

u/e0052 · 5 pointsr/exmormon

Heard that before. Faith is so obvious because the beauty of our environment can "only" be explained by divinity. Faith is "pretending to know things you don't know." Faith is not a reliable source of why/how one knows something for several reasons.

My personal opinion is if there us a God, he's a jackass and fuck him.

I suggest this book, Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian, if you have not already read it. You can listen to a sample on Amazon.

u/im_buhwheat · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Read this A Manual for Creating Atheists

At least look the dude up on youtube for an idea about what the book is about.

u/elAntonio · 4 pointsr/samharris

Talking about Ben Shapiro and religion: today on his podcast he recommended a book called The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism.
Has anyone read it?
Who knows, maybe he is preparing for a conversation with Sam (contacted by Dave Rubin maybe).
Sam retweeted this about Ben a few days ago.
I would love to hear a conversation between the two.

u/phaed · 4 pointsr/TheRedPill

> You stop to think (or focus on your breath if you can't simply stop thinking) and when thoughts arise you observe that you're thinking about something as if someone has shoved an object in front of your face

One should not try to stop thinking, that is a futile effort, like turning off fire with fire. Also by imagining thoughts are being shoved in front of your face you're highlighting their intrusion, that is no good either. It is best to realize that thoughts will come, and when they do gently become aware of them and then focus back on your breathing. Without anger, without judgement, coming back to the here and now.

That is the muscle you exercise, the ability of getting out of your head and coming back to the now. With practice you'll be able to do this effortlessly without even trying, to the point where you live in the here and now permanently without going back into your head full of fear and doubts.

When you see that approach anxiety is only the act of being in your head and not in the present moment with a woman. You can see how the ability to leave that state at will can be beneficial to Game.

Here is the best book on the subject for anyone who wishes to learn how its done from a Master. Shunryu Suzuki is the Japanese Zen Master who brought Zen practice to the United States. It's a small book, contains no theology or religion, just practice:

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind |
In one of the best and most succinct introductions to Zen practice, the important teacher Shunryu Suzuki discusses posture and breathing in meditation as well as selflessness, emptiness, and mindfulness. |

u/losian · 4 pointsr/askscience

> I’ve heard that it snaps them out of it almost instantly but no one really knows why.

Time for further reading! This book is positively marvelous, and looks at the idiotic way we've avoided study of these exact sorts of substances for treating things like Anxiety/depression/etc. It's by a fellow involved in some of the original LDS/psilocybin research back when, who is by all means a well educated professional - all the folks in the book are as well. It's not a bunch of hippies, it's professionals in their respective fields testing what we can do, and being shut down abruptly for silly reasons. Even looking beyond the purely therapy-based uses there were some curious, but needing much further study, aspects about enhancing cognition, focus, creative thinking, etc. - I'm sure we've all heard of the many artists and such who are inspired by substances, but not as much about stuff like part of the discovery of DNA, math theorems, and so on.

Small studies have been down which have showed 80%+ success rates in "moderate to high improvement" with regards to depression and shit. That's HUGE. What's interesting is that a significantly massive part of the psychadelic+therapy benefit seems to come from setting the right expectations and making it a therapy, not a recreation. Preparation is key, as is setting up a space to do it in - pleasant music and lighting, calm and safe, not some clinical doctor's office or sterile testing area. Further, it helps to bring stuff to think about, questions you've written yourself, photos of family and other nostalgic things, that sort of deal.

It's amazingly fascinating that one single session for a drug that is out of your system completely in days can facilitate months if not years of progress by 'normal' therapy methods in a few days - and that's in the words of PhD types who are studying it.

There's a lot of unknown about these sorts of substances and how exactly they can facilitate such outcomes, because we only just recently have finally begun to research them again, as we should have been since the 60s.

I mean, the issue is that our antidepressents kinda suck. Many of them barely beat out placebo, and the best ones are only about twice as effective as placebo. Anything that hits 50-80% should be earth shattering, and some of the potential studies that were done and have been done recently again finally have showed that at the least, so it's just.. it boggles my mind that we will cling to an obviously unscientific mantra of stigma and ignorance for so long when peoples' lives could have been changed in the last four decades for the better.

u/Watawkichaw · 4 pointsr/microdosing

Order a book or go down a rabbit hole of videos from James Fadiman...



u/TheFeshy · 4 pointsr/TrueAtheism

A Manual for Creating Atheists, A book about how to have more civil and productive conversations about religion by using the Socratic method and focusing on epistemology.

u/KF5KFJ · 4 pointsr/atheism

You could learn street epistemology, which is a method of showing that faith is neither good nor useful.

A manual for creating atheists

Street epistemology in practice

u/kkeut · 4 pointsr/malefashionadvice

Good books: 'The Moral Landscape' by Sam Harris and 'Sense and Goodness Without God' by Richard Carrier.

u/Bluenosedcoop · 4 pointsr/pics

I much prefer this picture of [NSFW] Tifanni Amber Thiessen [NSFW]

And Lark Voorhies is an absolute nutjob now, A nutjob book she wrote and a video of her talking gibberish

u/chachaheels5687 · 4 pointsr/iamverysmart

Read her books!

u/savantrep · 4 pointsr/books

But this book by Lark Voorhies of Saved by the Bell fame is ok??

u/_raytheist_ · 4 pointsr/samharris

It’s (conveniently) titled “Free Will”. ;)

u/Wood717 · 4 pointsr/CatholicPhilosophy

I'll preface this by saying that it is not entirely clear what, precisely, your question is. So let me restate your question as I see it.

Science is an enormously successful endeavor. Using the scientific method we can, with high degrees of precision, mathematically describe certain aspects of reality using deterministic equations - e.g. the motion of a cannonball shot across a battlefield. To say that the motion of the cannonball is deterministic is to say that if we know the location and velocity of the cannonball at any given time, then using the equations and assuming no interfering factors, we can infer its location and velocity at any other time. This clearly works for some aspects of reality; might it work for all aspects of reality? In particular, might it work in describing the behavior of a human being? And, if so, would that not then suggest that we do not have freedom of the will?

This is more or less what Sam Harris argues in his book, Free Will, that if determinism is true, i.e. if all aspects of reality are governed by these deterministic equations, then we do not have free will.

There are at least two things I would want to say in reply to this. First, it is far from obvious that all aspects of reality are governed by deterministic equations. Actually, I would want to say that no aspects of reality are governed by equations. Rather, these equations describe what we observe - they do not cause what we observe nor do they govern the thing being observed. When Newton tells us, for example, that the force acting on an object is equal to its mass times its acceleration, i.e. F = ma, this is a mathematical description of a phenomena we observe. It does not tell us what is causing that force, or if it will always hold, or why such a relationship exists in the first place.

Second, I think that higher scientific education, in my experience anyways, is all backwards. If you are thrown into a physics or chemistry class in college, you will immediately come face to face with many equations - equations of motion, rates of chemical reaction, electromagnetic equations, thermodynamic equations, quantum mechanical equations etc. The impression is that these equations are true, and that reality abides by them. But, as I say, this is backwards. Instead, we should begin by studying the motion of cannonballs, how magnets generate fields, specific chemical reactions, converting steam into work using a turbine, electrons going through a slit, etc. and then attempt to develop a mathematical theory which accurately describes the phenomena we observe. When things are done in this order, we are immediately faced with the reality that those equations only work in very limited and often idealized conditions. This, for me anyway, immediately removes any serious thoughts that all of reality might be deterministic.

u/PsychedelicFrontier · 4 pointsr/RationalPsychonaut

Not really a guide but I love The Joyous Cosmology by Watts. Has a bit more woo than a materialist might like, but Watts' brand of woo is palatable and non-dogmatic -- more of a try "try THIS on for size" than a "so THIS is this the way the universe is."

You may also find The Secret Chief Revealed insightful in terms of the therapeutic benefits to tripping, and how to approach psychedelics seriously.

Prometheus Rising, while more of an owner's manual to the human mind than a tripping guide, can help with recognizing your own biases and trying new perspectives -- highly relevant to the psychedelic experience and beloved by many psychonauts.

u/boogieshorts · 4 pointsr/Futurology

"The Holographic Universe" book blew my mind. Great read. Explains this all in depth then goes into how this model can explain things we previously viewed as impossible/paranormal/miracles.

Made me conclude 10 years ago that Jesus was just a dude who knew how to work the hologram.

u/d8_thc · 4 pointsr/holofractal

If you're looking for mainstream understandings of holofractal, checkout David Bohm's implicate/explicate order, and deBrogile-Bohm / Pilot Wave theory.

These are mainstream interpretations of quantum theory that intrinsically require the cosmos to be correlated non-locally, across time and space.

This is the tl;dr of it - all points in space and time are connected (entangled).

There's a great book called The Holographic Universe, which while not being largely based on physics, is a great philosophical understanding.

u/SabaziosZagreus · 4 pointsr/Jewish

What you currently have is an NIV Study Bible. I have one as well. The NIV translation is a popular, Protestant translation. It has some biases and inaccuracies, so it isn’t a translation used in scholarly circles. The NIV translation of the Old Testament is a translation of the Hebrew Masoretic Text, but it at times instead translates according to the Greek Septuagint, according to the Christian New Testament, or according to Protestant theology.

The central text in Judaism is the Tanakh. Tanakh is an acronym, it stands for Torah (Law), Neviim (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings); these are the three divisions of texts contained in the Tanakh. The Torah is the first five books of the Tanakh; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Our source for our Tanakh is the Hebrew Masoretic Text. As such, the NIV Old Testament translation and a Jewish Tanakh translation are both translations of the same book: the Masoretic Text. The differences being that a Jewish Tanakh translation will be organized a little differently, some verse numbering will be different, and the translation will not be affected by Christian biases.

The most widely used Tanakh translation is the New JPS Tanakh (NJPS or 1985 JPS). You can read the NJPS Tanakh here. If you want a study bible version, I’d recommend Oxford University Press’ Jewish Study Bible which uses the NJPS translation.

My primary Qur’an is MAS Abdel Haleem’s translation.

u/bundleogrundle · 4 pointsr/islam
u/Mentos265 · 4 pointsr/islam

This translation has paragraphs based on the rhyme schemes in the arabic Quran.


Its a old version of the book. I recommend buying it.

u/Taste_the__Rainbow · 4 pointsr/ufo

What do you mean by “the current situation”?

If you just mean modern ufology then this book is a decent intro.

If you want a summary of the recently disclosed pentagon ufo program then this is hands-down your best time investment.

u/fremenist · 4 pointsr/Blink182

It might not be about hiding confirmed alien life. I was very skeptical of UFO theorists and stuff for a long time. Then I read this book and it really opened my eyes. It's very rational and very evidence based. No outlandish claims are made and the first person accounts come from reliable (Air Force, high ranking government, police, commercial pilots) witnesses. I would hope whatever he's working on is a rational, evidence based account of all that we know about UFOs (which objectively exist). Basically at this point if you do the research you can't deny UFOs exist and the extraterrestrial hypothesis, while unlikely, can not be ruled out yet.

u/Upgrayeddz · 4 pointsr/UFOs
u/topaz420 · 4 pointsr/LifeProTips

I am 15 months into my ongoing healing process from the greatest loss of my life, so I'd like to share some things I've learned:

Rushing into another relationship is unsound advice, and most likely to hurt you and the next person you prematurely involve yourself with.

The best thing I can tell you is that healing from a loss is not like getting a cut on your flesh, where there is consistent and predictable healing. If healing from a physical wound is a straight line, then healing from an emotional loss is a jagged, swirling journey, where you sometimes take one step forward and 10 steps back. Don't get frustrated by these setbacks--just understand that the timetable for healing is not set, and trust in the heart's ability to heal:

"When an emotional injury takes place, the body begins a process as natural as the healing of a physical wound. Let the process happen. Trust the process. Surrender to it." --from "How to Survive the Loss of a Love"

Don't make any rash life-altering decisions, don't turn to drugs or alcohol (which only postpone or subvert healing), give to those who are less fortunate than you, and surround yourself with family and friends that love you unconditionally.

Here is a link to the book quoted above, which I wholeheartedly recommend:

And another I'm in the midst of reading, which, so far, is also exceptional:

This is a beautiful recounting of the Buddha's journey to understanding suffering:

And this is a pocket book available for free from the Amida Society:

For me, feeling her "fade away" from my memory was so hurtful that I would hold on to the pain to keep the memories fresh. That is not conducive to healing. What helped me was creating a document (I used Google Docs so I could update from anywhere), and whenever a sweet memory surfaced of something she did, said, or was, I would write it down. It provided a catharsis--like a treasure chest of everything she was. I no longer compulsively read it, but it is comforting to know it's there, and has definitely helped my healing process.

For the first six months of my loss, I could barely leave the house. Since I love movies, I started trying to find ones that contained people being kind to one another (they are very rare). They helped me in reconnecting to and believing in kindness again, and I found myself watching some of my favorites just to get myself to sleep at night. I compiled a few into an IMDb list:

Take care of yourself

Source: Losing my dear wife--the sweetest, kindest person I've ever known.

u/mdx1x · 4 pointsr/Soulnexus

If you are embracing suffering you're still doing it wrong, i suggest you read "the heart of buddha" , "a beginners mind", and "living christ living buddha" as both holistic teachers tought the same thing, but had different methods to help people obtain the goal of unlocking the door to the inner true self, conciousness, the shadow within.

Opening the hidden door in the bible:

An entire website dedicated to finding the hidden door buddha talks about:

If you think the bible is about "God" you still havent solved the riddle.

Maybe reading up on the ancient poet Rumi would be a nice place to look.

You still havent found the door, youre embracing suffering rather than ending it.

Behind the door is a familure face, dont blink.

"Occasionally he stumbled over the truth but he always picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened. " (Winston Churchill)

u/PsychRabbit · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

I'm in a similar situation and after having looked around a bit I've put these two books on my Christmas list. (My family still celebrates the holiday and I look at it more as a time for giving and being with Family.)

u/ErwinFurwinPurrwin · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

You're welcome. Yes, there are tons of books. A lot of people start with What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula. There's also a great webite: You can find a lot of the early Buddhist suttas there, as well as essays about a very wide range of topics.

u/foreveranewbie · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

First, check out the directories on DharmaNet and BuddhaNet. If you're lucky you'll find someplace close to you. If you're really lucky you'll find a good teacher who you connect with. I think that is important. My practice gained a new depth once I found a teacher.

If you're not so lucky, there are still great resources out there. Both the websites I mentioned above have a lot of good stuff on them. One of my favorites is Buddhism in a Nutshell.

If you're willing to spend the money (or have a good library system) two of my favorite books are Mindfulness in Plain English and What the Buddha Taught. Personally, I recommend buying both of them.

Mindfulness in Plain English is an amazing "how to" guide to get you meditating. In the absence of a teacher this will take you quite a ways. What the Buddha Taught is very much from the Theravada perspective and is a fantastic introduction to the most important concepts. It can be a bit textbookish at time but it well worth the read.

u/sovietcableguy · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

I don't think there's anything wrong with interfaith dialogue, but reddit is probably not the best place for it. This would probably work best as a panel discussion, of which there are numerous examples on youtube.

I'm not familiar with Quaker views, but the Three marks of existence: anicca, dukkha, and anatta would make God, Christ, the soul, and salvation as presented in traditional Christianity rather moot.

What the Buddha Taught is a great book for understanding the Buddhist view. I also like chapter 3 of Meido Moore's book The Rinzai Zen Way, titled "Zen and Abrahamic Faiths" for another take on this topic.

There is indeed debate among Buddhists, but Dependent Origination, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the Three Marks are difficult to dispute since the Buddha himself taught them.

How one would reconcile these teachings with traditional Christian views of an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing God and all of the individual souls that must be "saved" is quite a puzzle. Perhaps the Quaker view is different.

u/iamadogforreal · 4 pointsr/AskHistorians

American Theravada monk Bhikkhu Bodhi is a well read writer and has some of works available for free on this website.

I'd also pick up a book about Therevadan buddhism as its considered the least liberal and closer to the source material (yes, this is arguable). Bodhi has a book on this subject. Rahula's "What The Buddha Taught" I find to be very readable and an easy intro into the life and teachings of Buddha.

Per usual, the wikipedia entry on him is good too.

/atheist who likes to study religion, if you're interested in my criticisms please pm me

u/vypr_ · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula is a great book for the newcomer to Buddhism. If you'd like a free PDF version of it, here you go!

u/ElMelonTerrible · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

If paying shipping doesn't bother you, check out used books on Amazon. Lots of people would rather pass a book along to the next reader than throw it away, and some people sell books just for the tiny profit they can make on Amazon's shipping fee, so there are a lot of used books that go for basically free + shipping. Here are some good deals:

u/Cool_Hwip_Luke · 4 pointsr/atheism

Street epistemology. There's a whole YouTube channel devoted it.

Edit: one example

another example

even atheists can be interviewed

Edit2: Hey u/FirePhantom, here are a couple more I forgot to add.

A Manual for Creating Atheists

Atheos app for Android

u/Biohack · 4 pointsr/atheism

I took several classes from Peter at Portland State right after I became an atheist. He is an awesome guy and an incredibly excellent professors, I learned so much from him about skepticism and critical thinking.

If anyone is interested despite the provocative title his book A Manual For Creating Atheists has a lot of good tips for engaging people on a variety of issues relevant to skepticism without creating adversarial relationships.

Anyway I don't have anything to add relevant to the video but I just wanted to give him a shout out since he had such a large impact on my life.

u/iHaveAgency · 4 pointsr/atheism

Youtube video series: Street Epistemology

Mobile app: Atheos

Book: A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian & Michael Shermer.

All highly recommended.

The best way to deconvert (don't say "convert", convert is when you turn TO religion, not away from it) is not to convert in the first place. That means: get religion out of schools (wouldn't that be great?) and keep kids away from organized religion until they are at least 16 or older. But unfortunately, that's common sense.

u/Fenzik · 4 pointsr/TrueAtheism

For an approach that isn't argumentative and doesn't ridicule them, I'd recommend checking out the book A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian. It has some good tips for talking to all kinds of people of faith and helping them to critically examine why they believe the things they do, and whether those beliefs are justified. There are lots of examples on YouTube as well under the banner of Street Epistemology.

u/nickelro · 4 pointsr/TrueAtheism

>Why does Krauss have to be "humble"

Emulate the change you wish to see in someone else.
You want people to be more honest, blunt, and humble? Project that.
Peter Boghossian constantly reiterates this. But let me put it this way, no one has ever changed my mind by coming up to me and yelling at me about how wrong my world view is and how irrational/delusional I am.

If you need further evidence in how bad Krauss is at debating, look no further than here.. Krauss has never read any of the Koran and decided to jump into a debate of Atheism/Islam which went ugly real quick. Hitchens and Harris would have mopped the floor with this guy.

u/elbruce · 4 pointsr/atheism

If you get the chance, I really want to recommend the book Godless by Dan Barker. It's an in-depth look back at his journey from being a fundamentalist pastor to one of the co-chairs of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He's gone about as far as it's possible to go from one end to the other.

Another similar story is the YouTube series "Why I Am No Longer A Christian" by Evi3nce. He uses a lot of professional-level graphics to present a detailed philosophical analysis of exactly why and how his born-again faith fell apart. It's both intellectual and moving.

I'm looking forward to hearing a more polished version of your story too. Congrats on being where you are.

u/CalvinLawson · 4 pointsr/atheism

Yeah, that's way better than arguing with them about things. Simply say that you don't have faith in any of the organized religions, including his. If he pushes you on this, point out how he doesn't have faith in most organized religions either, he's the one making an exception to the rule.

If he claims Christianity isn't an organized religion, tell him he only believes that because he's religious.

But really, emphasize your skepticism of ALL religious claims. He's going to want to refute your skepticism of Christianity, but point out that you've been around Christianity your whole life. Then ask him how much he needed to know about Islam to be skeptical of it.

You get the point. But most of all, tell him you don't want to argue. If he insists tell him you'll be happy to read a book together and discuss. You'll read one he picks and he reads one you pick. I recommend "Godless" by Dan Barker:

u/tortus · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

I just finished reading Buddhism Without Beliefs and overall found it to be great. He really gets into personal struggle, frustration of living, what we all internally feel but rarely (if ever) talk about, and how to find meaning and purpose in our lives, all from a Buddhist perspective and without any mention whatsoever of after life, rebirth, gods or creators. The book hit me pretty hard several times.

Another thing I loved about this book is it's very simple and draws from the teachings of the Buddha himself. It doesn't get involved in any of the later developments that Buddhism evolved into.

Be warned though, the author is a bit in love with his own words and at times the book seems to be a bit hoity toity for the sake of it. Other than that, I loved it.

u/HireALLTheThings · 4 pointsr/secularbuddhism

I haven't really looked into teachers in particular, but Stephen Batchelor's books on both his path to secular Buddhism and Secular Buddhism itself are excellent reads. Here and Here

u/datanalogy · 4 pointsr/Catholicism

It's good that you're considering both the material and immaterial aspects of that with which you're surrounding yourself.

In addition to Kreeft (whose books I've also found helpful, btw), I highly recommend Edward Feser's blog and books.

Feser is a Catholic philosopher who writes about religion, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics and a lot of other things from a traditional perspective, and he's really well informed on modern thought and culture (his background is in analytic philosophy). His style is really fun but his arguments are rigorous.

I'd say more, but this is already starting to read like an advertisement...

I just can't stress the importance of being well informed on the intellectual merits of the Catholic faith (and theism in general) when studying at a secular environment. A lot of the intellectual attacks against our faith will instantly lose their efficacy when we realize that the people making them have no idea what they're criticizing.

u/wowzers4242 · 4 pointsr/milliondollarextreme

empiricism implies that we cannot trust our brains. it eventually leads to reductionism (IMO) which implies everything can be (objectively) be boiled down to numbers as a final truth. its a very toxic and very new idea. when numbers become truth it has no other option but to turn society away from God (an atheist society is weak and foundationless) if you are really interested more about my viewpoints on this heres some reading that explains some of it better than i ever could: (this one is slightly less relevant but does go into how often empirical science's end goal is looking at humans as machines and how that is dehumanizing and controlling)

u/Hurrah_for_Karamazov · 4 pointsr/Catholicism

The Last Superstition. It's the book you are looking for.

u/I_aint_creative · 4 pointsr/Christianity

For the existence of God and the philosophical arguments for such, Ed Feser's Five Proofs of the Existence of God or his The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism.

For the Christian life, C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity gives a great treatment of what the Christian life is about.

I typically also recommend Bishop Barron's videos to people (they're a little under 10 minutes each):

Aquinas's argument from motion for the existence of God

How to read Genesis

Christianity and ethics

u/Aelstome · 4 pointsr/Catholicism

The Last Superstition by Edward Feser

u/Bounds · 4 pointsr/Catholicism

> I'm looking for reading material, lectures, anything that can help me in my journey back to the church.

I believe that the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, will be the greatest help to you. In the sacraments we encounter Jesus, instead of simply learning about him. Learning is important too, of course.

That said,
more (free) lectures than you can shake a stick at:

Some spiritual reading (Paid):

How to Resist Temptation A short book that does an excellent job of clearing up some common misconceptions about temptations and how we respond to them.

The Last Superstition A polemical book, which can be off-putting to a meek soul, but it provides a very accessible explanation of the philosophical framework of the Church.

Some spiritual reading (Free):
Story of A Soul The story of St. Therese of Lisieux's "little way," which saw her promoted to be a doctor of the Church.

The Practice of the Presence of God Brother Lawrence describes his spirituality, which involved being in constant prayer.

The Great Divorce A gentle, fictional introduction to Purgatory.

Is there a specific topic you want to read more about?

u/sp0oky · 4 pointsr/satanism

Amazon Link

$8.99 new or $4.17 used.

u/Prophet_of_Darkness · 4 pointsr/satanism

Buy the Satanic Bible for $10. It's relatively short, and will tell you everything you want to know. Also check out the links in the sidebar.

u/plonk519 · 4 pointsr/satanism

Check - there are hundreds of reviews there, and many of the top ones are actually in-depth and insightful.

u/dadtaxi · 4 pointsr/atheism

fundie at work had a screaming meltdown when i 'forgot' this on my desk.

Luckily boss had a sense of humor. Promised him not to bring 'my religion' to work if he also promised not to bring his.

He still cannot bring himself to sit next to me in meetings. :)

u/dangling_participles · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Perhaps it's time to move away from LDS specific arguments, and start questioning the God concept in general; especially as it relates to morality.

One argument I've always liked, is that even if there is a god, by far the strongest test of morality it could ask for is if a person will be moral while believing there is no such being, and no promise of reward or punishment.

If she is willing to read, I recommend the following:

u/angrymonkey · 4 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Along those lines, Dawkins is great for explaining evolution in easy-to-understand detail. Pick pretty much any book by him and you'll get a very good education.

u/ChrisF79 · 4 pointsr/books

I loan out The God Delusion (Amazon Link) by Richard Dawkins quite a bit as friends/coworkers hound me about religion.

u/Axximilli · 3 pointsr/satanism

I've been reading through Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled lately and it's an incredible insight into the history and beliefs behind Baphomet.

A great place to start with LaVeyan Satanism is The Satanic Bible

u/AnkhStar · 3 pointsr/atheism

Man, that's laziness. Typing your request literally takes more effort than going to Amazon and searching for "Satanic Bible". Not to mention you have to wait around for your request to be filled, IF it's filled.

In Chrome (assuming you're already an Amazon user, since you requested the link):

  • Click New Tab button or CTRL+T

  • Type "am" and pops up (because it was already in my browsing history)

  • Hit TAB and search for "Satanic Bible"

  • Hit Enter

    ** Lo and behold, SEARCH RESULTS! **

  • Click top result for Satanic Bible

    That was 17 key presses and a couple mouse clicks.

    Edited for late night spelling

u/JasonUncensored · 3 pointsr/satanism

I thought about it for a few minutes when I saw the post, and I came to pretty much the same conclusion.

I believe The Satanic Bible specifically mentions that children should avoid claiming to be Satanists until they are not only old enough to make such decisions, but to endure any fallout that might come about.

Of course, if your parents are Satanists(lucky you!), you might have a different, more positive viewpoint, but you'd definitely be in the minority.

u/darnthisanarch · 3 pointsr/occult

I dabbled with LaVeyan Satanism and JOS in my late teens, early twenties.


Why did I pray to Satan?, because in LaVeyan Satanism, he (along with Beliel, Lucifer, and Leviathan) represent the four elements, with Satan corresponding to Fire. So, I'd use him in the same way Fire would be used in other magick systems.


Please note that the Satan of LaVeyan Satanism is not the same Satan as in Christianity.


Edit: Just google Church of Satan, and you'll get one point of view.


" As Anton LaVey explained in his classic work The Satanic Bible, Man—using his brain—invented all the Gods, doing so because many of our species cannot accept or control their personal egos, feeling compelled to conjure up one or a multiplicity of characters who can act without hindrance or guilt upon whims and desires. All Gods are thus externalized forms, magnified projections of the true nature of their creators, personifying aspects of the universe or personal temperaments which many of their followers find to be troubling. Worshiping any God is thus worshiping by proxy those who invented that God. Since the Satanist understands that all Gods are fiction, instead of bending a knee in worship to—or seeking friendship or unity with—such mythical entities, he places himself at the center of his own subjective universe as his own highest value. "

u/Discipulus-Satanas · 3 pointsr/satanism

Read through the Sticky

Grab yourself a copy of the Satanic Bible

This doesn't cover everything but it's a strong start

u/twjpz · 3 pointsr/atheism

the hardcover version is listed at a steep $666, but the mass market paperback is only about 10 bucks. have fun!

u/NeinNyet · 3 pointsr/atheism


Hard cover only $666

u/The_Devils_Concubine · 3 pointsr/satanism

Please read the sticky in this sub. Otherwise, many of the answers to the questions you're asking here can be found in books, so I'm going to recommend some:

  1. The Satanic Bible. If you're interested in Satanism, this is one of the best places to start. You'll probably find a lot of the answers you're seeking within its pages. It's a short read, might take you a day tops to get through it.

  2. The Invention of Satanism. This is an excellent academic text. It has no agenda outside of providing history on Satanism itself as a religion. It covers early origins of Satanism (aka devil worship), the romantic Satanists such as Milton and Blake, the beginnings of the Church of Satan and LaVey's origins, the Temple of Set, all the way on up to modern day with The Satanic Temple.

  3. Lords of the Left Hand Path This would be considered more advanced reading, as it delves into a general Left Hand Path philosophy rather than focusing just on Satanism. It's a dense book, but will go a long way to filling in the 'sacrifice, magic, evil' part of your post.
u/thyssyk · 3 pointsr/tifu

So, she is a very confused person who has been told some very awful things about the world. I'd recommend you get her a few books to help open her mind.

This one for sure...

Heck, anything on this list!

And make sure you remind her that fire is a gift from Prometheus, and is not the realm of Satan, if she burns it, she has to thank Prometheus instead of renouncing Satan, but that the act of burning anything is technically a worship act to a non-christian being.

Then just shake your head gently and say "It is just so much easier to be a good person." cue you walking away with a pensive look struck across your face

u/cosmez · 3 pointsr/mexico

leo puro libro técnico, se valen?

como dijeron que si, ahi van:

  • The Little Schemer: Primer libro tecnico en forma de dialogo que lei y cambio mi forma de pensar acerca de estos libros. Fuera de enseñarte las bases de Scheme, te enseña a pensar de forma recursiva.
  • Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs: Antes de este libro varias tecnicas/librerias/metodologias parecian magia, el capitulo de streams me encanto.
  • The God Delusion: este libro fue puro circlejerk para mi, pero me encanta como te da argumentos para hablar con religiosos fanaticos.
u/Invisibird · 3 pointsr/atheism

Congrats from a former Catholic. Be out and open about it. We need more people to not be afraid to identify themselves in public and to their families as atheists. People have no clue how many there are around them.


For book recommendations, I like The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

u/ehMove · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

One of the key tenants of learning and what often leads to atheism is simply asking questions. These questions often illustrate big problems in some beliefs and lead us away from certain conclusions, like a supernatural entity. It's what we mean when we say we're practicing skepticism and it can take on a variety of forms, but here are some suggestions I find compelling.

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

Richard has excellent technical skill in how he discusses questions and ideas that make supernatural belief look very delusional, hence the title. His points on religious indoctrination of children being actual abuse are particularly potent.

Many others will suggest Hitchens' God is not Great and while I haven't read it I think he is a much better speaker than Dawkins, so it may be better. Though I think Dawkins has a more refined technical skill in tackling some more complex ideas.

Any sophisticated discussion on philosophy - Youtube

I really like Crashcourse and its different offerings to get introduced to different studies and find this is a good place to start finding interesting questions you might not have thought of. While much of its content is definitely not atheist in nature they do have a very honest discussion about different topics that practice real skepticism that can lead to atheism like I described earlier.

Sam Harris

The link is of a specific podcast of his, but notably one of the videos in the text called It is Always Now is wonderful. Lots of people have specific issues with Harris, often different, and all I would suggest is to not let something you dislike about him to allow you to dismiss ideas he might stumble upon. His ability to find questions, especially new ways to ask old questions, is really powerful.

I also think that Harris is a great introduction to the idea of what to believe while being a skeptic. This idea of what to believe is very complicated because being skeptical tends to suggest that you should never operate off belief and always be as objective as possible, so please be patient in exploring it. But basically after you use skepticism to get rid of toxic beliefs you need to find ways to build up helpful beliefs and I think Harris is helpful in finding those. A more effective person though is:

Jordan Peterson

He opens with stating he's "not an atheist anymore." So this is a little misleading because he does also say in other areas that he doesn't believe in a supernatural God as well, and he's not lying when he says either statement. Explaining how that can be would take a while and I'm still exploring it myself but I think he has some VERY powerful messages about what is worth believing even while valuing skepticism. Look up his Message to Millennials and Tragedy vs Evil lectures if you're interested, I found those videos very useful.

u/bethelmayflower · 3 pointsr/exjw


The problem you have is very simple. You believe. If you didn't believe you would have options. My wife went through the same process with depression and apathy.

She read two books and within days was on her way to recovery.


It doesn't take much but wow what a fun ride once you get started.

