From the introduction by Dan Barker: Millions of good people live moral, happy, loving, meaningful lives without believing in a god.
Oprah said it was 17 years, but it was actually 19 years between my first sermon at the age of 15 and my last sermon at the age of 34. Part 1 of Godless, "Rejecting God", tells the story of how I moved from devout preacher to atheist and beyond. Part 2, "Why I Am an Atheist", presents my philosophical reasons for unbelief. Part 3, "What's Wrong with Christianity", critiques the bible (its reliability as well as its morality) and the historical evidence for Jesus. Part 4, "Life Is Good!", comes back to my personal story, taking a case to the United States Supreme Court, dealing with personal trauma, and experiencing the excitement of Adventures in Atheism.
©2008 Dan Barker and Richard Dawkins (P)2015 Pitchstone Publishing
"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, author of Musicophilia)
This book was very thoughtful and inspires reason as a daily lifestyle. The surprising aspect was that it managed to utilize a method of storytelling and personal history that made the entire book feel like an inspirational biography so indicative of the successful christian narratives infecting the checkout aisles of bookstores today.
I will admit that for about two chapters I was deeply annoyed with the author's voice. It was soothing, deep and should have been very easy to listen to, but something about it almost had me giving up on the book. Then I realized that I was annoyed because it reminded me of the calming and methodical voices used by preachers in the church I went to as a kid. As soon as I recognized that Dan Barker had that quality, I was able to relax and drop how annoyed I was.
I enjoyed the book's content but it sounded like the author was sucking in a lozenge...the mouth noises were nearly intolerable.
Dan has a lot of words. But he missed what I had hoped would be the revelation of insight. What is it that would allow any belief system (climate, vaccines) which are impervious to reason -to be breached?
He spends a lot of time giving what are reasonable arguments to the non-believing choir, but no real clue on how to deal with the True Believer.
Just an amazing, entertaining, and very well informed book. I found it amazing hat Dan read the whole book himself it really makes it hit home a lot more. When I saw that Richard Dawkins did the foreword it was the last deciding factor in my decision to choose Godless, and it really did not disappoint.
This book was a mixed bag. At times Barker shows his obvious articulate intellect and his arguments are penetrating, challenging, well-researched and well-delivered. At other times his tone is gratingly immature, kitsch, overly-confrontational and adolescent in it's attempt to shock the religious establishment in his home country. It is an obvious sign of immaturity in a cultural movement when it feels the need to say shocking, controversial things all the time with one eye on the establishment to see how they are reacting. Much like a three year old or a teenager being deliberately controversial just to get a rise out their parents.
Another sign that the cultural movement of secular humanism is growing up out of its adolescence in America will be when prominent figures in the movement, like Barker, cease calling themselves "Atheists", a one-dimensional and purely reactionary label, and start calling themselves something that better encompasses the nuanced movement of secular humanism. One can't help but expect that proudly calling defining oneself as an "Atheist" is an adolescent transitional phase aimed mainly to shock and be jarring against the perceived "parental" religious establishment.
Barker's book shows the movement of secular humanism in America to still be stuck in its reactionary, "shock-jock" adolescence. Perhaps that fact reveals the greater problem that in the 21st century, American culture is still stuck in a childish neoteny of religious belief. Secular humanism in America will have shown itself to have grown up once it drops the desire to stick with one dimensional, reactionary labels such as "Atheist" and also moves on from the childish, kitsch and mocking tone of the ex-religious apostate into a calmer, more mature and self-assured secular humanist.
"Not the best quality reader"
Not the greatest content and I didn't enjoy the reader speed or style. Still worth reading.
"a fascinating story and well argued."
the personal story of his conversion to atheism and then a comprehensive dissection.of the absurdity of the christian texts.
"Great story of a journey towards reason"
Loved listening to this. I though the narration was a tad slow but moved it to x1.15 and was perfect.
Loved the nod to Genie Scott, I chaperone her last year in Scotland. Great woman!
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