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Satan, Venus, Christ and the Gas Giants: A Miltonic Parable 
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Lol Penny!

Thomas: "The winter solstice or the moment of birth are hardly human constructs."

Just like two lilies aren't human constructs. But we use the abstraction of that "instance" of two and do wonders with it.

If a traffic camera took a picture that just so happened to have six cars perfectly aligned and all the same color in each of a street's six lanes, that would be a beautiful coincidence. We could name that instance "vehicular ground zero", and take an abstraction of that event and use it as a point of demarcation for much 'meaning-deriving' and prophetic predicting.

It is easy to ridicule that scenario, but not so much so with orbiting celestial bodies, since they have an elegance and grace we can barely describe, and are of a magnitude removed from our everyday reality so appear to be perhaps instilled with divinity. It is a poetic desire in a sense to make use of such points of demarcation. We must consider coincidental arrangements of separate entities, with the birth of a human most certainly isn't.

I have to go to work, I'll reply to you later today or tomorrow Robert.



Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:39 am
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Interbane wrote:
If a traffic camera took a picture that just so happened to have six cars perfectly aligned and all the same color in each of a street's six lanes, that would be a beautiful coincidence. We could name that instance "vehicular ground zero", and take an abstraction of that event and use it as a point of demarcation for much 'meaning-deriving' and prophetic predicting.


So instead of believing that God is love you believe that God is coincidence? Coincidence is the principle that underlying everything? Life is a slotmachine in which configurations emerged for no reason at all. The slotmachine, though, is programmed.

Tom



Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:46 am
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Thomas: "So instead of believing that God is love you believe that God is coincidence?"

No, I believe God doesn't exist, and that coincidence is coincidence.

Thomas: "Coincidence is the principle that underlying everything?"

No, it's merely a word we use to help us understand reality.

Thomas: "Life is a slotmachine in which configurations emerged for no reason at all."

Configurations emerge, humans apply or derive the reason.

Thomas: "The slotmachine, though, is programmed."

I place a lot of stock in mechanistic worldviews, yes.



Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:04 pm
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Please ignore my tag hereafter...I'm gonna change it tomorrow!!!

I like discussing co-incidence.

Coincidence is something that takes you up short and makes you think and doubt.

It makes you think that we might not be amid absolute chaos.

It is patently not wishful thinking.....

Very recently....there have been the most heartstopping coincidences happening....small things......books being there....on the desk....when people come to the serving counter (not the desk)...to ask for them, by name and author. I am not making patterns,Interbane.....the patterns are there.....

Granted...in small and insignificant occurences....but definitely there....Am I attracting them?

I wouldn't lie to you, I promise.

I would really like to discuss this issue, of coincidence....I would really like to compare our experiences....of synchronicity.

Because, it is, honestly happening....and it may or may not be important....but it would be interesting to compare notes.

It might be irrelevant anyway...I might be completely bonkers....in which case....I will pretend to be an adult.

Pen
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Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:41 pm
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Penelope: "I am not making patterns,Interbane.....the patterns are there...."

Well, you're speaking here of a coincidence, and I trust you when you say there are strange coincidences happening to you. There is a bit of psychology in how these coincidences are emphasized as well. They are so memorable, so much more so than the millions of non-coincidental events that happen all day every day.

We should start another thread about coincidence.



Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:55 pm
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RT: "I reject supernatural explanations as incompatible with science, and yet feel there is a power within the archetypal myth that must come from somewhere greater than the human imagination alone."

I feel this too at times. My recognition of it is different than yours however, though it has survived from my transition as a believer to an atheist. I believe it only ‘feels’ to come from somewhere greater than our mental construction, but that feeling is false, it follows from a desire to believe. This area of introspection is rife with the pitfalls of self deception.

RT: "If imagination is grounded in a cosmic harmony, it has a purchase that a free floating fantasy would lack."

A scientific based fantasy would be more appealing, I agree.

RT: "The system I am suggesting is different from the arbitrary location of the Greenwich meridian. I am suggesting that the correspondence between major Christian symbols derives from a cosmic intuition that the shift from BC to AD actually is a turning point of time in some objective sense."

So some characteristic of the spacetime continuum has been altered at what we consider 0 AD? Show me cause and effect and evidence, that is a claim of gargantuan proportions and requires a similar amount of evidence.

RT: "In the lead up to the BC-AD moment, the constellations steadily moved towards alignment with the seasons, then went through a short period of exact harmony"

Explain to me this harmony if you can.