Read two books and fly.

u/Coloradical27 · 3 pointsr/philosophy

Hi, I have a degree in Philosophy and teach Philosophy/English to high schooler. The following advice and recommendations are what I give my students who are interested in philosophy. I would not recommend Kant as an introduction (not that he's bad, but he is difficult to understand). Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar is a book that explains philosophical topics and questions through humor and uses jokes to illustrate the concepts. It is accessible and thought provoking. If you are interested in logic you might enjoy Logicomix. It is a graphic novel that gives a biographical narrative of Bertrand Russell, an English philosopher whose work is the basis of all modern logic. It is not a book about logic per se, but it does give a good introduction to what logic is and how it can be used. Also, Russell's book A History of Western Philosophy is a good place to start your education in philosophy. If you are interested in atheism, read Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. This book goes through the most common arguments for the existence of God, and debunks them using logic and reasoning. Good luck and read on!

u/Cenobite · 3 pointsr/books

A few books I read recently (within the last couple of years) that really stand out for me:


  • On Writing by Stephen King. The first half is a combination of a memoir of King's early life and professional writing tips on things like grammar, character development, etc. The second half is an application of these skills in a very lucid and memorable description of his recent automobile accident and subsequent rehabilitation. Even if you're not interested in writing as a craft, it's still a good read.
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. If you're a non-believer, or someone in the process of questioning your faith, you'll love it. It clearly states many of the things you think and feel much more eloquently and clearly than you yourself could. Even if you're religious and an opponent of Dawkins, it's still a good peek into the mind of an atheist to understand where they are coming from. Because of its eloquence and clarity, it's a dream to read.
  • Lennon Legend by James Henke. A very simple and accessible biography of Lennon featuring tons of amazing photographs, incredibly detailed reproductions of memorabilia (such as the scrap of paper on which Lennon composed the lyrics to "In My Life"), and an accompanying audio CD containing rarities. It feels like the kind of book Lennon would have written himself.


  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. One of my personal favourites and a book that's become something of a cultural phenomenon. As the Amazon review says: "Had The Blair Witch Project been a book, written by Nabokov, revised by Stephen King, and typeset by Blast." It's a pretty scary book that plays with your mind. You'll understand what I mean once the nightmares start...
  • VALIS by Philip K. Dick. A semi-autobiographical tale of a man who may or may not be crazy and his quest to find God... Literally. It combines ancient religion with contemporary philosophy and screwup characters.

    Unfortunately the two fictional books aren't easy reads. Not difficult, mind you, but not as straightforwardly easy as, say, The Road. But I think they're engrossing enough that you'll get sucked in nevertheless.

    I hope this helps!
u/absolutkiss · 3 pointsr/exjew

This is a slightly off-subject, but you should really read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I read it and found that he was articulating many ideas that I had in my head.

Just watch out for his militaristic approach. You don't want to turn into a knee-jerk/circlejerk atheist like some of our friends in /r/atheism...

u/alexander_the_grate · 3 pointsr/atheism

They have semantic categorization. When you rate Dawkins 5 star Amazon registers you to be interested in books about "religion". (as Ironic as that may sound!)

Source: I am a PhD candidate currently writing a thesis on semantic ontology and data extraction.

u/jeexbit · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

have you read this?

u/Jparsner · 3 pointsr/Glitch_in_the_Matrix

What 'Amaelyn' said, " we are powerful manifesters" rings very true for me.

I think that amidst all the chaos going on in the world, the Earth itself as a collective form of consciousness is about to hit a major fork in the road.

Here are some good excerpts from The Holographic Universe that I think are rather good.

> "There are nineteen documented cases of people who had precognitive glimpses of the sinking of the Titanic -- some were experienced by passengers who paid attention to their premonitions and survived, some were experienced by passengers who ignored their forebodings and drowned, and some were experienced by individuals who were not in either of these two categories. Such incidents strongly suggest that the future is not set, but is plastic and can be changed.... this view brings with it a problem. If the future is still in a state of flux... how can the future both exist and not exist?....

>...[Loye] believes that reality is a giant hologram, and in it the past, present, and future are indeed fixed, at least up to a point. The rub is that it is not the only hologram. There are many such holographic entities floating in the timeless and spaceless waters of the implicate, jostling and swimming around one another like so many amoebas. Such holographic entities could also be visualized as parallel worlds, parallel universes.

>Thus, the future of any given holographic universe is predetermined, and when a person has a precognitive glimpse of the future, they are tuning into the future of that particular hologram only.... and when we act upon a premonition and appear to alter the future, what we are really doing is leaping from one hologram to another."

What I feel they're saying is that while one might be believing disaster is going to occur in the near future... it doesn't mean disaster for all. And by manifesting, believing in an apocalyptic future, one might literally be making the conscious choice to leap to that hologram while your friend might choose to leap to a different hologram.

It's not that these two individuals find themselves separated then... for just as the universe would be multi-dimensional, with many holograms of choosing, so would the individual... if you choose to go the path of the apocalyptic future, you will then experience the version of your friends/family that have also made that leap to that hologram.

u/Lizardman_Gr · 3 pointsr/findapath

Or try motivational or inspirational reading. If you don't need it, don't use it. While there is no shame in anti depressants, I think you should solve the problem if there is one. Anti depressants are for a chemical inbalance.

It sounds like you need love. I was where you are almost a year ago. I find myself slipping back in. I alienated myself from my friends. I felt as if no one truly cared about me, because I was not happy with myself. I was not living up to my own expectations. I was not meeting the goals I wanted to achieve, and that is devastating. I found someone who cares about me, and for that I am thankful and humbled. It's a Blessing to have someone that loves you, and I pray that you find someone who fulfills that for you, and anyone reading.

It's tough in this day and age. We have weak communities We have weak families. We don't teach values. I pray almost everyday. I spend time with God, because there I can always find love.
This is the translation I use. Hopefully you can find one in Flemish. By the way, I was thinking about moving to Belgium for my Masters.

u/austex_mike · 3 pointsr/islam

OK, in the interest of full disclosure I am not Muslim. However I have a degree in Islamic studies, studied Arabic in the Middle East, and have weekly Quran studies in my home.

So, first of all it is important to know that the original Qur'an is in Arabic, and many Muslims believe that in order to truly be able to understand the message of the Qur'an, you must read it in Arabic. That said, there are countless translations (some refer to them as "interpretations") of the Qur'an.

Two things to know about the Qur'an before you start. 1) As far as we know, the text of the Qur'an we have today is believed to be the same as the one recited during the life of the Prophet Muhammed. (PBUH). Unlike the Bible, the Qur'an is not a collection of stories from various sources of hundreds of years. The Qur'an as it is today is as far as we know exactly the same now as it was during the life of Muhammad. 2) The Qur'an itself is organized more or less in order from the longest chapter to the shortest. So for someone unfamiliar with the Qur'an it can be a little intimidating to start reading from beginning to end.

So, since I have lots of experience with the Qur'an, both in Arabic and English, and I have lots of experience with teaching others about it, I have learned a couple things to make it easier for people who are reading it for the first time that you might find helpful.

First, rather than read the Qur'an in the order it is traditionally arranged in, I find that it is better to read it in chronological order that the chapters were revealed in, meaning you will read it in the order that the Prophet Muhammad received the chapters from Allah. Just imagine yourself as a Arab in the 7th century who was used to hearing about pagan religion, so this on God concept is new to you. So if you look at this list you will see in the column on the far right the number of the chapters, 96 being the first one, 68 being the second one, etc.. So you will pick up your Qur'an and turn to chapter 96, then go to chapter 68 and so forth.

Second, you need to decide on a translation. Everyone has an opinion in this matter as to which translation is the best. Honestly no translation is perfect, and if you want to really understand the Qur'an you will need to read it several times. But based on my experience I have found Western English speakers do best with is the Haleem translation. The Haleem English is easy to understand, and the notes are just enough to give you some context for each chapter. So my advice is to pick up that translation and begin reading it in chronological order. I literally own dozens of translations, and have tested them all with English speakers and people new to the Qur'an, Haleem's really stands out as the easiest to understand for people new to the Qur'an.

For an idea of what your journey will be like reading the Qur'an, check out this video from Lesley Hazelton.

Did you find a place to ask a similar question about the Bible? I would be interested to know what people tell you.

u/Lawama · 3 pointsr/islam

>I want to go with a physical copy, so if I can find that particular one in a hardcover i'll go for it.

Read a chapter off the link and see if you like the translation style, if you do, buy it. It's pretty cheap, here's a link to buy it:



>Do you think a commentary is neccesary? Ive noticed most versions have a commentary as well, what do they provide that the text itself can not?

Kinda. I mean it will help if you're confused in certain parts. For example, in Chapter Mary (19th Chapter), after Mary gives birth to Jesus she returns to her family:

>Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, "O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste."

Christian apologists would say Muhammad got Mary the mother of Jesus, confused with Miriam the Sister of Aaron and Moses. A commentary would help clear these silly misconceptions up.

u/haqr · 3 pointsr/islam

I would suggest this translation:

It is organized with paragraphs making it easier to follow, and is one the best translations

u/longresponse · 3 pointsr/islam

Try MAS Abdel Haleem's translation of The Quran. It's very smooth to read:

If you have any questions, try your local mosque or feel free to ask your questions here.

u/imafighter · 3 pointsr/MuslimNoFap

Salam, peace be upon you,

I've been in your situation before. Questioning the existence of God, Islam, and so on.... My suggestion is to go to a sheikh that you trust and talk openly about your questions and concerns. They are very valid and normal to experience such questions. After all, Islam is built on questioning and inquiring which strengthens our faith.

Second, read the first opening chapters of this Quran interpretation from Oxford University. It covers a lot of the arguments you are hearing with their corresponding Quranic evidence.

Third, check out the various talks on YouTube:

Hope this helps you brother

u/WarOfIdeas · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

For my class in Intro to Islamic Scriptures they had us purchase The Qur'an A new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem.

u/shadowrh1 · 3 pointsr/islam
u/Mac8v2 · 3 pointsr/unexpectedjihad

I am Catholic and learned most of what I know about Islam though university classes and independent research. I can give you a list of books I have read about Islam that will get you started.

Oxford English Koran
Obviously the primary text is important to have and the book is pretty small. Much smaller compared to the bible.

Hadith of Bukhari: Volumes I, II, III & IV

Half of Islamic law is derived from the Koran and the other half from the Hadith. The Hadith is the collection of events, and quotes by Mohammad and his followers. This book is huge and you shouldn't try to read the whole since it is just list quotes and who they are by. But it is a good reference source and something to page through.

Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources
Biography of Mohammad using historical sources. Good reference.

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

Brief 350 page run of Islamic history until now as told by a Muslim. I felt the book was a bit preachy and accusatory towards the end but I read it 6 years ago so my memory might be hazy. Still a good read if you want to try to understand how mainstream moderate Muslim scholars see things. It has a good bibliography too.

There are probably a bunch of other ones I am forgetting. Take a look through Amazon and see what else they have. I would only buy books from university presses or published by academics though. They can be dense and difficult but they are peer reviewed which is important since there is so much anti-Islam, pro-Islam publishing out there.

u/Exxec71 · 3 pointsr/islam

You'll have to forgive me I'm neither the most knowledgeable, intelligent or even the best choice as a role model. I am only someone who wants to help even if its weighted in terms of an atom.

In the name of the most gracious, the most merciful.

You won't turn into an imam overnight unfortunately however we are humans and intended to err. It is by design we commit sin, the only difference is those that ask for forgiveness afterwards. You seem to intend well and fortunately you have a goal which is miles ahead of some of your peers. In my experience (yes I have highs and lows) starting with the simplest thing than work your way up. First and foremost should be porn. That's a abyss without end so be extra careful. Try to quit slowly and inshallah days turn to weeks and on. As in try to maintain yourself for a bit then if you err your err but double your efforts next time. Fast if you have to until you succeed one day so on and so on. Second Start praying just the morning prayer than work your way gradually up but don't drag your feet and don't push too hard. Allah may give you a hard time now but thats only to lesson any punishment and possibly reward you. Your young and inshallah have a long and prosperous life ahead of you. Your fear of Allah probably stems from a lack of knowledge however you wanting him to be happy is something to think about. I say spend some time reading the Quran. A easy translation like oxfords MAS abdel haleem. If its okay with you I'll buy you a kindle copy. Educate yourself by reading some of the background info on chapters in the Quran then work your way up. There are free online courses or you can consider applying to the Zaytuna institue. Only You can hold yourself back. May Allah forgive us both and grant us patience, knowledge and save us from even the mere warmth of hellfire.

Edit: Typos and some wording.

u/Comrox · 3 pointsr/islam

I have read it. I would suggest reading a different translation with commentary if you want to get an understanding of what the average Muslim thinks and believes. People like Edip Yuksel, Sam Gerrans, Rashad Khalifa, etc., put forth much different views.

I started out with The Qur'an by MAS Abdel Haleem. AFAIK many people here really like this translation.

u/WheezingIntrovert · 3 pointsr/islam

I was thinking of this one any good?

u/joyfulunion · 3 pointsr/islam

We make the distinction that the Quran is only in Arabic. But the best, easiest (because it uses simple, current, non classical English) Quran Translation for me is by this one by M A S Abdel Haleem. I think there's a pdf if you google it.

u/PotentialRevert1 · 3 pointsr/islam

Well, I can't speak a lot of Arabic (I can say a handful of phrases and that's only because of what I remember from a trip to Egypt and Qur'an recitation), my translation of the Qur'an is this one by MAS Abdel Haleem:

It's in modern English, quite easy to read (and incidentally is the one recommended in the sidebar). But there aren't much in the way of footnotes, I believe for footnotes you'd be well off to have this translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali:

It's in a more archaic form of English, but has extensive footnotes and also has the Arabic alongside the English.

I hope this is of help to you In'Sha'Allah.

u/ruinmaker · 3 pointsr/bestof

While I won't dispute the veracity of the post, calling someone on BS when they say they've read the Quran seems strange. What am I missing here:

Quran: 502 pages

Bible: 1002 pages

Of course, different versions will have different size fonts, page counts, etc. Heck, the Quran you're thinking of may have included the Torah, Zabur, Injil and other holy texts but the Quran could just mean the Quran. If so, reading both that and the Bible at an early age is hardly exceptional.

u/bornagaindeathstar · 3 pointsr/islam

I recommend the Abdel Haleem's translation for beginners. It is pretty easy to read.

u/RDS · 3 pointsr/conspiracy

Ishmael (and the rest of the series) by Daniel Quinn opened my eyes in my senior year of high school.

It's about a Gorilla, who has lived beside man for a number of decades and teaches a pupil through stories and analogies about how we are already at the cusp of civilization collapse. It's about a lot more than just that, namely the relationship of humans, animals, the planet, and how humans have a unique, egotistical view of themselves where we deemed ourselves rulers of the planet.

Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins is an eye opener as well.

Other great reads:

Magicians of the Gods by Graham Hancock.


UFO's by Leslie Keen

Siddhartha - Herman Hesse

I also really enjoyed the Myst series by Rand & Robin Miller (the books the game is based on). It's about worlds within worlds and an ancient race of authors creating worlds through magical ink and books (sci-fi/fantasy).

u/LevantineJR · 3 pointsr/slatestarcodex

You said you "don’t believe in [reincarnation or] paranormal forces." ... Every time you do a links post, "I am very careful to double- and triple- check everything, and to only link to trustworthy sources in the mainstream media, a couple of my links end up being wrong."

You also [said](, "there are concept-shaped holes you don’t notice that you have."

There are mainstream sources that suggest you have a paranormal-concept-shaped hole. I'll list some of them. To make it clear at once: the words "must-read" or must-watch" make me feel like fainting. I don't believe in such "must"-s. In addition, I myself have not read the books I'll list. I'll point them because whenever I choose to avoid looking in a certain direction, I wish for a dry account of what's there, and here I want to give you what I wish for myself.

  1. “First UFO related book I've ever heard of that isn't batshit and actually puts an emphasis on the historical significance of the subject rather than lending credibility to insane theories that have no grounds in the real world. An objective look at objectively documented and cataloged phenomena and how the government(s) responded.” “a calm, rational, sober, scholarly approach to analyzing some of the best government reports on record” – say the reviewers of this book: link
    The author is a retired professor in natural sciences explicit that his studies have made him believe in the paranormal: his blog.

  2. A mainstream journalist has collected testimonies about UFO encounters from generals, pilots and government officials from several countries: link

  3. A former policeman collects mainstream media reports of cases of people's disappearances that are intractable and challenging to the basic modern notions of how the world works: [link]
    ( Whenever an author who is grossly wrong becomes popular, there appear people who explain why he is wrong. This author has risen to popularity almost a decade ago and I'm yet to see any substantial attempt to debunk him.

  4. [EDIT: added to end on a lighter note:] When Whales and Humans Talk

    Well, that's enough, for what it's worth.

    Can you say in a few words what makes you disbelieve in the paranormal?
u/Ancapitu · 3 pointsr/brasilivre

Sim, eu também acho bem mais provável serem sondas.

> Sem contar que NENHUMA tentativa de perseguir um dos OVNIS até hoje resultou em combate, manobra evasiva, fuga ou qualquer coisa que seja condizente com um ser vivo pilotando as aeronaves.

Não exatamente. Tem um caso de 1976 no Irã em que um objeto fugiu de um F4 da Força Aérea Iraniana quando ele tentou se aproximar.

Na "Noite Oficial dos OVNIs", ocorrido aqui no Brasil nos anos 1980, os caças que foram acionados tentaram fazer trava de radar nos objetos, mas estes realizam manobras evasivas impedindo o disparo.

Existem mais casos de objetos não identificados reagindo aos movimentos de aeronaves terrestres. Alguns muito bons estão documentados no livro UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record (o único que li sobre o assunto, e me surpreendeu pela qualidade).

Mas mesmo que eles reajam às ações dos pilotos, não necessariamente significa que sejam tripulados.

u/Singular_Thought · 3 pointsr/exjw

Here is an excellent book on the subject. It is written in a manner that avoids all of the conspiracy BS and sticks to the facts. It offers evidence such as radar tracks and former military people who witnessed events.

u/kzielinski · 3 pointsr/DebateReligion

Your example suggest that you don't understand what the unmoved mover argument is about at all. Its not about how the universe started, but rather why change is possible at all.

Try reading this book, in between ad hominem attacks against prominent atheists, Feser actually explains the Unmoved mover argument very well.

u/EcclesiaFidelis · 3 pointsr/DebateReligion

This objection you've brought up is not new. For a detailed introduction to Classical Theism, I would recommend Edward Feser's The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism. Feser also has a post on his blog that talks about this, although the post assumes the reader already knows some fundamentals of Classical Theism that you may not know.

Another good thing to check out is this blog post on the Aristotelian Argument for the Existence of God. In short summary, if we admit that there is an "unmoved mover" or purely actual actualizer that sustains everything in existence at any given moment, then we must also attribute what Scholastics have called the "divine attributes" to it - that is, it is immutable, eternal, immaterial, incorporeal, perfect, fully good, omnipotent, intelligent, and omniscient. The arguments for why this is the case build upon each other and take a lot of reading to understand, so that's why I recommend checking Feser's books out, since he often writes with an atheist crowd in mind.

If we work from the Scholastic conception of God, that rules out many possible religions, such as paganism or Eastern religions like Hinduism. It doesn't, though, prove that there is any divine revelation, however looking at the attributes which we can philosophically discover about God, the only revealed religions that make the most sense are Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Deism could also be an option, although it depends on which variation you're talking about (the clockwork god of the Enlightenment thinkers would not fit make sense in a Scholastic framework). From that point on, I would say only other kinds of evidence, whether historical or experiential or otherwise, can bring one to believe that God has revealed Himself somehow.

u/Citta_Viveka · 3 pointsr/Meditation

Because philosophy didn't make me happy the way I thought it would, so I started looking for other things. I found this obscure book 'Zen and the Art of Postmodern Philosophy — Two Paths of Liberation from the Representational Mode of Thinking.'

That showed me that a whole civilization out there was busy living outside of their thoughts (Zen), while I had been living inside my thoughts in the belief that that was the height of sophistication ('a life of the mind, how classy!')

So I started small, with Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and just slowly read and met more teachers and practiced what seemed to get me out of that 'life of the mind' that I had been stuck in the whole time.

u/HarambeBerlusconi · 3 pointsr/Libri

Ci sono diverse scuole buddiste con diverse interpretazioni dei sutra di Buddha e con pratiche diverse: le varie tibetane (più teorici ma anche meditazione), le varie scuole zen (più meditazione e koan), buddismo del s-e asiatico (mix strano), ecc...

Ti consiglio qualche titolo, magari leggili tutti, se leggi in inglese dovresti trovarli facilmente.

  • Joyful Wisdom - E' più un'introduzione alla meditazione molto discorsiva che altro ma introduce anche i concetti più importanti del buddismo (relativismo, impermanenza, quattro nobili verità) in modo semplice. [tibetano]
  • Buddhism without Beliefs - Ex monaco(tibet/zen coreano) di origini occidentali fa una critica costruttiva del buddismo tibetano, proponendo un approccio "secolare", in Confession of a Buddhist Atheist l'autore racconta la sua storia. [tibetano]
  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Introduzione al buddismo zen, meditazione, molto bello. [Soto zen]
  • Qualcosa di Thich Nhat Nahn tipo La pace è ogni respiro, tutti libri molto discorsivi (evita magari quelli con i titoli più banali) che più che parlare di buddismo introducono il modo di pensare. [zen s-e asia,vietnam]
  • The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching - Altro libro di thn molto teorico con rimandi a diversi sutra. [tutte le scuole]

    Magari inizia da Zen Mind e Joyful Wisdom.
u/KeepItCovered · 3 pointsr/zen

I would like eventually to be able to handle the non-secular Buddhism, part of the mess I got myself into was convincing myself there is no god. I like that Buddha didn't take a stance on it.

No. I saw your post; I saw your post history; I'm having a pretty good time with my understanding of Zen and Zen practice, but I'm only a month or so in. I was hoping for someone who appears to me to be critical of Zen, you could offer an alternative based on your understanding. I know I could disembowel a Buddhism tradition to create my own, but I felt ... you would be a good person to ask.

I've been to the local zendo, and the lay practitioner told my wife that the sutras they chant "they don't believe in the words." I mean, if you don't believe in the words, why bother saying them?

It seems hard to meet with the teacher, and ... I don't understand why you would want to. My understanding of Zen is everything comes from zazen, which seems to me to be the same kind of enlightenment the Buddha received. If that's true, what are the teachers for? If the teacher is important, how often should you talk to them to help your practice? The zendo near me, it looks like you need to spend 3 months of practice before formally meeting with the teacher. Is that reasonable?

Zen is very mapless. Meditate and you will arrive eventually. Do this one thing with a singular focus. Trust it.

Contrast that to .... Daniel Ingram (yes, I understand most everyone fucking hates this guy), ... who literally has a map of the terrain.

I have no interest in group study, other then maybe a circle of friends, of which, I'm the focal point.

I've never in my life learned well from other people talking to me, I'm more of a read the book, test it out, kind of person. I'm reading this currently

I like doing zazen, I'm starting to understand why it would be advantageous to focus single minded on breath and posture, asymmetry is nice, not being worried about perfection is nice, and being continuously in the now is nice.

Do you think I can get the above with Zen?

u/3rdUncle · 3 pointsr/Meditation

Meditation is amazing. Usually instructions for beginners say that it's best to start by focusing on your breathing. Watching every in and out breath as if it were the most important thing in the world. Since you can watch your body, it can not contain you-the-watcher. You discover, as you already have, that you can watch your thinking mind and again, since you can watch it, it can not contain you. So where and what are you? Some meditation guides, like zen, suggest you keep your eyes a tiny bit open, without focusing on anything, because if you close your eyes, you get drift away from reality and according to zen, the purpose of meditation is to experience pure reality prior to conceptualization. It's important to remain grounded and to avoid abstraction. Watching the breath is a good technique for remaining grounded in reality. Congrats on a great beginning. Check out Shunryo Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. In this book, he calls the thinking mind "small mind" and the observer mind "big Mind". It provides a good starting point but you can read it over and over and get more out of it every time.

u/vorrumba · 3 pointsr/lakers

“Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” is a book Phil often cites and has give players. I think this is what you’re referring to.

u/milkyway9 · 3 pointsr/LSD

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman, he talks about microdosing which I have found to be awesome.

u/Werecow19 · 3 pointsr/Psychedelics

Thank you for sharing your story. I would suggest reading the Psychedelic Experience by Tim Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner (link below). In its comparison of the psychedelic experience to the philosophies of Tibetian Buddhism, the book provides a good explaination of the experience you had and why you are stuck there.

The Psychedelic Explorers Guide is also a modern work that explains things from a more Western clinical perspective. When you better understand how different personalities and neurosis then you may experience a beneficial change in perspective for what you went through during and after those trips.

I don' think you are dealing with a slip in reality, it is a slip in identity and you havn't fully reclaimed your grip. Beyond that book, I urge you to go deep into the Eastern philosophies surrounding identity - that is the direction you need to go.

Take care, I hope you begin to heal soon. Feel free to PM me with questions/concerns.

The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Citadel Underground)

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

u/jimmycarr1 · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

You can try this book:

There is bound to be some info on MAPS or Erowid somewhere if you do some searching.

If you prefer some human contact but don't want to pay a professional, then I am quite happy to guide you through an experience some time if you'd like. I'm a tripsitter on Tripsit and I have helped a few people through this sort of thing before, although arguably it won't be as beneficial as a professional therapist or shaman would be.

u/jlmeredith · 3 pointsr/microdosing

I highly recommend reading this book if you have not already. My wife and I have been working with Dr. Faidman's treatment recommendations for 4 years off and on now. My longest period of 4 day Cy le dosing was 18 months. Now I dose 1-3 times every couple of months. I usually try to tie my dosing with the full moon as I seem to be unusually affected by full/new moons. The cycle of DOSE/REST/REFLECTION/DOSE (4 days) has worked well for me.

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

u/trippinglydotnet · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

Start with: How to Change Your Mind (start with this detailed annotated summary). The pop culture starting point these days. The summary is all you need to read to understand the entire book but the book is well worth the time.

After that you'll have more ideas where to do. Below is a lot of stuff. I've watched/read all of them, so happy to answer any questions/give more guidance.


Study the "classics" by taking a look at these (skim the long ones to start):

Seeking the Magic Mushroom (first western trip report on mushrooms)

My 12 Hours As A Madman (another historically important trip report)

The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based On The TIbetan Book of the Dead (classic book on guided trips)

LSD My Problem Child by Albert Hoffman

Al Hubbard: The Original Captian Trips


Docs to Watch:

The Sunshine Makers (documentary)

Orange Sunshine (documentary)

Aya: Awakenings (documentary)

Dirty Pictures (documentary)

A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin (documentary)

Hoffmans Potion (documentary): r/"


And a whole lot of others:



The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide – James Fadiman
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction – Gabor Mate
Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream – Jay Stevens
Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from clinic to campus – Erika Dyck
The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem – Andrew Weil
Acid Hype: American News Media and the Psychedelic Experience – Stephen Siff
Acid Dreams: The complete social history of LSD – Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain
Drugs: Without the Hot Air – David Nutt
A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life – Ayelet Waldman
Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain – Nicolas Langlitz
The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America – Don Lattin


Terence McKenna discusses the stoned ape theory

A Conversation on LSD – In a video from the late 1970s, Al Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Humphry Osmond, Sidney Cohen and others reflect on LSD’s heyday

Alison Gopnik and Robin Carhart-Harris at the 2016 Science of Consciousness Conference

The Future of Psychedelic Psychiatry – a discussion between Thomas Insel and Paul Summergrad

Documents, Articles & Artifacts

Al Hubbard’s FBI file

Remembrances of LSD Therapy Past – Betty Grover Eisner’s unpublished memoir about her role in developing psychedelic therapy

LSD, Insight or Insanity – Transcript of excerpts from hearings of the Subcommittee
on the Executive Reorganization of the Senate Committee on Government Operations [concerning federal research and regulation of LSD-25] May 24, 1966

The Brutal Mirror: What an ayahuasca retreat showed me about my life —A Vox writer’s first-person account


Forums Includes experience reports, discussion of spirituality, ecology, healing, and recovery by means of the vine are collected here. A place to learn from members of ayahuasca churches, as well as a few foreign language channels.

Bluelight: A 20 year old online harm reduction forum that fosters open and factual discussion of drugs and provides support for those seeking recovery from addiction.

DMT Nexus: A hub for underground psychedelic research on botanical sources of tryptamines and other psychedelic compounds.

5Hive: A newer forum devoted specifically to 5-MeO-DMT — synthetic, botanical or toad-derived.

Mycotopia: All things mycological — discussions of edible, wild, and psychoactive fungi.

The Shroomery: A forum  devoted to cultivating psilocybin-containing mushrooms and sharing trip reports.

TRIPSIT: A 24/7 online harm reduction resource.  Users can chat instantly with someone about their drug experience, or questions they may have about about the safe(r) use of a wide variety of controlled substances.

u/badkittysmiles · 3 pointsr/LSD

Youtube, if you can!

Make a throwaway or an unlisted stream/video.

If you're a gamer, that's an easy activity to partake in. Otherwise, you can follow the Psychadelic Explorer's Guide and set up a few questions for yourself now that you could work through while tripping. Things that you may want to explore about yourself, those around you, those in the world.

If you're a problem solver by career/nature, maybe prime yourself with some difficult puzzles/programming challenges/financial quandaries and try to delve into them while tripping. You may get quite a bit of insight and gain a creativity in regards to solving said challenges.

Or just pump iron while reacting to some interesting podcast! Who knows what could be interesting to do for you and to watch for others!

u/DigitalMindShadow · 3 pointsr/TripSit

I would recommend that you get a copy of this book and use it to prepare yourself. It's written by a psychedelic researcher from the Sixties who carried on his work even after it was banned by the federal government. It's filled with lots of great information about how to make the most positive and productive use of psychedelic drugs.

u/Senseoffendr · 3 pointsr/microdosing

To this date, there are no fully controlled empirical studies on the subject of microdosing. The only research that's has been released are excerpts from Jim Fadiman's pseudo-qualitative study. You can read about those in his book "The Psychedelic Explorers Guide" or on ResearchGate.

But I know that some institutes are heavily discussing conducting fully controlled neuro-based research on microdosing and will probably start around late 2017.

u/1337sh33p · 3 pointsr/gamedev

It would seem /r/gamedev is not the most receptive audience to such questions... That and the fact that you aren't asking anything specific.

To the haters, there has been at least one study: Psychedelic agents in creative problem-solving: A pilot study. showing psychedelics (specifically acid) can aid creative processes.

I would suggest taking a look at the Psychedelic Explorer's Guide; it's an evidenced-based look at safe practices for using psychedelics both for spiritual ends (parts 1-2) and creative problem solving (part 3). Specifically it lays out how to organize your environment so you can actually achieve things while using psychedelics (referencing the above study).

I don't have any tips for game design specifically, but I imagine that you'll get much better results brainstorming ideas rather than actually working on development problems, but you never know... reduced short term memory can be a bitch though.

Beyond that I think the book is your best bet, since unfortunately little research has been done on these topics because of restrictions and it's been a little while since I was actively studying such things myself...

you might have more luck reposting to /r/askdrugs or /r/psychonaut, but tbh I don't expect many over there will have done much gamedev (then again, you never know).

Hope this helps

u/aoflex1 · 3 pointsr/atheistvids

I love Anthony's method, which is an application of Peter Boghossian's book. I'd love to try this method the next time I speak de novo with someone about religion. It's so soft yet cuts through all barriers if applied correctly.


u/atheistlibrarian · 3 pointsr/atheism

Read A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian. He walks you through using the Socratic Method to help someone examine their own beliefs with a critical eye. Rather then pointing out the flaws in their reasoning, you'll be coaxing them into figuring out what they are on their own.

u/skafast · 3 pointsr/atheism

If she said you're not allowed to be an atheist, that means she's still planning on forcing you to go to Sunday School. Not much you can do about that in the short term, but if you want to play spy, read Boghossian's "A Manual for Creating Atheists", check out /r/StreetEpistemology/, and plant some seeds of doubt over there.

u/slipstream37 · 3 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist
u/TouchedByAnAnvil · 3 pointsr/atheism

quickly googles for Sam Harris new book - here it is: The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

But it says it will be available in October 2010 :(

u/completely-ineffable · 3 pointsr/DebateReligion
u/redroguetech · 3 pointsr/atheism

Yes... And...? Did you expect someone on the internet to provide you a dissertation? If so, see here and here.

edit: Just BTW, you actually say you agree... "yes society says that, and drugs being bad is pretty much objectively true by most peoples definitions"

u/Wevok · 3 pointsr/SquaredCircle

When George Bush dies some people will celebrate and they will be either right or wrong to do so, I'm not going to debate either side on that but there is a right answer.

