Anti-Supernaturalism, Atheism, Free Thought,
Anti-Religious, Agnosticism, Humanism, Naturalism
Freedom of/from Religion, Secularism, Pragmatism, Liberty, Non-Religious, Tolerance
Compiled by Mike Garofalo
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California
The Good Life Philosophy The Senses and Mind My Own Non-Religious Views Science Intellectual History
Epicureans The Human Body Green Way Research Subject Index
Cloud Hands Blog
Brief Bibliography, Recommend Reading, Links, Resources
Topics: Free Thinking, Agnosticism, Atheism, Anti-Religious Arguments, Humanistic Thought, Secularism, Liberty, Tolerance
I started reading books on this topic in 1960, when I was 14 years of age.
Here are the many books that I have read since 1960 that have influenced my thinking in these areas.
Books in my home library are coded 'VSCL' for the Valley Spirit Center Library.
Anthony, Louise M. Philosopher Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life. Edited by Louise M. Anthony. Oxford University Press, 2007. Index, references, notes, brief biographies of contributors, 315 pages. ISBN: 9780199743414. VSCL.
Bentham, Jeremy. Behold the Antichrist: Bentham on Religion. Edited with commentary by Delos B. McKown. Amherst, New York, 2004. Index, bibliography, 417 pages. ISBN: 1591021162. Only those with much patience can benefit from this critique of Christianity, Judaism, and "natural religion" by the famous advocated of Utilitarianism. Lots of early critique using language analysis and common sense; and religion is easily carved up by these knives of the intellect. VSCL.
Buddhism Notes, bibliography, guides, and research by Mike Garofalo.
Cloud Hands Blog By Mike Garofalo.
Comte-Sponville, André. The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality Penguin Books, 2008. 224 pages. ISBN: 978-0143114437. VSCL.
Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin, 2006, 2008. Index, notes, bibliography, appendices, 463 pages. ISBN: 978-0618918249. VSCL. A bold, incisive, convincing, and clear minded critique of religious beliefs and religions and their negative and pernicious impact on our communities, societies, nations, and the world. I've read this book more than twice, and find it uplifting, brave, and to the point. His analysis of the negative social and moral effects of religion are accurate. VSCL.
Dennett, Daniel. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. By Daniel Dennett. New York, Penguin Books, 2006. Index, bibliography, notes, appendices, 448 pages. ISBN: 978-0143038337. Read in 2014. Focused on how and why religion emerged, and on Christianity in America. VSCL.
D'Holbach, Baron. Good Sense. CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 1st Edition, 2015. Original publisher: London, W. Stewart and Co., no publication date. Pages not numbered, 114 pages, arranged by 206 topics. ISBN: 9781512367317. Originally published in 1772, and printed privately in Amsterdam. The real author was Paul Thyry - Baron D'Holbach. However, to escape violent persecution by Catholics and Protestants, this work was published under the pseudonym of the postthumous author named M. de Mirabaud. Originally published in French under the title "Le Bon Sens" (Common Sense). The translator of this work from French to English is not provided. VSCL.
Druids, Druidry, and Neo-Paganism Notes, bibliography, guides, and research by Mike Garofalo.
Ellis, Albert. A New Guide to Rational Living. By Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper. Third Edition, Thoroughly Revised and Updated for the Twenty-First Century. Hollywood, CA, Melvin Powers Wilshire Book Company, 1961, 1997. Index, bibliography, 283 pages. ISBN: 0879800429. VSCL.
Epicureans Notes, bibliography, guides, and research by Mike Garofalo. Epicurus did not deny that supernatural beings existed, but he contended that such beings would have no interested in micro-managing human affairs and appeals and sacrifices and fears of such supernatural beings were useless and groundless.
Epstein, Greg. Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe. By Greg Epstein. William Morrow, 2010. 272 pages. ISBN: 978-0061670121.
Ellis, Albert. The Albert Ellis Reader: A Guide to Well-Being Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Edited by Albert Ellis and Shawn Blau. New York, Citadel Press, Kensington Pub., 1998. Index, bibliography, notes, 375 pages. ISBN: 0806520329. VSCL.
The Four Horsemen of the New Atheism (Free Thought): Richard Dawkins, 1941-; Daniel Dennett, 1942-; Sam Harris, 1967-; Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011; and, now, possibly, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 1949-.
