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Nonbeliever Nation
David Niose (2012)

A summary of the political situation and progress of the nonreligious.

Good without God
Greg Epstein (2010)

The Harvard Humanist chaplain's take on why we should be good and what that means.

Infidel
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (2007)

The memoirs of a muslim turned anti-Islam activist.

Why the Religious Right is Wrong (About Separation of Church and State)
Robert Boston

The title says it all.

Self-Contradictions of the Bible
William Henry Burr

Very specific list of contradictory Bible passages.

The Blind Watchmaker
Richard Dawkins

Well-written, easy to digest book that answers the Argument from Design with current knowledge of evolution, and also proposes new

ideas on how evolution may progress at the genetic or even molecular level. A sequel to The Selfish Gene.

2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt
James A. Haught

Collection of quotes and essays by famous non-believers throughout history.

Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: A Critical Examination of the Evidence
Terence Hines

Debunks paranormal and supernatural claims, and explains why people are prone to believing them in the first place.

Humanist Anthology
Margaret Knight

Collections of short essays by and about Humanists/Humanism from authors of all time periods.

The Atheist Debater's Handbook
B.C. Johnson

Briefly covers all standard and not-so-standard arguments for God, miracles, etc.

Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Humanism
Paul Kurtz

All about godless morality.

Living Without Religion: Eupraxophy
Paul Kurtz

Introduces a new philosophical term to describe Humanism. Controversial amongst Humanists, but if Kurtz has his way eupraxophy could possibly become the preferred terminology of Humanism in the future.

The Transcendental Temptation: A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal
Paul Kurtz

Compares the popular self-proclaimed prophets of lots of different religions, examines the reasons people continue to believe and follow them, and discusses the possibility of a more humanistic society in the future.

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

A series of essays critiquing the recent and past influence of pseudoscience, superstition, magical thinking, and poor reasoning skills on our society. A must-read for scientists, skeptics, or freethinkers.

Atheism: The Case Against God
George H. Smith

Quoth Smith: "It is not my purpose to convert people to atheism...(but to) demonstrate that the belief in God is irrational to the point of absurdity. If a person wishes to continue believing in a god, that is his prerogative, but he can no longer excuse his belief in the name of reason and moral necessity." This is Smith on his soapbox being the classic atheist, if there is such a thing. Very readable, very fun, very devil's advocate.

Contact
Carl Sagan

A novel about the political, social, and religious effects of our first contact with extraterrestrial life. The basis for the 1997 motion picture.

Job: A Comedy of Justice
Robert A. Heinlein

A charmingly humorous novel (though quite serious at heart) in which unseen forces wreak havoc with the life of the protagonist (a modern-day evangelical minister), who, while experiencing even more unlikely events, gets hooked up with a girlfriend who believes in the Norse gods... (It's got a Hell of an ending, too.)

Amazing Conversions: Why some turn to faith and others abandon religion
Bob Altemeyer and Bruce Hunsberger

Results of a study (perhaps the first of its kind) on unlikely converts and apostates.

Critiques of God: Making the case against belief in God
Peter A. Angeles

Collection of pure philosophy from all the big-name freethinkers. This could be a textbook, probably is a textbook somewhere, and probably wouldn't interest anyone who doesn't love philosophy.

The Philosophy of Humanism
Corliss Lamont

Often considered the standard text defining Humanism. Of great historical value, this is the book that spurred on the modern Humanist movement.

Evangelicals at the Ballot Box
Albert J. Menendez

Covers the influence of the evangelical voting population. Packed with all the statistics, graphs, maps, and facts you'll ever want to know about this subject!

Flim-Flam!: Psychics, ESP, and other Delusions
James "The Amazing" Randi

Debunks paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims.

Why I Am Not a Christian, and other essays on religion and related subjects
Bertrand Russell

Essays by one of the great, and agnostic, philosophers of our time. A must-read standard book.

Why I Am Not a Muslim
Ibn Warraq

Warraq, drawing largely on previous research, provides an invaluable compilation of Islam's shortcomings. He makes a compelling case that Islam is flatly incompatible with individual rights and liberties of a liberal, democratic, secular state.

Please send comments, questions, or suggestions to ssomit@mit.edu.