Killing is sometimes wrong and sometimes right depending on the situation.

I believe that there are situations too morally ambiguous to ever get to the bottom of, but there is always an answer. I'm not gonna get too deep on philosophy on a fucking wrestling forum (how did I get here again?) but a lot of my views on this issue were influenced by The Moral Landscape. If you haven't read it and these conversations are interesting to you I would recommend it.

u/ritmusic2k · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

This is the central thesis of Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape. Not exactly that there is an objective morality... but that science and rational inquiry are better tools with which to answer questions about how to maximize human wellbeing. Excellent read.

u/ManShapedReplicator · 3 pointsr/DebateAChristian

> If you deny this, then I don't see what "objective" basis for morality you could possibly have. All morality would simply be relative to the observer, and the idea of "evil" would be meaningless.

Have you actually looked into different kinds of non-theistic morality? Shelly Kagan does a great job of demonstrating the basis and validity of atheist morality in this debate with William Lane Craig.

Also, Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape goes into the subject of morality with God very in-depth.

Theistic claims of morality are only "more objective" if you accept a laundry list of extraordinary claims that are not supported by evidence (e.g. the idea of a personal God, divine inspiration of scripture, etc). Many people find humanistic, scientific, reality-based systems of morality to be much more "objective" and valid.

u/christgoldman · 3 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

> The idea that the mind is in some way non-physical.

The mind is a product and an element of the physical brain. It may not be concretely tangible (i.e., you can't hold a mind), but that does not mean it is not a part of the physical universe. Physics explains the mind quite well, actually. The neurons in our brain are developed in compliance to the laws of physics and biology, the neurochemicals in our brain are physical substances, and the electric currents in our brains that communicate signals between neurons operate in compliance to the laws of physics.

Evolution also provides insight into the development of consciousness. While, sure, humans are the only terrestrial species with advanced enough consciousness to develop religious and philosophical ideas, we know now that many animals have forms of consciousness and proto-consciousness like what we would expect if humans evolved consciousness from simple origins. The mind is perfectly explainable through naturalistic sciences, and our naturalistic model of human consciousness makes predictions that are falsifiable.

I'd suggest reading Steven Pinker's How The Mind Works. Here's a talk he gave on the book. I'd also suggest his The Stuff of Thought, The Language Instinct, and The Blank Slate.

I'd also suggest Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape. While it's main thrust is to show how science can inform morality, it offers some pretty decent layperson explanation of consciousness, and it is written by an accomplished neuroscientist (whatever your opinion on his religious works may be). His pamphlet-esque Free Will also covers some good ground here.

> All able-bodied humans are born with the ability to learn language.

Not at all true. You can be able-bodied and learning disabled. There was a nonverbal autistic student at my middle school years ago who ran track. Trivial point, but still incorrect.

> I would argue humans also have a Spiritual Acquisition Device.

I would argue that this argument is SAD. (pun; sorry.)

You're positing a massively complex hypothetical neurological infrastructure to link human brains to a divine alternate universe or dimension that has never been shown to exist. Not only has this neural uplink never been observed, but it is entirely unnecessary, as neuroscientists and psychologists have a perfectly functional, testable model of consciousness without it. You're adding a new element to that model that is functionally redundant and untestable. Occam's Razor would trim away your entire posited element out of extraneousness and convolution.

u/stopitbrrruce · 3 pointsr/grammar

it was! i almost went full Lisa Turtle

u/Dumpmaga · 3 pointsr/politics
u/bumbadeen · 3 pointsr/ShittyChangeMyView

Nobody seems to have told Lark Voorhies. She's a comma freak.

u/pertnear · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Lark Voorhies True Light

It's basically unreadable rantings of a schizophrenic.

Lisa Freaking Turtle. Sad.

u/EpistemicFaithCri5is · 3 pointsr/Christianity

I like some of his writings, and in particular find his short Free Will to be useful in refuting materialistic naturalism. When someone accuses Christians or religious more broadly as being a belief in "magic" I often refer them to Free Will to show them that even naturalists believe in "magic" when they believe in the existence of free will.

I haven't read his more seminal works like The End of Faith or The Moral Landscape, but I'm deeply skeptical of his background in philosophy and in particular his apparently unfamiliarity with the is-ought problem.

u/tessarect · 3 pointsr/determinism

Sam Harris - Free Will

Also, his presentation of the same content.

Both are excellent! He talks a little bit about a proof for determinism (however, I find it caters to people who already accept determinism). He also debunks the idea that determinism is incompatible with ethics/law.

u/Corruption555 · 3 pointsr/samharris
u/haha_thats_funny · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

So far, my thinking has led to be believe these are core things I aim to achieve:

  • Intense focus and concentration
  • Highly increased ability to learn
  • Highly increased ability to unlearn
  • Better (in terms of efficiency and a better correlated model to the things I'm thinking about) abstract thinking
  • Achieve a better and faster (read: more efficient) way to analyze and think about things
  • Meta-cognition


    > The 4 Hour Chef

    Very interesting. I've actually been taking cooking courses on Rouxbe (presumably the best online cooking school).

    > Moon-walking with Einstein

    I actually bought this book recently. I'm been developing my mental palace, which got me interested in this book. I plan to read it, but is second to my current book I'm reading on Epistemology, Prometheus Rising. It's quite interesting because the book has a list of exercises to better understand the contents of each chapter, and I've already meditated for over an hour by chapter 2 as it's exercises have requested. Regardless of the book, I've been putting in at least half an hour a day.

    I agree with you that exercising seem to the the key.

    > Shamata-meditation

    There are a variety of <something>-meditation it seems. How would one go about finding the best type?
u/186394 · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

Prometheus Rising and Quantum Psychology. There's pdfs around the net of most of his stuff.

u/BookBookRead · 3 pointsr/books

Thank you for this. A link to Wilson's book HERE for other people who haven't heard of it.

u/EuphoricCookie · 3 pointsr/zenbuddhism

I found this book to be very helpful and I hope that it helps you too, though it does pivot on an agnostic look at Buddhism I think it will still be useful to you. I hope this helps in some small way.

u/ultrantoday · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

I'm not a very experienced Buddhist, but I am an experienced agnostic! I started with Buddhism without Beliefs by Stephen Bachelor

I've bought it for several people too, and they've liked it.

u/SaintSorryass · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

There is not really a single text that would be the equivalent to the bible. There are lots of different texts of Sutras (teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha) and most of them do not still exist in an original translation, and can't really be traced back to him. There are lots and lots of other writings that different traditions believe, are, or are not canonical.

The most core teaching in any tradition is probably The Dharmacakra Pravartana, or the The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma Sutra.
The first sermon of the Buddha after enlightenment, containing the four noble truths.

In Mahayana, and particularly in the Chan or Zen schools, some of the most important texts are the Lotus Sutra, and the Diamond Sutra. I have no Idea if these are decent translations, just the first I found, and again, this is just my second hand knowledge from particular monks, in a particular monastery, in a particular sect of the religion.

I personalty, (as an atheist, but with some interest in the actual practice of Buddhism) would recommend Buddhism Without Beliefs. The monks did not like that book much.

u/prepping4zombies · 3 pointsr/Meditation

Robert Wright's book "Why Buddhism is True" is a great place to start.

If you are looking for help applying the concepts to your life without the religious trappings, the ABT program is excellent.

And, if you want to dig a little deeper into Buddhism and see it from a secular point of view, Stephen Batchelor's "Buddhism Without Beliefs" is excellent.

u/Bilbo_Fraggins · 3 pointsr/Christianity

The problem which Buddhism is as soon as the Buddha died, there was a power vacuum, a power struggle, and the winner declared his ideas as the new dogma.

Then a few hundred years later, people said they had knowledge the Buddha hid from most of the world because they weren't ready for it, and started their own branch which returned all the crazy metaphysics from hinduism the Buddha rejected.

See also and for more.

Religions always seems to follow similar paths, no matter who starts it, or for what reason.

u/kjdtkd · 3 pointsr/Catholicism

So what is your problem with it specifically? The argument itself isn't really a 'disproof' of God (indeed, it says so itself), but more of an argument against one specific argument for God. Now I didn't read the 25th point, so maybe this is mentioned there, but the DNA proof for God is essentially a rehashing of Paley's watchmaker argument. While some Christians do believe this, it is actually not based on the same philosophical grounds that Catholicism uses and is founded on. Edward Fesser (someone mentioned his blog already) is a good philosopher to read if you are really interested in this. Particularly, his book The Last Superstition covers a very basic introduction to this, and specifically talks on the flaws of Paley's argument, and how it isn't one that the Catholic Church makes. It's a good read, although I have to say it isn't very charitable to atheists (maybe rightly so, maybe wrongly so) and uses some pretty strong language against them.

u/luvintheride · 3 pointsr/DebateReligion

Thanks for saying so. First, Intellectually for skeptics to go from non-belied to from/theism, Dr. Ed Fesers books are a great start. Particularly this one.

The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism

The book goes through how superficial many arguments against God are. They are like speed bumps. If you slow down, you'll find they really don't stand up to scrutiny and are easy to get over.

Feser's journey was much like mine. He summarizes it in this short interview:

For Catholicism, Catholic Answers, Sensus Fidelium, Wcbohio,,, Bishop Barron, EWTN, AskAPreist, r/Catholicsm and many others. I was a total skeptic so I watched many debates which you can find on protestant channels like Dr. James White. Everything I found historically and logically supports that Jesus actually founded the Catholic Church on the office of Peter, with apostolic succession. Good ole Pope Francis is 265 down from Peter. Popes are servants, not rulers and there were some bad Popes in history. They never corrupted the official teachings though. The first followers smelled like fish and a few were former prostitutes. We've been making His church look bad from the beginning. One should focus on the Doctrines, not the sinners who run the Church.

u/bslorence · 3 pointsr/Catholicism

I discovered classical philosophy, which is to say the system of thought developed by the greatest of the pre-Christian, pagan thinkers of Greece (principally Plato and Aristotle), and refined and recruited into the service of theology by the greatest Christian theologians (principally St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas).

This system of thought was largely a given in the West in general until about the 17th century, and remains a given in much Catholic theology. It posits a basic metaphysics (i.e., a set of fundamental philosophical principles) without which it is exceedingly difficult to make much sense of anything at all. These principles are not simply asserted but rather are the result of a long tradition of careful reflection and refinement.

Among many other things, the classical philosophical tradition holds that three things quite pertinent to religion can be known with certainty by reasoned argument: (1) the existence of God, (2) some of God's attributes such as omnipotence, omniscience, and eternity, and (3) the immortality of the soul.

If you spend some time reading Edward Feser you can get a fantastic and easy-to-read layman's introduction to classical philosophy. In particular he has two books for beginners, one non-snarky and one quite snarky.

u/Midwest88 · 3 pointsr/Catholicism

Fuentes is good for some things, like fighting SJW's. He's well-meaning when he defends his Catholic faith, but definitely isn't that competent at it. He's more well-read on political philosophers (he even states this in his earlier vids), so like many, many young Catholics he has a lot to learn about his face on a philosophical and theological standpoint to better understand and defend it. This is not to say that he isn't worth listening to, just to be aware of his strengths and what he needs to work on (of course what's stated above is my own observation; you may think differently).

I haven't read every comment directed to you, but if it hasn't been listed I'd say look at these to become a staple in your "spiritual warfare toolbox":

  • Purchase a rosary. I got mine at Learn how to say the rosary and try to incorporate it every week for a month then daily the next (like a spiritual/praying workout). Get it blessed by your local priest.
  • Purchase a scapular (various colors means different things). Get it blessed by your local priest.

    Books/Lit (if you have the funds):

  • Bible (I suggest the Douay-Rheims or Knox translation)
  • Baltimore Catechism
  • The Last Superstition by Ed Feser

    Also, read/listen to stories about atheists who turned Catholic:

  • John C. Wright
  • Leah Libresco
  • Holly Ordway
  • Jennifer Fulwiler
u/Vixon0 · 3 pointsr/Conservative

Although Muhammed was a blood thirsty war monger, he did unify dozens of tribes for several centuries, allowing some for some premier Arab scientists to flourish (Al-Khwarizmi, Al-Biruni, Al-Razi, etc.).

But that's where the use of the religion should end, to unify those barbaric tribes, it has no place under modern standards of human rights and living conditions.

I, of course, have no idea how to de-radicalize the religion completely, although I'd recommend looking at Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue by Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz

Personally, I'd start by allowing in only refugees who are willing to integrate into Western life, those who are willing to not necessarily leave all their traditions, but be able to co-exist into the West without issue, it might be the best way to start.

u/jty87 · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

Buddhism isn't about becoming empty of emotion. The heart of the Buddha's teaching is transforming suffering into peace, joy, and liberation. There's even a book!

u/kukulaj · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

I really like as a good introductory book.

It's great to go to practice with a group, but even better if possible is to go practice with several groups, to get a feel for the variety of the traditions within Buddhism. You can then pick the one that feels best for you. Also, as your practice evolves, maybe you will start to feel a bit stuck somehow, and you will know about other groups that might help you get unstuck. Really Buddhism is like a vast toolbox or medicine chest. Use what helps you. As you evolve, your practice can and should evolve.

u/yawa_throw · 3 pointsr/psychology

I can identify with many of the replies to this post, so I wanted to share some personal insights that have helped me tremendously with these existential anxieties/depression (although I still struggle with them). Please excuse me if I'm not as well-spoken as others here, but I'm not a native speaker and... even worse, I'm an engineer.

First, you have to realize that this kind of existential anxiety has been recognized as part of the human condition by many philosophers and thinkers from almost the beginning of our recorded history. So, even though it is true that it can be hard to find peers to whom you can talk openly about these problems, and who will understand you from personal experience, this is not true if you count the experiences of the thousands of persons who had exactly the same feelings and have written about them. Of course they all had their own experiences, insights and solutions which may not apply to you, but it would be stupid to think that there is not some valuable wisdom to be gained from these thousands of years of tradition of thinking about these issues.

I don't want to elaborate too long about all the things out there, neither do I want to force my own opinions on others, but here are some personal recommendations:

  • Albert Camus (as mentioned numerous times in this thread)
  • Herman Hesse - Siddhartha
  • I recommend reading any good book on the history of philosophy that sticks to a few pages per school/person to get a good overview of how people have been approaching these issues throughout history. You can just skip all the guys who where thinking about irrelevant shite that has long become obsolete because of modern science. I have used Joachim Storig's excellent book for this, although I think it is only available in German, Dutch and Spanish.
  • If you consider yourself more of a deep physical/metaphysical thinker and you think these practical philosophies are not relevant to your issues or too superficial, try the following approach:
    • get at least a limited understanding of the following fields of science: quantum physics, systems theory/cybernetics, some neuroscience, the problems of mathematics (i recommend the graphic novel logicomix as an easy to read and interesting introduction)
    • read about Buddha's (Siddhartha Gautama's) life and how he developed his philosophy/doctrine. This guy is extra relevant because he made existential anxiety the core of his practical philosophy (This is often misunderstood because 'dukkha' is somewhat misleadingly translated as just 'suffering'). I highly recommend Osamu Tezuka's graphic novel, Wikipedia's Buddhism template, Alan Watts talks on Buddhist philosophy, or any basic introduction to buddhist concepts such as this one. While doing this keep in mind that he was just a regular spoiled-ass prince who was really smart, had too much time on his hands and was suffering from the same existential anxieties as you are. Try to really understand his philosophy (especially non-self, impermanence and nirvana) in the context of modern science, and be amazed at how well it holds up (hence the interest in Buddhist thought among physicists and neuroscientists).
    • ???
    • Profit!

      Peace and good luck y'all.
u/clearing_ · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

This is maybe a broad adoption of a lot of concepts with debatable or more nebulous meaning. I had good luck with What the Buddha Taught as a simple introduction to Dharma concepts.

Regarding the cup:

>Scholar Tokusan--who was full of knowledge and opinions about the dharma--came to Ryutan and asked about Zen. At one point Ryutan re-filled his guest's teacup but did not stop pouring when the cup was full. Tea spilled out and ran over the table. "Stop! The cup is full!" said Tokusan.

>"Exactly," said Master Ryutan. "You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can't put anything in. Before I can teach you, you'll have to empty your cup."

u/GeckoDeLimon · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

Here you go.

I am also a lazy person, but at least I'm lazy and on my PC. ;-)

u/poorbadger0 · 3 pointsr/askphilosophy

There is a slight irony to seeking an explanation to whether or not everything requires an explanation.

Putting that aside, one might need to be clear on what exactly an "explanation" is, especially when it comes to figuring out questions of "purpose". Once we are clear on what exactly explanations are, then we could compare those conditions with human capabilities or the human condition. But if we just take our intuitive understanding of an explanation, the question you pose is somewhat ambiguous. Are you asking whether or not humans have the capacity to understand or explain everything? Or are you rather asking, is there an explanation for everything, outside of human understanding (if such a thing is possible). If what you meant is the former, from an evolutionary perspective, one could argue there are limits to human understanding. Human beings as subjected to evolution are built in a particular way for a particular set of environmental conditions. Just as we have limits to how high we can jump, due to the structure of our bones and muscles etc., perhaps we have limits to what we can understand about the world (limitations on the structure of our brain for example). Indeed this is a line of thought that Noam Chomsky has expounded especially in reference to the mind-body problem. You can find some of his writing on this topic here, and a lecture here. Chomsky makes a very interesting claim. He claims that when it comes to what we take as our most fundamental understanding of the world, the ideas expressed by physicists, we have already given up on understanding the world, and instead have settled for understanding our theories of the world. He also assumes that when it comes to understanding the physical world, our criteria for intelligibility is something like the old philosophy of mechanism. If we can't see how something works in terms of colliding billiard balls, and a series of parts like that in a watch, then we can't "understand" it. Colin McGinn has a similar take when it comes to the mind-body problem as well.

If what you are asking is the latter question, i.e. is there an explanation for everything, outside of human understanding, i'm not sure where to refer you to, as i'm not sure I understand the question. Maybe what you are asking is, can something exist, like the green bottle on my table, but not have any reason or explanation for why or how it exists on my table? Not that it has an explanation that I as a human cannot understand it, but that it lacks an explanation all together, even in the eyes of God we might say. That i'm not sure about, so hopefully someone else can help out here.

This SEP article on Scientific Explanation or IEP article on Theories and Explanation, may be of interest.

>"koan" which is like a paradox that the mind is eager to understand but which is impossible to get a specific meaning

This reminds me a little of Albert Camus' characterisation of the human condition which he labels Absurd: the conflict between the desire we have to understand the world and find meaning in it, with our inability to find such an understanding or meaning. You may be interested in his book The Myth of Sisyphus, although it's not exactly an easy read, and will be something you will probably have to return to multiple times. Or watch Gregory B. Sadler's short series on the book here.

>Many buddhists claim that you don't have to seek for a purpose and apparently they don't have any meaning at all.

From my understanding of Buddhism, which is limited to the book What the Buddha Taught, and a 10 day Vipassana retreat, Buddhism does expound a purpose to human life, and that is the attainment of nirvana, the cessation of dukkha, and there is an ethic that goes along with it.

u/sporkubus · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

As others have said, meditation is probably the best way to really "get" Buddhism. But if you're just looking for some good books:

In The Buddha's Words - an anthology of short selections from the Theravada Buddhist canon. This is probably about as close as you can get to the Buddha's actual teachings.

What the Buddha Taught - no fluff, just the core teachings.

When Things Fall Apart - this is a little fluffier than the other two, but an absolute classic and must-read for all, Buddhist or non. The author explains the most complex and difficult to accept parts of the Buddhist worldview in a penetrating, easy-to-grasp way.

Others mentioned Alan Watts, Stephen Bachelor and Brad Warner. Their books might be worth checking out, but keep in mind that each author writes with a more personal and less traditional lean than the ones I mentioned. Not that there's anything wrong with that, obviously, but if you're trying to learn about Buddhism... starting with them would be a little like learning about Catholicism from a Protestant.

edit: Forgot to add links.

u/LarryBills · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

What the Buddha Taught by Walhola Rapula is excellent. It is often (and highly) recommended.

u/HyperboreanEchoes · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

Buddhism does have pretty strong currents of Asceticism (not in the self harm sense, so no worries there. The Buddha criticized that stuff a lot) so being able to follow strict rules will be important if you care about taking it seriously, but the rules are not too hard to remember.



I think Zen as a tradition focuses the least on rigid scripture, but I could be wrong about that.


As for books, I always recommend "What the Buddha Taught" as a good introduction. It's short and to the point.


It's cheap too.

u/thansz · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

I would recommend What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula. Whatever you go with, enjoy the journey.

u/tikael · 3 pointsr/atheism

>For instance, nobody desires to be a true sociopath (ie: physically and chemically cannot feel good or evil), and those who are true sociopaths... well... many do not function well in society. Like it or not, what God defines as good... really is good

That is not a sociopath. Sociopaths lack empathy, but they may be acutely aware of societal norms. Jon Ronson just wrote a book about socio/psychopaths. I would suggest you read up on the Euthyphro dilemma. We can debate all day about the meaning of "good", but the god in the bible is not it. Condoning rape, commanding genocide, condemning though crime, those are the acts of the god of the bible. Those are not in any way good. If you want to know a little more about modern views of morality you should read up on the evolutionary causes of morality. Sam Harris wrote a very good book about it recently

>How much evil should God get rid of divinely?

Well, none of it according to the bible. Isiah 45:6-7 (Young's literal translation but you can look it up in whichever version you like)

>So that they know from the rising of the sun, And from the west, that there is none besides Me, I [am] Jehovah, and there is none else, Forming light, and preparing darkness, Making peace, and preparing evil, I [am] Jehovah, doing all these things.'

u/websnarf · 3 pointsr/atheism

Atheism asserts no absolutes. Fail.

Morality is an interesting topic, upon which theists are uniquely unqualified (ref: crusades, adolph hitler, the current pedophilia scandals, telling Africans not to use condoms, opposing civil rights, opposing feminism, opposing gay rights, opposing emancipation). A well known atheist named Sam Harris has written a whole book about this called The Moral Landscape which addresses the question better than any theist ever has. (Though I don't claim its a complete answer.) These are actually not matters of logic at all, but are currently in the philosophical or early cognitive science phase.

I assure you I don't need to learn anything about philosophy. Though you might need a little remedial on logic.

u/haleym · 3 pointsr/atheism

In case anyone else committed the blasphemous sin of forgetting one of the Four Horsemen's first names like I did (it's Sam, btw) or are just too lazy to Google the book:

u/sharplikeginsu · 3 pointsr/atheism

You might want to check out A Manual For Creating Atheists. He describes a good framework for having these sorts of discussions.

u/aw232 · 3 pointsr/exmormon

I'm fairly sure that /u/alyosha3 is using techniques described in the book Manual for Creating Atheists.

It's a fantastic read and will help you understand that the base problem with TBMs is that they value faith above evidence and instead of piling on easily dismissed facts, you should attack that foundation.

u/Ohthere530 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Peter Boghossian argues that in arguing with such deluded people, it's best to step back from the details of what they claim and ask how they know what they know. (The philosophical term for this question is epistemology.)

His point is that digging into the detailed claims themselves will just drive you batty. Things will go in circles.

If you focus on how people know what they know, you might be able to lead them into a place of less certainty. That's not all the way to believing what you do, but it is a necessary first step.

u/GradysGhost · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian, which is unfortunately titled because it's not really about atheism. It's about epistemology and how we know what we know and how we can check that we actually know what we think we know. I get the sense that the title of the book was chosen to generate some controversy and probably target a particular market. It's only about godlessness to the extent that that's one conclusion drawn from proper epistemology. He makes the point that it applies equally to beliefs about out of body experiences or alien abductions or vaccines causing autism.

u/BigCircleK · 2 pointsr/exmormon

This! I'm reading Boghossian's 'Manual' on street epistemology right now. It's helped me have calm, rational discussions with my TBM family members when it comes to faith - because it ALWAYS comes back to faith.

Edit: link

u/garbonzo607 · 2 pointsr/exjw

Thanks for the kind words. If I wrote a book it would likely turn out to just be a copy of this one, replacing a few of the words with "Jehovah's Witnesses", etc. and I don't want to be sued for plagarism. 😆

I'm sure asking for more book recommendations on the topic would prove fruitful.

Where is that video? I can't find it. I just don't want for you to get your hopes up. Peter Boghossian has years of experience and he says it's really rare to wake up a believer. All we can do is try.

u/dante50 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Peter Boghossian is a scholar who teaches at Portland State University and he is getting ready to launch a book in November called A Manual for Creating Atheists. He's not so much out to disprove God as much as he is about improving critical thinking and challenging the way people of faith "know" certain things. If you're interested in an argument for spreading skepticism, look him up.

I dig what he has to say and am eager to read the book.

VIDEO: Jesus, The Easter Bunny and Other Delusions: Just Say No!

VIDEO: Peter Boghossian at Imagine No Religion 3


u/Autodidact2 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Read this book. It explains exactly how to talk to people such as this kid. He would say something like, "How do you know?" or "How did you become a Christian?"

u/baronvoncommentz · 2 pointsr/atheism

Why don't we remove the parts of the Bible that condone rape or genocide? (Pick some passages from from both the new and old testament to have ready).

Read up ( and walk in ready to talk about the problem of faith as a means of knowing anything at all.

u/ReasonOnFaith · 2 pointsr/exmuslim

A great resource that has taught me tons, is "The Atheist Debates Project" run by and featuring Matt Dillahunty. Watch the episodes for free on YouTube. I'm a patron to support the excellent work that Matt does.

Further, you can see these ideas in action, by listening/watching the podcast/YouTube/live stream of the Internet TV show, "The Atheist Experience". Some callers aren't interesting, but some exchanges are just gold.

I myself have written a primer on beliefs and labels to help introduce one to the landscape. Read that to understand the concepts. View the links in the green resource boxes to dive deeper into any subject. Watch the debates linked to, to see how others argue the material.

Just be a sponge for this. Prop up you iPhone in the bathroom and play debates while you brush your teeth or in the kitchen as you scramble your eggs. You'll get in an extra 30+ minutes a day of absorbing this content.

To learn about how best to get people to think without ever really arguing, but instead, using the socratic method to get them to think about their own positions, read the book (or listen to the excellent audiobook), A Manual for Creating Atheists. Based on these techniques, you can watch Anthony Magnabosco as he approaches people and politely asks them questions to get them to think. This technique is called Street Epistemology.

Finally, go through the Philosophy playlist on YouTube, from the channel Crash Course. They do an excellent job of introducing a lot of the concepts and terminology involved in philosophical argumentation--which is what all of this comes down to.

We need more people who educate themselves and can speak intelligently to the issues. So thank you for taking an interest. This is an awesome journey. Welcome.

u/KyOatey · 2 pointsr/atheism

If they force you to keep going to the same therapist (even if they don't), here's a book you might find useful:

It talks about "street epistemology" which is basically asking questions of believers (such as your therapist) to get at why they believe there is a god. You can also find some good videos on YouTube that demonstrate how others do it.

If your therapist is giving answers like "it's hard to wrap your head around," perhaps her belief is not as strong as she thinks it is. Show her you're truly "exploring both sides" and make her answer why you should believe god exists - because you want to believe what's true. It may rattle her faith just a bit. She may even get uncomfortable and suggest you change therapists.

u/46Romeo · 2 pointsr/atheism

I naturally never want to do anything that would cause my mother undue pain, and my revelation at this most inopportune time was definitely a mistake.

As far as continued discussion of the reasons why my brother and I rejected religion, I have never sat down and discussed this with her. I dare say I may never do so, unless invited by her. For as evil as I feel religion is in the public sphere, and as ridiculous as I find its teachings, I am loathe to bring to her the internal struggles of my late adolescence.

In all honesty, my parents have now moved on to a much more liberal Methodist congregation, and I don't feel religion is harming them all that much. Their new church runs the local food pantry, a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, feeds children lunch all summer break, and will pay for anyone's utilities or rent to avoid homelessness.

I have now convinced them of the soundness of evolution, that climate change is real (how is this even wrapped up in religion?) and that science in not the boogieman.

If the genie is out of the bottle - so to speak - with your mother, I would recommend reading Peter Boghassian's A Manual for Creating Atheists. Chapter 6: After The Fall deals with this exact issue. He talks of replacing the definiteness about death with wonder and love for family, etc.

Dan Barker's Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists might also help. Chapter 19 - Life and Death Matters would be a good place to start. While the arguments against religion made earlier in the book may have been better stated by other authors, he is an excellent source on replacing faith with meaningful purpose, as he was a minister for so long.

Best of luck, and if you need any help, I'm just a PM away.

u/DornImFleisch · 2 pointsr/exjw

Take your time to detox from the indoctrination.

Regarding your wife: Only use questions here and there. Google for the Socratic method or watch videos from Peter Boghossian

I recommend this book:

u/TheoriginalTonio · 2 pointsr/atheism

[this book] ( tells you how to deal with religious people

u/epwnym · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

>Or places with suggestions for "things you can do to fight theism and religion" that are likely to make a real difference in the world.

Read this book: A Manual for Creating Atheists

u/touchmystuffIkillyou · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Read Boghossian's book. It has what you're looking for.

u/K0ilar · 2 pointsr/atheistvids

just ordered the book A Manual for Creating Atheists. Really loking forward to it!

u/window-sil · 2 pointsr/samharris

One of the speakers has a book out, called A Manual for Creating Atheists.

u/FadedGenes · 2 pointsr/exjw

A Manual for Creating Atheists is not directly an anti-cult book, but its logic is highly applicable.

u/stainslemountaintops · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Edward Feser is the author you're looking for. He's a philosophy professor who converted from atheism to theism due to purely logical reasoning.

You can read his conversion story here, it's definitely worth reading.

I suggest you either get his book The Last Superstition or Aquinas. Both are relatively clear and easy introductions to the proof of the existence of God formulated by Thomas Aquinas, along with the metaphysical background.

If you don't want to buy/borrow/pirate these books, you could also check out this lecture Feser did (he starts talking at 2.20).

If you don't want to spend an hour listening to the argument he puts forth, you could also check out the subreddit /r/cosmologicalargument, see here for an index of the posts explaining Thomas Aquinas' "First Way".

Of course neither of these last two options is an adequate alternative to reading a real book, but if you don't want to read a book, they're better than nothing.

u/youcat · 2 pointsr/atheism

I read his book a long time ago and thought it was great. I don't know what he's like as a debater but from memory, his book was solid. If you're looking to check out apologetics "from the other side", I'd also recommend Feser's The Last Superstition. I haven't read it yet but it's well-known in Catholic circles to be one of the best books written against atheism (tied for #5 on our sub's top 20 books). Someone also recommended this book to me recently, you might want to check it out.

u/Chief_Stares-at-Sun · 2 pointsr/TrueChristian

The Last Superstition by Edward Feser is fantastic approach from philosophy.

u/ReallyLikeFood · 2 pointsr/KitchenConfidential

Well first off, figure out your goals and seek out a position that best aligns with them.

Second, and very importantly during the day-to-day work, enough caffeine to kill a small child.

Finally, this book can teach you a lot about getting the most from difficult situations.

u/AnimalMachine · 2 pointsr/books

There are several popular 'flavors' of Buddhism, but unfortunately I have not read any general overview books covering all of the sects. Most of my generalized knowledge has come from podcasts like Buddhist Geeks and Zencast. Gil Fronsdal and Jack Kornfield are both enjoyable to listen to.

But back to books!

The most accessible Zen book I've read was Nishijima's To Meet The Real Dragon. Other overviews like Alan Watt's What Is Zen and Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind are good but a little obtuse.

And while I can't give it a general recommendation because the writing style isn't for everyone, I really enjoyed Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up.

Of those mentioned, I would go with To Meet the Real Dragon unless you prefer a much more informal style -- then I would pick Hardcore Zen.

u/GumGuts · 2 pointsr/depression

Opening the Hand of Thought and Zen Mind, Beginners Mind have both been very helpful to me. Especially the second one, but the first one is a little easier to understand.

