Recommendy thingies

Jerry A. Coyne

  • Why Evolution Is True

Richard Dawkins

  • A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love
  • Climbing Mount Improbable
  • The God Delusion
  • Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder
  • The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
  • The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design
  • The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
  • The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

Daniel Dennett

  • Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

Richard Elliott Friedman

Sam Harris

  • The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
  • Letter to a Christian Nation
  • The Moral Landscape - How Science Can Determine Human Values

Christopher Hitchens

  • God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
  • The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

Dromedary Hump

James Kugel

  • How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now

Michel Onfray

  • In Defence of Atheism (aka The Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam)

Bertrand Russell

  • Religion and Science
  • Why I Am Not a Christian & Other Essays on Religion & Related Subjects

Carl Sagan

  • The Demon Haunted World - Science as a Candle in the Dark

Neil Shubin

  • Your Inner Fish - A Journey into the 3.5 Billion Year History of the Human Body

Al Stefanelli

Victor J. Stenger

  • God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
  • The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason

"various authors:" The Bible/Qur’an/Torah/etc.

  • A downloadable version of the Bible is available here, free of charge (in most formats).
  • An online version of the Qur’an is available here, with complete Chapters & Verses in Arabic as well as various accepted English translations for each verse.
  • The skeptic’s annotated bible is available here, with sections on the Bible, the Qur’an, and The Book of Mormon

Recommended Viewing

Movies & Documentaries

Following is a list of movies and documentaries about religion or atheism that have been recommended many times in various posts on r/atheism.
{List is in no particular order}

Inherit the Wind (1960) watch 

Marjoe (1972) watch 

The Magdeline Sisters (2002) watch 

Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality (2003) trailer 

The God who wasn’t there (2005) watch 

Jesus Camp (2006) trailer 

Deliver us from evil (2006) watch 

The Man from Earth (2007) trailer 

Religulous (2008) trailer 

God on Trial (2008) preview 

Here Be Dragons (2008) watch 

The Genius of Charles Darwin (2008) watch 

Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson (2009) trailer 

Agora (2009) trailer 

The Invention of Lying (2009) trailer 

8: The Mormon Proposition (2010) trailer 

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979) trailer 

A History of God: Karen Armstrong full documentary summary 

Contact (1997) trailer 

See also

Lots more videos in this post

NukeThePope’s video list

A compilation of youtube atheist videos (only original content)

TV, Speeches, Talks & Debates

Following is a list of TV shows, recorded speeches, talks or debates about religion or atheism by prominent or renowned Atheist speakers.
{List is in no particular order}

500+ Atheism vs. Theism Debates watch 

Why are you not a Christian?.. (Interview with Bertrand Russell) watch 

A Universe not made for us (Carl Sagan) watch 

The View From The End Of The World (Talk by Sam Harris) watch 

The Clash between Faith & Reason in the Modern World (Talk by Sam Harris) watch 

Sam Harris: Can Science Determine Human Values? part1 part2 part3 part4 part5 part6 part7

Richard Dawkins on Militant Atheism (2002 TED talk) watch

Richard Dawkins demonstrates laryngeal nerve of the giraffe/evidence for evolution watch 

Richard Dawkins: Root of all evil? (2006 UK TV Special) watch 

Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion (2006 UK TV Special) watch 

Richard Dawkins: The Enemies of Reason (2007 UK TV Special) watch 

Richard Dawkins: Faith Schools menace? (2010 UK TV Special) watch 

The Four Horsemen (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens & Harris) (2008) watch 

Debate: The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world (Christopher Hitchens & Stephen Fry vs. Ann Widdecombe & Archbishop John Onaiyekan) watch 

Debate: Is religion a force for good in the world? (Christopher Hitchens vs. Tony Blair) watch 

Freedom of Speech (Christopher Hitchens) watch 

On Religion (Christopher Hitchens) watch 

On God or Gods (Carl Sagan) watch 

Pale Blue Dot (Carl Sagan) watch 

A Universe from Nothing (Lawrence Krauss) watch 

Godless in America - The Madalyn Murray O’Hair story watch 

Interview (Ayaan Hirsi Ali) watch part1 part2 mirror 

Atheism: Jonathan Miller’s Brief History of Disbelief (2004) part1 part2 part3

The Atheism Tapes 1 (Colin Mcginn) (2004) watch 

The Atheism Tapes 2 (Steven Weinberg) (2004) watch 

The Atheism Tapes 3 (Arthur Miller) (2004) watch 

The Atheism Tapes 4 (Richard Dawkins) (2004) watch

The Atheism Tapes 5 (Denys Turner) (2004) watch 

The Atheism Tapes 6 (Daniel Dennett) (2004) watch 

We believe the Bible identifies the Anglo-Saxon people with the Old Testament nation of Israel

