Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Resources for study

Web sites:

Skeptics dictionary.

More than 6,000 articles and chapters. Topics include Old and New Testament, Theology, Ethics, History and Sociology of Religion, Communication and Cultural Studies, Pastoral Care, Counseling, Homiletics, Worship, Missions and Religious Education.

4,200 essays.

We do not promote our own religious beliefs. We can't because we are a multi-faith group. We try to explain the full diversity of religious belief in North America, from Asatru to Zoroastrianism, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Wicca, other religious groups, and spiritual/ethical groups.
bulletWe try to describe all viewpoints on controversial religious topics objectively and fairly. We cover a broad range of topics, from whether women should have access to abortion to whether homosexuals and bisexuals should be given equal rights, including same-sex marriage, and including dozens of other "hot" topics.


There are many institutions that engage in scientific research in specific fields of inquiry; there are fine schools, colleges, and universities that offer a large range of science programs and degrees; and there are numerous science journals and magazines. Many communities sponsor science museums and/or planetariums, for the public is often fascinated with the many exciting discoveries on the frontiers of science. But until the Center for Inquiry, there were no institutions dedicated primarily to promote and defend science, reason, and free inquiry in all aspects of human interest.

The purpose of the Center for Inquiry is to contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of science and reason, and their applications to human conduct. ... continues at web site.

CFI has Centers for Inquiry, Communities for Inquiry, and International Centers around the world. See the listings on their web site. There are many CFI chapters now on Facebook.


President: Margaret Downey (Pennsylvania) president@atheistalliance.org

The Atheist Alliance can be reached by mail at the following address:
Atheist Alliance International, P.O. Box 234, Pocopson, PA 19366


Go here for all the news about Richard Dawkins project to end the God delusion. Books, DVDs, personal appearances and debates, the Out campaign, and a very intelligent forum.


The Reason Project

The Reason ProjectThe Reason Project is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The Reason Project will draw on the talents of prominent and creative thinkers in a wide range of disciplines — science, law, literature, entertainment, information technology, etc. — to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy. It will convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific research and opinion polls, award grants to other non-profit organizations, and offer material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals — all with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world. The Reason Project was founded by Sam Harris and Annaka Harris.

If you want to be notified about the future activities of The Reason Project, please join the email list on this website.

Go to the web site to view the amazing list of thinkers Sam Harris has recruited for this project. Read his two best selling books for clear insightful writing on the dangers posed by ancient ignorant thinking and morals that guide billions of people on the planet.

Letter to A Christian Nation

I dare you to read this book…it will not leave you unchanged. Read it if it is the last thing you do.
Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion
From his Foreward to the UK Edition

It’s a shame that not everyone in this country will read Sam Harris’ marvelous little book. They won’t, but they should.
Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch Professor in theoretical physics at Stanford University, author of The Cosmic Landscape

Sam Harris’s elegant little book is most refreshing and a wonderful source of ammunition for those who, like me, hold to no religious doctrine. Yet I have some sympathy also with those who might be worried by his uncompromising stance. Read it and form your own view, but do not ignore its message.
Sir Roger Penrose, emeritus professor of mathematics at Oxford, author of The Road to Reality.

Reviews of The End of Faith:

The End of Faith by Sam Harris is a genuinely frightening book about terrorism, and the central role played by religion in justifying and rewarding it. Others blame “extremists” who “distort” the “true” message of religion. Harris goes to the root of the problem: religion itself. Even moderate religion is a menace, because it leads us to respect and “cherish the idea that certain fantastic propositions can be believed without evidence”. Why do men like Bin Laden commit their hideous cruelties? The answer is that they “actually believe what they say they believe”. Read Sam Harris and wake up.

Richard Dawkins, The Guardian

The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood… Harris writes what a sizable number of us think, but few are willing to say in contemporary America… This is an important book, on a topic that, for all its inherent difficulty and divisiveness, should not be shielded from the crucible of human reason.”

Natalie Angier, The New York Times Book Review (read the full review)

“Do we need another book on the conflict between reason and faith?
Yes, if it is as well-written as Sam Harris’s The End of Faith.”

New Scientist


In this lecture given to Amnesty International, Professor Nicholas Humphrey advocates censorship in the realm of moral and religious education. Specifically, censorship of parents guiding their own children. Shocked? You need to read his lecture transcript.

I shall probably shock you when I say it is the purpose of my lecture today to argue in one particular area just the opposite. To argue, in short, in favour of censorship, against freedom of expression, and to do so moreover in an area of life that has traditionally been regarded as sacrosanct.

I am talking about moral and religious education. And especially the education a child receives at home, where parents are allowed—even expected—to determine for their children what counts as truth and falsehood, right and wrong.

NICHOLAS HUMPHREY. School Professor at the London School of Economics and Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research is a theoretical psychologist, internationally known for his work on the evolution of human intelligence and consciousness. His interests are wide ranging: He studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda; was the first to demonstrate the existence of "blindsight" after brain damage in monkeys; proposed the now celebrated theory of the "social function of intellect"; and is the only scientist ever to edit the literary journal Granta.

His books include Consciousness Regained, The Inner Eye, A History of the Mind, Leaps of Faith, The Mind Made Flesh, and Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness. He has been the recipient of several honours, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, and the British Psychological Society‚s book award.

Rob Reich
Department of Political Science, Stanford University

Testing the Boundaries of Parental Authority Over Education: The Case of Homeschooling

(Chapter 7) "Why Homeschooling Should Be Regulated" forthcoming in :
Homeschooling in Full View: A Reader , Bruce S. Cooper, ed. (Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing, 2005).

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