In Zen, there's sort-of an oddity. How-tos are often blended with Introductory texts. Both of those books have sections that describe the practice of Zazen more then sufficiently enough to begin.

There's also the r/buddhism and r/zen subreddits, which both have plenty of helpful recommendations and explanations.

Good luck :)

u/not_yet_named · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Describe the Four Noble Truths? I sometimes like looking at Wikipedia's simple english version of pages to get good, short overviews of things. I don't think that description of the first step of the Eightfold Path is very good though. The normal english article is better for that one, but other than that it's a good summery.

Many Zen teachers express things differently. They might not go into a lot of detail or focus on lists and texts as much. There are also some differences. For example under Right Action, some Japanese Zen lineages allow monks to marry and have families. In general though all that page will still apply to Zen.

Zen is pretty hard to learn on your own. Koans, which are things you might call spiritual questions, make up a lot of the practice in a lot of Zen, and to practice them you pretty much need to be working with a teacher. I don't know of any good resources that I'd recommend for learning to practice Zen on your own.

If you'd like a good book to learn about Zen from an scholarly point of view this is a good one. It's only going to teach you about Zen, like things you'd learn about the subject if you took a college class. It won't teach you how to practice Zen. If you'd like a book that isn't from an academic point of view this is a nice one, but still, it's not really going to teach you how to practice Zen.

u/where_is_jhyde · 2 pointsr/zen

thanks, I will. i have my own reading materials.

u/In1micus · 2 pointsr/stopdrinking

An old guy who lived in China has a great answer for this question:

>Meet the ancestral teachers, be familiar with their instruction

Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage - translation by Daniel Leighton

Basically, learn from other people. The Zen teachings are based on the writings of masters going back to the 5th century. However, these writings aren't particularly accessible. Luckily, we are currently living through an explosion of Buddhism in the west and there are many teachers that explain these ancient concepts in a manner that westerners can understand easily.

Here are some recommendations for entry level, western-targeted Zen books:

>Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Shunryu Suzuki

Suzuki Roshi was one of the earliest Zen masters to immigrate to the United States back in the 1960's. His teachings are very simple and fundamental. He gets at the very heart of Zen in a concise, plain manner. This book is a collection of transcribed Dharma talks he gave in California during the 60's. It is likely the most well known book on Zen in the west. It is short and clearly written, making it one of the best places to start learning about Zen.

> The Miracle of Mindfulness - Tich Nhat Hanh

Tich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen monk. He has been a huge contributor to the spread of Zen in the west. He has established practice centers in France, New York, California, Mississippi, and Germany. This book is a practical guide to bringing Zen practice into your life. He offers a lot of analogies that make you take a step back and think about the way you live your life. Another short and accessible book.

> Inside the Grass Hut - Ben Connelly

Ben was my guitar teacher for many years before he introduced me to Zen. He is a Zen priest in the lineage of Dainin Katagiri, the founding abbot of the Minnesota Zen Mediation Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This book is a study of the poem I have linked and quoted above, The Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage by the 8th century Zen master Shitou. It was extremely useful book for me when I was at my darkest point. Ben distills Shitou's somewhat arcane parables into a simple, practical set of recommendations for living a life that will free you of suffering. Ben offers a lot of insight into incorporating Zen practice into a modern lifestyle. Like the other two, it also short and easy to read. This is a great introduction to what a lot of historic Zen writing is like. I think it is a particularly useful book for people struggling with addiction. Ben had some trouble with alcohol himself and I believe he is 10+ years sober.

Those are some great places to start, but you can read all the books you want about Zen and not get the picture if you don't meditate. Meditation is the foundation of Zen and all of Buddhist practice. The great thing about meditation is that you can do it on your own just about anywhere. The Miracle of Mindfulness gives a good description of how to meditate. There are also plenty of free resources available online. There are many ways to meditate and it is best to find one that works for you.

A daily mediation habit is not an easy thing to develop. Similar to abstinence, it takes discipline and commitment. I still struggle with it myself. It is, however, the best way to fully realize the benefits of Zen. Some things that might help with this is to find a Sangha to practice with or download an app like Headspace. Having a community to practice with has been the biggest help in getting me on the zafu. Doing something with other people makes it easier to do, a little bit like how this subreddit works. Headspace is really popular, although I have not used it myself. It can be used to track mediation sessions and work towards mediation goals. The app that I have found useful is MindBell, but really it's just a glorified timer. The last thing I would recommend are the guided meditations by Jon Kabat Zinn. JKZ is a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and has conducted many clinical studies on the benefits of mindfulness in medicine and healthcare. He is a long time practitioner of Zen and has written several books about his work. I haven't read much of his work, but I have utilized his guided meditations extensively. I particularly like this body scan one. Even when I was at my most depressed and couldn't find the strength to get out of bed, I was able to get myself to queue this video up and follow along. There are a lot of other guided meditations floating around the web. I also like this one by Sam Harris that's only 9 minutes.

Zen is not necessarily an easy thing to get involved in. It requires a commitment of time and it is not particularly fun or pleasurable. However, any level of Zen practice will produce concrete rewards. If you have any question, I am always available for answers.

u/LobasaurusRex · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Come join us over at [/r/meditation] ( It'll keep your reddit browsing a bit more mindful.

As a personal recommendation, a great book, and guide, on a keeping a clear mind is [Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind] ( by Shunryu Suzuki. Being in the present isn't a destination, it's a practice!

When you find yourself thinking too much about the possible futures and mistakes of the past, just breathe in and breathe out, and focus on that. Nothing like some oxygen to remind the mind and body where it is (right here).

u/tdolsen · 2 pointsr/Drugs

If you want something a little more in-depth, can I recommend The Psychedelic Explorers Guide by James Fadiman.

u/gamyak · 2 pointsr/shroomers

Entire books have been written on this subject and all of them agree that several factors go into making a trip insightful. Some of these factors are: set, setting, drug, dose, and guide. Unfortunately for you, 1.25g of cubensis isn't great and since you are doing this tomorrow and still asking for advice, you probably don't have a great set or guide. That leaves you with making sure you have one hell of a setting. Really though, just have fun tomorrow. If you want a more insightful trip, do a bit of reading up on the subject, start meditating, and give yourself plenty of time to make sure everything is set up just right before your next trip. By the way, here is one of me favorite books on the subject.

u/ptntprty · 2 pointsr/GetMotivated

You're welcome.

For a user's guide, you might look into this book.

I haven't read it myself yet but it's known to be a good resource, and the author is well regarded.

u/pigpeyn · 2 pointsr/PsychedelicTherapy

I haven’t gotten to this yet but it sounds like it could help:

Jim Fadiman’s Psychedelic Explorers Guide

u/buttercupbride · 2 pointsr/AmItheAsshole

NTA - I take a micro dose of psilocybin for my bipolar, PTSD and various other things. I’ve spent my whole life on various awful prescribed chemical drugs that have never worked but given me terrible side effects.

It has changed my life. My husband and my parents all know and support me. My Mum said I’m a different person (for the better).

Try reading some more about it:

But yes be careful who you tell. I understand the need to talk to friends but this is a very unknown subject still and people are extremely judgemental. TV hasn’t helped by already glorifying it and there are huge misconceptions about LSD.

Also in my country (the UK) it is illegal so there are risks. I took part in a study. The medical establishments are researching and getting there but it’s too slow and I had run out of viable options for my mental health personally.

To anyone considering doing this please do your research and be very careful. I’m not encouraging anyone else to do this without careful consideration and assessing the risks. I researched this for months before I started it as I had never taken LSD before and was petrified.

Edit: changed stared to started for spelling doh!

u/clararockmore · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

Set = the user's mindset, beliefs, mood, expectations about the drug experience, etc.

Setting = the physical environment in which the drug experience takes place, which can consist of the location, objects in the space (art, plants, furniture, etc.) smells or sounds, music, and other people/beings that are in the surroundings.

Check out James Fadiman's Psychedelic Explorer's Guide if you're interested in learning more. He goes into a lot of detail about different things that contribute positively and negatively to set and setting. Lots of his work is geared at therapeutic/spiritual drug experiences, but it's very useful information even for personal/recreational use to help direct your trip as you'd like.

u/shallowbookworm · 2 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

You'll enjoy this, The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, it's also on Hoopla, the free library ebook and audiobook app.

u/Taqiyya22 · 2 pointsr/australia

You should have a therapist you take it with. I would recommend reading the "Psychedelic explorers guide" and having a copy on you as well, it's a book for therapists to properly guide people through psychedelic trips

u/windupgodzilla · 2 pointsr/psychedelicsupport

I don’t know much about courses but, if you haven’t read it, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide by James Fadiman might have some of what you’re looking for.

Also, the Zendo Project occasionally does training courses. I was too slow in signing up for one in June at Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in NY and it sold out. Next time.

u/47themessenger14 · 2 pointsr/Drugs

Lol, yeah. I'm apparently a glutton for psychological punishment. I had another unresolved BPM II type experience about a two years later, again completely by accident, lost my marbles while laughing at my cat. I discovered the BPM model a few months after that and suddenly a million light bulbs went off in my head. I tried to replicate Stan Grof's experiment's a year and a half after learning about it and AGAIN, unresolved BPM II experience, and that one was probably the worst because 1) I had taken a HUGE dose that time thinking it would help [IT DOES NOT, --just enough-- is perfect ~200µ] and 2) I fully allowed the LSD to work me over because that was my intention. Neither I nor my guides fully understood what we were doing and I experienced the most harrowing six hours (read: one million trillion years) lying on my bedroom floor. One of my guides claimed she could see my carotid artery just about jumping out of my neck quite rapidly.

Eventually I was able to bring an LSD session to resolution, but I used the Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman as the guide book. Stan Grof's work is excellent and provides a good model for interpreting the experience but is really written from the interior of the trip. The 6-stage model used by Dr. Fadiman is much more written for the guide and extremely easy to follow. The guide is 90% of the trip, only 10% the voyager.

Resolution of a high dose experience is more than worth it if you don't have a risk of serious mental health problems and have the balls to carry it out. Since I did it feels like the wheels of life have been greased. I'm much less liable to be angry, it's much much much easier to build rapport with people who believe differently than I, enjoying and staying in the present moment is much easier, and I feel like I understand my purpose in life.

Thank you so much for your interest. I think learning about the theoretical models used for psychedelic experience can vastly improve one's psychedelic experiences.

u/shiekhgray · 2 pointsr/atheism

If you're leaning towards trying to talk him out of it and want some resources, I'd highly recommend reading Peter Boghossian's "A Manual For Creating Atheists" I just finished reading it a few days ago, and it talks you through using the Socratic Method. The main idea is that you just ask pointed questions until the arguments fall apart and look silly. You never ever state what you want them to believe, you only ever offer alternate possibilities, and even these you just ask if they are reasonable possibilities or not.

Obviously, he's his own man and might be too tied up with this girl to react to reason, hormones are strong, strong things. But approaching life with reason instead of faith is the best we can do, and it follows that helping others to do so is the best for humanity. Good luck with whatever choice you make!

u/hackdefendr · 2 pointsr/atheism


Check out this book...

It has some interesting insights on how you may be able to achieve what you are wanting. Ultimately, finding a way to make him give reasoning for how and why he believes what he says....and never give them any information to which they can formulate an answer. Force him to explain it to you...and just maybe his beliefs will intersect, thus causing him to doubt his own words.

Then you walk away and let that seed grow.

u/korsair_13 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Have you read "A Manual for Creating Atheists"? It's really good and shows a method that is completely different from debate. The author, Peter Boghossian, illustrates why debates don't work with religious people (they don't believe based on evidence, but on faith) and shows how you can instead target the foundation of their belief and assist them in realizing that it is a flawed system for forming beliefs. The method doesn't actually require you to know anything about arguments in order to demonstrate the flaws.

Here is the link to the book on amazon.

And here is a link to a channel of a guy on youtube who puts it into practice. Have a watch of some of them and see if either party comes away frustrated or worked-up.

u/Astramancer_ · 2 pointsr/atheism

I haven't read this specific book, but maybe a book on epistemology?

u/busterfixxitt · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'm currently reading through Peter Boghossian's "A Manual for Creating Atheists".

He has some excellent points on why we should get people to leave faith behind. Not religion, but faith. If we can get more people valuing evidence, that can only be a good thing for society.

u/XtotheY · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Keep trucking. I'm curious if you've used any of the techniques from Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists?

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).

>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.

>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/vriendhenk · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

You [should read this book] (, it taught me to argue a bit more structured, not make statements but ask very difficult questions.

Being blunt and honest at the same time, seems to scare the posers(most of them that come in groups) and make the true believer actually think about the validity of things he or she believes and question [faith as a method of getting reliable information] (

u/czah7 · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Watch this video first

And if you really want. Buy this book

What you should know is you may ostracize yourself from friends and family if you attempt this on them. I would first have light conversions simply asking what they believe and why to gauge how open they may be to a discussion. Don't just start with these attacks on their beliefs.

u/swiskowski · 2 pointsr/vegan

Read A Manual For Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian. Talking to people about God is an entirely different subject. If they are using theism to prop up their decision to eat meat you have to address theism.

Also, watch some of Peter's lectures on YouTube. He teaches to debate/question/query not about facts but rather how one knows what one knows. Theism is based on faith which is an unreliable method for arriving at truth. Illustrate that to be true, or better yet, ask great questions so that your subject discovers it to be true and theism will crumble.

u/lurk_moar_diaries · 2 pointsr/TiADiscussion

This reminds me a lot of how people talk about trying to de-convert people. They try showing them evidence of how a particular religion is false, but no matter how much they push the point home the person they're talking to doesn't listen.

(Here's a concrete example for that: Consider someone who believes in a literal interpretation of Noah's Flood [God creates the earth, doesn't like what people are doing, decides to drown them all in a global flood, chooses one man {Noah} and his family to build a boat and collect up 2 of each animal into said boat, they float around on water covering Mt. Everest for 375 days, all animals depart to repopulate the earth]. This story has a list of problems so long in boggles the mind, but ask how Noah and his family simultaneously kept the penguins cold and desert foxes hot without refrigeration, keep the carnivores from eating the herbivores, or whatever else and you get a whole raft of rationalizations if they don't just claim you hate god or are an agent of the devil sent to deceive them.)

What I've learned so far about this problem is that it requires a different approach than facts and evidence. It requires instilling a sense of doubt in what one knows, and how one knows it and modeling an intellectually honest framework for answering such questions.

In the religious example how one knows the truth of claim x is usually answered with faith. They have faith that god helped Noah in every way he needed to get that boat stocked and taken care of. And how do they know their faith is true? To put it one way: They know that they know that they know. It is felt with the same level of conviction that one has asking if they exist.

I hope this was helpful without rambling too much. I am mostly taking from A Manual for Creating Atheists Which I found to be a useful source of information about changing people's minds even outside of religious contexts.

Edit: Please know I'm not trying to hassle anyone about religion here. There are goals worth banding together for and finding ways to help get people out of toxic and counterproductive mindsets is one of them.

u/brennanfee · 2 pointsr/PoliticalOpinions

Firstly by not using labels. Labels suck anyway.

> perhaps part of the reason people fall in line with all the positions of a particular party is that it's just easier that way

That's partly the reason, the other reason is that we only have two parties. So, in essence you aren't making a "positive" choice but a "negative" one instead. One may not agree with everything Blue but are certainly against Red for instance.

Funny clip:

If we had a greater variety of parties you would find people gravitating to ones that believe more of what they believe. That, however, is a pipe dream given our current electoral system so no sense talking about it.

I'm not going to talk about any of your other beliefs or points as we could be here all day (both those I agree with and those I don't). But instead stay with your philosophical angst.

> And yet, l have a low opinion of the modern left.

My only advice is this. Don't do what labels are intended to do... box people in. When confronted with someone who claims to be a Liberal, or a Libertarian, Conservative, Democrat, Republican, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, or whatever... don't foist your understanding of what they then should believe onto them. For every person, in every instance, and on every topic you have to ask.

Learn to ask open questions rather than closed questions. Questions like, "Do you believe X" are ok, but even better is "What do you believe?" Rather than, "Do you believe X about immigration", "What do you believe regarding immigration?". The open questions will always produce better results. Often times you will "catch" them in a contradiction, and that's ok. Don't rub it in their face, simply ask them about it as kindly and gently as you can. Make them consider their position through your questions. Don't try and change their mind but instead reconsider... to think. Providing them data sometimes help although a lot less than you might think. The mistake many, including myself, make is that we feel that the person we are talking to is merely ignorant of the facts. But it turns out that when it comes to beliefs, especially personal beliefs, facts are much less important than you might think.

Your goal should be to get to know the person, not the label. This technique is called Street Epistemology and you should look it up if you are interested. It can be done with varying degrees of success, I am still struggling with some aspects of it myself. Here is one of the books that founded the technique:


u/proudly_godless · 2 pointsr/atheism

The Satanic Bible by LaVey is currently a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Seems like there's a lot of good stuff in there.

u/Dr_Karate · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Who? Satan? You mean like this?

u/SystemFolder · 2 pointsr/satanism

According to Amazon, it is exactly 0.7 inches thick and 272 pages long. It's a quick read, though; especially if you're reading it to gain an understanding rather than an intense study.

The Satanic Bible

u/Foxkill2342 · 2 pointsr/funny

Holy crap it was a lot cheaper when I bought it.

u/son_of_creation · 2 pointsr/infp

Cool, have you read The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor Lavey?

u/irreleventuality · 2 pointsr/JUSTNOMIL

My First Book of Mormon Stories?

Bhagavad-Gita for Children and Beginners?

The Littlest Satanic Bible? Looks like the Satanic Temple has a kid's thing, but it's already been linked.

Prepare her for a world full of Fnord with The Itty Bitty Principia Discordia? Hmmm... Can't seem to find a kids version of this.

I know! I know! Teach her about the ways of Slack with The Book of the SubGenius: The Sacred Teachings of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and its companion Revelation X: The Bob Apocryphon, Hidden Teachings and Deuterocanonical Texts of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs! They don't have a kid's thing either, but such is life! (This SubGenious stuff is. a. hoot.)

u/Rubenick · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I have tons of graphic novels on my lists :P don't know if they count as "books"... but those are also my favorites to read :) Batman all the way :D

But in the spirit of Halloween... I have the "Black Bible" (aka satanic bible) on my wishlist O_o... And no, I'm not a Satanist ;) I just find all the occult and demon stuff interesting and I think it would be a interesting/scary thing to read :D

u/ThesePantsShafe · 2 pointsr/atheism

Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion will be a good one to start with.

u/Nicoon · 2 pointsr/atheism

If you visit the book's Amazon page, you can click the cover to get a preview of the book's contents. I suggest you read through its table of contents as that will give you a rough idea what the book is about.

If you've seen Dawkin's talks on youtube, then chances are that you've already been in contact with a lot of the material mentioned in the book. However, the book is a lot more in-depth and I'd say it's still definitely still worth the read.

If you're having trouble finding the motivation to pick up a book, then maybe an audio book could help you along the way.

u/AlSweigart · 2 pointsr/atheism

"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins doesn't really go into anything new or original, but the strength of the book is that is a great, concise summary of all the beginning arguments for atheism.

I'd follow it with Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell", also a good recommendation. Same goes for Carl Sagan's "A Demon Haunted World"

Christopher Hitchens is a bit vitriolic for some, but "God is not Great" has some nuggets in it.

I personally didn't like Sam Harris' "End of Faith" but I did like his "Letter to a Christian Nation".

For the topic of evolution, Talk Origins is great (and free)
Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene" is also a good read (and short). Not so short but also good are Dawkins' "Blind Watchmaker", "Climbing Mount Improbable" and "Unweaving the Rainbow"

u/ceramicfiver · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Funny you should mention that because those studies that the author of the article mentioned were done at the International Culture and Cognition Institute, which specifically examines what parts of humanity are culture driven and what parts are psychologically driven while trying to figure out the dynamics between culture and cognition. Plus, in Dr. Bering's book, The Belief Instinct (which I read) he addresses Richard Dawkin's view of religion as a culture delusion and suggests there's also a cognitive illusion at play too. So, yes, there's no doubt culture involved to add detail, metaphor, story, and character but the core of these ideas are sustained by our innate ability to think about other minds, think teleologically, and our tendency to imagine the mind continuing to exist after the death of the body.

u/ApokalypseCow · 2 pointsr/atheism
u/TheCannon · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Anything Richard Dawkins.

u/snakeseare · 2 pointsr/atheism

At least you know what to get him for Christmas.

u/Mablun · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Why Evolution is True

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

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (free online!)

Guns, Germs, Steel

The God Delusion

Misquoting Jesus (Conceptional this is very compatible with Mormonism--the Bible not being translated correctly so we need the BoM!--but the specifics about what got mistranslated are devastating as Mormonism doubled down on the mistranslated parts. oops.)

Don't even both learning anything more about Mormonism. Just be widely read and you'll soon see that the Mormon version of history is in incongruent with reality. This will cause cognitive dissonance and when you're ready to resolve it, go back and read independent sources about Mormonism and it will be very obvious that the narrative they indoctrinated into you as a child doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

u/cspayton · 2 pointsr/exchristian

Thanks for responding!

I think that there are a few books which have influenced me greatly, but I have a much more expansive list of books I want to read than ones I have already consumed.

To start, you should try the greats:

u/Sigbert · 2 pointsr/atheism

How about putting this book on her desk?

u/Irish_Whiskey · 2 pointsr/religion

The Case for God and The Bible: A Biography by Karen Armstrong are both good. The God Delusion is a simple breakdown and explanation of most major religious claims. Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by the Dalai Llama is an interesting book on ethics. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Cook is 150 funny and insightful pages on Islam. Under the Banner of Heaven is a shocking and fascinating account of fundamentalist Mormonism. The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan discusses religion, and Cosmos and Pale Blue Dot are my secular versions of holy books. And of course given the occasion, I can't leave out God is Not Great.

I recommend avoiding authors like Lee Strobel and Deepak Chopra. Both are essentially liars for their causes, either inventing evidence, or deliberately being incredibly misleading in how they use terms. Popularity in those cases definitely doesn't indicate quality.

u/undercurrents · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Any book by Mary Roach- her books are hilarious, random, and informative. I like Jon Krakauer's, Sarah Vowell's, and Bill Bryson's books as well.

Some of my favorites that I can think of offhand (as another poster mentioned, I loved Devil in the White City)

No Picnic on Mount Kenya

Guns, Germs, and Steel


The Closing of the Western Mind

What is the What

A Long Way Gone

Alliance of Enemies

The Lucifer Effect

The World Without Us

What the Dog Saw

The God Delusion (you'd probably enjoy Richard Dawkins' other books as well if you like science)

One Down, One Dead

Lust for Life

Lost in Shangri-La


True Story

Havana Nocturne

u/Ravenstar · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

1984 - George Orwell

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell - Tucker Max

u/s2xtreme4u · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
u/Jeichert183 · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Leaving the church can be an emotional and harrowing experience especially, if like me, you are a generational mormon. My dad was a convert but quit the church when he bailed on the family but on my moms side my grandfathers family goes back to the pioneers and my grandmothers parents were converts in California during the depression. For generations my family has been indoctrinated in the mormon belief system. I walked away from the church almost ten years ago but it took about four years to come to terms with it. At 40 years old I still have stuff creep up on me out of nowhere. Leaving tscc is a traumatic experience, we lose part of our identity, we lose parts of our community, we lose parts of our family. We have been the subject of generational psychological abuse and coping with that trauma is difficult enough but when we leave we are subjected to more abuse for having left. Leaving the church is a traumatic event piled on top of a lifelong traumatic event. I was able to come to terms with my hangups when, for unrelated reasons, began doing some research into PTSD and began to understand why my upbringing in the church was impacting me long after I left. I would recommend doing some readings on PTSD and overcoming indoctrination, it really helped me come to terms with me.

If you haven't you might want to take a look at Deism which is basically God created the universe and then moved onto other things. Thats right God has ADD.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and God Is Not Great by Christoper Hitchens are great books to read when coming to terms with the loss/end of religion in your life. You don't have to go full on atheist, Dawkins even has 7 degrees of theistic belief, but reading those two books can help understand many things.

u/chicken-nuggets-rock · 2 pointsr/Kuwait

> publishes garbage

Your personal bias is still showing. You're just one random person on the person who dislikes his writing and personally attacks him, calling what he writes garbage without actually providing any single argument as to why that is true. Here's the Amazon listing for The God Delusion with a 4 1/2 star rating from 3,300+ random internet people.

Are you ready to state why his arguments are bad or why he is garbage, or are you just going to continue to use the defense of "he writes about biology, therefore he can't write about philosophy and everything he writes is wrong", like a child?

You only answered half the question. Strawman. Tell me which books from those atheist philosophers that you listed have you read? Just curious, have you even read The God Delusion or have you been indoctrinated to hate Dawkins from secondary sources alone?

This isn't even fun. I wish you would try to bring up quran or hadith sources are try to prove your points rather than bashing a single author. I would love to showcase how contradictory/evil/sexist the quran is. If only you'd try that. And yes, I've read the quran and various hadith and still have half the quran memorized from my childhood. I actually read the shit I'm talking about, unlike you who hasn't read The God Delusion and has been indoctrinated to hate Dawkins and other atheists. Let me guess, you also hate Sam Harris, but haven't read any books by him, right?

u/shapmaster420 · 2 pointsr/jews

read this. make your own decisions. I'm still Jewish and constantly trying to inform myself of more and more and more. At the end of the day people can lead you to information, but it's up to you to decide what you'll read or accept. Judaism is constantly shifting so you might be between sects, not to mention most of the religion is based on different accounts and interpretations of the Torah(talmud, mishnah, gemara, etc).

u/ady_n · 2 pointsr/atheism

Here, read this book to celebrate his birthday.

u/Olliebobs · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

First off, great contest! This is making be realize how much there is in my life to be grateful for. I won't be TOO obnoxious, but I'll name a few.

  1. My parents: They are incredibly supportive and always there when I need them. I'm truly SO lucky to have them in my life.

  2. My dog: Because he makes me feel SO loved. It doesn't matter if I went outside for 5 minutes or if I have been gone for 3 months he always greets me like he hasn't seen me in years and is so glad that I returned. A dogs love is something everyone should experience, imo.

  3. My boyfriend (/u/pendragone01): Because he makes me feel like the prettiest girl in the world and puts up with my craziness even when I wouldn't want to be around me. True love!

  4. My best friend: Because even when we are miles apart, haven't seen each other in months, and haven't talked in days nothing changes between us we are still the best friends ever! I couldn't ask for a better friendship.

  5. Coffee: Because of that warm, happy feeling it gives me whenever I drink it.

  6. My nephew: Because he reminds me that anything is possible in life no matter if you are 2 or 22! And he makes me laugh because a 2 year old is A LOT like a drunk 22 year old.

    Under $15

    Under $10
u/Dilatair_Clear · 2 pointsr/askgaybros

I’m a gay atheist. At first when I finally accepted I was gay, I tried my best to reconcile my being gay with Christianity until I read the Bible cover to cover (OT and NT, New International Version) until I found out the glaring errors, contradictions and repugnant deeds and sayings by God himself, his prophets as well as Jesus Christ and that made me look into more until I found four books that made me realize that the Abrahamic god is a man made one and not someone who is all-powerful and all knowing.

The books are here:
Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of the Christ
Misquoting Jesus
Is It God’s Word?
The God Delusion

u/ResidentRedneck · 2 pointsr/Christianity

>Atheism is not a religion.


>We have no doctrine.

I'm almost positive that that's not the case.

>No creed.

From PZ Myers himself.

>No hymns.

Really? Are you so very certain?

So...are you positive that atheism has not taken on all the trappings of a religion? I would say you even have apostles - Dawkins, Hitchins, Harris.

Finally - I would urge you to look up state atheism and then tell me that certain people didn't kill in the name of atheism.

u/Regina_Phalange26 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'm a little late to the party, but I just thought I'd add my voice.

There are a couple things I would like to say. I'm sure none of it hasn't already been said somewhere here, but I'll just repeat for emphasis.

First of all, hi! And welcome. I'm sure you are feeling so confused and overwhelmed right now. That's okay. There's a lot to take in and consider. Take your time, go at your own pace, and make sure that wherever you end up is a place that is right for you. It's important to always consider what others have to say but that doesn't mean you have to follow what they say. You make your decisions and you determine your path.

If this road you are taking brings you to atheism (or anything unacceptable to your family and/or friends) you do not have to come out before you are ready. Depending on your situation it could be very detrimental to do so before the time is right. If someone will do wrong by you if they know the truth, then you are by no means obligated to give them the truth. And when the right time is, only you can say. Others may be able to help you with it, but when it comes down to it, it is your life and your decision.

And, again, if you eventually begin to identify as an atheist it is possible, and maybe even probable that you will feel angry. Many of us have been through it, or still are going through it. Angry about things that are happening around the world today and angry about things from your upbringing. That is okay too. There are many things we should be angry about. Just don't let that anger consume you. And be sure to still be reasonable. Anger can be a good thing when placed appropriately and if it's kept in perspective. It's a hard field to navigate but you'll figure it out with time and experience.

Don't get so caught up in one worldview that you are stuck in an echo chamber, never exposed to differing thoughts and opinions. Keep an open mind and don't shut things out simply because you don't want to change your opinion or are so convinced of something that you think there's no chance you could ever be wrong. This really applies to everything in life...not just religious beliefs or lack thereof.

I wanted to address you personally, rather than discuss the beliefs because I'm sure you have been given so much to consider and read already. It is likely that everything I have to suggest has already been mentioned, but:

  • There are so many good videos at The Atheist Experience

  • Greta Christina's blog has many wonderful and thought provoking writings

  • "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins is incredible (as is most of his work)

  • Just about any Christopher Hitchens debate on YouTube is fascinating. I also loved his book "God Is Not Great" but if you aren't a reader it may be tiresome and difficult to get through.

  • PZ Myers blog, Pharyngula is excellent as well.

    I could go on, but this post is already so much longer than I intended. So I'll just end on this note: things might look pretty frightening and overwhelming right now, but don't let it scare you off. There is no better feeling than learning and coming to your own conclusions about who you are and what you believe. Especially if you've had those things decided for you your entire life. If you ever need help or have questions, come here. There are many of us who are more than willing to do what we can to help.

    Good luck! :)
u/skythian · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'd highly recommend The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan. It's a transcription of his Gifford Lecture from 1985, but it's a very concise summation of his reasoning and it has some amazing quotes.

Also, obviously The God Delusion.

For others, look at the /r/atheism FAQ.

u/MeeHungLowe · 2 pointsr/atheism
u/in_time_for_supper_x · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

> We have eye witness testimonies.

We supposedly have eye witness testimonies, because almost none of the witnesses (besides the apostles) are named, nor are they alive, and their "testimonies" were recorded many decades after Christ's supposed ascension. Besides that, witness testimonies are not enough to prove that supernatural events are even possible.

> There was a detective who works cold cases, and would convict people of crimes based on people's testimonies. He was an Atheist investigating the case for Christ. He found that the people's testimonies lined up, and he would consider them as viable evidence in court, and he came to the conclusion that it was all real.

There are many authors like this one, who think they have the silver bullet that will prove their religion, be it Christianity or Islam, who eventually engage in all sorts of fallacies and provide nothing of substance. I haven't read this guy's book to be honest (Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels), but I have read other books by Christians who claim that they can prove the "truth" of Christianity. Short summary: they haven't.

The fact of the matter is that these books do not stand to scrutiny. Have you ever read anything written by Bart Ehrman, or other real scholars? They would vehemently disagree with that guy's conclusions.

Bart Denton Ehrman is an American professor and scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is one of North America's leading scholars in his field, having written and edited 30 books, including three college textbooks. He has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman's work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

-- from WikiPedia

You should also read stuff by:

  • Richard Dawkins (i.e. The God Delusion, The Greatest Show On Earth, Unweaving the rainbow, etc.),

  • Lawrence Krauss (i.e. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing),

  • Sean Caroll

    and other scientists if you want to see what science actually has to say about reality and about how grossly wrong the Bible is when it tries to make pronouncements on our physical reality.

    > Why do you not believe in the gospel accounts? They were hand written accounts by people who witnessed an event, or people who spoke to those people.

    That's the claim, not the evidence. It's people claiming to have witnessed supernatural events for which they have no evidence, and even more than that, all these witnesses are long dead. We have nothing but third hand accounts of people from 2000 years ago claiming to have seen or heard wildly fantastical things for which we don't have any evidence that they are even possible.