RT: "Pisces does have the shape of a mysterious dissipation like the end of the winter, and Aries does have the shape of a breaking open of a new year."

Just like mold on the side of a house does have the shape of the virgin mary..

RT: "Yes, true, but what I am saying is that the cyclic resonance of finite temporal structures has not been adequately factored into understanding of gravity."

Orbits and rotations have definitely been factored into the understanding of gravity, and thoroughly. If what you’re proposing is that celestial cycles create a ‘resonance’ that is an unincorporated factor, then that’s a different matter.

RT: "The difference of complexity has many orders of magnitude. I am saying the Ages are the primary mid-level structure of terrestrial time – shorter than big bang cosmology or geology but longer than ordinary history, serving as an enveloping framework for history."

They aren’t a structure of time, they are a structure by which to measure time. In all the solar systems in all the galaxies of the universe, time moves forward like an emotionless glacier. Bodies moving about within our universe have an effect on the speed of time, inversely proportional to their speed through space relative to an observer. The problem here also relates to the intuition pump in which we live in a solar system with drastically different planets with completely different orbits. You respond: “Such an event would cause extinction of all life on earth, so I would not be around to do any redefining. I see it as most unlikely, and prefer to develop predictions of what will actually happen on our planet over the next few thousand years

How obvious your evasion to this question is becomes a concern. If all you have is “I don’t know”, then I’ll pout and whine, but at least I would no longer feel that you’re deceiving yourself and evading the question.

RT: "Looking at time against this dichotomy, the cesium atomic function is a representation of time, whereas the cosmic cycles are the real tragic being, proceeding regardless of our arbitrary understanding."

Not at all, actually. Both are mechanical systems operating within the parameters of time and space and are therefore not the disclosure of the being of time. The real tragic being of time will incorporate the universe as a whole, and all of time in either ‘direction’, not just during the lifespan of our solar system.



Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:03 pm
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Interbane:

Thank you. I know.....lots of non-synchronicity.....but, when it does happen, it is inclined to take one's breath away.

Probably, it is something like Morphic Resonance......

I don't, honestly, think in terms of 'supernatural'... more, that what we call 'supernatural' might be just something wonderful and 'natural' that we aren't considering.

Which I think might be what our Robert is investigating.

And remember, much more difficult for a young scientist in Australia, than for a silly old woman in England.....who doesn't give a toss what anybody (except those she calls friends) thinks anyway. :kiss:


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Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:07 pm
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Frank 013 wrote:
(March 8 ) you seem to miss the “levels of the heavens” idea present in Paul’s writings, all of the above can still have happened up there, just like the cross. In fact Doherty did comment on those very passages…
Quote:
Christ's self-sacrificing death was located "in times eternal," or "before the beginning of time" (pro chronon aionion). This is the second key phrase in 2 Timothy 1:9 and elsewhere. What is presently being revealed is something that had already taken place outside the normal realm of time and space. This could be envisioned as either in the primordial time of myth, or, as current Platonic philosophy would have put it, in the higher eternal world of ideas, of which this earthly world, with its ever-changing matter and evolving time, is only a transient, imperfect copy (more on this later). The benefits of Christ's redemptive act lay in the present, through God's revelation of it in the new missionary movement, but the act itself had taken place in a higher world of divine realities, in a timeless order, not on earth or in history. It had all happened in the sphere of God, it was all part of his "mystery." The blood sacrifice, even seeming biographical details like Romans 1:3-4, belong in this dimension. http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/parttwo.htm Also, because in order for Christ Jesus to be the prophesized messiah he had to be in David’s line, even Paul knew that from the Torah, so it is no surprise that he would have added it… even if just in the spiritual realm.

