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August 21, 2008
New in the Bookstore: Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity (2008) by John W. Loftus.
John W. Loftus was a devout evangelical Christian, an ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and an ardent apologist for Christianity. With three degrees--in philosophy, theology, and philosophy of religion--he was adept at using rational argumentation to defend the faith. But over the years, doubts about the credibility of key Christian tenets began to creep into his thinking. In this honest appraisal of his journey from believer to atheist, Loftus carefully explains the experiences and the reasoning process that led him to reject religious belief.
August 17, 2008
"The article argues that magical thinking, and the element of the supernatural in general, is not so much a product of religion as material used by it in the process of moral education, which entails learning to take symbols metaphorically rather than literally. I am not trying to make any grand statements about whether the totality of religious phenomena is, on balance, good or bad. I'm just pointing to an aspect of SOME religious thinking that should be regarded favorably by proponents of a naturalistic worldview." - Gabe Eisenstein
August 13, 2008
The Myth of Free Will presents a quirky, yet profound treatment of an esoteric topic that's destined to become edgy. The book strives to answer the questions: "Do I have free will?" "If not, why does it feel like I do?" Contributors include Thomas W. Clark, Daniel Wegner, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, William B. Provine, Paul Bloom, Antonio Damasio, Francis Crick, Eric Kandel, Susan Blackmore, Arnell Dowret, Read Montague, Lee M. Silver, Matt Ridley, Ginger Campbell, V.S. Ramachandran, Douglas Hofstadter, Kurt Vonnegut, Woody Allen, Mark Twain, and Albert Einstein. In all, fifty leading thinkers are represented.
August 11, 2008
New in the Library: Review of Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination (2008) by Edward Tabash to the Faith and Reason page in the Modern Documents section.
Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination chronicles a medical doctor's journey from traditional religion to Eastern-path meditation and mysticism, finally ending in nonbelief. The author writes in great detail about his own loss of any kind of faith in his personal journey toward atheism and naturalism. Although the author has come to reject all supernatural claims, he nevertheless apparently suspects that humanity cannot endure without hope in the existence of some unseen supernatural being. He seems to doubt that any secular worldview can ever satisfy the spiritual yearning of the masses. Reviewer Edward Tabash, a constitutional lawyer who is extensively involved in atheist activism, deeply appreciates the author's comprehensive chronology of the journey from religion, through mysticism, to nonbelief. Tabash has made a similar journey. However, Tabash does not embrace the author's apparent pessimism about ever persuading masses of humanity to give up their supernatural beliefs.