    Heck, we literally have millions of people still alive who swear that they have encountered aliens or have been abducted by aliens - this is a much better evidence than your supposed witnesses who are long dead by now - and it's still not nearly enough to prove that these aliens actually exist and that they have indeed been abducting people.

    > Some of the things Jesus spoke about is verifiable today. As I have pointed out about the Holy Spirit guiding people, and people being able to heal and cast out demons in Jesus' name.

    Many of Buddha's teachings are verifiable and valid today, yet that does nothing to prove Buddha's claims of the supernatural. Besides, you first have to demonstrate that there are such things as demons before even making a claim of being able to cast them out. Bring one of these "demons" into a research facility and then we'll talk. Otherwise, you're no different than the alien abduction people or the Bigfoot hunters.
u/SilverState815 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'd suggest reading more on the subject. Having knowledgeable resources to refer to can make all the difference in the world.

u/morebeergoodsir · 2 pointsr/cincinnati

You won't regret reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

u/Meowza316 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I would read The God Delusion. I'm still working on it myself right now, but it has helped me see how religion controls the mind.

u/ForkTongue · 2 pointsr/occult

For Pythagoras I'd go with The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library. I'm not too familiar with Leibniz' version of the monad but in general, something that gave me insight into the monad, rightly or wrongly, was The Holographic Universe.

u/atreyuno · 2 pointsr/awakened

Thank you. I'll check that video out now.

It could be that the pain isn't from the thought but from the egoic response to the thought. It's unlikely the experiment my colleagues teacher had accounted for this. If that could be shown it would affirm that egoic response is the creation of suffering even on the smallest scale of a single unobserved thought. :)

I haven't heard of Gary Weber. Will look him up as well. Thank you.

Have you looked at the book The Holographic Universe? It meshes well with Alan Watts and Eckhart Tolle and is the crux of my education of the scientific basis for non duality.

u/ActiveTreeBrownie · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

Too everyone that feel a connection to everything around you, I would highly recommend reading this book! (Or I actually think everyone should read it)

u/cannuckgamer · 2 pointsr/EBEs

Thanks for mentioning "holograms". If you ever get the chance, read The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.

u/inspectorendoffilm · 2 pointsr/INTP
u/Zero-Anxiety · 2 pointsr/MorbidReality

Best place to start for overview of skeptical philosophy from ancient through modern times:

Afterwards, select the most intriguing philosophers and read them in more detail.

Also, read anything about quantum theory and modern cosmology.

This is a great starting point that will,also amaze you:

u/RoganReview · 2 pointsr/JoeRogan

I just recently picked a book back up called The Holographic Reality by Michael Talbot - pretty amazing stuff
Im am no so convinced this is all there is to see.

u/robert_steele · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I have not. Both look spectacular but I have no money or time. For the beneift of all (I am huge on embedded links, wish I could do that here:

The Source Field Investigations

Holographic Universe

u/Chitwad · 2 pointsr/IAmA

Had the same question. Found them, I think. Wanted to pass it on to you:

u/dingobaby27 · 2 pointsr/islam

Read the quran in a language you understand, and don't worry about the arabic. Guarantee this will make a difference. If English is your first language, then I recommend this translationThe oxford translation

u/Windows101010 · 2 pointsr/islam
u/mybahaiusername · 2 pointsr/islam

There are so many great books, but I try to focus on ones the cite the earliest sources. For English speakers I found the combination of Martin Lings book along with Haleem's Qur'an translation to be the best two sources.

u/throwaway1219021 · 2 pointsr/shia

This is the one I use... I have tried the classical poetry english ones, and I found them difficult to comprehend. But I'm glad you enjoy that version! (:

u/AnotherAlire · 2 pointsr/islam

To keep it simple, I always recommend this (Oxford) translation of the Qur'an. It's a very simple and easy to read translation that has gotten a lot of praise from many people from different backgrounds for having decent enough translations and contexts, where appropriate.

You can't go wrong with reading a translation of the Qur'an. It's where everyone should start.


Many people also converted to Islam after studying Malcolm X, whose journey I think embodies the perfect result of someone who fought against the racism of society out of sincerity and not out of a desire to conform (to pretend one opposes racism because it's taboo now). This sincerity led him from being a staunch advocate of Elijah Muhammad (an extreme position in the Muslim world, such that to be Elijah's follower is to make you a non-Muslim) to eventually realising the falsehood of the "Nation of Islam" and accepting the true religion of Islam, whilst continuing to fight for his cause in 'his' "country".

His letter from Mecca is also worth listening to/reading.

His last speech was also quite poetic and eye opening.

The main reason I have gone to the example of Malcolm and not linking books explaining the theology like many do is due to the example of salaf (first generations of Muslims) in how they approached dawah (teaching others the religion of Islam). They didn't let themselves get bogged down in preaching the religion to others (most time gets wasted in arguments with people who have no interest in listening, only defending their position and in repeating the same arguments like a parrot); they let their actions speak for themselves. And from their actions, the pagans reverted to Islam. It was from seeing the justice of the political system of Islam and how the leaders conducted themselves that non-Muslims reverted. Malcolm was quite similar to this in that his objective was not to become a preacher but a fighter against racism. And through understanding his fight and his reason for fighting (believing in the oneness of mankind), people revert to Islam.

To be clear, I do also have criticisms of some of Malcolm's positions, specifically his advocacy of black nationalism as a solution to racism. Though, in his defence, he believed this to only be a temporary solution. Once black people were on the same economic and political level as whites (black nationalism), the problem would be solved and hence it would no longer be black nationalism. Compared to '60s USA, oppression was worse 1400 years ago in Arabia and the solution was Islam, not black nationalism (Malcolm didn't understand that Islam had political elements to it). Had he lived longer, I believe he would have corrected his position. He also spoke of Arabia as if racism was solved there, which it isn't. Racism from all ethnic groups in the Muslim world still exists; that was a result of nationalism. Malcolm spoke about nationalism in the Muslim world freeing them from European domination; rather nationalism ensured European domination by dividing the Muslims who are instructed by Allah to remain united. But Malcolm didn't have enough time to observe everything about the Muslim world and its modern politics and history. Again, he was a proper Muslim for a very short time. Though I applaud him and pray for his forgiveness. He was sincere through and through and fought vehemently for what he thought was right. May Allah SWT have mercy upon him and reward him with Jannah. Ameen.

u/archossifrage · 2 pointsr/converts

My favorite translation of the meaning to share is the one by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. It's easy to read and written in paragraph form. Great for Da'wah.

English only version:
The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

Arabic/English Version
The Qur'an: English translation and Parallel Arabic text

u/sneakpeekbot · 2 pointsr/ParentsAreFuckingDumb

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u/pilotinspector85 · 2 pointsr/islam

[(Oxford World’s Classics)](The Qur’an (Oxford World’s Classics)

(The Clear Quran - English Only Translation: A Thematic English Translation of the Message of the final revelation

u/NaveenMohamed · 2 pointsr/conspiracy

The Qu'ran says:

> "They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture [Jews and Christians] is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer].

> "They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. And those are among the righteous.

> "And whatever good they do - never will it be removed from them. And Allah is Knowing of the righteous."

—Al-Qur'an Al-Kareem (The Noble Recitation), Surah (Chapter) 3, Ali 'Imran (The Family of 'Imran): ayat (verses) 113-115:

> "And there are, certainly, among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah. They do not sell the Verses of Allah for a little price, for them is a reward with their Lord. Surely, Allah is Swift in account."

—Al-Qur'an Al-Kareem (The Noble Recitation), Surah (Chapter) 3, Ali 'Imran (The Family of 'Imran): ayah (verse) 199:

However, Allah ("the God [of the Prophet Abraham]") also warns in the Qur'an those who believe in a trinity, or who say that Jesus, upon whom there is peace, is the son of God, or who offer prayers to the Virgin Mary, may Allah be pleased with her, or who take saints as people to be worshipped:

> "O People of the Book! Do not go to extremes regarding your faith; say nothing about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was no more than a messenger of Allah and the fulfilment of His Word through Mary and a spirit created by a command from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers and do not say, 'Trinity.' Stop!—for your own good. Allah is only One God. Glory be to Him! He is far above having a son! To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And Allah is sufficient as a Trustee of Affairs."

—Surah (Chapter) 4 of al-Quran al-Kareem (the Noble Recitation) - An-Nisa (The Women), ayah (verse) 171

> "They have certainly disbelieved who say, 'Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary' while the Messiah has said, 'O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

> "They have certainly disbelieved who say, 'Allah is the third of three.' And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

> "So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

> "The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.

> "Say, 'Do you worship besides Allah that which holds for you no [power of] harm or benefit while it is Allah who is the Hearing, the Knowing?'

> "Say, 'O People of the Scripture, do not exceed limits in your religion beyond the truth and do not follow the inclinations of a people who had gone astray before and misled many and have strayed from the soundness of the way.'

> "Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.

> "They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing.

> "You see many of them becoming allies of those who disbelieved. How wretched is that which they have put forth for themselves in that Allah has become angry with them, and in the punishment they will abide eternally.

> And if they had believed in Allah and the Prophet and in what was revealed to him, they would not have taken them as allies; but many of them are defiantly disobedient.

> You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah ; and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, 'We are Christians.' That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.

> "And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, 'Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses.

> "'And why should we not believe in Allah and what has come to us of the truth? And we aspire that our Lord will admit us [to Paradise] with the righteous people.'

> "So Allah rewarded them for what they said with gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. And that is the reward of doers of good.

> "But those who disbelieved and denied Our signs - they are the companions of Hellfire."

—Surah (Chapter) 5 of the Noble Quran (Recitation) - Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread), ayat (verses) 72-86

> "And they say, 'The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son.'

> "You have done an atrocious thing.

> "The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation

> "That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son.

> "And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.

> "There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant."

—Surah (Chapter) 19 of al-Quran al-Kareem (the Noble Recitation) - Maryam (The Virgin Mary), ayat (verses) 88-93

> "Indeed, the example of Jesus in the sight of Allah is like that of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him, 'Be!' And he was!"

—Surah (Chapter) 3 of the Noble Quran (Recitation) - Ali 'Imran (The Family of 'Imran), ayah (verse) 59

> "[All] praise is [due] to Allah, who has sent down upon His Servant the Book and has not made therein any deviance.

> "[He has made it] straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and to give good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a good reward

> "In which they will remain forever

> "And to warn those who say, 'Allah has taken a son.'

> "They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers. Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths; they speak not except a lie."

—Surah (Chapter) 18 of the Noble Quran (Recitation) - Al-Kahf (The Cave), ayat (verses) 1-5

There are so many more instances of this topic being explained in the Qur'an. I suggest reading it for oneself and then deciding whether or not one believes it to truly be the word of God. This is the first one I ever purchased, and I found the footnotes it has that explain the historical context of some verses very beneficial:

u/thethinkingmuslim · 2 pointsr/islam

I personally prefer:


Book on Prophet (pbuh) life:

Insha'Allah, the above two should suffice.

u/mnsh777 · 2 pointsr/religion

(courtesy of /u/lightnlng):

Check what you like from this list of Resources. I recommend starting with the Quran and a biography of prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If you want books, these ones are popular:

u/ThinkerSociety · 2 pointsr/AskNYC

Dar-Us-Salam located at 486 Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn.

They have a wide collection. If you are looking for easy-to-read Arabic, I would say it is best to read an English translation separately along with a Qur'an with large Arabic font, since the translations are usually by each line. One good translation is the Oxford World Classics edition of the Qur'an, by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. It's highly recommended.

If you want both English and Arabic, the most comprehensive exposure I've personally had is with the following two:

  1. Holy Qur'an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali - It has a great commentary of historical narratives in addition to the translation.

  2. The Noble Qur'an by Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan - It's pretty comprehensive in explaining the translation.

    All 3 books can be found at that book store. You may call them to confirm, just in case.

u/RadioFreeCascadia · 2 pointsr/pics

My favorite translation of the Qur'an, Oxford World Classics edition translates everything into English (so it says God instead of Allah, etc.) and it reads exactly like the Bible, making the comparison between the two faiths much easier. The refusal to translate Arabic phrases is deliberate effort to keep Muslims as an Other removed from the West.

u/plizir · 2 pointsr/islam

Salam Brother, I recommand Abdel Haleem translation of the Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics). I believe it's the best translation. The footnotes gives you the context and additional info about the verses.

I also recommand reading the autobiography of the Prophet, the best one I read so far is Tariq Ramadan's : In the Footsteps of the Prophet


May God make things easy for you

u/BugsByte · 2 pointsr/islam

I would recommend you the translation of the Quran prepared by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem from Oxford World's Classics, you can get it from here, it's pretty cheap too.

u/Kryptomeister · 2 pointsr/progressive_islam
u/rooowdy · 2 pointsr/schizophrenia

There have been dozens and dozens of really profound sightings of UFOs throughout history by some really credible people.

I have not personally seen a UFO myself but the evidence is there. A great book I can recommend is this one.

It covers all the big sightings that everybody interested in the field should be familiar with. Betty and Hill abduction, the disappearance of Frederick Valentich off the coast of Australia and many many more are covered in detail. That's just to name two I know off the top of my head are covered in said book.

I've been interested in the phenomenon since I was a kid, so it probably has nothing to do with my schizophrenia. It's just a thing I have always believed in.

A great channel on Youtube is secureteam10. They regularly post sightings sent in by people from all over the world. I'd encourage you to disregard the stuff about how the moon is hollow and what not, though.

u/silentmonkeys · 2 pointsr/UFOs

Leslie Kean published an excellent book called UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record and she and James Fox have an updated documentary based on this book called UFOs on the Record.

A lot of people disparage the alien encounter phenomenon but the late Dr. Mack's books on the subject are excellent, most recent: Passport to the Cosmos - it includes Dr. Mack's interviews with the students at Ariel school who had a mass encounter.

Hunt for the Skinwalker by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp is one of the most fascinating books - and definitely the freakiest - that I've ever read. It takes a clinical and journalistic approach to a completely bizarre collection of phenomena centered on the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah.

In the quote section, don't forget the astronaut from Apollo 17 who told Houston there was definitely something out there.

My advice on the website as a whole is to separate substantiated stories from unsubstantiated (like the Eisenhower meetings) - that's not a comment on whether or not these stories are legit, but I think it's more helpful for people unfamiliar with the phenomenon to have a resource of airtight reportage to look at.

Good site though - good luck!

u/sniggity · 2 pointsr/UFOs

Come on now, there have been thousands of people, highly credible people that have witnessed these ships. Reports DON'T mean nothing, they are a very important part of documentation. For instance, the Japanese pilot and his crew back in 1988 (I think the year is right) that saw these two huge ships following him? The guy risked his whole career to report this incident. There have been presidents, pilots, astronaughts hell, there was a case back in the 90s where five police from neighboring counties saw the same ship one night, one even got pictures of it.

I will recommend a book, please read it. It's called "UFOs; Generals, Pilots and Government Officials go on record". Please read it, educate yourself, open your mind. Not all these people are lying or making it up, there are just too many accounts for these UFOs not to be coming here

Here is the book

u/LuciusMichael · 2 pointsr/UFOs

> Leslie Kean. Reporter who did a terrific job in this book....

u/macmac360 · 2 pointsr/conspiracy

this book is excellent:

some others are "Day After Roswell", "Alien Agenda", "The Halt Perspective", and "Leap of Faith" by Astronaut Gordon Cooper.

Gordon Cooper's book isn't entirely about aliens/UFOs but there are several chapters which he explicitly says in no uncertain terms on numerous occasions he has seen UFO's, both in outer space and here on Earth. There is also a chapter in which he describes a close encounter one of his friends had with extraterrestrials.

The book "Disclosure" by Steven Greer was absolutely amazing, because it is filled with testimony from military, police, pilots, and air traffic control people. I would stay away from any of his other work though, most serious UFO researchers consider him a charlatan. He seems to crank out books to make money, and a lot of his research seems to be a little hard to swallow.

EDIT: something you can read right away is the French COMETA report. It was created by former military and government scientists in France. Its one of the most important documents in UFO history in my opinion:

u/bassrhythm · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

That many of the world's governments are aware of encounters by their country's military and civilian pilots with aircraft that defies the laws of physics as we know them. The book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record describes many of these cases in detail and in a non-sensationalistic manner - very interesting and highly recommended. See also the COMETA report by the French government in the 1990s.

u/JustBeingZack · 2 pointsr/atheism

I feel like you bringing up
> Was it all the symbolism the Illuminati flashed before your eyes?

Is just proof that you're here to try and spark conflicts and upset people. If that is not the case then I do feel that this specific quote is disrespectful.

As I suggested, please go and read a satanic bible and also visit The Satanic Temple's website. Those should paint a pretty good picture of modern day Satanism. Alternatively, you can just ask me specific questions and I can provide answers. WARNING: I'm not trying to convert you or push a mindset on you! These are merely suggestions so that you may further your knowledge in these areas as you seem to know much about Christianity and Jesus but little about opposing views/arguments against that.

To answer this quote from you
> I wouldn't be so surprised if this was r/satanism, but it is r/atheism.

I agree that there are many different "sects", if you will, of satanism, but most of these sects are atheist in nature; hence, why I'm here and trying to educate you as best I can on the matter. Speaking as general as possible, Satanists don't believe in some great amazing sky God who created humanity as a bunch of worshipers, nor do satanists believe in many of the "holy texts" from other religions that have been mostly disproved by history.

Now let me go ahead and elaborate on this quote of mine because you keep coming back to it.
> Satan is perfect

You said something about how Satan symbolizes evil and corruption. Where does that definition come from, who taught you that, and why is this the case? When I read the satanic bible, that is not the impression I got. In fact, when you research Lucifer and many of the popular names of Satan, many of them have really amazing and beautiful origins. From what I've studied, these were mostly erased/twisted after the Christian church came into contact with the "pagans" who worshiped or new these Gods/"demons".

This is why I feel that Satan is a perfect counter in situations like the one from the original article. It makes people think. It makes people ask questions and many times the answers to those questions have to be found in something other than the religious text that they started in. Satanism doesn't have the "this is it, the only thing you're allowed to believe or you burn for eternity" clause that forces people to cower in fear about studying or believing anything other than what they started with. It encourages the opposite.

I'm happy to continue this discussion as long as you are and I apologize if you genuinely feel that this
> You people are not being very respectful at all.

is true. That isn't what I've intended in any of my discussion so far.

u/heisgone · 2 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

Of course, saying "Islam hates us" is a bizarre statement as "Islam" isn't a person. That being said, I recommend the excellent discussion between Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, Islam And The Future Of Tolerance. It's a short read that cover various root cause of radicalization. It's better to be familiar with the work of Sam and Maajid before reading the book.

This debate between Maajid and Ayan Hirsi Ali is a pretty good watch. It covers the question of whether Islam is a religion of peace or violence from different points of views.

Finally, the Quran is a pretty short book and someone really interested in the subject should read it, or at least take a long look at it. Taking a look at the Hadith is also interesting.

u/Sabre-Sabrey · 2 pointsr/AskALiberal

He may not lean left, but if Sam Harris is an Islamophobe, why would he be friends with Maajid Nawaz, who is a devout muslim as well as co-wrote a book discussing Islam as a religion?

u/BeezyBates · 2 pointsr/Buddism

This book will teach you the basics and understanding. I very highly recommend it to you.

Edit: Youll see the name Thich Nhat Hanh often. His reading are, in my opinion, the easiest to understand.

u/tenshon · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

> How do the tathāgatagarbha ideas fit into the Madhyamaka

You'll find a lot of background on this from one of the most popular Buddhist teachers around - Thich Nhat Hanh. In particular refer to his book Zen Keys, and his seminal book The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. He also goes into quite some depth about Yogacara in his book Understanding the Mind.

u/animuseternal · 2 pointsr/Mahayana

I was a big fan of DT Suzuki's writings when I was a beginner. Check out Outline of Mahayana Buddhism. The Kindle version is only $0.99!

Thich Nhat Hanh's The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching is also very popular for beginners, but I caveat this by saying that TNH uses a very unique language... his attempt at being poetic and reaching the western audience in a very particular way, so while he transmits a true understanding of the dharma, it can be as difficult a learning curve as it is now to have that translate to broader Mahayana ideas and terminology.

u/SmartShadeofBlue · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching is probably the best for OP to start with.

u/JohnnyBsGirl · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I just finished The Buddha's Brain, which my therapist suggested and I really enjoyed. Now I am working on The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings. The writing itself is clear and concise, which is helpful for someone who is just beginning to explore these ideas. The ideas themselves, though, are extremely challenging. Thich Nhat Hanh says at one point that "Rightness or wrongness is not objective. It is subjective....[A]ll views are wrong views. No view can ever be the truth. That is why it is called a "point of view." If we go to another point, we will see things differently and realize that our first view was not entirely right," (56).

As someone who has p'shawed moral relativism my whole whole life as a form of wishy-washiness and as a back door for allowing immoral behavior, I spent a lot of time thinking about this last night. I have established that I have an attachment to this idea, but I don't know that I have come to the conclusion that it is wrong, per se. Interesting stuff.

Edit: Grammar/formatting.

u/DeathAndRebirth · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Uhm.. it all depends on what you want to write about!

  1. Buddhism for Beginners

  2. This may help too

  3. This is a classic

  4. Another good book

    Im sure google would help in your search as well
u/Seoul_Train · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I really enjoyed The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings by Thich Nhat Hanh. Could be another good one to help introduce you to some things.

u/tdubya84 · 2 pointsr/trees

If you like that, check out "The heart of Buddha's Teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book really helped me put a lot of thought into my everyday life.

u/jespada1 · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I've been reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Peaceful Action, Open Heart, which is wonderful, concurrently with A Guide to the Threefold Lotus Sutra, by Nikkyo Niwano, that gives a concise overview of each chapter. It also helps to have an introduction, in the form of a talk or short articles. There's a short chapter in Cultivating the Mind of Love on this Sutra.

I was at a retreat with TNH in the 1990's where he spoke about the Avatamsaka and Lotus Sutras, that's since been issued by Sounds True as The Ultimate Dimension.

Most of the talks were on the foundational practices for entering into the kinds of experiences described in these Sutras, and I found that his framing them in this way actually made them accessible. Remarkable!

These are good places to start.

As Thay said in his commentary, these are not so much works to be studied with the rational part of ourselves as they are to be received as inspired poetry, lived with and enjoyed. Then meaning of these sutras and the truth they speak of can reveal themselves to us gradually.

He says, in the beginning of The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching:

“When we hear a Dharma talk or study a sutra, our only job is to remain open. Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing. If we read or listen with an open mind and an open heart, the rain of the Dharma will penetrate the soil of our consciousness.

“The gentle spring rain permeates the soil of my soul.
A seed has lain deeply in the earth for many years just smiles.

“When reading or listening, don’t work too hard. Be like the earth. When the rain comes, the earth only has to open herself up to the rain. Allow the rain of the Dharma to come in and penetrate the seeds that are buried deep in your consciousness.

“A teacher cannot give you the truth. The truth is already in you. You only need to open yourself - body, mind, and heart - so that his or her teachings will penetrate your own seeds of understanding and enlightenment. If you let the words enter you, the soil and the seeds will do the rest of the work.”

Best wishes to you in your practice.

u/Johnny_Poppyseed · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

To attain right view is to really understand by experience (wisdom) the teaching of the four noble truths.

Right resolve/intention, would be that the backbone of your practice and desire to learn more about buddhism etc, is to help ease the suffering of all beings (including yourself).

Right action, speech, livelihood are basically that you behave accordingly with right view and intention. Etc etc.

Honestly i dont like the way of separating each into groups like that. All the eightfold path are completely related and dependent on one another. To have one, you need them all.

Here's a book recommendation. Great thich nhat hanh book, that does a phenomenal job explaining the core teachings.

u/extrohor · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

There are a lot of different approaches to Buddhism.

Thich Nhat Hanh's The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation is a great introduction.

u/nittick · 2 pointsr/Meditation

This is kind of relevant:

While this may not be everything you're looking for, it should be able to give you an idea of what Buddhism is about.

This is coming from a Buddhist-atheist

Edit: there's also this book on amazon.

Also found this:

u/useless-magic · 2 pointsr/LifeProTips

The most informative resources will be through books on the subject, such asthis one by Thich Nhat Hanh that I often reference. sites like and also have various, more condensed, articles on the subject as well

u/wooggy · 2 pointsr/Meditation

The Dhammapada was the first book I bought on Buddhism. I carried it around for about 6 months, reading it over and over. It led me to study and practice Buddhism, which has become so dear to me, and life changing. I have read or glanced over the other books, especially enjoying the i Ching, but the Dhammapada was so simple and pure that it really spoke to me. If you chose to pursue more information on Buddhism I'd suggest getting a book like this next.

u/rrrobottt · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

The most lucid expositions I know of for original buddhism are Walpola Rahula - What the Buddha taught and Paul Williams - Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition.

I read them years ago, but I remember that what I particularly liked about them is that they are pretty clever in clearing common objections that a modern student may have, they don't dumb it down (while still being clear and concise), and they don't avoid the sides of Buddhism that may be scary for people (in other words they won't present Buddhism as a good-vibe, let's just chill out and love everybody style of life, like many books do to cater to wide audiences).

u/trems · 2 pointsr/TheRedPill

PS I highly don't recommend Lodro Rinzler's book. The content is very far away from the essence and spirit of Buddhism. I'd try and read something by actual, studied monastics.

Personal favorite:

u/alchemica7 · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I have no qualifications to answer your question, but I went through the same search as well and was very happy to be guided toward this book by Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught. It's designed to be friendly to a Western newcomer while also laying a very thorough groundwork (also includes well-translated original texts as appendices and points you toward other sources for further reading if you want to dig deeper).

u/GlorifiedApe · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I'm 1/3 through What the Buddha Taught, and it's the best introduction I've (partially) read so far.

u/Leemour · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

Welp, if you go on /r/Buddhism there are tons of resources and plenty of helpful folks there who don't judge and are really just there to help you with receiving teachings (either life advice, centers nearby, clarity of teachings).
>I've had a lot of past trauma, and I'm afraid of what my mind has in store for me if I let it go for just a second. :/

With the right practice these things will heal naturally. I mean if it's not serious and you believe you can overcome it yourself, meditation (when it's taught to you the right way) can help you as much as therapy, because they are the same thing in practice.

I'm not suggesting that you should try to cure, idk, schizophrenia with meditation, but it does alleviate a lot more than you expect.
>The closest Meditation Center is 3 hours away (and has one star fwiw). I have been to one I really liked, that it was still an hour and a half away and very expensive. There are meditation groups in my area, could you give me some keywords to look for?

Depending on the tradition there are many archives on the internet. Most of them are listed on /r/Buddhism and you can just leave a post there if you need advice from someone who lives in the area. I live in Europe, so I'm afraid I can't help.

Typically these are called meditation centers, dharmacenters or Buddhist centers (it really depends on the fantasy of those who run it); I'd actually encourage to also try to maybe just go on a retreat. On retreats you basically take vows that will limit your mundane interactions with the world and you'll spend about a week (10 days are the shortest AFAIK) just meditating and reading. That will give you the basics in the most auspicious way.
>Also, I've been researching Buddhism lately, and I'm quite interested. If you have any books or podcasts to recommend to a newbie, I would really appreciate it. :)

I think, What the Buddha Taught is a great starter book. You can probably get this free somewhere if you look hard enough. After reading the book any question you have can probably be only answer from the standpoint of one tradition, because many things are explained differently and the more popular traditions like Tibetan or Chinese or Japanese Buddhism (Mahayana and Vajrayana schools) also tend to introduce just a lot more concepts that IME has confused lots of people out there. I myself stick to the "orthodox" school, Theravada. It's often looked down upon because "it's bone dry" some might say, but IMO, you don't need more. It explains the basics and foundations clearly and gives you the freedom to find your own way in meditation.

With that being said, I can mostly just speak for my tradition. There are various great teachers out there, like Ajahn Brahm (he is very pleasant, humorous, engaging and carefree about his teachings), Bhikkhu Bodhi (technical, well-spoken, a bit rigid in his ways but he writes eloquent essays about the doctrines), Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu (mostly talks about meditation and its benefits when done regularly; lots of online guided meditations)

Make sure to ask on the sub for some centers and options in the area.

Also, don't be afraid of meditation. You'll realize eventually, that that is the only solid thing you have in this life and that the Buddha's "teachings" are essentially just insights gained from meditation and not some superficial doctrine.

Good luck and I sincerely hope you find happiness.

u/rukkhadevata · 2 pointsr/books

If you want to learn about Buddhism, check out What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula for a fantastic overview of the teachings. Otherwise if you will have access to the internet check out Access To Insight as it has nearly the entire Tipitaka online, as well as loads of study guides, etc.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell is a really interesting read about comparative mythology and the basic themes of a hero's journey in nearly every story we find.

Faust by Goethe is one of the most incredible books I have ever read from a writing standpoint. I think I heard that part of the reason he wrote it was to show how beautiful of a language German can be, though that may be just a rumor, or I could have fabricated the whole idea. Regardless it truly is beautifully written.

And as others have pointed out, Hermann Hesse is a great author, and my personal favorite. Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, Demian, Narcissus and Goldmund, his Fairy Tails, and the Glass Bead Game/Magister Ludi are all incredible novels. As well as Journey to the East, but I feel like to get the most out of that story, you should read his other stuff first.

u/TamSanh · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

And do you know why they're so chill and why it's not the largest religion? Because it's a lot of work.

There's this thing called desire which is the source of all of the suffering in the world. Literally, all of it. Everyone all over feels angry, lonely, jealous and frustrated because of desire. It's also what causes people to kill, steal, and destroy.

Here's an example: In the very simple case, imagine that everyday, after school, you come home at night. Everyday you're so happy because you get to eat this certain tasty pudding (it's really good). Well, imagine that one day you come home and you find that you're all out of pudding. Why? Because your sister/brother/mom/dad ate your pudding. Now how would you feel? Frustrated, right? You feel angry and bitter, "It's my pudding! I eat it every day. They had no right." And why do you feel angry or frustrated? It's because of that desire. Your desire to eat that pudding, and the fact that you can't. It's the dissonance between what you desire reality to be, and what it actually is.

What's the solution here? You let go of your desire. "Oh, no pudding today. I guess I can eat something else." And immediately, the pain and frustration vanish. In the case of the monks and statues, the monks know they are just statues; there is no desire for them to be treated any differently than what they are.

You see, it's not desire that causes the suffering; the cause of suffering is you grasping and hanging on to that desire. The wish for things to be not as they are.

And that is what Buddhism teaches. For some people, it's quite difficult to let go of their desires; we've been condition from birth to believe that they are important and normal to have. Yet, the truth is that we should reduce them as much as possible if we want to live life to its happy fullest.

If you'd like to know more, I highly recommend this easy-to-approach book "Good Question Good Answer," free download at this link: And if you want to see in more depth at what Buddhism gets at, "What the Buddha Taught" is an excellent choice:

Of course, if you have more questions, I'm all ears.

u/CivilBrocedure · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

A great primer for the core tenets and historical context is "What The Buddha Taught" by Walpola Pahula. It provides a wonderful explanation of the thought process and is very clearly written; a lot of colleges use it in their comparative religion courses.

I also think that reading the "Dhammapada" is particularly vital. I prefer the Eknath Easwaran translation; I feel like he did an excellent job translating it into modern laguage while retaining the meaning of the text and providing excellent discussions of each sutra without being to neurotically overbearing, like so many religious commentaries can be. He also did excellent versions of the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads if you are interested in broader Indian spirituality.

u/KaelaMB1996 · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I would strongly recommend the book "What The Buddha Taught" as a introduction to Buddhism. Its heavily cited, lays out the basic concepts and principals, and gives a overview of the idea for beginners.

u/shobb592 · 2 pointsr/pics

If anyone's interested about learning about Buddhism What the Buddha Taught is a fantastic book that really explains the religion.

