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Nominations for our September & October book poll 
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Post Nominations for our September & October book poll
Please use this thread to suggest or nominate books for our September and October 2003 book poll. We will have a total of 3 or 4 books in the poll. Please think hard...don't suggest a book that doesn't fit with our mission.

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BookTalk is an online book discussion community dedicated to the advancement of critical thinking, reason, intelligence, freedom of inquiry, philosophy and the scientific method. Our focus is on reading and discussing quality nonfiction texts from a wide range of topics including atheism and agnosticism, freethought, comparative religion, religion and politics, humanism, philosophy, history, ethics, biblical criticism, psychology, contemporary issues, creationism vs. evolution, popular science, the paranormal, social science and current events, and much more.

I'm putting this up early so we can really put some thought into our next book selection.

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."



Sun Jun 22, 2003 3:51 pm
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Post Re: Nominations for our September & October book poll
My suggestion...

A few days ago I received an email from an author about his latest book. It seems like an incredible fit with what we are all about. Check this book out guys...








Quote:
Using evidence from the Bible, Mythology and Archeology, we have shed new light on the birth and the nature of biblical religion. Abraham, the Chaldean sorcerer, lured local rulers in a trap of poisonous sorcery using his beautiful wife as bait. By "healing" the "plagues" he had produced himself he managed to acquire significant wealth and power. Abraham's descendents also followed this deliberate, repeated family plot! Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses used similar ruses to compromise persons, cities and even entire nations. Our unprecedented detailed interpretation proves that the "miracles" of the patriarchs were in fact crimes disguised as theology.



Quote:
This book is the result of original and daring research into the archives of our religious heritage. It grew out of the fertile comparison of the Biblical texts with the strikingly similar parallel tales of Greek-Mediterranean Mythology. The answer to the question "who copied from whom?" was just the starting point of our research that soon focused on the strange actions and deeds of the world-renowned heroes of the Bible.

You will be guided in a colorful ancient world where the conflict of civilizations and ideologies culminates in dramatic clashes and entrapment of entire nations. Our cross examination of evidence from Archaeology, Mythology and Theological Texts has shed new light on the cunning, deceitful and authoritarian nature of religion. This book demystifies and interprets the actions of Abraham, Moses and the other Hebrew patriarchs exposing, for the first time, their true nature and the real causes of our present ills.




THE GREAT LIE
By Michael Kalopoulos
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Map of the Mediterranean.............................................................6
Table of Contents...........................................................................8
Acknowledgements......................................................................11
Preface..........................................................................................12
CHAPTER 1
The Dawn of Creation..................................................................16
Hesiod's Theogony.......................................................................22
The Pelasgic Myth of Creation....................................................24
Philosophical Theogony...............................................................25
How the Universe came into being..............................................26
The Creation of Man....................................................................27
The forbidden Fruit......................................................................33
The Gilgamesh Epic.....................................................................43
Deucalion's Dove.........................................................................46
The shattered 'Sun' of Antiquity..................................................59
The Greek Babel..........................................................................67
CHAPTER 2
Abraham the Chaldean................................................................74
The Sister 'Sting'........................................................................77
An incredible Healer...................................................................82
The profitable Transformations of Mestra..................................90
Sarah, a Hebrew Pandora............................................................92
Abraham burns down Sodom......................................................98
Who were the Sodomites?.........................................................124
Cretans, Canaanites and Philistines...........................................127
A Price on Lot's Head................................................................131
The Gods destroy sinful Cities...................................................138
Do not look back........................................................................139
Orpheus and Eurydice................................................................140
Kenyras, Smyrna and Adonis.....................................................144
Hagar the ill-treated Slave-girl...................................................145
Isaac, the 'Sacrifice' that never happened..................................156
'Greek' Sacrifices.......................................................................163
Abraham, a dangerous Liar........................................................165
Wisdom from Ur of Chaldea......................................................167
Freud,Oedipus and Abraham......................................................173

