Philosophy & Religion Books
- The WHYS of a Philosophical Scrivener (1999, St. Martin’s Griffin, ISBN 0-312-20682-8)
Gardner is a terrific, easy-to-read writer. Here he deals with solipsism, pragmatism, paranormalism, relativism, determinism, polytheism, pantheism, atheism, and a variety of other topics dealing with the nature of reality and the philosophical basis for a belief in God. Gardner is a theist who supports a faith-based leap beyond reason, a leap based purely on emotion, to belief in God and immortality. Gardner’s credentials as a skeptic and thinker are impeccable, and his calm and reasoned treatment of the fundamental issues of religion and superultimate questions in philosophy are refreshing.
- Why I Am Not a Christian (1957, a Touchstone book from Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0-671-20323-1)
Russell, the pre-eminent freethinker of the 20th century, gathers together a variety of his essays on religion in this work. A Free Man’s Worship is a highlight of this book, and some excerpts from it are available.
- Treatise on the Gods (1946, available from Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0-8018-5654-X)
Mencken’s caustic wit is present but more subdued in this work which addresses the fundamental nature and origin of religion, how it evolved over time, and the many varieties of it. He provides a devastating look at the history and faults in Christianity, including a lucid and scholarly discussion of the gospels, apocrypha, and structure of the old testament. He concludes with a wonderfully direct assault upon apologists who attempt to reconcile the truths of science with religious mysteries.