Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Skeptical Viewpoint

What books would I recommend that reflect the perspective of religious skepticism?

1. Bertrand Russell's "Why I am Not a Christian," in Why I am Not a Christian and other essays. Actually the whole volume is helpful.
2. Russell's "The Value of Free Thought," in Understanding History.
3. J. L. Mackie's The Miracle of Theism.
4. Antony Flew ed. New Essays in Philosophical Theology. Contains the famous Falsification Challenge.
5. David Hume, "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion."
6. David Hume, "Of Miracles," from "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.
7. Keith M. Parsons, "God and the Burden of Proof"  (Prometheus, 1989).
8. Keith M. Parsons, "Why I am Not a Christian," published originally by the Atlanta Freethought Society but available here.
9. Keith M. Parsons, "Seven Common Misconceptions about Atheism,"
10. Louise Antony, ed. Philosophers without Gods, (Oxford University Press).


Gimli 4 the West said...

What about the constantly self-promoting John W. Loftus?

Gimli 4 the West said...

As a Christian, here's my list if you want to be a skeptic:

1) The book of Leviticus

2) Joining the Church Softball team

3) Cosmic and biological evolution

4) Pain

5) Rejection and loneliness

6) Going to war

Anonymous said...

Vic, the times are a changing. Have you updated your reading lately? Are you aware of these books?

Walter said...

I would add:

1)The Rejection of Pascal's Wager by Paul N. Tobin

2)Jesus Interrupted by Bart Ehrman

3)Doubting Jesus Resurrection (What Happened in the Black Box) by Kris D. Komarnitsky

Victor Reppert said...

I am aware of new books coming out.
But the classics are still the classics, and some of what I listed is pretty new. I forgot the 2007 edition of C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion, for people who need to look at Lewis from the other side (and there are many who do).

Walter said...

I forgot the 2007 edition of C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion, for people who need to look at Lewis from the other side (and there are many who do).

I have this book as well. The only chapter that I had a hard time following was the one on the Argument from Reason. I am still mulling that one over.

Victor Reppert said...

There are some misunderstandings of my argument in there.

Gregory said...

Charles Taylor's "A Secular Age", while not so much a polemical work, is very important in that it meticulously traces the intellectual history of certain ideas which have led to the pervasive "secularism" of the West. Neither Christian nor skeptic should fail to read this very important work.

Taylor--a Roman Catholic by faith--has managed to create a book that makes much of the "New Atheist" material appear shallow and dull. The book is massive in size and epic in scope. The book will humble you.

Edwardtbabinski said...

Vic, Your list demonstrates your primary concerns are philosophical. But what about biblical studies? (Not to mention cognitive and neurological science experiments?)

My five favs that Christians should read include books that feature plenty of biblical studies questions.

Unfortunately Lewis was more into baptizing his imagination than biblical studies.

Victor Reppert said...

Parsons' "Why I am Not a Christian goes into some of the biblical issues.