Podcast #97 – The Essential Freethought Library


We discuss the Essential Freethought Library, the result of a poll of dozens of notable personalities in the freethought community.  We asked them one simple question: “What ten books must the well-read freethinker have read?”

Also, local craziness in the news:

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!  A Georgia pastor is suing the state over a law that expands gun-carrying rights, but prohibits guns in places like government buildings and churches.  That’s right: a preacher wants the right to have a gun in his place of worship.

Magic Jeff Goes Bye-Bye!  A Georgia youth minister and magician who performed for kids as “Magic Jeff” gets 20 years in prison for (among other things) child pornography.

A Flock Put out to Pasture!  The Greater Works Assembly of Atlanta was evicted from their building for failing to pay the mortgage for TWO YEARS.  And not because of tough economic times, but apparently because the husband-and-wife team that headed up the church were engaged in an elaborate shell game whereby they moved money around amongst nearly ten shadowy non-profits.

The Usual Announcements

Look for David Driscoll, in his roll as regional ambassador for Atheist Alliance International, speaking August 1st in Knoxville to the Rationalists of East Tennessee.

If you’ll be in metro Atlanta on August 8th, look for John Snider and David Driscoll speaking to the Atlanta Freethought Society.  The title of our main presentation:  The Crescent and the Moonpie.

Dragon*Con (which includes SkepTrack) is just around the corner, September 3-6, right here in Atlanta.  And if you can join us a day early, the second annual Star Party will be hosted by Emory University’s Science and Math Center.

Send us email at contact@americanfreethought.com.  For John Snider only use john@americanfreethoughtcom; for David Driscoll only use david@americanfreethought.com.

Leave feedback at AmericanFreethought.com.

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David continues to produce new installments of the Secular Nation Podcast.

Theme music by Body Found.

Recorded July 17, 2010.  Hosted by John C. Snider and David Driscoll.

To listen to this episode click here.

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4 Responses to Podcast #97 – The Essential Freethought Library

  1. Thomas T says:

    Here are a few books that I feel have some bearing on your list. Being works of fiction they may not have been considered but some consideration might be made. To me, the works of Douglas Adams and specifically “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” would be a good addition. Also the book or the video series “Cosmos” from Carl Sagan would be important to add to the list.

    I understand that you wish that we offered more ideas but I don’t have that know. I am pleased with your list but I was just adding my thoughts about that. I can say from personal experience that Adams works is fairly prevalent in the free-thought community and for me was one of the books I keep with me even during my time as a devout Christian.

    Thanks for the hard work, it is appreciated. Maybe a top ten lists of fiction would be good for a second list.

    Thank you for the podcasts and good luck in DC too.

    Yours skeptically,

    Thomas True

  2. In RE: Guns in church.
    I was pleased to hear such a solid defense of the 2nd Amendment, but the one objection that first popped into my head that I didn’t hear broached was “Why does a church get this exemption along with government owned buildings?”
    If we allow the exemption of a church, why not exempt all non-profit owned buildings? Are churches more or less dangerous than Planned Parenthood buildings?
    Good show as always.

  3. Jim says:

    This list of books might be a better answer to the question “What ten books should the well-read Theist read?”

    Atheists need not read any of these books to reach the conclusions that gods do not exist, for we may suss that little matter out by pure thought alone, unaided, without listening to the opinions of others as laid down in those or any other books.

    The books are perhaps useful for those who are unsure, or confused, and need someone else to guide their thinking on the matter and necessary to be sure if one feels the need to argue the points made within them with Theists, Faithers, and Believers, but in the absence of that idle hobby, while they may be interesting reads, they are wholly unnecessary for the performance of Freethought.

    To imply that these books ‘must be read’ in order to be a freethinker is similar to implying that ‘The Amazing Meeting’ must be attended if we want to consider ourselves a freethinker, when we all know that the most amazing thing about ‘The Amazing Meeting’ is that it manages to fleece ostensibly ‘Intelligent Critical Thinkers’ out of so much money.

    There is a sucker born every minute, and Randy seems to have tapped into a veritable goldmine of the gullible suckers.

  4. martin says:

    What kind of a religion can “Atheism” be if the two finest atheist authors of their time, David Eller and Michel Onfray, are nowhere to be found on this list?
    Of course that’s a joke, but as far as thinkers who represent the cause, folks, these two are brilliant lights, in an approachable yet intellectual sort of way. Both of them are an education in a book, nothing less.

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