Free Thought Blogs
The Five Senses and Mind Notes, bibliography, guides, and research by Mike Garofalo.
Free Thought Luminaries, Heroes, Leaders, Brave One: At one level of my life-stance or worldview is a deep respect and support for logic, pragmatism, naturalism, facts, reasoning, objectivity, verifiability, repeatability, coherent theories, open-mindedness, prediction, mathematics, and statistical methods. All of these methods, of course, are the hallmarks of the physical and biological sciences, pure and applied sciences, pragmatism, and modern technology. At this level I am a free-thinker who shares many of the philosophical and non-religious views so persuasively and emphatically expressed by Dan Barker, Jeremy Bentham, Luther Burbank, André Comte-Sponville, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, John Dewey, Albert Ellis, Epicurus, A.C. Grayling, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Baron d'Holbach, David Hume, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Ingersoll, Paul Kurtz, Corliss Lamont, Bill Maher, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Paine, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Ayn Rand, Richard Rorty, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, George Smith, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many other intelligent, hard working, courageous, forthright, dynamic, honest, fulfilled, and wise persons. These free-thinkers give me hope!
Fundamentalists of Christian, Islamic, and Hindu Persuasion. Count on them to want to demonize and punish those who disagree with their religious beliefs. They support making their own moral, social and religious views the law of the land. These fellows are often enemies of Free Thought: Steven Andrew, David Barton, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, Ayatolla Ruhollah Khomeini, David Lane, Sayyid Qutb, most Popes, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, Rick Warren, Birgham Young.
Gardening and Spirituality. Compiled by Mike Garofalo.
Garofalo, Michael P. Green Way Research Master Subject Index.
Garofalo, Michael P. My Own View on Organized Religion and Theology
Garofalo, Michael P. Pulling Onions. Over 850 quips, observations, ideas, and one-liners.
The Good Life, Virtue Ethics, Character Notes, bibliography, guides, and research by Mike Garofalo.
Grayling, A. C.. The God Argument: The Case against Religion and for Humanism. By A. C. Grayling. Bloomsbury, 2014. 288 pages. ISBN: 978-1620401927.
Hankinson, R. J. The Sceptics. London, Routledge, 1995. Arguments of the Philosopher's Series. General index, index of works cited, bibliography, notes, 376 pages. ISBN: 0415184460. Excellent introduction! Exposition and arguments of the ancient sceptics: Pyrrhonism and Melagarism. Detailed and authoritative survey of Greek and Hellenistic skeptics. VSCL.
Harris, Sam. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason W. W. Norton, 2005. 348 pages. ISBN: 978-0393327656. I've read this book twice. VSCL.
Hitchens, Christopher, 1949-2011. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. By Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011. Twelve, 2009. 336 pages. ISBN: 978-0446697965. A strong critique of the negative impact of religions. Uses many historical facts from the last 100 years. Wide ranging and penetrating arguments. Includes an intense criticism of Islam, Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity, and Zionist Judaism. Mr. Hitchens was a dynamic debater, witty, and aggressive polemicist. VSCL.
How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons Compiled by Mike Garofalo.
Hume, David, 1711-1776. Dialogues and Natural History of Religion Published posthumously in 1779. Oxford University Press, 2009. 256 pages. ISBN: 978-0199538324. I sided with Philo, a skeptic, in these debates. I first read in 1965 in college. VSCL.
Jacoby, Susan. Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. Holt, 2004. 448 pages. ISBN: 978-0805077766. VSCL.
Kurtz, Paul. The Humanist Alternative: Some Definitions of Humanism. Edited by Paul Kurtz. Buffalo, New York, Prometheus Books, 1973. 190 pages. ISBN: 0879750189. A wonderful collection of short essays by a variety of wise persons about the subject of humanism, secular humanism, ethical humanism, religious humanism, and naturalistic humanism. The history and ethical adventure of humanism since the Enlightenment is thoroughly documented. This book avoids the strident polemics found in the Four Horsemen of the New Atheism. I first read this uplifting book in 1975, and again in 2012. VSCL.
