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BookTalk

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MadArchitect

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Re: BookTalk�s Purpose: Religion, Atheism and Freethought

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garicker: But maybe the group would be better served by simply attempting one non-fiction book at a time, instead of two.Part of the reason I was in favor of increasing the quarterly reads to two books per quarter is that it allowed us to read not only contra-religious books but other topics as well. Before the addition of a "Freethought" category, other non-fiction genres were beginning to get excluded altogether.Mr. P: This has not worked well in attracting new members...and honestly, it is too much for me to keep up with. I have so many books I WANT to read, but I also am dedicated to trying to make the discussions here work...so I am torn sometimes.I still think it would be better, time-management wise, to stagger the discussions, so that you had a month or two to start one book before the second one was chosen.So what do we say...should we try to steer away from the stronger 'atheist v theist' type books and instead focus on the history, maybe, of religion and other topics?I think that's likely a decision that can only really be made during the voting phase of choosing a book. We can talk about it all we want, but if everyone casts their vote the same as they have been, we'll end up with the same kind of books.
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George Ricker

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Re: BookTalk�s Purpose: Religion, Atheism and Freethought

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Talking about moving tangential discussions out of the book discussion threads.Mad: ... there needs to be some generally acknowledged etiquitte on the matter, and that etiquitte needs to be demanded and politely observed. It could be relatively simple: we decide on a word that means, "This line of thought is tangental to the main current of this thread -- if you want to continue that tengent, please open it in another thread." The word "SIDEBAR" would work. So if two people start discussing a topic that threatens to derail the thread, other people could post short responses that say something like "SIDEBAR: witchcraft", and good etiquitte would require that the people talking about witchcraft in a thread devoted to "The God Delusion" reroute their conversation to a new thread.This could be one of the duties of the moderator of a particular book discussion -- with gentle reminders from the other participants. But I see no reason why a moderator couldn't ask those who start off on a tangent to move their discussion to another thread. That would prevent the book discussions from being highjacked and should help keep them on point.George "Godlessness is not about denying the existence of nonsensical beings. It is the starting point for living life without them."Godless in America by George A. Ricker
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tarav

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Re: BookTalk�s Purpose: Religion, Atheism and Freethought

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I made a new thread for discussing sidebars. The comments regarding posts are valid. Starting a new thread for tangential discussions is a good idea. I like the Mad's idea and used it!
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tarav

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Re: re:

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On the subject of BookTalk's purpose... I was attracted to BookTalk because it seemed to be a place where intelligent atheists could discuss issues that they are interested in. I read Selfish Gene by Dawkins and just knew there had to be somebody out there I could discuss it with. I searched and found BookTalk. I admit that the somebody out there I wanted to discuss it with would've ideally been an atheist who was passionate about science and reading. I felt that BookTalk could provide many of those kind of somebodies! I knew that every atheist might not read Elizabeth Peters novels or be for animal rights, but I figured most of us would discuss science, religion, and politics. What I mean here, is that I knew I wouldn't always agree with what other atheists had to say here and I wouldn't always want to discuss the same things they did, but I felt good about knowing that the things we'd discuss would be from an atheist perspective. This did not mean that every member had to be atheist, but I certainly expected most to be atheist or agnostic. This was what kept me here after we finished talking about Dawkins. When I feel like I want to hear what others who think like me are saying about an issue, I come to BookTalk. Like Frank and Nick I enjoy getting riled up about things here at times. Like Rose, I crave the intelligent discussions that refer to texts. I don't really think one aspect is better or worse than the other. I think it's the same intelligent passion that fuels both the heated discussions about religion and the thoughtful posts on books. Edited by: tarav at: 6/4/07 5:22 pm
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Chris OConnor

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Re: re:

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Well said, Tara.
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