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Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists Paperback – Sep 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press (Sept. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569756775
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569756775
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 17 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #138,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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""

About the Author

Don Barker received a degree in religion from Azusa Pacific University and was ordained to the ministry by the Standard Community Church. He has appeared on numerous talk shows including Oprah Winfrey, Hannity & Colmes, and Good Morning America. He lives in Madison, WI.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CanGal on Dec 21 2011
Format: Paperback
One of the best books I have every read debunking Christianity. Mr Barker's background (and his willingness to be honest about it) makes him a true expert in this area. Very well written and organized, I learned a great deal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BK777 on Aug. 29 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Dan has written the quintessential book on Atheism and made me a believer! It was personal, honest, riveting, and above all logical. Dane's journey from Evangelical preacher to rabid Atheist was nothing short of amazing and his recounting of the experience along with his detailed analysis of the bible (and the many inconsistencies/contradictions) was nothing short of scholarly. This is one of the first books on Atheism I have ever read and have to say Dan's arguments and personal experiences made me take a serious second look at Man's following of any religion. In particular when it is done in a blind and unquestioning manner. Dan is not just a scholar on the subject but presents it in a relaxed manner and ultimately is likeable when all is said and done. I highly recommend this book for newbies to the subject and to the more knowledgeable I will assure that you will find the book entertaining. Well done Dan!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By lawlipops on Nov. 25 2010
Format: Paperback
Dan Barker tells the tale of a huge transition in his life. He describes experiences from "speaking in tongues" to the point skepticism settled in. The book is philosophical in nature, with Barker describing the incompatible properties of religion, the nature of The Golden Rule, Beatitudes, Bible contradictions, and the credibility of the Bible itself. I could not put the book down! His writing powerful, he strives for a secular government through Freedom From Religion Foundation, and he is also a really nice person (I met him at Skepticon 3). Support him!
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Peter Humphrys on May 15 2011
Format: Paperback
Barker has written an interesting book regarding his own involvement in and with religious organizations that raises a number of very good questions and I commend him for his efforts, especially for his present efforts in taking on religious groups and organizations which are seeking to gain access to public funding without providing necessary accountability in the United States. Unfortunately, at times he tries to pose and answer a few too many questions in which he comes across as not always fairly representing his would be opponents and interlocutors. Indeed, it would be impossible to deal competently with all the positions in scholarship in a book under 400 pages. As an atheist he will say some things which are sure to offend evangelical Christians and this is another weaknesses of his book: that he appears to target Christianity as though it were the primary game in town and it may well be where he lives. Which begs the question for me: would a Jewish or Muslim fundamentalist (or even otherwise) find much in this book to take offence at? I do not think so, because Barker operates from a specific world view which priviledges individualism while most of the world lives and operates in a sphere of communal values. So not only has he largely failed to bridge contemporary cultural divides, but also that between the ancient and modern reader, which I suspect if he had paid more attention to the arguments of Jewish and Muslim theists, he would have made better efforts to bridge these cultural gaps.Read more ›
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frustrated Golfer on Nov. 24 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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