That said, Thai Buddhism has some very strong Hindu influences and has some interesting qualities like animism that aren't found in a lot of other practicing Buddhist countries .

u/chthonicutie · 2 pointsr/pantheism

Ha, there is certainly an argument for that! I've been reading Buddhist books lately, you might find that linked one an interesting read. The Buddha said that free will is an illusion because all karmic actions are influenced by dukkha (loosely, suffering) - an enlightened one acts without karma/influence because they act from knowledge of Reality instead of the common constructed assumptions about reality.

u/flangdanicusrex · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I'm not sure I would consider myself a buddhist quite yet, but I was drawn to the teachings and this subreddit after getting into meditation and mindfulness to supplement my own anxiety treatment. I was suffering from pretty crippling panic attacks. I did therapy and medication (of the non-intoxicating variety and which I have been able to significantly reduce).

I would recommend that if your anxiety is interfering with your life, consider therapy to augment your practice. Having someone who is trained to ask the right questions is immensely helpful.

In addition, as others have said, read deeply and consider all the teachings. Following the 8 fold path and the precepts will ensure that you have fewer causes for anxiety, and that you are aware of the arising of any new anxiety.

My main book recommendation. What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada

u/bardofsteel · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I think the best introduction to Buddhism and its tenets is "What The Buddha Taught" by Dr. Walpola Rahula.

u/aPinkFloyd · 2 pointsr/exmormon

I also HIGHLY recommend reading What The Buddha Taught

What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada

u/lvl_5_laser_lotus · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

This book is a common target of that small clique of pudgalavadins and Buddhist Self-advocates that inhabit the dark underbelly of reviews.

u/ontherez · 2 pointsr/atheism

He definitely believes in objective morality. See here.

u/Vollholler · 2 pointsr/atheism

If the threat of hell is the only thing that keeps you from shooting and raping people, then you probably aren't a very good person to begin with.

By the way, you should read this:

u/ozonesonde · 2 pointsr/askscience

Sam Harris talks about it in length in his book The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

u/heretoforthwith · 2 pointsr/atheism
u/AlterdCarbon · 2 pointsr/atheism

Don't forget Sam Harris' ideas on morality, which actually helped shape Dawkins' beliefs (see his review of Harris' book on Amazon).

u/jamabake · 2 pointsr/atheism

No ... Read The Moral Landscape by Harris. It might not convince you to side with Harris, but it will certainly make you think.

u/Airazz · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

>Since there is no objective morality without god

That's what Christians say. Mind you, many things they say turn out to be bullshit.

Your sense of morality arrives from what your parents taught, from your own experiences in school, with your friends, etc.

Sam Harris wrote a good book about that.

u/idono · 2 pointsr/science

For more on this, I suggest reading his book: The Moral Landscape

u/ElectricRebel · 2 pointsr/atheism

Another FYI:

This is the book he was referring to:

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

u/MoonPoint · 2 pointsr/atheism

Because the book mentioned relates to the topic being discussed by technothrasher and ojfrown. It is not uncommon for one person on Reddit to recommend a book he himself, or herself, has found relevant to a topic being discussed and feels the other person might find interesting as well.

Since you appear to think Sam Harris is just "some random guy", I'll add a little biographical material:

>Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape. The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction.
>Mr. Harris' writing has been published in over fifteen languages. He and his work have been discussed in Newsweek, TIME, The New York Times, Scientific American, Nature, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.
>Mr. Harris is a Co-Founder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Should you wish to learn more about the book, see The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values.

Some people are willing to read the works of authors who might have opinions that differ from their own.

u/Momentumle · 2 pointsr/badphilosophy
u/mothman83 · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

ding ding ding we have a winner!

and this is my entire point!

Religious people love to say that without religion objective morality cannot possibly exist. But this is the opposite of what the word objective means. Objective means:

>(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
"historians try to be objective and impartial"
synonyms: impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced, nonpartisan, disinterested, neutral, uninvolved, even-handed, equitable, fair, fair-minded, just, open-minded, dispassionate, detached, neutral .

see that word FACT? that means something that can be seen verified studied analyzed quantified etc etc etc etc

The whim of a supernatural entity can never be " objective". Only observable reality is objective.

You ask if i think people can never be wrong... well of course they can! Given that I believe that no God has ever given moral instructions to humans i see ALL moralities as made by man. Some of them are wrong. Plainly and unequivocally, because they lead to pain and destruction for humans and their society.

here is in my opinion, an excellent book on this subject
which shows how we can arrive toa a truly Objective ( ie -fact based) sense of justice and morality.

u/hpcisco7965 · 2 pointsr/changemyview

You may be interested in reading Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape. He takes the position that scientific inquiry can identify and evaluate moral systems, using human well-being as the metric for measurement.

Many professional philosophers have criticized his work, and there are many others who disagree with him, but you may find the book to be very relevant to your inquiry.

u/throwhooawayyfoe · 2 pointsr/bestof

I wouldn't be writing this sentence if it weren't for the intervention of modern healthcare at several specific moments in my life. Yammer on all you like about the virtues of the noble savage over the horrors of science and civilization... I prefer to have a heartbeat ;)

Only a stunning level of insulated privilege can produce the idea that a life defined by preventable disease, parasites, infant and child mortality, famine, drought, and the ever-present threat of disability, disfigurement, and death is preferable to the luxury of having our basic needs so adequately met that we can afford an afternoon of philosophical discussion on the internet. Or... from a quick glance at your profile, every afternoon.

I fully support the idea of questioning where we should try and evolve our civilization from here, and how to best get there, but not if the only purpose is to shit on the idea of progress altogether and resort instead to vague claims that there is no way to rationalize that some states of existence could be preferable to others. If you really believe that's the case, I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts about the line of argumentation outlined here. Otherwise your contribution here is just run-of-the-mill /r/im14andthisisdeep

u/Santa_on_a_stick · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Read The Moral Landscape.

Second, read this.

Third, read this.

u/haveanicedaytoo · 2 pointsr/orangeisthenewblack

I just want to make it clear that I'm not making fun of her because whatever mental condition she has, I've never seen anything like it before and I'm just really sad for her. She actually was my favorite after Slater. :C

Anyway, she wrote some books, and, almost every, single, word in, the, book, has a, comma, after, it. Google isn't really helpful in figuring out what's going on with her. Her mom says bipolar, Lark says lupus, but I don't know if lupus can do that but I do know that bipolar doesn't make people delusional in that specific way (I was misdiagnosed as bipolar for almost 5 years so I had a lot of time researching the damned thing...) I hope she's doing better now.

u/Zack_and_Screech · 2 pointsr/iamverysmart

If it weren't for the lack of commas, I would swear this was written by Lark Voorhies

u/Alpha_Delta_Bravo · 2 pointsr/funny

I've never vomited in a mall so perhaps not. I have only ever thrown up outdoors (due to alcohol) or in a toilet at home.

To answer your question, which apparently I was missing but now see due to your Lark Voorhies style sentence.

How do you know if somebody collapses in a locked stall in a public restroom? The only possible way I would know would be to have a visible area under the stall where I would see a person laying on the ground or for them to verbalize their need for medical attention. I don't believe that is reason these gaps exist, but it would certainly serve a purpose. To prevent them from "rotting for days" obviously public places have cleaners who come in regularly so this wouldn't happen. They would knock, get no response, unlock and find this pile of bodies of all the people dying on the crapper out there. Do you have a phobia of this scenario? People die alone all the time. They have heart attacks in cars, they get in solo car accidents sometimes caused by heart attacks. They have aneurisms. Contrary to popular belief, if a person goes into full cardiac arrest and collapses at the mall they probably aren't going to live anyway no matter how much medical attention they get. People die all over the place. It's life. Many people lived and died before you, and many people will live and die long after you are gone. If you are relying on the public to come get you out of a bathroom stall I would invest in medic alert jewelry for any chronic conditions as well as push button gps medical alert systems. If you keel over in a bathroom in most places, people will probably think you are strung out and ignore you or at best tell the staff to come mop you out the door.

Take a look at this, it seems like it is right up your alley.

u/GnomeChomski · 2 pointsr/atheism
u/caveat_cogitor · 2 pointsr/oddlysatisfying
True Light: A, superior, take, unto, the, premier, haloing, of, tenuation. Readily, available, True Light, provides, resource, into, time's, motifed, and, vestuved, authenticate, revelation.

u/PhatsCadwalader · 2 pointsr/worldbuilding
u/csjo · 2 pointsr/books

I, mean, the, book, itself is, utterly, amazing but this is the best review of True Light: A, superior, take, unto, the, premier, haloing, of, tenuation. Readily, available, True Light, provides, resource, into, time's, motifed, and, vestuved, authenticate, revelation.
By Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle)
Short, sweet, and, to, the, point.

The other reviews are pretty great, too.

u/byrd_nick · 2 pointsr/philosophy

Overview of the Week's Blog Posts

>Skepticism about free will has become ever more prominent. If one browses the popular science section of any large bookshop or flicks through recent popular science magazines, one is likely to come across some books or articles arguing that free will is an illusion: a left-over from an outmoded, pre-scientific way of thinking that has no place in modern science. The authors typically cite some influential neuroscientific studies that appear to undermine the idea of free will by showing that human actions are caused not by our intentional mental states, but by physical processes in the brain and body. More broadly, if everything in the universe is governed by the laws of physics, and our actions are part of that universe, then how could those actions be free? This line of reasoning, in turn, puts pressure on our traditional notions of responsibility. How could it make sense to hold anyone responsible for their actions if those actions weren’t done out of this person’s own free will?
>Such skepticism about free will is not yet the mainstream view among the general public. Nor is it the mainstream view among academic philosophers, the majority of whom are “free-will compatibilists”: proponents of the thesis that free will – perhaps after some definitional tweaking – is compatible with a law-governed, even deterministic universe. But free-will skepticism is on the rise, as illustrated by Sam Harris’s best-selling book, Free Will (2012). Many free-will skeptics have a noble moral motive, alongside their scientific motivation: they find the present criminal justice systems in many countries unjust and wish to argue for criminal justice reform. But one can certainly agree on the need for an overhaul of our criminal justice systems and advocate a more rehabilitative and less retributivist approach, while still thinking that it is a philosophical mistake to throw the notion of free will out of the window. Moreover, the idea of free will is central to our human self-understanding as agents, independently of its relevance to criminal justice. How, for instance, could we genuinely deliberate about which course of action to take – say, when we choose a job, a partner, or a political cause we wish to endorse – if we didn’t take ourselves to be free in making this choice?
>In my book, Why Free Will is Real (Harvard University Press, 2019), I offer a new defence of free will against the growing skepticism. Crucially, I do not proceed by denying science or watering down the definition of free will. Rather, my aim is to show that if we understand the lessons of a scientific worldview correctly, the idea of free will – in a fairly robust sense – is not just consistent with such a worldview but supported by it. In short, I argue that there is a naturalistic case for free will.
>In this series of blog posts, I will first describe what I take to be the main challenges for free will from a scientifically informed perspective and then explain what my strategy is for answering those challenges. And I will illustrate this strategy by zooming in on the most widely discussed challenge, namely the challenge from determinism. Of course, I will only be able to sketch some key ideas relatively informally; more detailed and precise arguments can be found in the book itself, as well as in some of my earlier articles (available on my webpage).

The Rest of the Blog Post(s)

Use the link from the OP to find the rest of the blog post summarized above as well as the remaining blog posts from Christian List throughout the week.

The Podcast Version

You can listen to Christian List discuss their book Why Free Will Is Real on the New Books in Philosophy podcast here:

u/EldeederSFW · 2 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

If you enjoy those kind of conversations, this might be the best $5.25 you'll ever spend.

u/materhern · 2 pointsr/atheism

There is a great argument for the scientifically based idea that we do not have free will. Mark Balaguer and Sam Harris both have books that discuss this from a neurological stand point. Very good reading.

Sam Harris: Free Will

Mark Balaguer: Free Will

u/a7h13f · 2 pointsr/atheism

As promised here's a short list of sources. If you need/would like more, let me know!

First off is Sam Harris - he's a well-respect author on the subject, possessing a degree in Philosophy and a Ph.D in Neuroscience:

Book link

Youtube video of him speaking on the subject

Next is an article from Scientific American.

Jerry Coyne

That last article links to a few more articles with similar conclusions!


u/midnightgiraffe · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

>free will by definition requires the possibility of choosing the wrong thing or making a bad choice. and those people who always choose good of their own free will, they exist, but they all live in heaven.

There are many things that human beings cannot do. We cannot fly unassisted or travel faster than the speed of light. However, we are never tempted to say that this restrictions on our ability somehow infringe upon our free will. Even though our possible actions are restricted by a set of parameters, we are still free within those parameters - free will does not require infinite choice.

Given this, it is logically possible that God could have created beings that such that they would always freely choose the good. That is, that these beings would have only innocent inclinations - what Kant called holy will.

>if he interfered then he has compromised our freedom to choose the wrong thing and thus we would not have free will.

Why does having free will necessarily require the ability to harm others? Couldn't God, being omnipotent, have created a world in which people who chose evil harmed only themselves through their actions, and not been able to cause innocents to suffer. I fail to see how this would in any way impinge on those agents' free will.

Clearly, this is not the world we live in. We live in a world in which those who choose evil can inflict harm on others, which seems to suggest that either God does not have the capacity to do this (in which case he is not omnipotent) or does not have the inclination to (in which case he is not omnibenevolent).

>if we choose to live in the material world, suffering and death are unavoidable. it is our choice to live in this world that is the bad choice we have made.

In what way do we choose to live in this world? I'm sorry, but this seems utterly nonsensical to me. We are simply born into the material world; there is no choice involved.

>if you choose to jump off a building, is gravity responsible for your injuries?

Of course not. In that case it is your choice that caused the suffering. However, there are plenty of cases where the free choice of moral agents is in no way responsible for the suffering caused. This is the definition of natural evil.

For example, in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, rescue efforts were hampered by rain. If not for that rain, it is surely possible that a few more people might have been pulled from the wreckage. Even assuming that the WTC attacks happened because of the perpetrators exercising their free will, there's no reason for God to have made the situation worse by hampering rescue efforts. Surely God could have simply not sent this rain, or made it not rain, without infringing on anyone's free will.

>wasn't sure of your exact argument for libertarian free will so haven't replied to that.

I certainly don't have an argument for libertarian free will. I do have an argument against it, but it's not really something I can sum up in a short reddit post. If you're interested, I'd encourage you to read Sam Harris' excellent book Free Will. As I said in my first post, the free will defense does require libertarian free will and that's not something I think exists, so for me the argument really does stop there.

u/KARMA_POLIC3 · 2 pointsr/pics

Yes, I agree and advances in Neuroscience point to that conclusion as well. I admit though, determinism was/is a hard pill for me to swallow. The philosphical debate over the concept (or illusion) of free will is an interesting topic to me, and one that I am still not sure about.

If you are more interested in the topic I would recommend the Sam Harris' short new book called Free Will, or you can check out this video lecture where he basically paraphrases it (I originally found it on /r/Documentaries) . He spends a lot of time discussing how the deterministic conclusion is inevitable, and then goes on to argue why this doesn't strip all meaning from our lives (determinism vs fatalism).

u/mathent · 2 pointsr/atheism

Consciousness is...tricky. From what I've studied, all we are really confident in saying about it now is that it's entirely dependent on the brain. If you change the brain, it directly effects consciousness. How consciousness, a non-physical entity, can arise from exclusively physical attributes is still under discussion. What Dennett is offering in the video is a re-characterization of the entire discussion. People seem to be looking for a "real" magic trick to explain consciousness. Dennett is making the case that just as there really is no "real" magic, there's only illusions to make you believe there's magic, that there's no "real" magic to consciousness. It's an illusion, in a non-deceptive sense. Consciousness is what happens when the extremely complex systems in your brain interact in the way they do.

If you want some books to read about the mind and brain, check out Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (NY Times Bestseller List 2011) and Connectome by Sebastian Seung. Kaheman will change the way you think about the way you think. He outlines the to "systems" that operated the way you think, and then outlines the biases he's discovered that causes the way you think to be wrong. Connectome outlines the processes of the brain and how the brain is wired to give a somewhat speculative look into Connectome science (mapping all the neurons in the brain and their connections to eachother) and makes claims that once we do this we will better understand the brain and consciousness because the physical structure of the brain is hypothesized to matter a great deal.

As a moderately related point to consciousness, you may want to ask that if consciousness is dependent on the brain, what does that mean for free-will. You should check out Free Will by Sam Harris. It's extremly short--more of an essay. Then look at what Dennett says about free-will. They very strongly disagree, and Sam has said that he hopes to sit down with Dennett and discuss it. When that happens it will be really interesting, and worth having at least a small background on the issue.

u/dust4ngel · 2 pointsr/changemyview

i would recommend free will by sam harris, which is brief and unusually lucid for a work of philosophy - you could read this in an afternoon. his take is that free will as it is commonly conceived is an illusion, and that we need to come to terms with how free our will is not in order to become effective decision-makers.

freedom evolves by dan dennett is more technical and dense, but tries to make a compatibilist case that, though our actions are physically determined, we still have freedom in a meaningful way; i.e. the kind you are talking about.

reading about free will will surely blow your mind, even if it doesn't change your mind :)

u/Dont_PlagiarizeMeBro · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

Sam Harris (neuroscientist) wrote a book titled "free will" on it.

I'd recommend giving this video of his a watch.

I think people have the hardest time coming to terms with the idea that we may just be on this human ride without any real control.

i'm not asserting anything as fact. just looking for another view.

u/Kirkayak · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

I am a psychonaut AND a hard determinist.

In my experience, most of the emotional upset we seem to encounter when thinking about determinism is that we feel powerless, as if all power resided in choice. Yet, merely being alive as a human, with human capacities and human capabilities is awesome power already!! It is true that you may never become an Einstein, owing to your environmental and biological history, but you will also likely never become a Hitler.

More to the point, the illusion of choice is persistent-- indeed we probably evolved that apprehension as some sort of psychological stress-release mechanism simultaneously with our abilities of higher thinking and reflection. If you like, you can pretend that you have choice, knowing that what you actually "choose" will quite likely not bring you into a terribly atrocious place, relative to other humans, provided that you are already fairly mentally sound and sufficiently ethical.

I recommend Sam Harris's very short book on Free Will as a basic introduction to determinism, including why a lack of free will does not remove our ability to hold persons responsible for their actions, from a harm-reduction perspective, even though it is entirely senseless to judge their soul or spirit in any moralistic sense thereby.

u/ManSkirtDude101 · 2 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

He is most famous for his work on the philosophy of free will. I don't think he is that great of a philosopher but he defiantly is one.

u/J_JOA · 2 pointsr/funny

Free will may not be as "free" as we once thought it was. For example, there is a major correlation with rates of violence dropping with the reduction of lead usage. Lead makes people more violent regardless of their "free will". There is also an essay written by neuroscientist Sam Harris called Free Will where he talks about this same subject stating that something as simple as what you are for breakfast can have an impact on your "free will" that day. So like I said, free will isn't as free as we think it is maybe.

u/pair_a_medic · 2 pointsr/atheism

I would recommend reading "Free Will" by Sam Harris. Really fascinating stuff, completely changed how I think about a lot of things. It's a pretty quick read, and he keeps it relatively easy to understand.

u/Blackblade_ · 2 pointsr/TheRedPill

>You can't develop intuition without analyzing everything you do.

Yes, you can. Intuition isn't something you learn, it's something you have simply by existing. Your brain already has the experience to make split second decisions outside of your "slowly grinding mental process." Most people don't realize this because they have "monkey brains" (to borrow a phrase from the Zen masters), and they can't stop themselves from thinking too much about what they are doing. They get in their own way!

There are quite a number of methods and techniques for honing one's intuition, especially a sense for interpersonal relations and "people skills." A lot of techniques associated with the western occult tradition make this their central focus.

Part of developing intuition is developing means of communicating with your own subconscious. The subconscious doesn't communicate in words, but it can be trained to work with symbols. That's why so much of the occult is obsessed with symbolism and seemingly counter-factual narratives.

Some excellent books that offer practical guides for developing intuition:

u/karasutengu · 2 pointsr/psychology

Brainwashing yourself for fun and profit... Prometheus Rising by RAW might be an alternative place to look.

u/illogician · 2 pointsr/PhilosophyofScience

Wilson is a lot of fun if you approach his stuff with the right attitude. You can't expect to agree with everything he says. If you did, he would probably slap you and tell you "think for yourself, schmuck!" Part of his deal is that he intermingles fact, fiction, and hyperbole so that the reader has to continually ask themselves "how much of this do I really believe?" What really messes with the reader's head is that many of his seemingly crazier points actually stand up to fact-checking.

>"For any formal effectively generated theory T including basic arithmetical truths and also certain truths about formal provability, if T includes a statement of its own consistency then T is inconsistent."

I'm not sure if anakantavada includes arithmetical truths or truths about formal provability, so it might not fall into the Godel trap. But I'm still not totally clear on what anakantavada does or does not entail. It seems, at least intuitively, to be making a very important point: our understandings of things are usually partial and seemingly conflicting accounts may just be drawing attention to differing aspects of a thing. But then maybe anakantavada is just one aspect of things as well. Perhaps this can all be coherent - I'm not sure.

As much as I enjoy paradoxes, sometimes a contradiction is just an indication that one has made a mistake in reasoning.

>I was judging "truth" in a pragmatic sense as "Ideas … become true just in so far as they help us to get into satisfactory relations with other parts of our experience. (1907: 34)"

This seems to me to set the bar too low. Can't false ideas also help us "get into satisfactory relations with other parts of our experience." It seems implausible to deny this, given how regularly people are satisfied with their false ideas, and yet to accept it pretty much eviscerates the notion of truth. I have some sympathy with many aspects of pragmatism - particular the point that theory and practice don't come apart as easily in practice as they do in theory - but the pragmatic theory of truth always struck me as unhelpful.

>For questions about ethics and purpose, religion and philosophical frameworks are much better. Being able to solve problems with one's emotions and intuitions is a lot better than cold reason.

I agree to a certain extent about the value of emotion and intuitions, but they need to be checked by feedback from reason because our biases can run amok and don't always have built-in standards of decency. Sometimes what peoples' intuitions tell them is ethically abhorrent.

When it comes to religion, I'm not as optimistic as you are. Religion can be quite dangerous for propagating incredibly harmful values and shielding them from legitimate criticism. In America, we've got conservative Christians referencing a collection of writings from the bronze-age to justify repressive laws aimed at women and homosexuals. They tell us global warming is nothing to worry about because the literal end of the world is coming at the hands of God, and that their religion, being the one true one, needs to be all over our courtrooms, classrooms, and government buildings. In the Middle East, we're seeing religion used to justify suicidal terrorism, extreme misogyny, stoning apostates to death, and anti-semetic attitudes that rival those of the Third Reich (Mein Kamph is still a bestseller in several Muslim countries).

On the other hand, we find that many of the most atheistic countries in the world also rank among the happiest and have the best human rights records (e.g. Norway, Netherlands, Denmark). That gives me hope a less religious future might be on in which we all get along a little better.

Loved the Asimov passage!

edit: A good place to start with Wilson is Prometheus Rising.

u/MegaZeusThor · 2 pointsr/atheism

Either don't bother -- if it ever comes up why you`re not going to church, remind them then.

Or say, "I'll read your book and give you a report after you read 'letter to a christian nation' or Dan Barker's Godless, etc." Convert them to reality.

If they engage you, let loose a little. "Why don't you believe in Vampires? Oh, but they could dangerous! What method do determine is something is true or false?" Rinse and repeat with leprechauns, Greek Gods, etc. Some people call this engaging in conversation, others call it being a dick. Reserve it for when they're dicks first; they'll eventually stop.

u/JohnJay721 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Have you read Dan Barker's book Godless ? If not, you might find it interesting.

u/Tokiface · 2 pointsr/books

Godless by Dan Barker sounds like what you're looking for except that really, you could read the good parts at the bookstore. Half of the book is just all the Bible contradictions.

u/appletonoutcast · 2 pointsr/atheism

If you want a good book that will help her feel she's not alone in her search of things other than a god, I HIGHLY recommend "Godless" by Dan Barker

Dan was a former Evangelical minister, grew up with believer parents, and was as steeped in evangelical, fanatical thinking as you can get. Then one day, he started to think for himself. After a divorce from his then wife, and many other things that ruined his life at that time, he is happier than he was ever during his time in the church. He is happily remarried and is now a co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The book tells the story of his early life in the church, his fall from grace as it were, the reasons he believes Christianity is faulty, and what he as an athiest has to look forward to in life. One o fthe best books I've read in a long time.

u/OuRR_World · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I'm not sure if Jerry's gotten to this one yet, but I'll post also just in case.

  1. The God Virus
  2. Godless
  3. The Magic of Reality
  4. Letter To A Christian Nation

    Also there are great podcasts, of course we are partial to Living After Faith (our official Podcast with Deanna and Rich Lyons), and there are many others as well. For blogs there is always Hemant Mehta's Friendly Atheist, and we're starting our blog this weekend as well, but there are tons of just quality folks out there who have so much to share and offer to the secular world.
u/johnnyfatsac · 2 pointsr/atheism

Ken's Guide to the Bible is a great little book. It's broken down into categories such as violence/sex/ SAB. I think Godless by Dan Barker has a good list of Biblical contradictions.

u/legalskeptic · 2 pointsr/atheism

I would recommend Godless by Dan Barker, who is a former preacher. I grew up mostly unchurched and when I first got into reading about atheism, it was all from a scientific (Dawkins) or philosophical (Dennett) point of view, which are great but not exactly rich in biblical scholarship. Godless contains a good chapter summarizing the discrepancies between the Gospels.

u/ForMePlease · 2 pointsr/tabc

God is Not Great. Getting it out there, I think it's probably one of the more inevitable ones.

Losing Faith in Faith and Godless each by Dan Barker.

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel Dennett.

First ones that come to mind. I think a few theologians may be worth reading as well. Not sure what ones though. If Kent Hovind wrote a book, we could keep a facepalm count.

u/hedgeson119 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Dan Barker, was a pastor and fundamentalist, now head of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Video Book Website

Bart Ehrman, studied at seminary, was a fundamentalist, now agnostic (functionally atheist, somewhat by his own admission.) He covers this in at least one of his many books, Jesus Interrupted.

Teresa McBain, Clergy Project member, if you know about Jerry DeWitt, you should know her.

Yeah, take a look at some of the Clergy Project stuff they say that have more than a hundred pastors / church leaders alone. Also check out Recovering from Religion, they deal with people who are not clergy.

Edit: Dan Barker is actually Co-President of the FFRF, he runs it with his wife.

u/sethiest · 2 pointsr/atheism

I realize this will likely get lost in the jungle of posts, but as a very recent 'de-convert' myself, the two things that helped me the most were

  1. The Evidence deconversion videos you've already watched.

  2. A book by Dan Barker titled "Godless" ( This book chronicles an evangelical preacher's journey from decades of preaching to one of today's leading atheists. A grueling journey bared out.. what caused it, how he responded, etc. Godless took me on the roller coaster that pretty much sealed my deconversion.

    I cannot recommend it enough.
u/monkeyman36 · 2 pointsr/RationalPsychonaut

This has happened to me too. Its time, in my opinion, to stop, and to focus on the hard work of walking the path towards elevating your normal mindset closer to the altitude of the one you experience when you do drugs.

You might be interested in this comment that I actually just wrote right before I wrote this one. Especially my latter response.

The thing is, drugs open your mind to see the possibilities. But then you come back. Back into the world, where mundaneness rules, where you have many personal flaws, where life hits you with problems, and where its often hard to see the light.

Drugs are like a helicopter ride to see the path and the endpoint. But in reality, you have to walk the path. And walking the path is hard. It takes daily effort against the powerful forces of habit. Look to the Buddhists. They are the only ones I know of who are actually walking this path. Meditation and a continual focus on building positive mental qualities are key here.

My blueprint is sort of based on two books. One is Buddhism without beleifs, and the other is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which despite the title, is actually about developing qualities in yourself such as honesty, courage, patience, and others.

u/Bab5crusade · 2 pointsr/atheism

Well I am a Buddhist and I enjoy the Buddhist Philosophy and yet I don't believe in Karma or rebirth because I see no evidence showing it.
A good book if you want to read about Buddhist/Atheism (Buddhism without believing in the superstition.)
BTW Believing in Rebirth or Karma is not a requirement to be a Buddhist.

u/oldmusic · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Atheist here - welcome to the club.

There are a lot of good resources on the sidebar. Take a look at /r/secularbuddhism and check out books by Stephen Batchelor. Buddhism Without Beliefs was my introduction to Buddhism and it's pretty good.

I listen to a lot of talks from They are not Secular Buddhists like Batchelor, but don't stress cosmology the way some other communities might. Their recommended talks is a good place to start.

A lot of people will be adamant about how you can't be a Buddhist if you are an atheist. Don't let them discourage you. You don't have to "be a Buddhist" and all this cosmology stuff is beside the point.

u/crazy-buddhist · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Whatever you choose for her just make it simple and uncomplicated.

Some will try to sell you on whatever-high-master they find is good for themselves.

That isn't what you mom really needs right now. She truly wants something that is uncomplicated and expresses Buddhism without sectarian attachment or complexities.

BOOK SUGGESTION - BUDDHISM WITHOUT BELIEFS's a simple uncomplicated paperback for about ten bucks, that simply describes what she wants to learn about, in a straight forward and uncomplicated manner. [without all the hoopla and high worded sectarian rhetoric.] Cheers.. :)

u/tyinsf · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Stephen Batchelor, a former monk in both the Tibetan and Zen traditions, wrote Buddhism Without Beliefs, an explicit attempt to separate the baby from the cultural bathwater in Buddhism. It's been ages since I read it, but if memory serves I believe Batchelor argues that Buddhism is a matter of practice and inquiry, not belief.

The history of Buddhist art tells you a lot about cultural accretion. Found this from the Met. "In the earliest Buddhist art of India, the Buddha was not represented in human form. His presence was indicated instead by a sign, such as a pair of footprints, an empty seat, or an empty space beneath a parasol." Compare that to florid Tibetan iconography.

What's great about Buddhism is that it adapts so well to cultures it merges with, from spiritually athletic Zen to belief-based pure land to compassion-based Mahayana to insanely ritualistic Vajrayana. There are all these "skillful means" based on the varying needs of sentient beings. Why would you want to limit yourself to what the historical Buddha and his contemporaries did or believed?

Edit: You might be interested in the way Tibetan Buddhists conceptualize the various vehicles or "yanas" of Buddhism, from renunciation - the original vehicle - to great compassion to radical acceptance. There are scholarly explanations, but Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche wrote an excellent one that compares them to ways of being in a cinema. Here

u/GarethRWhite · 2 pointsr/psychology

I really like Coolcrowe's explanation.

Personally I found The Myth a good starting point for approaching some of my existential problems, but it is a very slim book. The ideas raised there are dealt with in more detail and in a more practical or immediate way through Buddhism. In particular, formlessness, suffering, and peace are all central, and have been extensively studied and practiced for about two and a half thousand years...

Well worth a look at

I began my study with Stephen Batchelor's "Buddhism without Beliefs" which is an accessible and secular introduction,

As a scientist and agnostic/atheist/"pastafarian" (Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster :-) I found Buddhism useful as a down to earth, non-religious tool for philosophical and existential inquiry.
If you want a hardcore scientific examination of how it may work, the sky's the limit with Dr. James Austin's "Zen and the Brain", written by a neuroscientist and zen meditator. Be warned though, it's a massive volume (~800 pages) which includes heaps of really dry stuff on neurotransmitters and the anatomy of the brain,

I love studying, but you may find that cognitive understanding only takes you so far (an insight which it sounds like you've already come to by yourself) - and sometimes just causes more problems. I'd definitely recommend joining a meditation group to explore in a more immediate way what goes on inside your experience. My local Buddhist centre offers fantastic meditation drop-in classes. You may be able to find a local group on their website,

I also recommend a couple of podcasts,

Have a great journey!

u/P1Hornet · 2 pointsr/Christianity

I'm not a philosopher and I have aspergers so articulating thoughts is not my forte at all. The best thing I can do for you is point you to Edward Feser's blog and these two books Aquinas and The Last Superstition. I'm really sorry I can't personally explain it to you. I really wish I could. Also if you do end up buying the books then for the love of all that is Holy please do not buy the Kindle editions. You HAVE to reference the footnotes and it is really difficult to do so on a kindle. I'm probably going to end up buying the paperbacks here soon because of that. Again, I apologize for just throwing you to some books.

u/Theoson · 2 pointsr/CatholicPhilosophy

For a slightly challenging but enjoyable assessment of Thomist philosophy read "The Last Superstition" and/or "Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide." They're both by an extremely intelligent Thomist, Edward Feser.

u/S11008 · 2 pointsr/atheism

Might as well weigh in on what you should focus on specifically, as one of those philosophically-inclined theists. As for why you should-- given that atheism and theism are both within the field of philosophy, it'd be good to at least have a clear view of the evidence for both sides. I'll be giving books that support theism, since I don't know many that do so for atheism-- something by JL Mackie might help?

