Resources and Media
Why atheism? | What does it mean to be... | ...an atheist? | ...an agnostic? | ...a freethinker? | Is atheism a religion? | Does atheism have an official church? | Are atheists Satanists? | Are atheists Humanists? | Is atheism "anti-religious"? | Oh yeah? What about... | You're all going to Hell! |
Answers for atheists
"Active atheism"? Why bother? | Why a discussion group? | How can I "come out" as an atheist or agnostic? | What can I do about discrimination? | Where's the revolution? |
An ever-expanding list of resources on atheism, agnosticism, humanism and freethought, as well as interesting material on the workings of different religions, past and present. Books, movies,and everything in between--at least enough to keep you busy for a while.
Call for resources!
Disclaimer! This list is for you, people, not for us. AAF doesn't necessarily endorse any of the views or opinions presented in any of the works below--they're there because we believe visitors to this site might find them of interest. Read/watch whatever you want to on this list, but don't read too much into it. 'k? Great. Enjoy.
Atheism and beyond...
Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, by Michael Martin (Temple Univ. Press 1992)
The Impossibility of God, eds. Michael Martin & Ricky Monnier (Prometheus 2003)
Freedom Evolves, by Daniel C. Dennett (Viking 2003)
Atheism: A Reader, ed. S. T. Joshi (Prometheus 2000)
Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, by Susan Jacoby (Metropolitan Books 2004)
Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age, by A. C. Grayling (Oxford 2002)
A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science and Love, by Richard Dawkins (Houghton Mifflin 2003)
Belief or Nonbelief? A Dialogue, Umberto Eco & Cardinal Martini (Arcade 1997)
Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain, by Antonio R. Damasio (Harvest Books 2003)
The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Told, by Acharya S. (Adventures Unlimited Press 1999)
The Happy Heretic, by Judith Hayes (Prometheus 2000)
Religion and the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, by Derek H. Davis (Oxford U Press, 2000)
Doubt, a History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson, by Jennifer Michael Hecht (Harper San Francisco, 2003)
The Closing of the Western Mind : The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason by Charles Freeman (Knopf, 2003 [Amer. edition])
American Infidel: Robert G. Ingersoll, Orvin Larson (Freedom from Religion Foundation, 1993)
Phantoms in the Brain, by Dr. V. S. Ramachandran (Perennial, 1999)
Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist, by Dan Barker (Freedom from Religion Foundation 1992)
In Defense of Secular Humanism, by Paul Kurtz (Prometheus 1983)
The Case Against God, George H. Smith (Prometheus 1980)
The Separation of Church and State : Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America's Founders, by Forrest Church (Editor) (Beacon Press 2004)
Berger, Peter (ed). The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999.
Fowler, R. B. The World of Chick?. Last Gasp, 2001.
Hendershot, Heather. Shaking the World for Jesus: Media and Conservative Evangelical Culture. U Chicago Press, 2004.
Hitchens, Christopher. The Missionary Position: Mother Theresa in Theory and Practice. Verso, 1997.
Rubenstein, Richard E. When Jesus Became God. Harvest Books, 2000.
Underwood, Doug. From Yahweh to Yahoo!: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press. Illinois U Press, 2002.
Online Essays and texts
*more to come, we promise! Send suggestions here.
"Agnosticism: A symposium", by Thomas H. Huxley, from The Agnostic Annual, 1884.
"Has a Frog a Soul? (and of What Nature is that Soul, Supposing it to Exist?)", by Thomas H. Huxley, to the Metaphysical Society, 1870.
Dogma (dir. Kevin Smith, 1999)
The Handmaid's Tale (dir. Volker Schlöndorff, 1990. Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood)
The Cider House Rules (dir. Lasse Hallström, 1999. Based on the novel by John Irving)
O Brother Where Art Thou (dir. Joel Coen, 2000. Based on Homer's The Odyssey)
Contact (dir. Robert Zemeckis, 1997. Based on the novel by Carl Sagan)
Inherit the Wind (dir. Stanley Kramer, 1960. Based on the play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee) Based on the Scopes trial of 1925, in which Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryant argued over the merits of teaching evolution in high school classrooms.
