Your Summer Reading List

Published by Minnesota Atheists on

By Grant Steves

Photo of Grant in suit and tie.

Reading allows us to escape into sand castles, solve the great murder mystery, connect with the population of the planet Msiehta, or live vicariously through a romantic love story. Summer seems to seduce us into such easy reading. The following reading list does not meet the escapist standard. It is a list to expand your knowledge, deepen your understanding, and keep your grey matter alive.

1. Owen Flanagan,  The Really Hard Problem, 2007, 288 pages, The MIT Press.
How we create meaning in the material world.  Flanagan expands our understanding of consciousness as it is understood pursuant to neurological research.

2. Bruce M. Hood, Supersense, 2009, 302 pages,  Harper One.
A cognitive scientist explores why we believe in the unbelievable. He strips away the magic of mind reading and gives us the biology of belief.

3. Lee Tiffin, Creationism’s Upside-Down Pyramid, 1994, 230 pages,  Prometheus Books.
A man of science explores why we need to refute Fundamentalism’s creation myth, and its intrusion into public education and life.

4. Thomas W. Clark,  Encountering Naturalism,  2007, 103 pages, Center for Naturalism.
A short, pithy introduction to the worldview of naturalism. Atheism presents a position, and naturalism provides the worldview for atheism.

5. Richard Carrier, Sense and Goodness Without God,  2005, 424 pages,  Author House.
Carrier gives depth to the philosophical position of naturalism that Clark’s book only outlines.  Carrier’s book is for the philosophically adventurous.

6. Rodrigue Trembaly, The Code For Global Ethics, 2010, 300 pages,  Prometheus Books.
This book is reviewed on page 12. An easy, readable book on ethics for humanists.

7. Greg M. Epstein, Good Without God, 2009,  250 pages,  William Morrow.
The Humanist chaplain at Harvard University explains what nonreligious people know and believe.  Epstein explores the practical side of living as a humanist.

8. John W. Loftus,  The Christian Delusion, 2010, 422 pages, Prometheus Books.
Loftus participated in an interview on  MNA’s radio program a year ago when he discussed his book Why I Became an Atheist.  His latest book is a collection of essays by various atheist authors. David Eller discusses the culture of Christianities; Hector Avalos explores Yahweh as a moral monster; Robert Price states why Jesus is a myth; and Loftus contributes several essays on the failure of Christianity. The adventure in this book lies in browsing through to the essays you enjoy.

9. Lee A Kirkpatrick,  Attachment, Evolution, and the Psychology of Religion,  2005,  400 pages, The Guilford Press.
Kirkpatrick explores the psychology behind human attachment to religion as revealed in the evolution of humanity.  We may have left religion behind and wonder why more do not.  Kirkpatrick helps us understand why so many stay within religion.

10. David Lewis-Williams, Conceiving God,  2010,   314 pages, Thames & Hudson.
Lewis-Williams presents the cognitive origin and evolution of religion. This book mixes the history, anthropology, and psychology of humanity as religion evolved in the human community. 

Take the challenge and enjoy one of the ten recommended books for summer reading.

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