Have you ever noticed that strange statement at the bottom of the Revival Centre ‘We Believe’ list? The first point starts off, “We believe in the infallibility of the Bible…”. Sounds great. A few other beliefs follow. Then, hidden at the bottom, is “We believe the Bible identifies the Anglo-Saxon people with the Old Testament nation of Israel …”. What? Where on earth did they come up with that one!?

In fact, how the Revival Centres inherited this doctrine, called ‘British-Israelism’, is quite interesting.

Hundreds of years before the first Revival Centre, the first ‘British-Israel’ manifesto was issued. British-Israelism was first hinted at by the British Member of Parliament, John Sadler, in his Rights of the Kingdom(1649). But the movement began in the eighteenth century after the self-styled ‘Nephew of the Almighty’, Richard Brothers, published his book A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times (1794). Brothers was, as one source puts it, “a Canadian madman”. He became troubled by visions, and said that the British parliament was the ‘beast’ of Revelation. Brothers believed he was a descendant of King David, and that only he had the right to be king of England. Unfortunately for him, King George III disagreed. The Cambridge Biographical Enyclopedia (1994) says:

Brothers, Richard (1757-1824) British religious fanatic and ex-naval officer, born in Newfoundland, Canada. He announced himself in 1793 as the ‘nephew of the Almighty’, apostle of a new religion, the Anglo-Israelites. In 1795, for prophesying the destruction of the monarchy, he was sent to Newcastle and subsequently to an asylum.

Brothers was confined to the mental asylum from 1795-1806. Despite this, and the failure of his prophecy that Jerusalem would be restored to the Hebrews in 1798, his movement flourished. By the end of the nineteenth century, there were said to number two million adherents of British-Israelism, most of them Church of England members. In 1859, John Taylor of London expanded the theory into the field of Pyramidology. In the book The Great Pyramid, Why Was It Built and Who Built It? John Taylor tried to show how Israelites built the Pyramid of Cheops, and how British Inches and measurements could be found in its design.

In 1928, a man called Tom Foster visited the pyramids of Egypt and seems to have been ‘hooked’. When, in 1930, he became ‘born again’ he retained his ideas about it with a new Christian slant - seemingly taking on these new teachings about Pyramids and Lost Tribes.

Getting in to more modern times, the Revival Centre position on British-Israel can be traced back to the one-time Assembly of God (‘AoG’) preacher, Leo Harris. Leo was on a Revival tour in Victoria in 1941. He and his brother Allan were staying in the house of a Miss Finlayson, who was very interested in Bible prophecy. She informed them that Tom Foster would be speaking in the Ballarat City Hall on Sunday 30 November, 1941 (3PM). When they found out that the talk would be on British-Israelism, they informed Miss Finlayson that they held opposing views and were not interested. In the end, they went with the elderly lady to satisfy her. They left, after the meeting, thinking it was the end of the matter.

When, however, Tom showed up to their AOG meeting at the Manchester Unity Hall, Leo Harris was quite upset. He told his brother Allan to ‘do the courtesies’, but Tom stayed behind and eventually got into conversation with Leo. Leo reluctantly agreed to get together with Tom for general fellowship on 1 December, 1941. Now, that morning, Leo became very impressed with Tom’s views of Revelation. Over lunch, he also acceded to the British-Israel teaching. Because of these new views, the Assemblies of God no longer accepted Leo Harris in their fellowships.

In 1944-5, Leo came to Adelaide and started up a ‘National Revival Crusade Centre’ (in 1963 they became known as the ‘Christian Revival Crusade’), and taught British-Israel. From Adelaide, Leo Harris planted assemblies in other Australian cities. In 1949, a car salesman named Lloyd Richard Longfield was baptised and ‘slain in the Spirit’ under Tom Foster. During World War II, Lloyd had been a staff sergeant in the AIF in Egypt. He also had visited the Great Pyramid, and was also ‘hooked’ (Voice of Revival, Vol.14, No.2). From there the story is well known. After disagreements, Lloyd Longfield left the fellowship. With Noel Hollins of Geelong, the “two Victorian Assemblies in 1958 aligned themselves as the Melbourne and Geelong Revival Centres”.

