Sunday, February 14, 2010

Current and Future Reads

Every once-in-a-while I share my current reading list. This time, however, since my reading list consists largely in essays I'm printing out from webspots I enjoy, I only have one book to picture for you. Karen Armstrong's A Case For God.

Armstrong, in my opinion, is a top-rank scholar who manifestly outstrips the two-dimensional academics of some of the atheists "A Case for God" rebutts (Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett).

Note: I left Christopher Hitchens out of the roster of Armstrong's addressees because I'm curious to see how she deals with him. Hitchens is, by my estimation, by far the better scholar, better thinker, and more personable of all of the popular "New Atheists". That said, Hitchens' anti-theistic essay, god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything suffers from a peculiar flaw: it isn't as long, or in-depth as I was hoping it would be. Nevertheless, as contrarian literature goes, Hitchens' piece was quite enjoyable, extremely insightful, and well beyond the reach and scope of his fellow atheist authors (as listed above).

For future reading, I'm hoping to get my hands on a couple of books. First, Robert M. Price's, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man.

Price's style is easy, his scholarship vast, and his insights penetrating. From his online essays, one can easily learn the content and scope of a bachelaureate degree in a matter of days. For the conservative Christian, however, Price will come across as oppositional and 'lost'. There is, sadly, nothing left to talk about with a person who aligns their personal religio-political views with a presupposed notion of the truth (in this case, mainline conservative theology). Still, for the sincere academic, Price is a jewel. I look forward to his book.

Second, I'm hoping to continue my research into the reasons for, and nature of unbelief and disbelief by picking up a copy of John Loftus book, "Why i Became An Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity".

Loftus was trained by evangelicalism's all-hallowed debate hero William Lane Craig. Craig, according to Loftus' blog, Debunking Christianity, is quoted as saying, "the person I fear debating the most is a former student of mine." A very interesting recommendation, I say, and one worth checking into.

That is it: that is my reading list for now and later. Stay tuned for coming articles...


ZAROVE said...

I wouldn't recomend Loftus. He is ssort of like Dan Barker. He really simply regurgetates the old Rhetoric of the Atheist crowd of Yesteryear, and insists on that Rhetoric.

Remembr on Metacrocks board before I got banned? We had a discussion on why I don't think there is such a thing as someone who has no Religion? Well Loftus literally banned me for that sort of wuestioning of his "Unbeleif".

That said, I still do't see it as unbeleif so much as simply replacing one set of beleifs with another. He, and several others, are no different, in the end, than the Evangelicals they keep blasting, in that they want to confine the debate soley to their own definitions of words and framing of the topic, so as to avod anyone really challenging thir asseritions.

If I where you I'd reccomend rerading mroe of Ehrman than Loftus, or if your up for a Philosophical CHallenge, Peter Singer's Ethics work is a good read. I doub you'd agree wiht all of his work, but Singer nonetheless can argue his point well, and in many cases exceptionally well.

ZAROVE said...

Oh and it shoudl be noted that Price may be oversold too. I reccoemnded Ehrman,a nd do for him as well. Ehrman is an Atheist, but a real Scholar whose views are Validly accepted. Price's Scholarship may be easy to read but alas! He's all too often makign assertiosn that simply aren't Tenable, even amongts the most Liberal secular Students.