Before even engaging in the philosophy backing theism, it'd be good to get some background knowledge.

Intro to Logic


Given that, you can familiarize yourself with some books on classical theism, attacks on naturalism/physicalism/materialism, and specifically attacks on materialism of the mind.

The Last Superstition


Philosophy of the Mind

All three of those are by the Catholic philosopher, Edward Feser. I usually argue for theism, or against materialism, based on his books.

u/amdgph · 2 pointsr/Catholicism

Alright here are some of the best resources I know as a Catholic. Hope they help!

Edward Feser's blog as well as his The Last Superstition and 5 Proofs of the Existence of God

Stephen Barr's Modern Physics and Ancient Faith

Francis Collin's The Language of God

Anthony Flew's There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

Thomas Wood's How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

Brant Pitre's The Case For Jesus

Tim O Neill on the Church and science, the Inquisition and the Galileo affair

Jenny Hawkins on Jesus and God, early Christianity and form criticism

Al Moritz on the Fine Tuning Argument

>There is a reason someone should believe in the supernatural and mystical aspects of Christianity. This is a large issue for me. Solely based on supernatural and mystical ideas, from an outsider perspective, Christianity is no different than animism or Buddhism. I can't have faith alone.

Well when you look at the world's religions, Christianity has a clear and impressive advantage in the miracles/mystical department. Historically, in Christianity, there have been numerous cases of Eucharistic miracles, Marian apparitions, miraculous healings and the spiritual gifts and religious experiences of countless Christian saints -- men and women of great virtue whose admirable character only add to the credibility of their testimony. Examples of these include Paul, Benedict of Nursia, Francis of Assisi, Dominic, Hildegard of Bingen, Anthony of Padua, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Vincent Ferrer, Joan of Arc, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Catherine Emmerich, John Vianney, Anna Maria Taigi, Genma Galangi, Faustina Kowalska and Padre Pio. We also have a pair of impressive relics, the shroud of Turin and the sudarium of Orvieto. I'll also throw in Catholic exorcisms.

And these Eucharistic miracles, Marian apparitions and religious/mystical experiences continue to happen today.

What do Buddhism and animism have in comparison?

>Anything that discusses and argues against some common tropes from atheists such as Mother Teresa being a vile, sadistic person.

Honestly, I'm quite stunned at the portrait atheists have painted of her. At worst, she wasn't perfect and made mistakes. She cannot be a vile monster like Hitchens claims she was, that's ridiculous. Here are some articles that defend Mother Teresa -- here, here, here and here.

Check out any of Mother Teresa's personal writings (e.g. No Greater Love, A Simple Path, Come Be Thy Light) to see what she believed in, what she valued and how she saw the world. Check out books written by people who actually knew her such as that of Malcolm Muggeridge, an agnostic BBC reporter who ended up converting to Catholicism because of Teresa and ended up becoming a lifelong friend of hers. Or that of her priest, friend and confessor, Leo Maasburg, who was able to recall 50 inspiring stories of Mother Teresa. Or that of Conroy, a person who actually worked with her. Or any biography of hers. Find out what she was like according to the people around her. Then afterwards, determine for yourself if she resembles Hitchen's "monster" or the Catholic Church's "saint".

u/24v2v24vsvaxva · 2 pointsr/Catholicism

Read as well as his other books probably (aquinas, philosophy of mind)

That book in particular I linked sort of starts off refuting basic Athiest mistakes and then goes into establishing the philosophical foundations of Christianity as a whole.

u/arinter · 2 pointsr/Catholicism

I'll have to check those out. I would also want to throw into the ring as well as I don't always agree with doctor Craig (his stance on morality is pretty lack luster) but I do think he makes a good defense of Christianity in general.

u/mememuncher · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/egypturnash · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

Discovering the Illuminatus! trilogy in my college years really changed the way I look at the world. Well worth reading. It's got some definite Problems - it's very much a thing of its time, and its attitude towards women is pretty objectifying. That said, it's still a great mind-opener.

Be sure to read the appendices. They lay out explicitly some of the philosophical and magical ideas alluded to in the book.

And then if you need more, go grab RAW's Prometheus Rising which is more explicitly about How To Play With Your Brain For Fun And Profit.

u/_angel · 1 pointr/Psychonaut


I've never heard of it before. Nifty!

You can start with mindfulness meditation. Try doing it constantly while you're doing your every day automated chores, like dressing, cleaning, teeth brushing, driving, shopping, and other tasks that don't take up much mental horsepower.

Lightly watch your breathing. Don't alter it, just try to concentrate on it without changing subjects in your mind. Watch what you're doing in the moment. Don't think about what you're going to do an hour from now, or tomorrow, or next week. Don't think about yesterday. Don't think at all, just be in the now. It is a pain in the ass to do and can take months to years of practice, but it will lower the ADHD type tendencies. The more you do it the more you'll be able to concentrate on one thing at a time without jumping around and losing track of what is going on.

The autism stuff can be more beneficial than it is not imho. However, it has to be coupled with the sponge personality type imho. When I say sponge personality type I mean the type of personality that loves to learn new things constantly. They are reading text books, studying new things, reading wikipedia, and doing a bunch of intellectual things all day. They have fun learning new things. People who are autistic tend to love to solve puzzles and figure things out, so that knowledge draw can turn into intellect and then intelligence if you try to figure out how something works. It isn't just pulling in knowledge but putting yourself in an imaginary real world situation where you'd have to use that knowledge. For me this means making programs which is puzzle solving, and recently a lot of psychology and neuroscience stuff. I love figuring out how my own brain works and how I can utilize it in ways the average person can't. I mentioned the book Prometheus Rising the other day as it is all about how to utilize the brain in ways the average person can't do without that unlocked mental horsepower from meditation, types of sex, yoga, tripping, or a near death experience. A friend of mine who is similar has been looking up a lot of crazy math and quantum physics stuff. I think he was reading GEB. A Strange Loop is like a non crazy math nerd explanation of the same thing. I haven't read it yet, but it is on my to do list. MIT has a class under it, but personally I'd rather just read the book. Another friend of mine has been doing a lot of random chemistry work as that is another form of puzzle solving I'd suspect.

The idea is to find a subject you really enjoy and chase it to its extreme. Start at the beginning, even elementary level stuff, and then keep going until the masters degree level, and then the research level, and just keep moving towards figuring more and more out about that type of subject.

The best part is adult ADD has a hole in it. It makes one super interested in something they would normally be interested in, and not much else. It allows for you to find a drive and carry it out beyond the average person. This often involves digging around a bunch of stuff that you wouldn't normally be interested in to see if you bump into something you end up being interested in but didn't realize.

If you want to try enjoying some of the stuff I like, I highly recommend checking out programming. It depends what you want to do, before you choose what to learn. Me, I enjoyed automating tasks in the past. I was tired of having to download all the TV shows and movies I watch, so I decided to write a program that automatically does it and goes above and beyond any previous made software I could download. Then I moved into AI coding and data organization when I started writing bots that collected information which I found fun. shrugs

My boyfriend who isn't crazy interested in figuring things out started playing with an Adriano a couple of weeks ago. He got an LCD and a bunch of stuff and made a little robot thing. I'm thinking about taking some of his stuff and making a system that detects the BPM in music, and then has rerecorded light patterns I can flick through and then I'm going to make a jacket with EL wire in it that lights up for stuff like Burning Man.

There is so much you can do. There is more information in one day on this planet than you can obtain in your entire life. There is an infinite level of things to play with. It really is fun.

So, I recommend trying things differently. Not finding things to do, just to do them, but finding things to figure out and discover like a puzzle. The world is a playground and your mind is the player. It is just how you choose to approach it.

However, I admit a personality change is extremely hard to do. You'd have to force yourself for months to years before falling into it. However, if you get good at meditation and learn how you can reprogram your subconscious in such a way that allows you to alter your personality without forcing it. Everything would come out natural as if you had always already been that way. Explaining that is a pain. Prometheus rising explains how it is possible and asks you to open your mind to it. I can tell you with absolute certainty it is possible, but learning what it is is the first step. Once you figure that out the next steps are much easier. Feel free to PM me in the future if you want help with this, but please start with the book, or some other knowledge gain.

u/DrDOS · 1 pointr/atheism

It's from a book. I haven't read it but I mean to. It came highly recommended by a friend who first introduced me to Barker's wager. He was a fundamentalist Christian who was on his way to atheism. I was a comparatively very liberal Christian who took longer to loosen the elastic ties of Faith.

u/jmsr7 · 1 pointr/atheism

I would suggest George A. Smith's Atheism: The case against God which is, while thick, a quick read. Each chapter deals with one aspect and therefore is an easy read. (i read it years ago and found it clear if a bit dry)

For something more emotional, i suggest a "testimony" type book: Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan Barker. I quite enjoyed it.

As with everyone else here though, i suggest you read them first to see if they suit "where you are coming from," but more importantly because Evangelical Christians cannot be trusted so you need to check if she kept her end of the bargain.

I am only recommending books to read because you mentioned that she actually kept her mouth shut and was respectful at your wedding. This is not typical evangelical christian behaviour and indicates that you may not be wasting your time in even having these discussions.

Speaking of behaviour, has she tried crying like a petulant child in a passive-agressive attempt to change your mind yet?


PS yes, i'm cynical. what gave it away? >:P

PPS speaking of which, remember to check if she kept her end of the bargain. Personally, i bet she doesn't even get past the jacket blurb.

u/ethertrace · 1 pointr/atheism

I would go with Demon Haunted World over the God Delusion. Dawkins may be the polemicist du jour, but I think Sagan's approach is way more effective for situations like this. He's far more subtle about making you think, whereas Dawkins' brash rhetoric can just make people instinctively defensive and shut down honest introspection.

Also, might I suggest Godless by Dan Barker? He was an Evangelical preacher for almost two decades before becoming an atheist, so he knows all about Christianity and may have an approach to which your friend might be more sympathetic.

Do the lectures have to be in person? Where do you live? Skepticon 5 is coming up in Springfield, Missouri and there will be plenty of amazing talks there (though they will be primarily aimed at people who are already skeptics). They have many, many fantastic lectures already posted online from past conferences, so I highly suggest perusing them at your leisure.

If you do choose a lecture on evolution, make sure it's a good one. You can't debate science the same way you can debate philosophical or theological ideas that rest upon logic alone. Everything depends on the data. Make sure it explores what would need to be true if evolution were not true.

For example, if all species on Earth nearly perished in a global flood, they would all have an extreme population bottleneck at the exact same period which would show up very obviously in their genetic diversity. However, this is not true for the vast majority of species on Earth. Cheetahs, however, are so genetically similar due to a population bottleneck during the last ice age that they can accept skin transplants from any other cheetah without an immune response. But, they are still diverse enough that the mutation rate required to gain this diversity in the span of four thousand years would be so great that the species would have gone extinct simply from birth defects.

Anyway, Ken Miller might be a good place to start. He's a Christian as well, but is basically responsible for destroying Intelligent Design.

Also, just because I think so highly of this talk, you should check this out (and here's an updated version more oriented towards effective strategy that goes over some of the same material but expands on other areas). It has tons of valuable suggestions for how to be effective in getting people to question their beliefs and avoiding common pitfalls and red herrings.

u/gilker · 1 pointr/atheism

Nope. But you might consider gifting this instead: Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists

They might not only read it, they might actually identify with Dan Barker enough to consider what he has to say.

u/deadfermata · 1 pointr/exchristian

Dan Barker's Godless

u/GodEmperor · 1 pointr/atheism

I think an excellent book for any questioning christian to read is Godless by Dan Barker. He used to be a fundamentalist evangelical christian, and he clearly articulates and lays out his reasons for his eventual deconversion. He has some excellent youtube debates as well. He's a great guy.

The reason I often enjoy some of his talks more than other big name atheists is because he knows the bible and christianity backward and forward. He has a strong understanding and knowledge of the bible, and is therefore quite easily able to dismantle its credibility and legitimacy.

u/yurasuka · 1 pointr/atheism

I cant imagine many of the locals in this sub would give you anything trying to prove christianity, but if you want a good read with lots of interesting arguments, then perhaps read Dan Barker's Godless.

u/loganallenwolf · 1 pointr/atheism

Do you still believe in God? I'm honestly not sure from what you've wrote. If you just have doubts / differences in opinion with those in your congregation, you can always find one that better suits you. If you now truly don't believe there is a God (or you're agnostic, or an agnostic atheist), then start working now towards a new life. And begin mentally preparing yourself for the hardship of having your parents and many of your friends judge you, try to talk you out of it or "come back to God," ask why you hate God now or want to pray for you / with you. It will not be easy. Whatever you do, don't let yourself be pressured into a life (ministry, etc.) that you don't want. You only get to live this life once - and the clock is ticking. Life is too short to live it under the heavy blanket that now envelops you; live it on your own terms and not someone else's. I wish you all the best.

Edit: "Godless" by Dan Barker might be helpful for you. He was a former (quite well known preacher) who became an atheist and is now the co-head of the FFRF.

u/Euthalius · 1 pointr/askphilosophy

Personally, I would suggest to take a look at Buddhist philosophy, which IMO has the most to offer if you're looking for a philosophy that actually adresses existential problems.

Since you have a STEM-background, you might perhaps find Stephen Batchelors Buddhism without beliefs interesting. Also, r/buddhism has a nice FAQ and reading suggestions.

u/vestigial · 1 pointr/Meditation

People are free to follow their own path, but forcing myself to believe things that seem unlikely is not part of my path.

I was going to a sangha for a while. It was very Western, so I thought I'd be comfortable. Then I heard a sermon about the after life, and I noped right out of there. I'd spent enough of my time as a Christian ignoring or tirelessly interpreting religion so I could fit it so myself, of fit myself to it. I'm not entering that pretzel logic of self negation again.

I'm reading a great book now, Buddhism Without Beliefs, that strips Buddhism down to the bare essentials, and that, happily, does not require taking anything on faith.

I'm taking some time reading, and shoring up my foundation of meditation practice; but ultimately I'd like to join a more belief-neutral Zen group.

u/mouseparty · 1 pointr/atheism

Read the book Buddhism without Beliefs. It's great - it carves out the secular parts of the philosophy from the craaazy parts, and makes the case for a secular Buddhist philosophy. You may end up liking it, and can end up just claiming to be a different variety of Buddhist. I know a significant number of atheist Buddhists personally. They don't believe in rebirth, they have different interpretations of dharma and karma, and they certainly don't believe in deities. But they meditate and have compassion for all things. It's worth a shot.

u/MadmanPoet · 1 pointr/Buddhism

Yeah, do some research. We have a pretty solid reading list started over on the right hand side. (It's only two books long, but they are good books.) I don't know your level of knowledge about Buddhist thought and teachings so I would suggest you look up this one or this one.

I am sure there are some less expensive places to find them, is an eBay company and I have found some really great books for like .75, soooo go has a look.

I wouldn't avoid reading Sutras first off. But I wouldn't make that the central part of my study as they are often very difficult to read and can be confusing. I mean, yeah read some Sutras, but read some other material as well.

Also, go to Pretty solid website.

u/Independent · 1 pointr/books

I view Buddhism not as a faith but as a sort of agnostic philosophy. With that in mind, I recommend a slim little book by Stephen Batchelor called Buddhism Without Beliefs. However, be warned that this book is pretty controversial amongst those looking more for Buddhism as faith. Still, it's a good enough jumping off platform to see where you might want to go next. It's written in a very straightforward accessible manner, but it is definitely more about personal philosophy than religion or history. YMMV

u/User-31f64a4e · 1 pointr/TheRedPill

> Meditation and prayer can be used to develop and impose calmness.

Yes, and no. From

>The Tibetan word for meditation, "gom" can be translated as familiarising, habituating. In short, it means to familiarise with a positive state of mind, which actually refers to training the mind. Meditation is not just relaxing, rather it is trying to develop a highly concentrated and clear state of mind which one can use for clear analysis, and which can be blissful to be in.

So the point is to get used to your mind. If you do this, you learn that thoughts arise, exist, and pass away. Watching this over time, you learn that thoughts don't have to capture you. You don't have to believe them. You learn that desires and aversions are actually not so important, and that you can still be happy if you ignore them instead of indulging them.

As you gain the ability to distance yourself from your thoughts, and assuming a certain natural curiosity, you begin to unravel the hidden mechanisms at work. You begin to see the thoughts behind your thoughts. This is known as insight, or Vipassana. With it, you move from being a robot who is simplistically triggered by environmental stimuli, to someone with the ability not to 'bite the hook.'

A lot of what I know about meditation came from various Buddhist traditions. That's great and all, but they spend far too much time and energy on unprovable ideas like karma, reincarnation, storehouse consciousness, gods and mystical beings, etc. Some traditions are also very hierarchical and very ritualistic. There is also a lot of woo in all the traditions, which is why I don't identify with any.

For me, investigating the traditions without drinking the kool-aid is the key. I highly recommend Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor and especially Coming to Our Senses by Jon Kabbatt Zinn; they teach the valuable parts of Buddhist thoughts, without the woo woo and supernatural beliefs. For mediation itself, many books on Buddhism have instructions. You can also find a lot of meditation instruction online. Unlearning Meditation: What to do when the Instructions Get In The Way by Jason Siff is also pretty good.

u/SomeGuyInOttawa · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I was right on the fucking edge this spring. I read a book by Stephen Batchelor called Buddhism Without Beliefs. It helped me tremendously. I won't go on and on about it because I have no idea if it will help you or anyone else but it really helped me.

u/bletor · 1 pointr/Buddhism

I come from a similar angle, I'm surprised no one has suggested this:

"Buddhist Without Beliefs"

"Confession of a Buddhist Atheist"

I highly recommend "Buddhist Without Beliefs", being an atheist you will find a lot of empathy points. Buddhism it self, a lot of people argue, is atheist, not based on a deity (or group of deities), but on self realization.

u/ropid · 1 pointr/atheism

I think this book talks about it with all supernatural beliefs stripped from the discussion, and it is concise while still staying pretty clear:

u/selfoner · 1 pointr/atheism

Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor.

u/Frosty_TSM · 1 pointr/Buddhism

Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor

"The concepts and practices of Buddhism, says Batchelor, are not something to believe in but something to do—and as he explains clearly and compellingly, it is a practice that we can engage in, regardless of our background or beliefs, as we live every day on the path to spiritual enlightenment."

u/JeezyCreezy · 1 pointr/books
u/spookcomix · 1 pointr/secularbuddhism

"Buddhism Without Beliefs" by Stephen Batchelor might be exactly what you're looking for. It explores core Buddhist teachings from a non-theistic point of view.

The author's own point of view springs from having spent years in theistic Buddhist practices, then becoming agnostic himself.

I read it many years ago when I was on a similar journey, enjoyed it, and have recommended it many times since. Don't let its size fool you - it's small, but packed with things to wrap your brain around.

u/nickmista · 1 pointr/atheism

Haven't read it but I've heard good things about it:

Buddhism without beliefs - Stephen Batchelor

u/HazardSuitor · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

I picked it up on Amazon but haven't read it yet (might this weekend) but, Buddhism without Beliefs

u/Blu64 · 1 pointr/OpiatesRecovery

for me, prayer is trying to get in touch with something greater than myself I don't have to know what that is, and I try not to dwell on that part of it. Most days I have no clue about god. But I try to keep an open mind. Maybe prayer is just a roundabout way of talking to myself. I have given up trying to figure out what everyone else believes, and just set up my own belief system. Do what works for you. I think that the idea is to seek some sort of peace. This book has really helped me, it doesn't espouse the religion of Buddhism, but it has some awesome ideas in it. For me the second most important thing after staying clean is to find some measure of peace in my own head. Good luck and stick with it.

u/Jrcohan · 1 pointr/Buddhism

-Why Buddhism Is True by Robert Wright

-Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor

There also are pretty extensive peer reviewed journals and statistics on meditation. Check out Richard Davidson and Daniel Goleman.

-Altered Traits by Richard Davidson and Daniel Goleman

Hope some of that is of help.

Best of luck!

u/dp01n0m1903 · 1 pointr/atheism

There are many forms of Buddhism, from outright superstition to Stephen Batchelor's attempts to purge Buddhism of "Beliefs".

There have been some recent posts on r/Buddhism/ regarding whether Buddhism should be regarded as a religion or not:

Is Buddhism a religion? The question that won't go away. (

We can debate endlessly whether Buddhism is a religion, but As long as people are projecting their antagonism toward religion onto Buddhism, it's a problem that needs addressing. (

u/Techs_Mechs · 1 pointr/worldnews

> Then they're killing for philosophical reasons.

There is nothing in Buddhism that supports this. Unlike the condoning of holy war, killing apostates, or killing unbelievers, which appear in many other religions. There is also no way to escape consequences of your behavior either, unlike in many other religions which include Direct-To-Heaven actions such as martyrdom.

The key tenet of Christianity is believing in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. If you don't believe that Jesus is the son of God/God/The Way/etc., then you are not a Christian. You can still sin and be Christian (obviously, or else there would be no purpose to the human sacrifice of Jesus), but you can't lack belief in Christ and be a Christian.

See how that works?

Saying someone is Buddhist means a practitioner, not a believer.

If you say you are a triathlete, but don't swim, or ride a bike, or run, you are not a triathlete.

If you say you are on the Atkins diet, but you eat lots of carbs every day, you aren't on the Atkins diet.

If you are in AA, but then you start drinking again, you have fallen off the wagon. You are no longer someone who abstains.

Being a Buddhist is about practice, not belief.

Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening

> If you want to term it a philosophy, fine.

And this is precisely why people get confused when trying to conflate it with religion.

There are a lot of cultural Buddhists but they are only practitioners to the extent that they actually practice.

A Christian can half-ass it and believe in Jesus and get to Heaven.

A Buddhist can half-ass it and they will get inferior results. If they believe in reincarnation, then they are going to have a half-ass reincarnation. No amount of half-assing it adds up to getting out of the cycle of reincarnation.

If they don't believe in reincarnation, then Nirvana (or Nibbana) is the here-and-now, the same as Samsara. There is no difference between the two. The only difference is in your perception, and Buddhism is a How-To manual for cessation of your own suffering.

u/haploid-20 · 1 pointr/Christianity

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u/FrancoWasRight_en · 1 pointr/Christianity

You should find an ebook of this sometime. It would help out a lot of your questions and conceptions about Christianity I'm sure

u/PlasmaBurnz · 1 pointr/Christianity

> Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. - GK Chesterton

It sounds like you're looking around for somewhere to hang your hat. Keep reading, watching, and learning.

u/Holophonist · 1 pointr/dataisbeautiful

>I don't need to. The assertions is that a physical thing can't create another physical thing. That is demonstrably untrue. You're placing restricting characteristics, not me.

It's not that a physical thing can't create another physical thing (even though it would actually be a physical thing creating a physical thing out of nothing), it's that the werewolf, a physical thing, would have nowhere to be while creating the universe, and no time to do it in.

>If a wearwolf doesn't exist, it can be whatever definition I'd like. Just like your god.

No this is idiotic. The word werewolf has a definition. You can't just change the definition however you'd like. If you can, then the conversation is meaningless because you'll just change it to be exactly like god, and then we're not talking about werewolves anymore.

> I would need to know why you think anything is likely in order to demonstrate why my wearwolf is likely. You would have to present your argument for why god is likely to have created the universe. I can then replace god with anything, and the argument will probably not change, if it's any of the popular ones. To be clear. Any argument I present would be a straw man of whatever you actually believe God is. I don't know how else to explain this.

Wrong. What I have to do is show why a werewolf is less likely to have created the universe than god, and I have. You don't seem to have anything to say in response.

>It is informed. Not sure that infants have developed morals, but I'm sure you have a well thought out argument on why slavery and genocide are cool.

I never said slavery and genocide are cool, I said you have an infantile understanding of religion.

>They're equally likely within the context of an argument for the likelihood of any being creating a universe. I personally don't think the likelihood of either is even measurable. If you say god is likely, because of reasons. I could replace god with a wearwolf, and the reasons wouldn't need to change.

Yeah you keep saying this and it's not true. You get that you're supposed to be making an argument, right? All you're doing is repeating that they're same over and over, and not explaining how. Prove to me that they're the same likelihood. Why are you saying anything else? All you should be doing is proving that, or taking back what you said.

>If a being needs to be capable of creating a universe to create a universe, then that is the only characteristic necessary for creating a universe. Adding additional requirements only makes it harder to prove. My wearwolf can be both a wearwolf and have the ability to create a universe. That ability wouldn't make it less of a wearwolf. It could possibly be more likely, because the characteristics of a wearwolf can be found in nature. Whereas the common characteristics given to a god are found NOWHERE. So what seems like a bigger stretch? But again, if you assert that additional characteristics are required to be capable of creating a universe, the onus is on you to argue that assertion.

The fact that there were men and wolves in nature absolutely does not make it more likely that a werewolf created the universe, because NOTHING about men or wolves would indicate that they can create universes. In fact, we know so much about them that it makes it way less likely. God, being defined as an all-powerful metaphysical being is much more likely to have created the universe, because nothing about the nature of god, as is traditionally defined, prevents it from doing so.

>A omniscient god would know. Otherwise, we could start with any that is measurable and predictable, and work our way towards a reasonable conclusion.

An omniscient god would know what?

>I don't have an argument to present unless you give me your reason for believing a universe creating being is likely at all. Then we can discuss why a wearwolf is as equally as likely as a that being. I have no idea why you think what you think, and I'm not going to guess from a wiki page.

You're very confused. I'm not proving to you that god exists, I'm proving to you that it's more likely that god created the universe than a werewolf. The fact that there is a long line of argumentation for god is itself evidence, because there is no corresponding argumentation for a werewolf creating the universe. If you have some, feel free to present it. Since you flippantly dismissed the fact that I gave you a wikipedia page to introduce you to apologetics, here are some books:

u/Dharma_Monkey · 1 pointr/Christianity
u/mynuname · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

Here is a good article on the topic. Feyer's book, 'The Last Superstition' goes into a lot of detail on it.

u/QuietBravePhantom · 1 pointr/Incels

Ohhh, I thought you were someone else. Anyways here read this
(you can find an ebook version online easily)

TL:DR - Objective Good exists and it is God. This is proven and demonstrable through logic and reason.

You exist and you can become a child of this goodness if you so choose. This is fulfillment and meaning as a human being and we exist to enjoy this infinite Truth and Love. We aren't aimless creatures mere byproducts of chance but divinely created beings loved immensely.

u/DJSpook · 1 pointr/AskAChristian

You can't just assume that you don't have the sufficient means for coming to an intellectually satisfied faith in Christ by the time you die and then hold that against God. I commend you to read The Last Superstition by Edward Feser (one of the eminent analytical philosophers of religion today) for an excellent academic response to the "New Atheism" championed by secular figures such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris in recent years.

The essay therein is an incisive exposition of their arguments and his attempted refutations--a piece of analytic philosophy worthy of anyone's consideration, especially if they want to honestly pursue an informed opinion on the matter of whether belief in God is rationally justified or not and take God up on His promise to reveal Himself to those who will seek Him.

Additionally, I believe you would find the following resources helpful in your pursuit of truth:

The Absurdity of Life Without God

Archeology and the Historical Reliability of the new Testament

Another great article on the historicity of the New Testament by analytic philosopher J.P. Moreland

Audio resources by Dr. Timothy McGrew

An essay on the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, explicated with the Bayesian Theorem of probabilities

All other religions can be dismissed as nonfalsifiable or for lacking an equally strong case, as analytic philosopher and NT Scholar William Lane Craig has said.

u/jz-dialectic · 1 pointr/Catholicism

I think you would be well off to read some solid theology and philosophy.

The Last Superstition by Edward Feser changed my life. Until I read this book, I always struggled to harmonize my faith with reason. Feser showed me how.
He also runs a blog:

Fr. Thomas Joseph White is a terrific teacher of the faith in the Thomistic intellectual tradition. His book The Light of Christ will explain some of the fundamental Catholic dogmas.

u/DKowalsky2 · 1 pointr/IAmA

The original question didn't request a philosophical premise for God's existence. It questioned the definition of faith, and those are the two links I provided. The analogy of "knowing" someone through rationality vs. experience isn't Bishop Barron's proof for God's existence. For better discussion on that from him, you'll want to look here:

u/ToughPill · 1 pointr/Christianity

There are quite a few that come to mind right off the bat.

The first is written by Edward Feser, and manages to explain the mechanics of the Aquinas argument from the First Mover while providing some of his own polemical broadsides in return to Dawkins. This book was actually instrumental in my own conversion to Christianity.

The Second is a series of rather friendly letters which were written in response to Dawkins book which ended up getting put onto the old Dawkins website before he shut it down for getting out of control.

The third is a longer book which focuses on critiquing all of the major New Atheist arguments. Great price it comes from the perspective of someone who isn't even necessarily arguing for Christianity- but is simply pointing out all of the philosophical and logical holes in the emperors new robe.

Those are just the first three that come to mind. Ask if you want something a little more academic.

u/modern_quill · 1 pointr/satanism

So... I'm writing up another post in notepad with a lot of Reddit comment formatting code and whatnot as a starter for creating quality stickies. Here's what I'm working with currently. There will be more to come. Feedback is welcome:


Link to previous Q&A sticky: Sticky 1, Sticky 2

Unlike many other subreddits, we at /r/Satanism enjoy nearly complete freedom of speech. The tradeoff for that free speech is that sometimes you will be exposed to ideas or opinions that you don't agree with. Keep in mind that bad behavior and not bad ideas will get people banned from this subreddit. As Satanists most often believe in stratification, the voting buttons in /r/Satanism can be used to that end. Because of this, moderators like myself likely will not remove links to sites that you would expect to be removed from other subreddits.



Note: This FAQ is written by moderator of /r/Satanism and member of the Church of Satan, /u/modern_quill. I am trying to remain unbiased and fact-based in these Q&A responses, so if you feel that I have somehow misrepresented your organization or philosophy, please let me know and we can work together to make the appropriate corrections.

Q: What is Satanism?

A: This is a simple question, but it has a complex answer because it depends on who you ask. Satanism as a philosophy and religion was first codified by Anton Szandor LaVey in his 1969 publication of The Satanic Bible. Some people refer to this secular Satanism as "LaVeyan Satanism" as a nod to Anton LaVey. The Satanic Bible borrows from the works of Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard, Ayn Rand's Objectivism, and Frederich Nietzche's Der Wille zur Macht. This is the most widely practiced form of Satanism and is championed by the Church of Satan (CoS) to this day. At its most basic definition, "LaVeyan Satanism" is about living the best life that
you want to live, and bending the world around you to your will to achieve that goal. A Satanist sees themselves as their own God. There is, of course, much more to Satanism than that very basic definition, but we expect people to do their own research as well. Most LaVeyan Satanists will simply call it Satanism, as there is only one form of Satanism from the Church of Satan's perspective. Members of the recently formed secular organization called The Satanic Temple (TST), by comparison, see Satanism as political activism. The Satanic Temple often makes news headlines with their efforts to establish a separation of church and state and do not include The Satanic Bible as part of their organization's canon, but rather The Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France. There are also theistic Satanists, some believe in a literal Satan and some do not. Ask a theist like /u/Ave_Melchom what they believe and they'll likely share their thoughts with you, but you probably won't find very many theists that share the same philosophy. There are also more esoteric organizations such as the Temple of Set (ToS), which was formed by former Church of Satan member Michael Aquino after infighting within the organization in 1975 caused many theistic members to split away and become Setians. /u/Three_Scarabs and /u/CodeReaper moderate /r/Setianism subreddit and are a wealth of information on the subject. There are also organizations that fall into a more neo-nazi ideology such as the now defunct Order of Nine Angles (ONA or O9A) and self-stylized "Spiritual Satanists" of the Joy of Satan (JoS), which are often not tolerated by other members of this subreddit. The words, "Fuck off, Nazi!" have become somewhat of a meme on /r/Satanism.

Q: If Satanists don't believe in Satan, why call it Satanism at all? Why not Humanism?