Hi Frank, thanks for these comments. I read this point you cite, and found it at the weak end of Doherty’s argument. The Letter to Timothy is not by Paul, and in any case the line Doherty quotes does not say what he says it says. Rather, 2 Tim 1:9 says “God... has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” The Letter to Timothy is just saying the gift of grace from God comes through the divine eternal Christ, not that “Christ's self-sacrificing death was located in times eternal”. Christianity argues this grace was fully manifest in the man Jesus, which Doherty disputes, but his twisting of the Bible to say Christ died before the beginning of time is wrong. The whole point of Christology is that Jesus Christ has two natures, the human nature of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine nature of the eternal Christ, united in the second person of the Trinity. Doherty has got carried away with his theory of the metaphysical Christ, and ignores those points which directly contradict it, notably Romans 1:3, where ‘descended from David according to the flesh’ is most definitely not ‘just in the spiritual realm’. For Paul the cross is material, even while the event is primarily spiritual.
I think where Doherty is confused is that he makes too much of the fact that Paul saw the metaphysical ransom through the blood sacrifice as the real achievement of Christ, with any ethical teachings secondary. Hence Paul instituted a framework suitable for popular belief - ‘Christ died for our sins’ - which deliberately ignored the complexity in the message in favour of a lowest common denominator of belief. My interest is to replace this belief framework with a knowledge framework, and I recognise in doing this that Doherty may well be correct in his claim that Jesus did not exist, as the “fictional invention theory by Mark” looks hard to refute.
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Quote:
RT: “Reading Doherty, I get the impression there may have been a complete disjunct between Paul and the Apostolic community of Jesus. Paul was such a powerful and lucid writer that people assumed he was connected to the Jesus movement, but as Doherty points out, Paul's ideas seem to come from his own imagination rather than any tradition. So any discrepancy between the Epistles and the Gospels can be explained away by Paul's complete ignorance of and indifference to the historical story.
This is complete speculation with absolutely zero bases in evidence.
You are reading too much in to what I said here. Doherty uses Paul’s apparent ignorance of the Gospel story as evidence that the Gospels are false. My point is that the splintering of various ‘inspired’ groups soon after the time of Christ is not evidence that all of those groups were fantasists. Doherty makes his critique of Paul carry too much weight of argument. He can’t validly infer general ignorance from Paul’s ignorance of Jesus.
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I also happen to see a pattern forming here… you will entertain any possibility (no matter how remote) in order to keep your precious Jesus alive… I think you might be doing the same thing with your Astro-Christianity proposition making leaps based more on your desire than on any concrete connection.
Good one Frank. Yes the thread is slender, and it is rather like the image in Paradise Lost where our universe is connected to heaven by a thin chain and to hell by a wide road. I am presenting my vision as a possible explanation of the eternal cosmic Christ through physical astronomical cycles. How far this actually equates to historical events of the Gospel age is secondary. When I said my commitment to the Gospel mythic narrative is more emotional than rational, I meant that I accept the evidence is weak, but the Easter Passion story and the parables have such archetypal power and beauty that I prefer to act as though they are true. It may well be that Mark made up the Gospel story in a sort of ‘Lord of the Rings’ fantasy epic of his day, but there is more to it than groundless fantasy. Mark is saying, ‘if the eternal Christ walked and talked on this earth, what would he have been like?’ The fantastic elements in the story of Jesus do not diminish the ethical meaning in Mark’s basic question of how we can conceptualise the eternal Christ through the imagery of incarnation.
Quote:
Don’t get me wrong your version is infinitively superior to the claims of current Christianity, but I still do not see you making the distinction between what is provable and the way you want it to be. For example you need the time of the Christian movement to have been inspired by someone or something special or your Astro-Christianity proposition loses substance.
Yes, but if ‘the way I want it to be’ is possible and plausible, I will explore that until it is proven to be implausible. What I am claiming is special is that the idea of the cosmic Christ within the Bible has a hidden astronomical ground. Just last night at a Bible study group I came across another passage which underlines this agenda. In Mark 8:19-21 Jesus said “When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?" "Twelve," they replied. "And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?" They answered, "Seven." He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"
Interpreting this cryptic passage against my cosmic claim that the loaves are the sign of Virgo and the fishes are the sign of Pisces, marking the new Pisces-Virgo precessional age, the twelve baskets correlate to the twelve signs and the seven baskets to the seven visible planets. The blindness of those around him is a blindness to the cosmic story.
Quote:
The facts of the matter seem to bother you because there really was nothing special about those times, or the many people and cultures that contributed to the core beliefs in the biblical text.
Just the fact that those times established our calendar and our dominant world cultural institutions justifies exploration of a possibility of something special. If that exploration coheres with an empirical cosmic observation then it is worth exploring further.
Quote:
The ideas presented in the biblical texts were not original or fresh even then, the many people involved in the early Christian writings were (In all likelihood) very normal and not super geniuses, the stories formed over hundreds of years and were (most likely) compiled from many separate areas and people, funneled down to what exists today, this makes a central story and teacher named Jesus nearly impossible and nothing special...
Even if Mark is ordinary on the scale of Tolkien, the sense that the mythic narrative is grounded in a cosmic reality makes it something special
Quote:
New evidence may shed more light on the subject and we all should be willing to accept it as it comes, we should not solidify ostentatious beliefs based on what little we actually know. Later
Fully agreed Frank, and I appreciate your reality check.
RT



Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:19 pm
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Penny: "I don't, honestly, think in terms of 'supernatural'... more, that what we call 'supernatural' might be just something wonderful and 'natural' that we aren't considering.