CHAPTER 3
Isaac, the second generation of treachery...................................176
The Family of the Patriarchs......................................................189
'You will be my God, if...!'........................................................195
Sly Jacob.....................................................................................196
Jacob the imaginary Wrestler......................................................202
The Dreams of the Patriarchs......................................................206
Greeks, the 'God-Fighters'..........................................................209
Meander: The wrestling Handgrip of the 'God-Fighters'...........211
Homer: Proteus and Menelaus....................................................214
Heracles, Idas and Apollo...........................................................216
Shechem, an incredible Crime....................................................218
CHAPTER 4
Chaldeans and the Art of poisonous Sorcery..............................234
Joseph 'goes' to Egypt................................................................238
The amorous wife of Potiphar, the Eunuch................................242
A Dream Interpreter... of prearranged Nightmares....................243
Joseph: A devastating 'Saviour'.................................................253
The Myth, once again..................................................................261
Akhenaton in the Snare of Monotheism....................................268
CHAPTER 5
Exodus.........................................................................................280
Perseus and Danae.......................................................................281
Laius and Oedipus.......................................................................283
Shiphrah, the heroic Midwife......................................................284
Moses, the dark Prince................................................................287
Midian, the Land of Preparation.................................................289
Jehovah the Lord of the 'Plagues'..............................................297
The River 'Plague'......................................................................301
The Animal 'Plague'...................................................................306
The Great 'Plague' is announced with 'Grace'...........................312
A most peculiar Form of Slavery.................................................317
The unleavened Bread of Salvation.............................................321
Passover, the Diet of Salvation....................................................327
Passover, the Night of Terror.......................................................331
Despoiling the Victims of Passover.............................................341
The leprous Hand of... Pharaoh.................................................346
Exodus with unleavened Bread..................................................348
The Red Sea Crossing-a staged 'Miracle'.................................350
Hercules drowns the Vistons......................................................363

CHAPTER 6
Hermes' Harp of Interpretation..................................................366
'Blessing' and 'Curse'-The Essence of patriarchal Deceit........374
The Septuagint Translation........................................................388
Miracles and Sorcery-The ancient Arts of the Gods.................393
Questions-The straight and narrow path of the Greeks............404
INDEX.......................................................................................420
APPENDIX I ....Map of the Gulf of Suez.................................428
TABLE OF ILLUSTRATIONS ................................................429

PREFACE

Comparative Mythology, the comparison of ancient myths of different peoples, is a
fascinating field for research. Our study started with the comparison of a number of eastern
Mediterranean myths, some of them well known and others obscure, with those parts of the
biblical narrative that include similar subject matter. This comparison has conclusively
demonstrated extensive mythological loans that have been incorporated in the Bible. Moreover,
our analysis has unexpectedly penetrated to an unprecedented depth, providing a new, rational
interpretation of the biblical texts and particularly of the peculiar behaviour and inexplicable
'powers' of the biblical heroes.

In the first part of this book, the first chapters of the book of biblical Genesis are compared
with parallel ancient Greek and Assyrian myths on Theogony 1, the Creation of Man, the Great
Flood and the multiplicity of Languages. The nature of the subject has made it necessary to
include a number of references to mythical persons and situations that the average reader may
be unfamiliar with. However, in return for his small effort to come to terms with strange
mythical names and locales, the reader will be guided into a fascinating world of great variety.
Upon reaching the first world-renowned 'historical' hero of the Bible, the patriarch Abraham,
our research changes direction and assumes a demystifying character. It appears that this great
biblical personality who has been represented as 'lost' in the depths of history or as a person
veiled in fantasy, has in fact played a much more important role in our lives and in our social
history, then we could ever imagine.

Our examination of the biblical narrative struck an original vein and penetrated to substantial
depth, when we attempted to analyse rationally the deeds and words of Abraham, that
incontestable founder of three large religions. The rich 'biographical' data on his personality
recorded in the Bible do not fit the pattern of a typical mythological hero. To our great surprise,
we found the behaviour of Abraham, as it is described in the original biblical text to be
surrounded by a host of unexplained elements incompatible with conventional religious,
philosophical or mythological interpretations. Precisely the discovery of those peculiar,
repeated actions of the patriarch has provided the 'key' to a reappraisal of the biblical
narrative.

The next step was to project our questions concerning Abraham's actions to the patriarchs
that succeeded him; the parallel examination of mythological tales that we have already
mentioned has consistently proved to be a valuable aid in the scrutiny of their behavior. Our
analysis has brought to light a host of new, original evidence, leaving little room for doubt
concerning the real circumstances of the creation and dissemination of biblical religion and the
special knowledge and 'miraculous' abilities of the patriarchs!

One of the most important obstacles in the way of our research was the difficulty created by
numerous 'corrected' and 'embellished' translations of the Bible. In those translations, the
Hebrew transcribers (Masorites 2) have eliminated all those details of the biblical narrative that
could raise difficult questions during an inquisitive reading of the Bible. Gradually, they also
managed to impose the allegorical (adultered) way of interpretation that has, for centuries now
effectively covered up with veils of confusing interpretations and theological rose petals, the
real words and actions of the biblical heroes.

We got priceless assistance from an existing ancient original translation of the Bible, the
Septuagint translation, compiled during the reign of Ptolemy the II. 3 This first translation into
Greek from the ancient Hebrew sacred texts was written by secular learned Hebrews of
Alexandria 4 in 270 B.C. under direct orders from King Ptolemy and against the will of the
Hebrew priesthood; it secured for us the most authentic translation of the original Hebrew
sacred texts at an early time. The surviving Septuagint translation that has reached our hands
relatively unadulterated has proved the most valuable tool allowing us to detect the corrections
and interpolations in later, corrected (Masoretic) translations.