LaVeyan A: Modern secular Satanists see humans as just another animal within the greater animal kingdom, no better than our avian, reptilian, or mammalian friends. Our technology and our intellectual advancements may have placed us at the top of the food chain, but it has merely encouraged humans to be the most vicious animals of all. To us, Satan is a metaphor that represents our strength, our pride, our intellect, our carnality, and all of the so-called sins as they lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification. The Hebrew word Satan simply means adversary, and Satanists take that adversarial stance to a great many things in their lives; the way we approach an issue, the way we tackle a problem, the way we overcome an obstacle. While Humanists may try to live like Bill & Ted and be excellent to eachother, a Satanist recognizes that emotions like anger, even hate are natural to the human animal and we shouldn't feel guilty for such natural inclinations. While Christians may turn the other cheek when wronged, you can be sure that a Satanist will have their revenge, with interest.


Q: Do you sacrifice or molest children/animals? Do you drink blood?*

LaVeyan A: No. Sacrifice is a
Christian concept that was projected on to innocent Satanists during the "Satanic Panic" of the 80's and early 90's by charlatan law enforcement "consultants" and Christian religious "experts". One trait common to Satanists is their love of life as Satanists view life as the greatest of indulgences; children and animals represent the purest forms of life and imagination that there are. In fact, the abuse of children and animals is forbidden by the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth. Also, why would we want to drink blood? Christians* are the ones that (symbolically) eat the flesh and drink the blood of their savior. I'd rather enjoy a nice scotch.

Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth

  1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.

  2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.

  3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.

  4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.

  5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.

  6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.

  7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.

  8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.

  9. Do not harm little children.

  10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.

  11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.


    More FAQ Below - (10,000 character maximum per post.)

u/Konraden · 1 pointr/politics

I found a Satanic Bible once in a parking lot when I was in high school. I kept that shit.

u/to55r · 1 pointr/Soulnexus

Yeah you did! Soon you'll be in wonderland!

One of the first hallucinations I ever had -- and one of the strongest, even to this day -- was of a wolf face. It was out of nowhere: one moment it was the normal tone of eigengrau you'd expect behind your eyelids, the next, a wolf was inches from my face. It was beyond clear, more real than real life. I could see every hair. Its eyes, bright yellow and full of some unearthly knowing, stared right into mine. Not just at, but into.

Naturally, I shot up in bed, gasping and punching. I was just certain that a wolf had somehow gotten into my bedroom and had come to gobble me up, and I wasn't going down easily. My mother had been sleeping next to me that night, and I woke her up with all my thrashing about. She eventually convinced me that there wasn't a wolf in the room, and I eventually went back to sleep.

I obsessed about it for months. I was a kid back then, and the internet wasn't a thing (nor were computers or cell phones or any of that stuff), so I couldn't just google around for answers. After some heavy pondering, I assumed that I had just seen a picture of a wolf in a book somewhere, that it somehow stuck in my head, and had just popped up during some kind of weird, half-awake dream. I didn't know about hypnagogia back then.

So, being the little detective that I was, I proceeded to go through every single book and magazine we owned, looking for that specific image. I knew the eyes, I knew the coat patterns, and I knew that I would know both when I saw them again. When that failed, I begged my mom to take me to the library. And then kept begging until I had been enough times to go through all of their related material. All of their natural history books, all of their National Geographics, and anything else the card catalog hinted might have a wolf in it.

As you might expect, I found no match. I did find a mention of totem animals, though, which was a new concept for a kid who had only been taught about spirituality through the (very narrow, I now feel) lens of Southern Baptist faith. Fortunately, my family has native ancestry, or my search might have ended right there.

I started bringing home library books about Native American spirituality. Acceptable, even to my very conservative father. It was "Indian stuff", so it was fine. Those were exhausted pretty quickly. Eventually there was nothing left to read, and I begrudgingly gave up the search.

Some years later, when I was a teenager, my mother took me to a bookstore in a neighboring city, and left me to my own devices while she wandered off to get a coffee (and to meet her boyfriend, I realized much later, lol). I don't know what little internal thing pushed me in that direction, but after a few minutes of wandering, I started looking for more totem animal books. I ended up finding the new age section, and everything changed.

Now, I still believed back then that everything that had been printed in a book was true, or was at least valuable in some way. I understood the difference between fiction and nonfiction, but I thought that it had to be good fiction in order to be printable, because of course agents and editors and publishers had gone over it with a fine-toothed comb. It cost money to publish things, after all, and surely a business wouldn't invest in wasteful nonsense. And the non-fiction? Well, all of that had been equally well researched, of course. They were basically textbooks.

So imagine coming from this point of view, and being suddenly surrounded by things like Taoism, Eckankar, shamanism, tarot, mysticism, and Wicca. I was in the non-fiction section -- just one long shelf over from the Bibles! The Bibles!

Magic was real? Meditation wasn't just something monks in documentaries did? These were topics that our backwoods little library hadn't even hinted existed. It was like a portal to an entirely different world had suddenly been opened up to me, a world that I had no real way of knowing about until then. Dial-up internet was only just beginning to be installed in some homes, and mine wasn't one of them. And this stuff certainly wasn't highlighted on VH1.

I wanted to learn as much as possible, but I realized that the stuff I was reading had to be innocuous enough that I wouldn't get in trouble if my mother came back and caught me with it. Also, I didn't want to go to hell, and willfully touching something like this seemed like a pretty good foot in the door. So I grabbed a book about meditation, one about tarot (though I didn't understand what the hell it was talking about and ended up discarding it pretty quickly), and a sort of borderline acceptable one about candle magic. I found an overstuffed chair nearby, as I wasn't about to be caught dead in that aisle, and spent the next fifteen or so minutes soaking my little teenage brain in this whole new paradigm.

Mom returned not long after I had gotten really into the candle magic book. Maybe she was in a good mood, maybe she was feeling guilty for the tryst, maybe the stars aligned and some cosmic finger guided her, or maybe she was just more of a hippie than I gave her credit for. Likely a little of all of those. Whatever the case, she bought me this book, with the explicit instruction that I was to hide it from my father.

This is a pretty standard beginner's book, I now realize. Nothing in it is revolutionary, and many of the things I now have enough of an understanding of to disagree with the authors' interpretations, or to disregard it entirely. But back then, I thought it was gospel. It became my new Bible -- it certainly made a lot more sense than my old one. I carried it with me everywhere, for fear of leaving it somewhere at home and having my father discover it. It became not just reference material, but also a place where I could jot down everything that I was learning. My very first Book of Shadows. When Mom went back to the bookstore for more secret infidelities, she often dragged me along, and I always dragged the book along, and copied down things from other books into its pages (they all look like this, more or less, including the inside covers on both ends).

It grew from there. I went to college, got a job, bought a house, and proceeded to fill the library with books on whatever the hell I wanted. As a result, I am fairly well-versed in the histories and beliefs of many religions (most of the modern ones, some of the ancient ones), and extremely well-versed in a select few. I have also developed a strong interest in physics, which I believe will eventually become the bridge between science and spirituality. My shelves have plenty of those books, too.

I like to think that none of this would have happened quite like it has, had it not been for that wolf. Over the years, it has been something I have returned to, some unsolved mystery that "Oh, just hypnagogia" never quite felt like the right answer to. So not too long ago, during my QHHT session, I asked about it:

> What about the vision of the wolf face?

And my higher self responded:

> That is meant to be a guide. And she has followed, in her way. It has made her ask the questions that needed to be asked.

I think it served its purpose well.

u/songwind · 1 pointr/Fantasy

My junior high principal forbade us from bringing D&D rulebooks and the like because "they are Satanic." This must have been around 1986 or 87.

I asked my parents if I could buy a copy of the Satanic Bible and take that to read instead, but my Dad gave me some lame excuse about not dealing w/ me being suspended to make a point.

u/Invisible-War · 1 pointr/IAmA
u/DeliriumRage0138 · 1 pointr/exmormon

Anton Lavey's satanic bible is the best "holy" Book around. Fascinating stuff, and totally misunderstood by fear mongering christians.

It's like $10 here


u/Oliver_Moore · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

That would be The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey.

It's actually quite interesting.

u/OrangeChucker · 1 pointr/satanism

If i'm being wooshed, so be it.

Satanism has many different spins, one such spin was done by a man named Anton LaVey, who wrote This Satanic Bible. It's arguably the most popular/mainstream spin on Satanism and some people like to identify as LaVeyan Satanist rather than just Satanist.

Similar to how there are so many different spins on Catholicism there can be drastic differences between each spin.

u/PersephoneNarcissus · 1 pointr/Ghostbc
u/ericarlen · 1 pointr/

"If you're feeling really adventurous, why not 'Do as thou wilt' and check out The Satanic Bible by Mr. Anton LeVey. Come see what kind of whacky adventures he and his friends have been having!"

u/Tightaperture · 1 pointr/atheism

Thanks, I am really proud of him! before my grandma left she left a bible under his pillow haha he gave her this book as a gift.

u/Peppper · 1 pointr/atheism

I was raised Christian and went to a fundamentalist highschool. I started questioning things when I realized my faith required me to suspend my rationality. Read some books on the historical accuracy of religious claims. My thought was always, "Well if what all these people say is true, it should hold up to rational scientific inquiry." The more I dug, the more I realized that it never could. I fought and fought with myself. Christianity (especially of the fundamentalist flavor) has this built in mechanism to dissuade disbelief. You are constantly indoctrinated to see any doubt that enters your mind as evil, sinful and to simply "pray the doubt away". I'm sure you know of this. Keep fighting, let reason and logic be your guide.

Some books that helped me on my way to breaking free:

A History of God by Karen Armstrong

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

I also recommend this youtube series by user Evid3nc3.

Those should give you alot to think about.

Remember the most important thing is to decide for yourself. Question everything and never take something as truth from authority simply because they are an authority. See if it makes sense, find the documented evidence that backs up the claims. The light may hurt at first.

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." -Carl Sagan

u/dafoe · 1 pointr/TwoXChromosomes

As a going away gift, give him this.

u/Galphanore · 1 pointr/atheism

The Demon Haunted World and The God Delusion are good starting points.

u/A_Simpson · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

>The Argument from Change

Even if I were to agree with the article, it in no way points to a Christian God, or any God worshiped by humans.

>The Argument from Efficient Causality

If everything needs a cause (SUCH a religious train of thought), and God gave us that cause, who gave God cause? Of course, you think he's timeless and exempt from the rules you put on everything else.

I'm going to stop reading here. As far as I can tell, these are arguments to prove there is A god; not a specific god, certainly not the one you worship, just a god. And the arguments are not convincing anyone with half a brain.

You should check out this book. It will help make sense of religion, the bible, everything that is hard to understand about "god".

u/thebigsqueeze · 1 pointr/atheism

That's a good start for not believing in creationism, but The God Delusion would be a better start for arguments against god.

u/lordicarus · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/liquidpele · 1 pointr/Christianity

If you want....

I just like Sagan's works better myself, he has a way with words and his unwavering optimism and love of science is refreshing to me, but because of that he usually doesn't address religion directly and sticks to explaining why science is better at explaining nature. Any of Sagan's books are good, the other I recommend is Cosmos.

u/dumbell · 1 pointr/Fitness

Let them see you reading this then they'll be too upset to worry about when you're eating :)

u/MrMostDefinitely · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

Yes. I have heard atheists say that Dawkins book was an important source of information for them and it helped lead them to atheism.

Here is a website called

They allow users to review the book.

The top comment is by someone who might qualify as "EVIDENCE" that you are looking for.

So here is some evidence, anecdotal and 3rd party.

Versus you saying:

>I don't think Dawkins was very good at converting the religious to non-religion.

>I suspect that most of Dawkins readers were already in agreement with him.




u/MajorWeenis · 1 pointr/atheism

For the lazy:

u/professional_giraffe · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

Not long after I went off to college. I'd heard and read all the terrible things in the bible, but my loss of faith actually had to do with really studying the history of religion for the first time, and understanding how humanity's changing understanding of the world and growing sense of morality had influenced every major and minor change in dogma along the way. (Very similar to how I was able to dismiss creation when I learned about evolution in school.) I had already started to become more like a "deist" rather than a "theist" without realizing it, but I also had plenty of "religious experiences" that made me feel a personal relationship with god and kept me from dismissing it completely.

My first real challenge to my belief didn't happen until I investigated a church other than the non-denominational type I'd always been taken to growing up. I did this because my very serious boyfriend at the time was mormon (Who is now my atheist husband ;) and of course wanted to give it an honest look. But naturally I was skeptical. I looked on the internet for information, and to make a looong story short, I knew that it was untrue. (Like, literally plagiarized. Heh, literally...) But in researching one religion, I unknowingly started studying them all, and I encountered a lot of new arguments because of this (and just from being on the internet everyday helped with that too. Reddit was a big influence) and I remember deciding that I could not dismiss his religion or any other without truly looking into my own. So I decided to read arguments against everything I'd been taught, like a scientifically minded person is supposed to want to do.

Like you, I made a reddit post around this time, asking for sources and wanting others to tell me why they made the decision. Still identifying as christian, I didn't even know what information was out there, and what sources would be a best place to start. On that post I was given a link to this video series (edit: also linked by someone else) and when I had finished it I was an atheist. My "official" transition happened in just two hours, but really it made me realize how much I already didn't believe and taught me about a lot of other things about the bible I'd never heard such as the Documentary Hypothesis and the origins of Judaism. It was just my "last straw."

What you should look into next really depends on what might interest you the most or have the biggest impact. Here's a site that lists a ton of relevant books by category. Two I personally would highly recommend: "The God Delusion" which is fairly popular and a great place to start for a comprehensive understanding of the main issues, and "A History of God" is absolutely amazing for understanding the natural evolution of religion.

u/VitorMMVieira · 1 pointr/atheism

Admiring the beauty of the Universe is already a form of worship, I would say. There is no need to add more imagination to the things we know and the things we do not know. God(s) as you pointed out are attempts of explaining the unexplainable. The "god of the gaps" it is called... your observation is very sane and demonstratively correct. If you now start asking questions, being amazed by the wonders and at the same time the multiple explanations that were given over time to the most mundane things. You can see why and where religion started from.

Good luck in your journey or as "The Legend of Zelda" points out: "it's dangerous to go alone, here take this":

u/phybere · 1 pointr/pics

Assuming you're not just a troll, read this book:

u/AustinRivers25 · 1 pointr/trees

If you liked Cosmos by Sagan you might like Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time Updated and Expanded version (link to original version). I would also recommend Richard Dawkins' God Delusion if you are into that kind of thing (I only got a chapter into it so far). American Sniper by Chris Kyle is pretty good IMO (its his story of when he was a Navy Seal sniper in Iraq).

If you are looking for non-fiction I'm starting getting into comic books so I'd recommend Deadpool and Preacher. My last recommendation would be Stephen Coonts's series on Tommy Carmellini.

If I think of anything else I will PM you.

u/JaymesJB · 1 pointr/youngatheists

Here's some that I recommend:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. A classic. Deals with censorship, dystopian future society (very similar to our current way of life), criticizes television, etc.

1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell. Both deal with corrupt government, religion, conformity, etc.

VALIS by Philip K. Dick. A disturbing account of Dick's own struggles with finding a personal God. In fact, I can recommend anything by Philip K. Dick.

And, of course, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. It's an essential.

u/selfprojectionasgod · 1 pointr/atheism

1 book: The Portable Atheist.

For further reading: God Is Not Great and The God Delusion.

u/book4you · 1 pointr/atheism
u/lahwran_ · 1 pointr/IAmA

liking python is almost enough to overcome not knowing enough about evolution.

By the way, I'd be happy to support your campaign by sending you a copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins ;)

u/dudewhatthehellman · 1 pointr/pics

Dearest Sir,

Watch this.
I presume you've read the bible, have you read the case against? Here are two books I recommend. 1 and 2. I'm not going to answer your argument as it goes beyond rationality and is too poor to continue a rational debate. Please educate yourself either through what I have shown you or other means.

Yours truly,

A fellow mammal.

u/markkawika · 1 pointr/atheism

If you'd like to read a book about arguments like these, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins discusses this very argument (and many others) in Chapter 3, "Arguments For God's Existence". This specific argument is covered starting on page 103, in the section titled "The ontological argument and other a priori arguments".

u/CodyWilson7 · 1 pointr/atheism

Give her a copy of "The God Delusion".

u/ProfAbroad · 1 pointr/AskAcademia

I think you can find books on evolution and societal norms to be interesting. Someone already gave you some political philosophy. Maybe take a look at these for fun:

u/xanos5 · 1 pointr/atheism

I couldn't recommend Richard Dawkins The God Delusion enough.

it's a fantastic entry point for somebody that is skeptical about religion.

also Sam Harris Letter to a Christian Nation is a great short read about morality and religion in America.

u/JimDixon · 1 pointr/atheism

If you really want to understand atheism, read a book.

To start with, I recommend the essay/lecture Why I Am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927). Here it is in text form, which would be only about 10 pages if you print it out. Here it is in audio form on YouTube at about 39 minutes.

If you read that, and you want more, try Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion

u/OneArmedBandit7 · 1 pointr/ChristianApologetics

The God Delusion
while reading David Robertson's responses chapter by chapter in
The Dawkins Letters

u/dejoblue · 1 pointr/funny

I am experiencing The God Delusion right now, baby!

u/greywardenreject · 1 pointr/books

Upvoted for a really great response.

I would second crillbilly's recommendation of reading Dawkins', specifically The God Delusion. He deals with pretty much every question you've asked here. Complexity and mystery don't necessarily equal a God. If that were true, you could throw anything into those "gaps" in our knowledge. I believe that's where the infamous "spaghetti monster" came from. I could tell you he existed, and if you never find him, that just means you haven't looked in the right place.

There will always be things we won't know, and one can always hold those "unknowables" hostage as proof that there's just one more layer we've yet to peel away in our search for God. But my philosophy on that is: belief is what you want it to be. Its importance is only what you ascribe to it. You don't need it to live a happy life, only if you've talked yourself into believing that you do.

tl;dr - Read Contact by Carl Sagan. Striking a balance between faith and science is pretty much all he did, and he did it well.

u/Xarnon · 1 pointr/atheism

> You simply disbelieve because you refuse to try to understand.

I don't know about cephalgia, but for me: false. I "simply disbelieve" because there's a severe lack of evidence.

> If evolution explains all, how does evolution just "decide" it is going to do what it does?

You lack information of how evolution works. Go read The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins, or The God Delusion... If you dare.

> ... there is no reason to believe that when life was creating itself, ..., that conditions would change or that it would need to adapt... that's called consciousness

Again, a lack of information, because that's not how evolution works.

> but it fails in glaring fashion at explaining how it came to be in the first place

And again, a lack of information, because that's not what the theory of evolution explains.

> it's an idea, it can't create anything.

Again... (I think you're getting the idea here)

> Every cell in your body acts like a well oiled machine.

Say that to my face when I had 12 operations all related to my cleft lip, with which I was born with.

u/Cognizant_Psyche · 1 pointr/exchristian

The obligatory two books are Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens' God is not Great (How Religion Poisons Everything). Both are fantastic, Dawkins tends to focus more on Christianity and Hitchens is more widespread showing how dangerous it is across the board with many diverse examples.

For a broader sense start reading up on Philosophy and other religions, you will find that Christianity is nothing special and is quite weak in some areas. Familiarize yourself with the fallacies that are common in religious explanations as well. This way when the indoctrination starts to creep up you can look at the reasons you believed and see through them for what they are. Such engrained behaviors can be hard to shake, especially when guilt is involved as religion is a master craft at guilt manipulation. Once you see through the magic trick it looses it's power.

Another great book is The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, it shows how evolution works from a genetic level. I know you said you accept evolution and that is great, this will give you a more in depth look into the mechanics of the process and how we are no different than any other life form aside from our development tree. Its easy to read and understand, in fact this book really helped me break away from some of the mentalities of religion since it shows how humans really arent anything special and are very young.

Another author is Sam Harris, he has a lot of books that can help a deconvert find meaning in things they once valued without the need for religion, on subjects like morality, free will, spirituality, and other aspects.

Here is Hitchens' book on youtube read by the man himself:

God is not Great

u/ZoeBlade · 1 pointr/atheism

Read this. Come back, six month.

u/heybells2004 · 1 pointr/exmuslim

Read The God Delusion by Richard will be more at peace

u/sciencepoetryreality · 1 pointr/exchristian

I went to Alpha when I was still a Christian, but when doubts were starting to form. They invite you in by sharing a meal together, watching Gumbel's presentation, and having discussion. The video segments are made up of the same old arguments stating that people are basically bad and need to be made right by the blood of Jesus. It's an effective tool on those who aren't able to or aren't trained in logical/cognitive fallacies.

> I've tried to respectfully challenge her on a couple of things, but she feels that I'm attacking her new found faith.

IMO this is a red flag. Being defensive usually doesn't allow for an open mind. Be wary.

> Are there any good books which help explain non-literalist Christian beliefs to someone who came from a literalist background?

I wouldn't keep pointing in the direction of belief, but rather point in the direction of truth (Plus, we were taught to hate Rob Bell in church):

u/spiritualdissonance · 1 pointr/exchristian

After reading some of your comments below, my initial response was going to be to come back when you have an open mind. I don't think you'll get anything out of your pursuit until you do. But then I remembered myself in a similar mindset several years ago. If you'd really like to challenge your faith and develop a more rounded perspective here are some of the things I did that finally opened my eyes and helped me break free from the oppression of religion;

  • Read a book like The God Delusion. I read this when I considered myself a Christian. I only made it half way though because I thought it was full of presumptive anti-Christian propaganda. And I honestly still don't have a great opinion of the book, but it got some gears turning for me and challenged me to examine my beliefs honestly.
  • Read Rob Bell's series, What is the Bible?. Again, the quality of the content may be questionable, but it gets some gears turning in a good way.
  • Expose yourself to diversity. Meet, and get to know friends from other cultures. Christian friends are fine. Be vulnerable with them and open to their perspectives. I don't think mainstream Christianity can survive honest confrontation with other branches of Christianity. Yes, they mostly all believe Jesus was God and died for our sins, but beyond that the vary widely in their application.
  • Stop making excuses for God. Be honest with yourself and ask if you've ever had an experience that you can prove was an interaction with God. Christianity is a religion that claims God wants a relationship with individuals, so you should have had direct tangible experience of that somewhere in your life.
  • Read The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine. This one is fairly solid, and a very harsh critic of Christianity. If you do none of the other things on this list, read this. It's free online too.

    Good luck.
u/zubie_wanders · 1 pointr/atheism

Now go and read this.

u/mariusmule · 1 pointr/atheism

I'm sorry, and I'm sure you're a good person, but if you're a muslim you're subscribing to, and therefore enabling, an ideology which encourages the murder and rape of people who don't subscribe to it.

You don't need to follow my advice if you don't want to but I highly advise picking up atheism. Start with these books:

u/ggliddy357 · 1 pointr/Christianity

Thanks for the response. I hoped for a little repartee.

>But there's also a difference between, say, the example you gave of a dragon and these Christian accounts.

No, alas, they are exactly the same. They rely on eye witness (personal anecdote) testimony and have no evidence. Again, if there WAS evidence you (they) would be the first in history to show it. Additionally, you might want to theologically think about your stance on evidence and whether or not there is any. If a god provided evidence of its existence, wouldn't that remove our free will that christians so desperately defend by compelling us to believe? (By the way, you might want to hear what Sam has to say about Free Will)

>you can look at those who have been willing to die for their faith

This doesn't make a thing true. Those who follow Allah say this exact same thing before they blow themselves up on the crowed Israeli bus. The stronger you say your faith is, the faster I walk the other way in fear for my safety. There's no telling where ardent faith leads. Oh yeah, the Crusades for one. 9/11 for another. I'm pretty sure the female genital mutilation crowd is willing to die for their faith too. How about those parents who let their children die of easily cured maladies because they'd rather pray for help to come? I'll bet they're pretty strong in their faith.

Which leads me to...

> insincere or just deluded?

I think the majority of those who profess a belief in supernatural woo-woo actually believe it. True charlatans are rare but exist nonetheless. The easy way to spot a charlatan is the request for money. "God made the universe but you need to give 'til it hurts 'cause he's out of money." Therefore, to answer your either/or question, woo-woo believers are deluded. You know there's a famous book with a title you might recognize, The God Delusion. The clue is in the title.

Since you finished with a question, allow me the same privilege.

Do you care if your beliefs are true?

*Edit: Hyperlinked to The God Delusion by Sir Richard Dawkins. Thought for sure you'd want more details.

u/Lodo_the_Bear · 1 pointr/exmormon

Indeed. I could always laugh off the criticisms of Christians, especially evangelicals ("My beliefs are crazy? You believe in biblical inerrantism! Do you know how crazy that is?") but I could not so easily discard the criticisms of atheists. I always maintained the reality of miracles and spiritual visitations to counter them, often telling them about Moroni's promise... and look at me now, I subscribe to r/atheism and I'm halfway through my second reading of The God Delusion. Gotta watch out for those atheists, they'll getcha!

u/topherotica · 1 pointr/atheism

I don't think you'll be getting the book, however, if you're on a budget Amazon has paperbacks for < $10 including shipping. I think it would probably help your ex a lot, sounds like she is ashamed and she shouldn't be. If I had an extra copy I'd send it to you but no such luck, sorry.

u/prophet_nlelith · 1 pointr/atheism

I suggest reading this book:

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.
u/rasungod0 · 1 pointr/atheism

Oh I just checked the click through and that's because its an Amazon referral link, they're banned on all of reddit as spam so i have to remove the comment till you edit that out.

this string in the URL:


A user called "as_li_ss_tl" is getting a cut of sales from anyone who buys after clicking that link.

Here's a non-referral version you could edit in to have your comment restored:

u/Commentariat1 · 1 pointr/atheism

When r/atheism forgets all about Street Epistemology, the one method known and shown to work, it forgets it pretty damn thoroughly, eh? At least it does for the first 4 hours...

Street Epistemology (with Anthony Magnabosco)

Street Epistemology (with Tyrone Wells)

A Manual for Creating Atheists by Dr. Peter Boghossian (forget The God Delusion and God Is Not Great; they are unpersuasive to most religious people). This is the book that started the SE phenomenon.

Atheos app The mobile phone version of the above book. 1^st module is free!

Dr. Boghossian (philosophy prof. at PSU) wrote the book and the app. because he recognizes how bloody hard it is to overcome indoctrinated world views.

u/Leaves_Swype_Typos · 1 pointr/nottheonion

Oh damn that's gotta be rough to see. I really wish I had a way to help you help her.

u/im_not_afraid · 1 pointr/atheism

If you need help having a conversation with the faithful, try reading A Manual for Creating Atheists and watch videos made by Anthony Magnabosco.

u/Ben_ICU · 1 pointr/atheism

Are you familiar with Dr. Peter Beghossian Manual for Creating Atheists? I ask because he has good points on how to counter argue and to plant the seed of doubt. The Socratic method will probably be a big help when the class attempts to rebut your points.

  • Edit: spelling corrected and link added.
u/andrecunha · 1 pointr/atheism

I would start with the classic Some mistakes of Moses, by Robert Ingersoll.

There is a short book called Why There Is No God: Simple Responses to 20 Common Arguments for the Existence of God, by Armin Navabi, that is also a nice read.

One that I recently finished reading and enjoyed very much is The Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism, by Aron Ra. The book is not exactly about atheism; it's Aron's rebuttal to many creationist arguments, but Aron is a widely known atheist activist, and the book is very enjoyable.

I usually listen to The Thinking Atheist podcast, from Seth Andrews (a podcast I highly recommend, by the way). There are some book he suggested in his podcast that I haven't read yet, but which I included in my to-read list:

u/DrAceManliness · 1 pointr/exchristian

I agree, to an extent. OP is going about it the wrong way. I don't know if I'd say there's no value in trying to get friends and family to see reason, though.

To OP (/u/VirusMaster3072), I'd recommend reading A Manual for Creating Atheists. It's not perfect, but the strategies it lays out make for a better foundation for discussing religious topics with people of faith. Going back and forth each saying "I'm right" isn't all that productive. The best approach, though the hardest, is through patience and carefully constructed questions. This book lays out very practical strategies for achieving that.

The alternative is nothing more than digging yourselves further into your own ditches until you're so entrenched you can no longer see eye-to-eye.

u/CaptainExecutable · 1 pointr/exmormon

Don't talk too much of about history, facts, or counter-apologetics. You do not need to justify yourself to your family. Arguing with uniformed family members rarely leads anywhere useful.

However, if you find that your family is open minded start with epistemology.

Read this book.

Work through this app.

Use your study Mormon history to correct any misconceptions that may arise in the course of discussing epistemology rather than using history as a starting point for disagreement.

And above all remember that it is Mormon believers who are making the truth claims. They have the burden of proof. However, if you start making claims about this or that then you will find that you will have to shoulder the burden of proof, and the discussion can get sided tracked. Watch Matt Dillahunty. He is the master of not letting his debate opponent shift the burden of prove. He doesn't make many claims and he is willing to say "I don't know".

When a believer makes a claim, your first question should be:

>"How do you know that?"

From there you can easily keep the burden of proof where it should be or transition the topic to epistemology when you are ready.

u/matruschkasized · 1 pointr/atheism

They have already heard a lot of "arguments" in their "logic" classes, so I always try to find one that they haven't heard yet.

After that, I try to steer the discussion towards faith, as far away from religion as I can think of.

Did you ever see [any lecture from Peter Boghossian?] ( because he kinda wrote [the book] ( on that.

u/ziddina · 1 pointr/exjw

Try this technique on her.

Here's the book mentioned in the first few minutes of that broadcast:

If she doesn't change her mind or at least begin to let go of the Watchtower Society fundamentalist, apocalyptic Christian literalism, within a year, I'd suggest you cut your losses & let her try to find a suitable marriage mate among the dwindling resources at her local Jehovah's Witness kingdom hall, instead.

u/meowmixmotherfucker · 1 pointr/relationship_advice

Damn man, this sucks. But you know, there are plenty more fish in the sea... also, insert multiplying fish joke here.

Faith isn't a thing you can choose to have or to be given. It's deeply rooted and by definition stands in the face logical thought processes. It's a feeling in your gut that can slip away despite the most sincere efforts to hold onto it. Likewise no amount of her relating miracles will make it take root. She's trying to connivence you to have a feeling, and inherently non-cognative thing. You can't control feelings, at least not with that degree of control. Faith has to creep into your consciousness like all other superstitions. Usually this happens as a child grows, it's easier to indoctrinate the young. In adults, all intents and purposes, faith spreads like a virus. That's why you tend to get preached to when someone dies or before big life events - it's easier to manipulate someones thinking when they're distraught or distracted. Constantly trying to persuade you isn't going to work for her, which will cause frustration at best but most likely a great deal of resentment. It's going to drive a wedge between you. And really, do you even want the faith? Remembering that side effects may include faulty epistemological claims, poor reasoning and a willingness to indoctrinate others, especially children, in a sick self loathing misogynistic homophobic middle eastern blood cult. Not worth it man.

hmm, apparently I woke up on the grumpy side of the bed. But still...

Luckily there's a cure. It's called logic and it's easy to administer. Engage the discussion sincerely and ask good questions. You might find A manual for creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian useful.

Alternatively you could take her up on her offer to read the Bible, but on the condition that you read it cover to cover. No pull quotes or 'special readings' from her paster. Just cover to cover. After all, it's the authoritative word of God, how could reading it all be a bad thing? By the end of the book god will be a lot less important to her life. Because he's a fucking monster, never-mind all the internally inconsistent nonsense and outlandish claims about the world that we know to be false.

But all of this assumes that the relationship it worth your time and energy because helping someone out of a faith-based delusion is a long shitty road.

Some others have commented that they have successful inter-faith relationships and that's great. Good on them. If you can do that too awesome, but given that she's so desperate to push it on you and you're already annoyed but it... seems like 'live and let live' isn't going to be the solution. Besides, even it does work out eventually it will be time to indoctrinate, or not, your kids. Never-mind religion's constant medaling in, and association with, politics and culture. There are going to be more large issues. It might be a better call to acknowledge that you have different world views and will likely grow in different directions. Finding someone with your value set or outlook on life might be the better path.

u/maltose66 · 1 pointr/atheism

Street epistemology can help people question their faith. Have you read Peter_Boghossian ?