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Paradise Lost: Bk I 
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Ibid wrote:
Haha- I wonder exactly how St. Thomas was able to acquire this knowledge. Perhaps he captured an angel and examined it, sort of like an alien autopsy.


Catholics (I'm not Catholic, but they do have the nicest art) believe there are three harmonious sources of knowledge: tradition, reason, and sensory experience. St. Thomas, being a saint, partook of all three:

"His theme was "The Majesty of Christ". His text, "Thou waterest the hills from thy upper rooms: the earth shall be filled with the fruit of thy works" (Psalm 103:13), said to have been suggested by a heavenly visitor, seems to have been prophetic of his career" (Catholic Encyclopedia).
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14663b.htm

So St. Thomas wouldn't have needed to do an autopsy to know about angels. They visited him personally :)



Last edited by Thomas Hood on Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:32 pm
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Just to justify my statement earlier, I did say that the prof was a former priest. He separated from the Church due to what he called "fundamental philosophical differences". That in itself is a huge can of worms that I didn't want to go into with him. I thought it a little too personal, if you get my drift. Anywho, I am not Catholic either (I agree they have lovely art and I would love to an exhibition of papal treasures), and I believe that there is a "weapon" that can kill whoever designed it. To use a Hollywood analog, the Predator had weapons that not only would kill the arch-rivals, Aliens, but themselves as well. Okay, I know that wasn't a very educated analogy but it works.


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Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:06 pm
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This is interesting, this is from the Sparksnotes website's summary of Book 1:
"Satan's unrepentant evil nature is unwavering. Even cast down in defeat, he does not consider changing his ways: he insists to his fellow devils that their delight will be in doing evil, not good. In particular, as he explains to Beelzebub, he wishes to pervert God's will and find a way to make evil out of good. It is not easy for Satan to maintain this determination; the battle has just demonstrated God's overwhelming power, and the devils could not even have lifted themselves off the lake of fire unless God had allowed it. God allows it precisely because he intends to turn their evil designs toward a greater good in the end. Satan's envy of the Son's chosen status led him to rebel and consequently to be condemned. His continued envy and search for freedom leads him to believe that he would rather be a king in Hell than a servant in Heaven. Satan's pride has caused him to believe that his own free intellect is as great as God's will"

I hadn't really considered this work in exactly these terms. This paints Satan as more of a Quixotic character. If he and the other demons couldn't even kill a single angel and then as they lay prostrate in defeat, if they couldn't even pick themselves up without god allowing it, it means that conquering god would be a battle against the ultimate windmill.

So here we have Satan as the tragic anti-hero striving against a tyranny that he cannot possibly succeed against. In pop culture of the last 50 years this character has resonated with audiences who loved to sympathise with the tragic hero (James Dean,Pulp Fiction,etc). I wonder if the audience at the time this was published was as sympathetic to this type of character.



Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:17 pm
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Ibid: [i]This paints Satan as more of a Quixotic character. If he and the other demons couldn't even kill a single angel and then as they lay prostrate in defeat, if they couldn't even pick themselves up without god allowing it, it means that conquering god would be a battle against the ultimate windmill.[i]
That's an interesting way of looking at Satan, yet for me he can't be quixotic because his belief in his possible omnipotence is not his delusion, but a possibility believed in by the millions of other fallen angels as well. I think it is also only Milton's editorial comments that tell us that God is actually granting the demons whatever small remaining power they have. This is all part of Milton's attempt to remain theologically correct and to curb Satan's charisma just a bit, at the same time as he makes Satan a worthy epic opponent of God. He had a delicate task in PL's opening books, and the strength of Satan here is mainly what fueled the "Satan hero" views of later poets and readers. Milton's drama is probably stronger than his logic in setting up the confrontation between God and Satan.


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Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:42 pm
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Ibid wrote:
Satan as the tragic anti-hero striving against a tyranny that he cannot possibly succeed against.
This description of God as a tyrant is not right. A tyrant acts for self interest, whereas God supports acts of love. It is rather like saying the law of gravity is tyrannical, or an eddy saying the river is a tyrant for flowing with the natural law. If Satan chose to act in love instead of his twisted hatred he would find his opposition to God would dissolve in mercy and forgiveness.



Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:40 am
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Robert Tulip wrote:
Ibid wrote:
Satan as the tragic anti-hero striving against a tyranny that he cannot possibly succeed against.
This description of God as a tyrant is not right. A tyrant acts for self interest, whereas God supports acts of love. It is rather like saying the law of gravity is tyrannical, or an eddy saying the river is a tyrant for flowing with the natural law. If Satan chose to act in love instead of his twisted hatred he would find his opposition to God would dissolve in mercy and forgiveness.

This relates to the "Satan hero" perception that you rejected in the first PL thread. I think we have to judge this matter in terms of Milton's artistic control of the ideas of the poem through his characterizations. The Satan hero view came about not because anyone could really think that in the poem's action, or in the explicit views of Milton the poet/editorialist, Satan comes out anywhere near the top. It is a function of human qualities with which Milton does invest Satan (in the first two books, anyway), qualities that in other contexts (poems, stories) have clearly been heroic. The parallel with Prometheus has been drawn. Perhaps, to the ancient Greeks, Prometheus' act of stealing fire from the gods was an act of impiety. For us modern readers, Prometheus is courageous and a friend to man. Readers of PL who have little liking for God, as characterized by Milton, may be drawn away to the relatively more recognizable human qualities in Satan, and find these admirable in a tragic sense. Even in Satan's determination to "harm" the human race, revisionists may see a service of sorts: we became fully human only when we were expelled from the garden. Before that, we appeared to be similar to Homer's lotus eaters.


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Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:12 am
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Robert Tulip wrote:
Ibid wrote:
Satan as the tragic anti-hero striving against a tyranny that he cannot possibly succeed against.
This description of God as a tyrant is not right. A tyrant acts for self interest, whereas God supports acts of love. It is rather like saying the law of gravity is tyrannical, or an eddy saying the river is a tyrant for flowing with the natural law. If Satan chose to act in love instead of his twisted hatred he would find his opposition to God would dissolve in mercy and forgiveness.


My comment refers to the way that Satan sees god, which is most certainly as a tyrant. In fact a tyrant is only a tyrant depending on what side of the tyranny you're on. If you're a loyal angel standing beside god then everything god does is love. If you're a loyal angel following Satan than everything god does is tyranny.



Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:49 am
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DWill wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
Ibid wrote:
Satan as the tragic anti-hero striving against a tyranny that he cannot possibly succeed against.
This description of God as a tyrant is not right. A tyrant acts for self interest, whereas God supports acts of love. It is rather like saying the law of gravity is tyrannical, or an eddy saying the river is a tyrant for flowing with the natural law. If Satan chose to act in love instead of his twisted hatred he would find his opposition to God would dissolve in mercy and forgiveness.

This relates to the "Satan hero" perception that you rejected in the first PL thread. I think we have to judge this matter in terms of Milton's artistic control of the ideas of the poem through his characterizations. The Satan hero view came about not because anyone could really think that in the poem's action, or in the explicit views of Milton the poet/editorialist, Satan comes out anywhere near the top. It is a function of human qualities with which Milton does invest Satan (in the first two books, anyway), qualities that in other contexts (poems, stories) have clearly been heroic. The parallel with Prometheus has been drawn. Perhaps, to the ancient Greeks, Prometheus' act of stealing fire from the gods was an act of impiety. For us modern readers, Prometheus is courageous and a friend to man. Readers of PL who have little liking for God, as characterized by Milton, may be drawn away to the relatively more recognizable human qualities in Satan, and find these admirable in a tragic sense. Even in Satan's determination to "harm" the human race, revisionists may see a service of sorts: we became fully human only when we were expelled from the garden. Before that, we appeared to be similar to Homer's lotus eaters.

This is an excellent interpretation.



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SATAN'S POWER, OXYMORONS, EPIC SIMILIES, AND THE FATE OF THE CLASSICAL GODS

1. In Book I, there are quite a few examples of Satan's unquenchable resolve to oppose the supposedly unopposable. Milton needed to make Satan formidable for the epic, and he did, before progressively degrading him in later books. Some later readers, despite Satan's professed desire to do evil and to exalt hatred, found something more impressive in this character than what they saw in the character of God.