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (dir. Luc Besson, 1999)
Wise Blood (dir. John Huston, 1979)
Monty Python's Life of Brian (dir. Terry Jones, 1979)
2001: A Space Odyssey (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
Chocolat (dir. Lasse Hallström, 2000)
A Clockwork Orange (dir. Standley Kubrick, 1971. Based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, which is much better. Go read that too.)
Catch-22 (dir. Mike Nichols, 1970. Based on the novel by Joseph Heller) Reality, with or without gods, is ridiculous. It's good to remember that.
Dr. Strangelove (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1964. There's altogether too much Kubrick on this list, apologies for that. Based on the novel by Peter George)
Fight Club, (dir. David Fincher, 1999. Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk) (sporting the simplest reason for atheism in existence: never follow anything or anybody blindly, because you and/or the others involved might well be completely insane.)
The Harry Potter, films 1, 2, and 3 (...okay, so they've got nothing to do with atheism, but they've been banned and attacked by so many fundamentalist Christian groups internationally that we had to put them somewhere. Consider all the books reccommended as well.)
Saved! (dir. Brian Dannelly, 2004) Other than offering proof that McKauley Culkin is indeed still alive, the movie offers a light and entertaining, but not necessarily off-the-mark critique of Protestant evangelist culture in suburban America. Christianity Today cautiously gave it a "pro-faith" (with some problems) label, but whether pro-, anti- or neither in the end, it's still worth checking out.
Music *coming soon
Audible.com -- check out their free section and general site for speeches, documents, essays and books, books, BOOKS! A very cool service.
Sortakinda-related Books / Non-fiction
Nafisi, Azar. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. (Random House, 2003) Mediocre writing but interesting content...worth a look.
Savage, Dan. Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America. (Dutton 2002)
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. (Pantheon 2003)
Singer, Peter. The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush (Dutton 2004)
Books / Fiction
Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Includes The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe, and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and Mostly Harmless. Really, anything by this cheerfully atheistic modern author is worth reading, right up to his posthumous collection of essays, stories, and a partial manuscript, The Salmon of Doubt. The HHG series can be found in one collection, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Random House 1996).
García Márquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. (HarperCollins 2003) / Original 1967. Also recommended are Love in the Time of Cholera and Collected Stories.
Gardner, John C. Grendel. (Vintage 1989) / original 1971. Legendary monsters have ethical and philosophical crises, too.
Jillette, Penn. Sock. A first novel by Penn of Penn & Teller, this murder mystery is narrated by the atheist sock monkey of a scuba-diving cop. Yeah, that's what we said too. Worth checking out for weirdness value alone..
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. (Harvest, 2003) One young boy. One small liferaft. One grown tiger. One large ocean. Three major religions. You do the math.
Metalious, Grace. Peyton Place. (Northeastern U Press, 1999) / original 1956.
Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this is going to get a lot of people riled, but for whatever else she was or wasn't, Rand was a hardcore, unapologetic atheist to the bone. Agree or don't agree with her, but chill and read the book.
Rushdie, Salman. The Satanic Verses. (Picador 2003) / original 1988.
Voltaire. Candide (and its earlier incarnation, Zadig. You can find them both, among other short works of Voltaire's, here.)
Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
Stuff relating to (almost) allof the above can be found at Amazon, Powell's, their respective publishers' websites, or your local independent bookstore. Anyway, check 'em out.
I'm currently in the process of compiling a resources list for the AAF page. Since I'd like this one, as opposed to our really lame old one, to be totally kick-ass comprehensive, I'm asking for suggestions from people who tend to know a lot more than I do about great media sources for atheism, agnosticism, secular humanism and freethought: you folks. Use the suggestion box below to let me know about resources this list has skipped over.
Think of something we didn't? Let us know, so we can check it out and put it up if it fits the bill. Please put in as much information about the resource as possible. Thanks!