What started as a typical comparative study between ancient Mediterranean Mythologies and
the Hebrew texts of the Bible has effortlessly evolved into a sweeping demystification of the
biblical heroes' behavior. Indeed, long before most readers have reached the last pages of this
volume they will have acknowledged the validity of our claim: A great Lie with tremendous
historical and social ramifications has been exposed, a Lie that has managed to thrive and
survive to our days disguised as an object of religious veneration!

Even if you do not accept our conclusions, this book will certainly upgrade your knowledge
and critical abilities. The detailed descriptions of the clash of civilizations and ideologies and
of the ensnarement of entire nations and of their rulers included in the present volume 5 will
guide you through some of the darkest pages of human history and allow you to see the biblical
narrative from a new, different perspective.

Of course, the claim that we should not scrutinize and judge the religion and the heroes of a
specific people is lacking any relevance whatsoever. Indeed, it may be considered downright
ridiculous since for thousands of years half the planet has adopted as entirely 'its own' those
particular biblical tales! Indeed, we teach them systematically to our children because those
biblical characters are considered universal models of virtue. We have been praising and
extolling them for endless generations now, considering everything biblical as our own
spiritual heritage. Accordingly, the biblical texts are 'our own' as well and we are entitled to
put the biblical 'heroes' to the question, since the Bible has regulated our lives and our
societies for generations.

2 Masorites: Hebrew transcribers of the Bible. For more details on the Masorites who for centuries have
deliberately been 'correcting' the biblical texts, and on the interesting events surrounding the various translations
of the Bible, see The Septuagint Translation in the last Chapter of this book. (pp 388)

3 Ptolemies: Macedonian royal family founded by Ptolemy the I, general of Alexander the Great- they ruled over
Egypt from 305 to 30 B.C. Ptolemy the II (285-247 B.C.) was the son of Ptolemy I. He was a renowned
bibliophile who also founded the legendary Library of Alexandria.

4 Alexandria: Seaport in Egypt on the Mediterranean coast on the Western part of the Nile Delta; originally
founded by Alexander the Great, it soon became a centre for Hellenistic studies.

5 The results of our research have already been published in Greek in three volumes named: 'The Great Lie',
'The Weapons of Deceit' and 'Abraham the Sorcerer'. They will soon be available in English.

Our main concern is not whether the characters described in the Bible are historically
accurate, or myths formed around an historical core. In the long term such myths can prove far
more damaging than the actual deeds of the historical person itself. Accordingly, our main
concern must be the actions, morals and ideologies described in the Bible and agressively
promoted by the biblical texts. The persons embodying those ideals have been accepted by
pious people as real for thousands of years and their actions must be judged accordingly. It is
time we realized that we do not have only duties towards our objects of veneration, but the
right of criticism and reappraisal as well! Besides, the truth should never have anything to fear
from any question!

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."



Sun Jun 22, 2003 3:55 pm
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Post Re: Nominations for our September & October book poll
Yes, I'd like to get away from science briefly for the next selection. As an science enthusiast, I love it, but after reading Dawkins and now Pinker, it's time for a change.

Something historical would be great, especially since I'm taking an Old Testament class starting in September and a New Testament class starting in January.

As I mentioned in another forum, I'm currently reading The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. I wonder if anyone else on this forum has ever read any Campbell? I've heard lots about him (his influencing of George Lucas for Star Wars, etc.), but I've never read anything by him until now.




Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:21 am
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Post Dennett?
After Dawkins and Gould, the name that seems to come up most often in modern biological thinking seems to be Dennett... so perhaps we should read Freedom Evolves.


Science is neither a philosophy nor a belief system. It is a combination of mental operations that has become increasingly the habit of educated peoples, a culture of illuminations hit upon by a fortunate turn of history that yielded the most effective way of learning about the real world ever conceived. E.O.Wilson




Sun Jul 06, 2003 6:36 pm
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Post Re: Nominations for our September & October book poll
Ripples of Battle: How Wars Fought Long Ago Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think
by Victor Davis Hanson.

This book is due out in September.

I've read some of his previous works, Carnage and Culture (which debunks Guns Germs and Steel), Wars of the Ancient Greeks, An Autumn of War (a collection of his esays of current events after 9/11) and Who Killed Homer?. I've found his work, including his current pieces in Commentary (he had a piece there in June) and National Review (he is a regular contributor to their site) to be provocative and insightful.




Mon Jul 07, 2003 12:36 am


Post re
Philosophy in the Flesh: The embodied mind and it's challenge to western thought.