What though the field be lost? [ 105 ]
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That Glory never shall his wrath or might [ 110 ]
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deifie his power,
Who from the terrour of this Arm so late
Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath [ 115 ]
This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods
And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,
***********************************
Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable
Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure,
To do ought good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight, [ 160 ]
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his Providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil;

2. When I first studied this poem, I was introduced to the origiinal meaning of the word "oxymoron," meaning two words in apparent contradiction forming a startling new meaning. The most famous example is "darkness visible", but Milton studs the poem with numerous of these rhetorical devices (like "stedfast hate). I'm always disappointed when I see "oxymoron" used in the sense of "two words that don't belong together, a contradiction in terms." A true oxymoron does make sense.

3. For some, one of the pleasures of this or any epic will be in the similies. Everything needs to be outsized in an epic, the similies no exception. In a way, epic similies remind me of the the entries in that yearly contest...is it the Bulwer-Lytton contest ("On a dark and stormy night"...)?...where the contestants often spin out these elaborate, awful similies. Only in the case of the good epic writers, they're not awful, or at least I enjoy them.

His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't
Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
High overarch't imbowr; or scatterd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce Winds Orion arm'd [ 305 ]
Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew
Busiris and his Memphian Chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore thir floating Carkases [ 310 ]
And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown
Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood,
Under amazement of thir hideous change

Jeez, now that is epic.

4. Milton was an interesting mix of Renaissance man and Puritan. He knew classical literature and mythology backwards and forwards, and he used classical mythical references very frequently in his poems before PL. He uses some of this still in PL, for example invoking the "heavenly Muse," Urania, in the beginning. Yet in this poem he follows a convention that held that the fallen angels found new purpose (only by God's sufferance, of course) as the false gods of the Old Testament and Greek myth. But this does point out that in Milton's time, demons were apparently as real as the angels and God. Whereas, by "false gods," I would tend to think of "gods that aren't really there."

Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve
Got them new Names, till wandring ore the Earth, [ 365 ]
Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man,
By falsities and lyes the greatest part
Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake
God thir Creator, and th' invisible
Glory of him that made them, to transform [ 370 ]
Oft to the Image of a Brute, adorn'd
With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold,
And Devils to adore for Deities:
Then were they known to men by various Names,
And various Idols through the Heathen World

6. So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay (209)

This is just an example my old professor pointed out of how Milton marries sound and sense with his use of the heroic line--a string of monosyllabic words with inverted word order.[/i]


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Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:03 pm
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Quote:
Readers of PL who have little liking for God, as characterized by Milton, may be drawn away to the relatively more recognizable human qualities in Satan, and find these admirable in a tragic sense. Even in Satan's determination to "harm" the human race, revisionists may see a service of sorts: we became fully human only when we were expelled from the garden. Before that, we appeared to be similar to Homer's lotus eaters.
Thanks Will. Satan is admirable in a sick kind of way. Following up the discussion with Tom on the Opening Comments thread, Satan is necessary to test out God and the angels and make them show their identity in the crucible of opposition, showing human freedom as involving real choice and responsibility. Tom and I were talking there about whether technology is a good thing, with Tom likening the Tree of Knowledge to a Tree of Technology. This likening of the fall to Promethean technological progress can easily look like the sort of pious attitude which sees all change as bad, as in your mention of the lotus eaters. The chance to try out satanic approaches is part of human freedom. The hope is that the chastening failure of evil can bring people to see that the path of God is good, and can help us to find good innovations within the multitude of bad things.
It makes no sense to say that God is good except as a unified loving merciful energy that works as a dynamic force in the world. The nature and existence of such an energy is hotly contested, and in Milton's day the puritans and papists slugged it out, both claiming absolute divine mandate. The narrow chain to heaven and the broad highway to hell are metaphors for how the path of corruption is attractive but destructive, while the path to heaven is extremely difficult to find, but is necessary for salvation.
The hope is for an absolute good. When Satan calls God a tyrant he is simply wrong, arguing a false relativism between good and evil. Satan would say that, wouldn't he.



Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:33 pm
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I bow out of respect to those with such knowledge of both the Christian ideologies and Literature expertise, however, I am just a simple kind of person, so here is my two cents.