Which I think might be what our Robert is investigating
."

It may very well be. I'll keep an open mind until the fog of misunderstanding is dispelled. There are many things right now that don't fit.

Penny: "Thank you. I know.....lots of non-synchronicity.....but, when it does happen, it is inclined to take one's breath away."

Ahh, but that's the magic of bias! What better an example to use than one you'll never forget; a coincidence remains most memorable despite the many thousands of times there was no coincidence at all. I'm done with The Big Con and will start on MC tonight.



Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:25 pm
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RT
I read this point you cite, and found it at the weak end of Doherty’s argument. The Letter to Timothy is not by Paul, and in any case the line Doherty quotes does not say what he says it says. Rather, 2 Tim 1:9 says “God... has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” The Letter to Timothy is just saying the gift of grace from God comes through the divine eternal Christ, not that “Christ's self-sacrificing death was located in times eternal”.


This still sounds a lot like a spiritual Jesus to me… and if you think like an ancient or even just an atheist and not like a person indoctrinated with modern Christianity you might see it too.

Quote:
RT
My point is that the splintering of various ‘inspired’ groups soon after the time of Christ is not evidence that all of those groups were fantasists. Doherty makes his critique of Paul carry too much weight of argument. He can’t validly infer general ignorance from Paul’s ignorance of Jesus.


That is fine but it offers no evidence to the idea that you provided either.

You say…
Quote:
RT
Paul was such a powerful and lucid writer that people assumed he was connected to the Jesus movement, but as Doherty points out, Paul's ideas seem to come from his own imagination rather than any tradition. So any discrepancy between the Epistles and the Gospels can be explained away by Paul's complete ignorance of and indifference to the historical story.


This is still pure speculation with no basis in evidence… it is simply a hole left open by the most current theories. It is true that it cannot be disproven but that does not mean that it is true or even likely.

Later


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Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:49 pm
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RT
Paul was such a powerful and lucid writer that people assumed he was connected to the Jesus movement, but as Doherty points out, Paul's ideas seem to come from his own imagination rather than any tradition. So any discrepancy between the Epistles and the Gospels can be explained away by Paul's complete ignorance of and indifference to the historical story.

Wasn't Paul the original campaigner for Jesus? He recruited Mark or something around 70AD?



Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:29 am
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Robert Tulip wrote:
What I am claiming is special is that the idea of the cosmic Christ within the Bible has a hidden astronomical ground.


Why, Robert, isn't the cosmic Christ the zodiacal Great Man that dies and is resurrected each year?



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Interbane
Wasn't Paul the original campaigner for Jesus? He recruited Mark or something around 70AD?


The Epistles of Paul are the earliest Christian writings available… of course the content is extremely unhelpful to the historical Jesus theory.

Not only has Paul never claimed to have met an earthly Jesus he does not seem to ever encounter anyone who has either. Paul knows nothing about the stories associated with the current myth and repeatedly speaks of Christ Jesus as a spirit that has come to him with wisdom.

Now couple this with the common beliefs of the time, that many of these savior gods were in fact Logos, spiritual entities that performed their deeds in the heavens and were intermediaries between the ultimate god and humans.

When looked at carefully and removing the bias of the gospel claims, (that were written much later) it appears that Paul was speaking of a Logos and not an earthly person. By removing the assumption of an earthy Jesus and viewing the writings through the lens of the ancient culture that wrote it, the historical Jesus is completely missing in Paul’s works.

And if Paul had never even heard of the supposed historical Jesus, (being so close to the source) than how can we give credit to anything written hundreds of years after the fact?

Later


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Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:10 am
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Interbane wrote:
Wasn't Paul the original campaigner for Jesus? He recruited Mark or something around 70AD?
This whole "did Jesus exist?" sidebar is actually really helpful. It serves to clarify a major implication of the original thesis of this thread, namely that the concepts of Christ and Satan are primarily eternal cosmic theories about the connection between humanity and God rather than records of actual historical events or entities. I said to Frank that I have an emotional desire to believe, but I should clarify that this does not take precedence over a rational examination of the evidence. Mark and the other evangelists told such a compelling tale that salvaging it is an attractive default unless the holes are simply too big to ignore, as it seems they are.