Quote:
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson take on the daunting task of rebuilding Western philosophy in alignment with three fundamental lessons from cognitive science: The mind is inherently embodied, thought is mostly unconscious, and abstract concepts are largely metaphorical. Why so daunting? "Cognitive science--the empirical study of the mind--calls upon us to create a new, empirically responsible philosophy, a philosophy consistent with empirical discoveries about the nature of mind," they write. "A serious appreciation of cognitive science requires us to rethink philosophy from the beginning, in a way that would put it more in touch with the reality of how we think." In other words, no Platonic forms, no Cartesian mind-body duality, no Kantian pure logic. Even Noam Chomsky's generative linguistics is revealed under scrutiny to have substantial problems.



Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
A Note on the References
Part I HOW THE EMBODIED MIND CHALLENGES THE WESTERN PHILOSOPHICAL TRADITION
1 Introduction: Who Are We?
2 The Cognitive Unconscious
3 The Embodied Mind
4 Primary Metaphor and Subjective Experience
5 The Anatomy of Complex Metaphor
6 Embodied Realism: Cognitive Science
Versus A Priori Philosophy
7 Realism and Truth
8 Metaphor and Truth
Part II THE COGNITIVE SCIENCE OF BASIC
PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS
9 The Cognitive Science of Philosophical
Ideas
10 Time
11 Events and Causes
12 The Mind
13 The Self
14 Morality
Part III THE COGNITIVE SCIENCE OF PHILOSOPHY
15 The Cognitive Science of Philosophy
16 The Pre-Socratics: the Cognitive Science
of Early Greek Metaphysics
17 Plato
18 Aristotle
19 Descartes and the Enlightenment Mind
20 Kantian Morality
21 Analytic Philosophy
22 Chomsky's Philosophy and Cognitive
Linguistics
23 The Theory of Rational Action
24 How Philosophical Theories Work
Part IV EMBODIED PHILOSOPHY
25 Philosophy in the Flesh
Appendix: The Neural Theory of Language Paradigm
References
Index

www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465056733/ref=ase_inktomi-bkasin-20/102-5869584-1372129?v=glance&s=books

A wonderful book that explains why current findings in cognitive science radically changes how we think about Philosophy. The vast majority of Philisophical ideas from the past have been overturned by empirical evidence and it is time for the west to rebuild our science in an empirically responsible manner.

Here is a discussion by Lakoff abou this book and ideas(well worth the read on it's own, in my oppinion):


www.edge.org/3rd_culture/lakoff/lakoff_p2.html



----
It is our job here to bring our intellectual background into the foreground, to show that what have been taken as self-evident truths are really questionable opinions. -Lakoff

Edited by: SciFell at: 7/9/03 4:46 pm



Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:37 pm
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Post Philosophy in the Flesh: The embodied mind and it's
challenge to western thought

I vote for this one! It sounds like another important step in consilient understanding.


Science is neither a philosophy nor a belief system. It is a combination of mental operations that has become increasingly the habit of educated peoples, a culture of illuminations hit upon by a fortunate turn of history that yielded the most effective way of learning about the real world ever conceived. E.O.Wilson




Wed Jul 09, 2003 8:37 pm
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Post Re: Philosophy in the Flesh: The embodied mind and it's
Any other info on that book? The poll will go up in about 3 weeks.

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."



Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:12 pm
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Post September October
I've had another brainstorm. Steve Jones (Darwin's Ghost) has a new book out titled Y. Subtitle: THE DESCENT OF MEN-Revealing the Mysteries of Maleness. I've recently read two great books about women, Natalie Angier (Pulitzer prize winning NYT science writer) Woman



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Post Re: September October
How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization by Mortimer J. Adler

I think this is a distillation of ideas from Adler's list of the Great Books of Western Civilization.




Sun Jul 27, 2003 8:28 pm
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Post Re: September October
Book Suggestion:

"God--A Biography" by Jack Miles. Copyright 1995.

This portrait of God does not bode well for Christianity. Jack Miles pulls out of the Bible all information about God and puts together a comprehensive Biography, which seems to make God seem very human like and inconsistent.

Table of Contents:

1 PRELUDE
Can God's Life be Written?
2 GENERATION
Creator
Destroyer
Creator/Destroyer
Friend of the Family
3 INTERLUDE
What Makes God Godlike?
4 EXHILARATION
Liberator

....on and on!

Some interest:

Executioner, Does God Love?, Counselor, Guarantor, Fiend, Sleeper, Bystander, Recluse, Puzzle, Absense, Does God Loose Interest?,

So what do ya think? Read the Judeo/Christian God's Biography?

Monty Vonn




Mon Jul 28, 2003 4:17 pm
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