Satan believes wholeheartedly that God is wrong. He, God, should not put so much time and effort into a mere upgrade of an ape. Satan truly believes that the angels are deserving of soul. They protect the heavens to the fullest amount of their power and God gives them nothing but immortality. What good is immortality when you are not recognized for your job that holds the universe together. Satan sees it as not only as an insult but as a punishment for which they do not deserve. So he led a rebellion which he lost. But he doesn't give up. He tells his troops to continue their good fight even though their brothers will see it as evil and wrong. But they need not worry because theirs is a just and noble cause even when labeled as evil because every wrong has to have a right. Satan believes that this revolution of his is the right course of action for all the angels in heaven. Might makes right.

So with his noble speech, Milton cleverly allows the reader to feel sorry for Satan and his band of misfit angels. Not sorry to the point that the reader changes his religon, but to the point that the reader can relate or sympathize with Satan due to the current events that were happening at the time. Religious intolerance, overbearing government, Anglo-Dutch War, Discovery of the Great Lakes in the Americas, etc. At this time, many European nations were pouring money into the lands of the Americas. Could it be that Milton was a little envious of his own kingdom spending so much of their money aboard and not supporting those at home? Just something to think about.


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Raving Lunatic wrote:
I bow out of respect to those with such knowledge of both the Christian ideologies and Literature expertise, however, I am just a simple kind of person, so here is my two cents.

"Expertise" doesn't matter. You've put in more than two cents.
Quote:
Satan believes wholeheartedly that God is wrong. He, God, should not put so much time and effort into a mere upgrade of an ape......Satan believes that this revolution of his is the right course of action for all the angels in heaven. Might makes right.

I'll remember "upgrade of an ape." I think Milton does his best to tell us that, no, Satan has no right or logic or just grievance on his side at all; he's not even really merely deluded but simply evil by nature. He has that motiveless malignancy of the pure villian:

Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable
Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure,
To do ought good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight, [ 160 ]
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his Providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil; [ 165 ]
Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from thir destind aim

But it's no use Milton having Satan say things like this. Satan is out of his control to an extent, and you're right about the reader's tendency to make a case for Satan. Sympathy for Satan, or at least admiration for him, comes about anyway. When we later see God, our sympathy may even increase, even as Milton degrades Satan. God is not necessarily a likable fellow. What I think happens in the writing of PL is that Milton starts having fun. He has never written anything like PL, anything in which he could create a great villain, and he runs with the opportunity. The characterization of God may have been a chore by comparison. Even Satan's great perfidy, tempting Eve to taste the fruit, doesn't damage Satan very much; after all, the Fall got us out of boring Eden and made us human, in effect.
Quote:
Could it be that Milton was a little envious of his own kingdom spending so much of their money aboard and not supporting those at home? Just something to think about.

I'd like to learn more about possible tie-ins with the contemporary scene. PL tends to be seen I think in isolation from the times.


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Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:37 am
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Some one should make a film based on Paradise Lost as an epic rock opera. Adam and Eve to Sunshine of Your Love, Satan on the Lake of Fire to Dazed and Confused. Here are the lyrics for Rolling Stones: Sympathy for the Devil
Quote:
Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long, long year, stole many a man's soul and faith. And I was round when Jesus Christ had his moment of doubt and pain, Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands and sealed his fate. Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name, But what's puzzling you Is the nature of my game. I stuck around St. Petersburg When I saw it was a time for a change, Killed the czar and his ministers Anastasia screamed in vain, I rode a tank Held a general's rank When the blitzkrieg raged And the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name, oh yeah, Ah, what's puzzling you Is the nature of my game, oh yeah. I watched with glee While your kings and queens Fought for ten decades For the gods they made. I shouted out, Who killed the Kennedys? When after all It was you and me.
Let me please introduce myself I'm a man of wealth and taste, And I laid traps for troubadours Who get killed before they reached Bombay, Pleased to meet you Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby Pleased to meet you Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah But what's confusing you Is just the nature of my game
Just as every cop is a criminal And all the sinners saints As heads is tails Just call me Lucifer cause I'm in need of some restraint So if you meet me Have some courtesy Have some sympathy, and some taste Use all your well-learned politesse Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah Pleased to meet you Hope you guessed my name, um yeah But what's puzzling you Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down Woo, who Oh yeah, get on down Oh yeah Oh yeah! Tell me baby, what's my name Tell me honey, can ya guess my name Tell me baby, what's my name I tell you one time, youre to blame Ooo, who Ooo, who Ooo, who Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Oh, yeah what's me name Tell me, baby, what's my name Tell me, sweetie, what's my name Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Ooo, who, who Oh, yeah

