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Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by [Barker, Dan]
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Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Conversions on the road to Damascus are for those who hear voices and fall prey to delusions and who would be better off seeking professional help. Much more 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 of the latter. Christopher Hitchens, author of "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" I think Godless is fabulous. It came on Friday, and I spent much of the weekend reading it. It was a revelation to me. Others have made the journey ('faith to reason, ' childhood to growing up, fantasy to reality, intoxication to sobriety -- however one likes to put it), but I don't think anyone can match the (devastating!) clarity, intensity, and honesty which Dan Barker brings to the telling. And the tone is right all the way through -- not belligerent or confrontational (as is the case with so much, too much, of the literature on this subjecton both sides). I think Godless may well become a classic in its genre. Oliver Sacks, "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain" Atheists are the last of the minorities in America to come out of the closet, and like other civil rights movements this one began with leaders like Dan Barker and his Freedom from Religion Foundation defending the civil liberties of godless Americans, who deserve equal protection under the Constitution. In his new book, 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, monthly columnist for "Scientific American," author of "How We Believe, Why Darwin Matters, " and "The Mind of the Market" My kids are in the process of learning about literature, and a rule of thumb they ve picked up concerns how to recognize the protagonist of a Story: it s the character who undergoes the greatest transformation. This makes sense, because one of the hardest things we confront is the need to change. By this criterion, in the enormous story of what we all do with our lives, Dan Barker is one of the most interesting and brave protagonists I know. Godless is a fascinating memoir, a tour of one distressing extreme of religiosity, 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: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases and Coping" Dan Barker's esteemed reputation is richly deserved. I recommend getting three copies. You will need one as a source of evidence to which you will frequently refer. There will be miles and miles of underlining as you mark the pages of special interest to you. You will need your second to lend to others. You will be enthusiastic about this book, and you will want to share its wisdom with family and friends. Others will likewise want to share it, and the book will never be returned to you. Finally, you will want a third copy to be in pristine condition on your bookshelf, since Dan Barker has created a volume which will only grow in its historical significance. David Mills, author of "Atheist Universe""

Review

Conversions on the road to Damascus are for those who hear voices and fall prey to delusions and who would be better off seeking professional help. Much more 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 of the latter.
--Christopher Hitchens, author of "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything"
I think Godless is fabulous. It came on Friday, and I spent much of the weekend reading it. It was a revelation to me. Others have made the journey ('faith to reason, ' childhood to growing up, fantasy to reality, intoxication to sobriety -- however one likes to put it), but I don't think anyone can match the (devastating!) clarity, intensity, and honesty which Dan Barker brings to the telling. And the tone is right all the way through -- not belligerent or confrontational (as is the case with so much, too much, of the literature on this subject--on both sides). I think Godless may well become a classic in its genre.
--Oliver Sacks, "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain"
Atheists are the last of the minorities in America to come out of the closet, and like other civil rights movements this one began with leaders like Dan Barker and his Freedom from Religion Foundation defending the civil liberties of godless Americans, who deserve equal protection under the Constitution. In his new book, 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, monthly columnist for "Scientific American," author of "How We Believe, Why Darwin Matters, " and "The Mind of the Market"
My kids are in the process of learning about literature, and a rule of thumb they've picked up concerns how to r

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1088 KB
  • Print Length: 394 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1569756775
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press (1 May 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ODHOQ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #260,808 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading Dan Barkers book, but on the whole, I must admit. I got this book to read his personal account of how he came to loose his faith and his journey....

The first part of the book often touching on his life as a believer, which intrigued me, and also relatable as a once believer. However, it seemed alittle rushed over, of why he lost his faith, and quickly went onto arguments against the reasons of faith.