The Paul story shows just how murky are the origins of Christianity. Yes, Paul was a main campaigner for Jesus, but his road to Damascus conversion where the scales fell from his eyes led him to convert from chief persecutor of Christianity to chief impressario. I have always thought that someone with such a bad past as Paul is quite untrustworthy. His line about seeing Christ “through a glass darkly” is a good example of how the sublime idea of Christ took complete precedence for him over any evidence. Doherty points out that Paul's letters in the Bible contain no biographical information whatsoever about Jesus Christ, whose name is more a title, translating to 'the anointed saviour from God' and is not an actual personal name.

The claimed connection between Paul and Mark is in Acts 12 and 15, suggesting that Paul took Mark with him from Jerusalem and then fell out with him. Perhaps Mark was already developing his science fiction imagination about Christ where Paul insisted on sticking to the simple cosmic basics?

The way I am seeing it now, following Anselm's slightly bizarre line of argument that an existing God is more perfect than one that does not exist, is that a story of the 'anointed saviour' would seem so vastly more potent if it was believed to be an actual historical truth than if it was just a cosmic myth.

To me, it all points to a coherent political explanation of the early church in terms of the cosmic ground I have outlined. The depth of popular fury against Greco-Roman Civilization was extreme, summarised in Paul's barb at Romans 1:19 that they worshipped the creature rather than the creator. A similar fury can be seen today in Islamic hostility towards the west. As this inchoate popular idea of a Creator struggled for expression, it first found a focus in the idea of Logos - which can be understood as a demiurge – a representative of the infinite and eternal within the finite and temporal. This demiurge – God's Saviour or Jesus – the intermediary between our blind planet and our fate – was initially understood in primarily metaphysical spiritual terms. However, it was soon discovered that such a disembodied version failed the basic marketing test and just did not get the ancient water cooler gossip happening. The times were ripe with yearning for a popular narrative explanation, and this is precisely what Mark and the other Gospel writers provided with their Tolkienesque epic myth of the incarnation and its catchy jingles like 'God so loved the world' etc etc.

I fear Frank has nearly converted me to a version of the Docetist Heresy, the widespread ancient claim that Christ was a spirit but not a man. Except of course that Frank is arguing, I would say invalidly, that the evidence that Christ was not a man implies also that he was not a spirit. It opens the question of why Biblical writers such as John had to be so aggressive in arguing that only agents of Satan would claim Jesus Christ didn't eat, drink and go to the toilet. What did John have to hide? Surely if Jesus was real as described in the Gospels the emerging church would not have to resort to such polarising political threats on the basic topic of whether their recent founder even existed?

Whether or not the eternal Son ate and shat and was stigmatised makes no material difference to the theological question I am raising here, of whether we can interpret the relation between humanity and the cosmos through the concept of a Demiurge that is analogous to Christ. Talking about such subjects is hard, because we need to make archetypal words mean just one thing when they are actually bringing together ambiguous symbols.

This thread started by describing the story of Christ interpreted against the Zodiacal Ages of precession as a Miltonic Parable. Paradise Lost, with its epic fable of the battle in heaven between God and Satan, is just as fantastic as the Gospels. Both books have enormous spiritual power. They tap in to what people want to believe, and more crucially, they provide a path of hope towards the transformation of our planet to recover a primeval harmony with cosmic truth.



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Thomas Hood wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
What I am claiming is special is that the idea of the cosmic Christ within the Bible has a hidden astronomical ground.
Why, Robert, isn't the cosmic Christ the zodiacal Great Man that dies and is resurrected each year?


Tom, you can't just say the cosmic Christ "is" this or that to the exclusion of other meanings and analogies. To illustrate, there is a lovely analogy between Christmas and Easter. The solstice (sun still) on December 21-22 is the day 'the sun stops', meaning that it appears to rise at the same point on the horizon for three days at the southern extremity of its range, marking an end and beginning of the natural year. Then, Christmas Day is the first movement as the sun begins its apparent northward trek towards the northern summer. Hence we have the sun dying and being reborn after three days, in a neat analogy to Easter that could also be identified with 'the cosmic Christ'. Your analogy, seemingly between the annual collected symbolism of the zodiac and Christ, is another. The longer timeframe of precession provides the equation with the cosmic Christ that seems most meaningful to me. I'm not quite sure what you mean by the term 'Great Man'. In any case, any such symbolism in the Bible is encoded, which I take to be a strategy by the authors to convey their message in a way that would protect it. Robert



Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:21 pm
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BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Oliver Twist - by Charles DickensSense 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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