Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists

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Ulysses Press, May 1, 2009 - Religion - 392 pages
2 Reviews
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR GODLESS
"Valuable in the human story are the reflections of intelligent and ethical people who listen to the voice of reason and who allow it to vanquish bigotry and superstition. This book is a classic example."
--CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS author of God is Not Great
"The most eloquent witness of internal delusion that I know--a triumphantly smiling refugee from the zany, surreal world of American fundamentalist Protestantism--is Dan Barker."
--RICHARD DAWKINS author of The God Delusion
"Godless was a revelation to me. I don't think anyone can match the (devastating!) clarity, intensity, and honesty which Dan Barker brings to the journey--faith to reason, childhood to growing up, fantasy to reality, intoxication to sobriety."
--OLIVER SACKS authors of Musicophilia
In Godless, Barker recounts his journey from evangelical preacher to atheist activist, and along the way explains precisely why it is not only okay to be an atheist, it is something in which to be proud."
--MICHAEL SHERMER publisher of Skeptic Magazine
"Godless is a fascinating memoir and a handbook for debunking theism. But most of all, it is a moving testimonial to one man's emotional and intellectual rigor in acclaiming critical thinking."
--ROBERT SAPOLSKY author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
 

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The most fascinating parts of this book are the first two, essentially those described by the subtitle. First, he takes us inside the mind of himself when thoroughly deluded by his religion and dedicated to drawing others into this state. Then, from encountering persons who are not complete literalists, he is led to read many works on theology that are widely respected by religionists. Interestingly, this inquiry starts him thinking, whereupon his recovery follows inevitably. Following that, the least interesting part to me is his description of the fundamental flaws of religious belief, although it might be interesting to persons who are still deluded. I even think his rebuttal of god as first cause / uncreated creator is flawed, but that this argument is unimportant because even if that doctrine is accepted it only supports deism. Then come descriptions of many self-contradictions in the bible and of unquestionably immoral behavior of the god it describes, which completely refute the common notion of the bible as a guide to moral behavior, and which are interesting to anyone who has learned anything about the bible. The last part describes his work in combatting religion in all levels of government in the United States, which leaves this Canadian wondering about similar work in Canada. 

Contents

The Call
3
The Fall
33
The Fallout
46
The New Call
67
Why I Am an Atheist
87
Refuting God
104
OmniAqueous
121
Cosmological Kalamity
130
Murder He Wrote
203
Bible Contradictions
222
Understanding Discrepancy
243
We Go to Washington
309
Adventures in Atheism
320
Life and Death Matters
337
Selected Bibliography
357
Index
367

Dear Theologian
145
The Bible and Morality
161
About the Author
376
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Dan Barker received a degree in religion from Azusa Pacific University and was ordained to the ministry by the Standard Community Church. He has appeared on numerous talk shows including Oprah Winfrey, Hannity & Colmes, and Good Morning America. He lives in Madison, WI.

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