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Old 07-08-2009, 02:20 AM #1
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Introductory philosophy/atheism reading

Hey everyone,
I was wondering if you guys had some good book recommendations for a reader heavily interested in philosophy but with very little background in the different ares of thought... I'm particularly interested in existentialism and atheism.

If this isn't an appropriate topic, my apologies, first time in this sub-forum. Your help is truly appreciated, I really want to learn more about general philosophy, but all the books I've considered are awfully dense and refined in topic.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:33 AM #2
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anything NOT by dawkins.

bertrand russell (title: why Im not a christian )
skeptical inquirer ( magazine )
skeptic ( magazine )

also the bible.

keep an open mind.

( im agnostic....the one true faith )
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:41 AM #3
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agnostic, the one true faith. That made me chuckle. Hard to tell if you are serious or not...made me laugh either way.

Soren Kierkegaard is one of my favorites when it comes to existentialism.

Taken from wiki:

The following passage is perhaps the most oft-quoted aphorism from Kierkegaard's journals and is usually a key quote for existentialist studies: "The thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die." It was written on 1 August 1835.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:17 AM #4
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Open-mindedness is key. When people ask me what religion I follow I typically answer with, "exposure".

Thanks for the recommendations so far. Do you guys know of any books that outline and go into some level of detail many different branches of philosophy and religion. Maybe a book tailored towards the lay-man, as opposed to the learned scholar?
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:32 AM #5
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Your best bet is the the book Sophie's World. Provides an incredible detail of the history of philosophy and keeps you interested.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:11 AM #6
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Your best bet is the the book Sophie's World. Provides an incredible detail of the history of philosophy and keeps you interested.
You're also going to recommend "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair" aren't you?
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:52 PM #7
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Atheist reading:
The End of Faith - Sam Harris
The Demon Haunted World - Carl Sagan

For intro Philosophy, I'd start you off with something not too serious. Go to Borders and browse the Religion/Philosophy section for some pop culture philosophy books to introduce you to some of the ideas.

The Simpsons and Philosophy / House M.D. and Philosophy / The Matrix and Philosophy

All three of those were good. You'll pick up terms and notions that you would otherwise not understand.
Jumping straight into Wittgenstein or Heidegger will confuse the **** out of you and/or bore you.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:58 PM #8
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The Problems of Philosophy by Russell is pretty good as well, though admittedly it can be slightly confusing/boring at times. Good read none the less though.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:59 PM #9
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You're also going to recommend "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair" aren't you?
Do you not approve?
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:11 PM #10
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Do you not approve?
I can't say anything until I've read it myself. I just knew you would recommend that book.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:43 PM #11
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sophie's world a history on philosophy now beyond the fact that its a fictional novel the history is actually pretty much correct just the story its self is not so you can look into all parts of philosophy. House M.D. philosophy is also very good.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:18 PM #12
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:37 PM #13
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One of the more important things to consider before diving into philosophy itself is to understand the basis of philosophical arguments. You need to understand what makes a good argument good, and a bad one bad. I know a lot of people who will read an article and not consider other options simply because they are convinced; yet they've only seen one side of the argument. It is the authors duty to convince you, and they won't necessarily bring up valid points from the opposition, just exploit weak ones.
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:43 PM #14
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One of the more important things to consider before diving into philosophy itself is to understand the basis of philosophical arguments. You need to understand what makes a good argument good, and a bad one bad. I know a lot of people who will read an article and not consider other options simply because they are convinced; yet they've only seen one side of the argument. It is the authors duty to convince you, and they won't necessarily bring up valid points from the opposition, just exploit weak ones.
indeed.

it also depends if you want to read "philosophy" or Philosophy. Most people aren't interested in Philosophy.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:47 PM #15
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I would strongly recomend you pick up a copy of Ayn Rands "Philosophy, Who Needs It". Great book
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:53 PM #16
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leaves of grass by Walt Whitman.
does that count for philosophy?
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:21 PM #17
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leaves of grass by Walt Whitman.
does that count for philosophy?
Lol...really?
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:25 PM #18
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if sophie's world counts, so does leaves of grass.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:03 PM #19
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if sophie's world counts, so does leaves of grass.
lolwut
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:04 PM #20
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if sophie's world counts, so does leaves of grass.
hay, wait now, that's like putting Michael Jackson in the same category as Elvis Presley. heheheee
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:18 PM #21
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lolwut
have you read leaves of grass?
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