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Hello from Kawasaki

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Peter Dunning

Hello from Kawasaki

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Members of Book Talk,I have been silently reading Book Talk for a few months, but I want to get into the Al Franken discussion, and have decided to introduce myself first.I am a 60 year old Canadian living in the City of Kawasaki, a long narrow city separating Tokyo and Yokohama in Japan. Educationally, I was a Japanese major (language, culture etc.) and now work as a Japanese to English translator (in the narrow sense that I only change written Japanese into written English; I do not interpret).I stopped believing in my early teens, and after enduring a further five years of compulsory attendance at a Baptist Church, was extremely hostile to religions of all kinds for many years. I am mellower now, no longer snarl at street evangelists, and when Japanese Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door, I simply pretend I cannot understand Japanese, without being rude.Thanks to the Internet and Amazon in particular, during the last four or five years I have discovered the world-wide humanist/atheist movement and linked up with it electronically. I am the only member of the Humanist Association of Canada in Asia, having joined to receive their newsletter and magazine and take part in their mailing list. I also subscribe to the Ethical Inquirer and Skeptical Inquirer. And now that Amazon has freed me from the narrow selection in Tokyo's English bookstores, I have been reading what I want; Pinker (fascinating), Taner Edis and Denet (both difficult), Wendy Kaminer (readable and fun) and so on. There is one book I want to mention, because it liked it but I never seen it in any atheist/humanist site's list of recommendable books. Daniel Harbor's An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism. Its part of a series of Intelligent Person's Guide to.......books. I anyone on the list has read it, I would like to hear their views.I hope to eventually become acquainted with other foreigners in the Tokyo region who are interested in getting involved in an active humanist/atheist/free thought group, but for now, the internet is the only way to discuss the books that I am interested in. Peter DunningKawasaki Japan
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Kawasaki

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Glad to have you finally make your presence known!Is it hard being a native English Speaker in Japan? Although when the JW come, I guess it's probably a pretty good cover...I'll look into that book you suggested when I get back up to school in Montreal. While I'm not personally participating with the Franken book, I do check the forum to see what's going on. I hope after we finish his book, you continue to participate with the rest of our selections.
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Re: Kawasaki

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PeterI typed a lengthy welcome message to you a few days ago and then somehow deleted it accidently. Very frustrating indeed. Now that the Al Franken discussion has come to an end, I sure hope you stick around. Obviously, if you have been lurking for many months, you have an interest in science...and science seems to be our speciality here. Be sure to add yourself to our Guest Map too. You will find it on the Home page in the right margin at the bottom. Put a push pin in where you live in Japan. Its nice to see a visual representation of where we are all from. Your transformation is similar to mine it seems. I have mellowed out over the years too, and no longer seek confrontation with theists. This is part of the reason I created BookTalk. I had learned that the struggle was futile and no matter how much logic, facts and evidence I threw at my opponent, they would almost certainly cling to their faith - as if faith is a good thing.Ive read both Skeptic Magazine and Skeptical Inquirer, and I think I much prefer the former. If you can only get Skeptical Inquirer in Japan then stick with it, but if the other is available give it a shot.Oh, and welcome to BookTalk Peter! I look forward to getting to know you better. I have seen a "Peter" online many times when several of us are in the BookTalk chat room. I'm not sure if it was you or another member named Peter. When on the Forums page you can easily see who is online at the same top as everyones name is listed. You can also tell when people are in the chat room. Actually, check this explanation page out...it explains our 2 chat rooms. Chris "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."
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