We know from old Revival Crusade books that they taught British-Israel and Pyramidology until about 1977. But after Leo Harris’ death in that year, British-Israel theology gradually disappeared from their ‘belief’ list. The Revival Centres International, however, continued to teach British-Israel, and the doctrine was ardently preached by Lloyd Longfield in National Conventions. In 1995, when the Revival Centres split, both the Revival Centres International (Melbourne) and the Revival Fellowship (Adelaide) continued to teach British-Israel.

What do reputable historians and anthropologists say about British-Israelism? The theory can quickly be set aside as having no basis. One anthropologist, Dr. Calvin Kephart, says that the Anglo-Saxons and the Israelites are genetically different races. So, they cannot be the same peoples! In his book, Races of Mankind (1961), page 150, he states, “Since the original Hebrews were Kassites, of typically Turkic build, i.e., with tawny complexion, of medial height and stocky build, with prominent nose, and brachycephalous, all efforts to identify Aryan Nordic people of Europe as descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel are doomed to failure. A more futile task is inconceivable”. Source.

Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit

Based on the book The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan

The following are suggested as tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:

  • Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts
  • Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
  • Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no “authorities”).
  • Spin more than one hypothesis - don’t simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
  • Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.
  • Quantify, wherever possible.
  • If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.
  • "Occam’s razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.
  • Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?

Additional issues are

  • Conduct control experiments - especially “double blind” experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.
  • Check for confounding factors - separate the variables.

Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric

  • Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.
  • Argument from “authority”.
  • Argument from adverse consequences (putting pressure on the decision maker by pointing out dire consequences of an “unfavourable” decision).
  • Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).
  • Special pleading (typically referring to god’s will).
  • Begging the question (assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased).
  • Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).
  • Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).
  • Misunderstanding the nature of statistics (President Eisenhower expressing astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!)
  • Inconsistency (e.g. military expenditures based on worst case scenarios but scientific projections on environmental dangers thriftily ignored because they are not “proved”).
  • Non sequitur - “it does not follow” - the logic falls down.
  • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - “it happened after so it was caused by” - confusion of cause and effect.
  • Meaningless question (“what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?).
  • Excluded middle - considering only the two extremes in a range of possibilities (making the “other side” look worse than it really is).
  • Short-term v. long-term - a subset of excluded middle (“why pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?”).
  • Slippery slope - a subset of excluded middle - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile).
  • Confusion of correlation and causation.
  • Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack..
  • Suppressed evidence or half-truths.
  • Weasel words - for example, use of euphemisms for war such as “police action” to get around limitations on Presidential powers. “An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public”

How cults work.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mahatma Gandhi

So I decided to join The KKK…

Sure, I don’t agree with their notion of white pride. And I don’t believe in their desire to cut off all American foreign aid, nor their desire to outlaw homosexuality, nor their anti-abortion stance. I think their plans for creating a Christian nation are horrible and damaging. And I think their history of racism is a truly terrible thing.

But there is a lot of good that comes out of being in the klan! A sense of community. A sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself. And some of the things they believe in, I also agree with. They believe in supporting strict environmental laws. They believe in balancing the budget. They stand behind states rights, and they strongly support veterans.

Just because a few radical individuals did some terrible things in the past in the name of the Klan, that has nothing to do with how the Klan is today! Besides, those people weren’t true Klansmen. A real, modern Klansman would never act like that!

I can call myself a Klansman, even though I don’t agree with everything they believe in. And I still go to a few Klan meetings each year, even though I disagree with some of their core tenets. I like the ceremonies, and some of the songs. I’m just choosing the parts that I like, and I’m going to with that, while I ignore the parts of The Klan that I disagree with.

So really, there’s nothing wrong with The Klan, or being a member. It’s just a personal matter of how an individual chooses to live their life.

I really don’t understand why people have a problem with me being in the Klan! cc

This 56 second clip from Neil DeGrasse Tyson is more poetic than any RF talk I ever heard.