I did not want to hear arguments against the religious faiths, there are other books for that. I wanted more about the man Dan Barker and his personal journey.
At least more about Dan Barkers journey, not arguments that he finds compelling for the disbelief in a god. I already know, and agree with them all as an atheist. Perhaps this book is best suited to a religious believer, and not a preach to the choir type as I thought it might be. To give more insights into why he lost his faith, in more detail. As would be fitting for atheist readers.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A powerful and moving account of the transition from fundamentalist Christian to 'evangelical' Atheist. Showing what can be achieved by the simple decision to follow the evidence, where ever it may lead. Includes a wealth of unanswerable arguments against biblical inerrancy and simple refutations of arguments for gods. For example, the oft-repeated claim that so-called prophesies in the Bible prove it is divinely inspired is actually an argument against the biblical god. A god which is able to make accurate prophesy would exist in an unchanging and unchangeable universe in which the future is known and fixed. Such a god in such a universe would be incapable of changing anything, even it's own mind, and would thus be entirely impotent and indistinguishable from a non-existent one. Nor could freewill exist in such a predestined universe, and with no freewill, the concept of original sin, the need for 'salvation' and the entire rationale for Christianity disappears.

With similarly simple, unarguable logic, he also destroys the idea than a god can be both infinitely merciful and infinitely just.

Guaranteed to cause a nasty case of cognitive dissonance to any Christian, and especially any fundamentalist Christian, who has the courage and integrity to read it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't know if this is everyones perception.. but for me this was groundbreaking. I have read the God Delusion.. the works of Bart Ehrman.. Nieztsche and Michael Shermer (the believing brain) ..but this book transformed my life. Autobiographical in scope this book is a journey from deeply held evangelical 'spiritual' faith to atheism. It was the the affirmation of the thought processes.. inspired by other authors.. and the last nail in the coffin of my faith (in the idea of god or a spiritual realm). Having heard the voice of god and spoken in tongues.. these 'feelings' and 'spiritual gifts' were the last remnants of an intellectually dead faith. This book led me from doubt about reconciliation (or being weird and alone) to the realisation that my delusion was shared by many. To hear his decription of the realisation that his conversations with god were all in his mind and that the spiritual remnants remained even in the absence of belief.. enable me to admit to myself that I was already an atheist and to ignore the remnant echoes of a delusional relationship with my own mind (labelled god in my imaginary world view). It is a shared personal experience for me (though I wasn't an evangelical preacher as this guy was). I highly recommend it to those of an evangelical or charismatic christian background.. especially those who just can't accept the so called proofs, reasons and evidences anymore. Other readers will probably not relate to the theology or the emotions or the depth of commitment. ..but for me it will be as precious as 'finding Darwins God' was. His reasoning is clear and well presented even if you can't agree with his stand. I for one will look upon him as my non-spiritual mentor that led me to peace of mind.. took me where the God delusion never could.
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Format: Paperback
I have read dozens of books exposing the problems with christianity in search of a book that I could recommend to my family, all of whom are staunch christians. Many of the books out there are written by people that do not have a strong personal experience of christianity themselves and though they may be brilliant books, the christians I know could dismiss them all because the writers haven't "received the calling of the holy spirit". The few books that I have read on the subject that have been written by ex-christians may have excellent content but contain angry undertones which I know would turn the christian reader off.

Enter Dan Barker, a man who was a true believer who has escaped from the prison of christian thinking into the real world with an appreciation for the importance of genuine humanistic morality and the credibility and beauty of observable reality. He has a deep and thorough knowledge of the bible and has truly beheld the christian "experience" first hand. He cannot be accused of taking scripture out of context. He also knows much about the background of the various translations, including the original Hebrew and Greek.

I bought his previous book, "Losing Faith in Faith" hoping that it would be the book that I could pass to my family but though it had great content, I wished that it had been written as a single piece of work rather than a collection of essays and short articles.

In this new book, "Godless", he retells the best parts of "Losing Faith in Faith" as well as newer content and contains a greater emphasis on what I think is important for christians to understand about christianity. His writing was always very good, but 20+ years after his first book, it is even better and this time it is structured as a single, flowing work.
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