The most Miltonic line of this pop song, apart from the overall delight in destruction, is "As heads is tails Just call me Lucifer cause I'm in need of some restraint". Sympathy for the devil requires complete confusion about reality, the ability to say that evil is good and heads is tails. It is like Orwell's slogans in 1984: 'Peace is War, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery'. My view is that a rational ontology can identify this problem of the relativist trickery of the one the Bible at John 8:44 calls 'The Father of Lies'. This Satanic Orwellian despair arising from the moral and intellectual equation of truth and falsity is at the foundation of oppression and suffering. We can know what is good and true and work for it, even though the thread is slender.
DWill wrote:
Raving Lunatic wrote:
I bow out of respect to those with such knowledge of both the Christian ideologies and Literature expertise, however, I am just a simple kind of person, so here is my two cents.
"Expertise" doesn't matter. You've put in more than two cents.
As one who rarely gets any opportunity for conversation, I thought it was great to see RL play devil's advocate. I am just trying to play God's advocate, recognising as Niebuhr commented that God is held in great disdain in these times. :(



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speak of the devil see link to the Paradise Lost movie project (>$100m 2011 release)



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RT:As one who rarely gets any opportunity for conversation, I thought it was great to see RL play devil's advocate. I am just trying to play God's advocate, recognising as Niebuhr commented that God is held in great disdain in these times.
What little I've gathered about Niebuhr's theology, though, makes me think he wouldn't find the God of PL a good template. Do you agree? Also, would Niebuhr have assessed disdain for God any differently if he was with us today, vs. the situation in the 50s? The country is more religious now than then, though probably not in a way Niebuhr would have approved of.

Your idea for the rock opera is good, maybe more promising than the movie under development, which I had no idea of. I'd be afraid that to commercialize the film, the battle scenes would be featured, and too much of that bores me. But spectacles in general tend to be my least favorite type of movie. On the website, users were asked to vote whether the movie would bomb or be the bomb. I'd bet money on the former.


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Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:38 am

Robert Tulip

Why Do So Many Have Trouble Believing In Evolution?

Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:57 am

TheWizard

Releasing a Book in Serial Format... Thoughts? Opinions?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:50 pm

Suzanne

Is God the epitome of both good and evil?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:16 pm

Movie Nerd

If you were God, would you give humanity moral free will?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:56 pm

Flann 5

Do you have a quote to share? Funny? Positive? Thought Provoking?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:42 pm

Movie Nerd

Free Today Only - Lovers, Players, & The Seducer eBook: J. A. JACKSON: Kindle Store

Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:16 pm

J A Jackson

New Freebie, Romantic Suspense

Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:48 pm

katekelly

Faith closes the mind. It is pure idol worship.

Sun Nov 23, 2014 2:19 pm

Movie Nerd

Christmas gift for my brother in-law: in the style of the iron druid

Sun Nov 23, 2014 2:18 pm

Chris OConnor

Negotiating with terrorists for the release of hostages?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 2:02 pm

ClosetScribe

Savanna's Treasure: Animal Friendships, But Not Your Usual Picture Book Read

Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:14 pm

DianeD+

Why is there something and not nothing?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:13 pm

Interbane

Many thanks for having me, Joe

Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:08 am

Taylor

Visit To A Doctor

Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:00 am

mightynvaliant

Do you EAT while you READ?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:52 am

lucia_salemi

"What Book Changed Your Mind?"

Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:54 am

Movie Nerd

Why is evolution by natural selection a scientific explanation for alien life?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:50 am

Movie Nerd

a picture book about refugees

Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:13 am

lucia_salemi

Renewable energy - the old chestnut, puréed

Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:17 am

lehelvandor


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BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart - by Lex Bayer and John FigdorSense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

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