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Who's reading? 
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Post Who's reading?
Given that the discussion is rather limited to two or three points of view at the moment, I thought I'd check to see who's planning on participating. Please choose one.

Results (total votes = 10):
I've finished the book and will participate in the discussion. 3 / 30.0%  
I'm reading the book and will participate. 2 / 20.0%  
I'm planning to read and participate, but haven't started yet. 4 / 40.0%  
I'm not reading, but may participate if I see any posts of interest. 1 / 10.0%  
I'm not planning to read nor participate. 0 / 0.0% 




Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:24 pm
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Post Re: Who's reading?
i finished around the start of the new year. kinda jumped the gun a little bit but couldn't resist digging in. the book is rather short.




Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:55 pm
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Post Re: Who's reading?
Also, it's still the first half of January, and the book discussion goes from January to March. There's a lot of time left for people to read and discuss the book.

I'm hoping that more people join the discussion, and that they aren't scared off by the first few participants.




Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:03 am
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Post Re: Who's reading?
I'll be reading and participating, but haven't yet started the book. Too much is going on in my work world for reading or posting, but that will change soon I hope.

From what I'm seeing I am in disagreement with the author on many points and I'll have a great deal to say once I jump into the discussion.

Chris




Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Who's reading?
Oh, and something I should mention...

Please click on some of the new Google links found throughout the site. You'll see them on the Home page, Contact page, and many others. We are paid a small referral fee for each click and I'm surprised how quickly the money is adding up. Those ads are targeted to stuff you all should find interesting too. So please check them out. I know every day how many times people clicked on them and I seriously appreciate the help. :)

Chris




Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:58 pm
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Post Re:
::119 I'm reading. I just got it in the mail and finished Chapter 1 in the sauna this morning.





Sat Jan 14, 2006 12:23 pm
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Post Re: Re:
In the sauna? Wouldn't that quickly ruin the book? ::22




Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:23 pm
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Post re:
Nope, infrared sauna.

Works with a dry penetrating heat as opposed to the usual steam version. Plus - it's way better for your health.

I just like it because it technically is a form of exercise where I can read and enjoy a cup of tea.




Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:50 pm
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Post Re: re:
We'll be having our live chat with the author on March 23rd, 2006 at 9:00 pm eastern, so please secure a copy of the book for yourself. There is plenty of time to read and discuss the book prior to this live chat. :)




Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:12 am
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Post Re: re:
It's been almost a month and a half since the chapter threads have gotten any activity. It kind of amazes me that so few people are contributing to this discussion -- this book did win a majority of votes, didn't it? Is anyone still planning to participate? It's getting down to crunch time.




Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:12 pm
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Post Re: Who's reading?
I am reading. I have some thoughts written down and some points marked off.

I will not read all the posts so far as my time is limited. So I will post some of my thoughts and expect comments.

I will say that I accept everything "W" has to say so far...in as much as any philosophical propositions can be accepted. That is...it is all subjective. To me, philosophy is a muddle of mixed thoughts and non-supportable claims. Ponderings. One philosophy is just as good as the other. Religion has no strong hold on ethics. The ethical thought came before religion, from what I can tell. The human animal has developed to be ethical. Why? Who cares. We are...that is enough for me.

I do not believe in a fairy tale god or religion...yet I am an ethical person. Not because I believe in gods or follow religion, but because I am. (for the most part!) But I am not LESS ethical than any Christian, Muslim, Jew or whatever else there is.

As for some comments I have seen..."W" states that he was NOT out to present an "overarching" ethical system. This book, as I see it, was an attempt to answer the claims that without god, anything is possible...that without god, there is no ethics, no meaning and no direction for human beings. That is pure garbage...and "W" has set out to challenge that.

The bottom line is that if Theists shut their mouths about how much more ethical they are than atheists and any who do not belive their crappy fantasy, this whole topic would not be an issue and atheists and humanists would just go along being ethical as we always have been. Besides, WE are not the ones that have much explaining to do.

Mr. P.



The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

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Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:53 pm
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Post Re: Who's reading?
Mad:

Can you lay out, logically with premises and all, your take on how religion provides the best system for an ethical system?

I would like to see it all in one place rather than piecing it together from the multitudinous threads in booktalk.

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Who's reading?
misterpessimistic: Can you lay out, logically with premises and all, your take on how religion provides the best system for an ethical system?

I'll try to remember tonight to type it up in a systematic fashion and post it tomorrow. I don't think I'm going to have time to present the argument in its best form right now, as I have to log off in a moment.

I don't want to qualify the question just a little, though. I'm not claiming that religion provides the best basis for an ethical system. I'm claiming that naturalism is likely incapable of providing that basis. Which is tantemount to saying that religion provides the only basis for ethics. I'll get into the details in my next post.




Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:34 pm
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Post Jumping in
Mr. P's objections reminded me of some general thoughts I had regarding the book.

First, there's the broader question of the value of philosophical discourse. I'm somewhere in-between Mad and Mr. P in that regard. I read a philosophy book every year or two, and get something out of them, but I generally concentrate on other topics that tend to be more rewarding.

As a follow-up, what's the value of ethical philosophy? Its value is less clear to me than that of general philosophy, since my ethical beliefs are based on my gut reaction instead of contemplation.

When I first heard of this book, my reaction was similar to Mr. P's. Since I'm an atheist and believe that my ethical principles have merit, the book didn't seem that exciting. I voted for other books, though I ended up being interested in the subject enough to read and discuss it.




Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:10 am
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Post Re: Jumping in
Okay, Mr. P (and anyone else who's interested), I've written out the full explanation for why I believe that religion may be the only workable foundation for ethics. I posted in the religion/philosophy forum, a) because I don't want to drag this thread too far afield and b) in case it might be of interest to anyone not reading the book. You can access that thread here.

JulianTheApostate: I read a philosophy book every year or two, and get something out of them, but I generally concentrate on other topics that tend to be more rewarding.

The importance of philosophy is mostly a matter of context. If you know the sort of questions that prompt a philosophical argument, and if those questions are important to you, then the practice of philosophy may be more rewarding. For example, for the last several years, I've been interested in science as a field of knowledge. Studying that topic has brought me to a lot of questions about the nature of knowledge in general. And because my interest in science has made those questions pertinent to me, reading epistemology has suddenly become more rewarding than it might have been before.

As a follow-up, what's the value of ethical philosophy? Its value is less clear to me than that of general philosophy, since my ethical beliefs are based on my gut reaction instead of contemplation.

I address this a little in the essay I linked to at the top of this post. There, I draw a dinstinction between morality and ethics. If you agree with my scheme, then the gut reactions you have as to what is right and wrong would more rightly qualify as morality. The application of logic to that morality, and the attempt to reason from the premises provided by your gut to conclusions that are more sophisticated or complex would be ethical philosophy.

Since I'm an atheist and believe that my ethical principles have merit, the book didn't seem that exciting.

I think your ethical principles have merit as well. But I think they're probably like most modern ethical principles, derived from a morality which is founded (uncritically) on several thousands of years of religious development.




Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:51 pm
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