Lamont, Corliss, 1902-1905. The Illusion of Immortality. New York, Continuum, Frederick Ungar Book, Half-Moon Foundation, 1935, Fifth Edition in 1990. Notes, index, 303 pages. ISBN: 0804463778. I first read this book in 1962. The case against an "immortal soul" or survival of a personal consciousness after death is clearly and persuasively presented. We humans are subject to a finite life, mortality is certain, and there is a finality to death that is unavoidable. Historical religious views to the contrary are presented and refuted. VSCL.
Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons Compiled by Mike Garofalo.
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm (1844-1900) The Portable Nietzsche. By Friedrich Nietzsche. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York, Penguin Books, 1977. 704 pages. ISBN: 9780140150629. Includes the complete and unabridged translations of: Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Thus Spoke Zarathurstra. Extensive quotations from other works and his letters. VSCL.
Onfray, Michel. Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Translated from the French by Jeremy Leggatt. New York Arcade Publishing, 2005, 2011. ISBN: 10161145008X. Annotated bibliography, 246 pages. A lucid, strong, well reasoned, insightful, and stylish presentation. Excellent explication of the French and European writing on atheism, anti-clericalism, irreligion, deconstruction of religions, and anti-fascism. VSCL.
Pragmatism, Old And New: Selected Writings Edited by Susan Haack, with associate editor Robert Lane. Amherst, New York, Prometheus Books, 2006. Glossary, index, 741 pages. ISBN: 9781591023593. VSCL.
Raymo, Chet. When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist By Chet Raymo. Nortre Dame, Indiana, Sorin Books, c 2008. 13 chapters, notes, 148 pages. ISBN: 9781933495132. Clean used copy from Oregon. VSCL.
Reasoning and Philosophy A Old Philosopher's Notebooks. Notes, bibliography, guides, and research by Mike Garofalo.
Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970. Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects. Touchstone, 1957, 1967. 266 pages. ISBN: 978-0671203238. I read this book in 1962, and it greatly influenced me in rejecting Catholicism. I shared many of the ethical/moral/social views of Mr. Russell as expressed in many of his other books. I read many books by Bertrand Russell from 1963-1969. His writing is clear, well reasoned, witty, and urbane. The greatest popularizer of Anglo-American philosophy in the 20th century. VSCL.
Sanford, James C. Great Freethinkers: Selected Quotations by Famous Skeptics and Nonconformists. Edited by James C. Sanford. Providence, Rhode Island, 2004. Biographical index, 250 pages. ISBN: 0974704229. VSCL.
Smith, George H. Atheism - The Case Against God. Prometheus Books, 1979. 355 pages. ISBN: 978-0879751241. I agreed with Mr. Smith. VSCL.
Somatics, Somaesthetics, The Human Body. Notes, bibliography, guides, and research by Mike Garofalo.
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu I first read in 1961. The philosophical views of Laozi and Zhuangzi appealed to me from an early age. The religious practices of later Taoists from 300 CE onward were interesting and colorful, because of my practice of Taijiquan and Qigong, as are the nature worship rituals and poetry of the modern Neopagan religions; however, I don't really "believe" in their supernatural and superstitious views and dogmas. My childhood experiences of the magic, ritual and pomp of Roman Catholicism probably influenced me in my appreciation for for the esoteric and magical aspects of Taoism and Druidry. I liked Lao Tzu's naturalism, individualism, mysticism, and skepticism about the value of conventional morality and religion. Our lives are also greatly influenced by non-rational and unconscious factors.
The Ten Golden Rules: Ancient Wisdom from the Greek Philosophers on Living the Good Life. By M.S. Soupios and Panos Mourdoukoutas. Charlottsville, Virginia, Hampton Roads Pub., 2009. 128 pages. Both authors are professors at Long Island University, C. W. Post Campus. ISBN: 9781571746054. VSCL.
Virtues and the Good Life Notes, bibliography, guides, and research by Mike Garofalo.
VSCL = Valley Spirit Center Library, Red Bluff, California
Watson, Peter. The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God. By Peter Watson. Simon and Schuster, 2014. 640 pages. ISBN: 978-1476754314. VSCL.
The "Four Horsemen" of Contemporary Free Thought
Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris
The "Four Horsemen" of Free Thought in 2009
Michael P. Garofalo, A Brief Biography
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California
This webpage was last modified and updated on January 19, 2017.
This webpage was first distributed online on February 10, 2008.
Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail
Cloud Hands Blog
Index to An Old Philosopher's Notebooks