Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:00 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5655
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2141
Thanked: 2077 times in 1573 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
In Chapter Seven, the diary continues, opening with the famous line, if there is hope it lies in the proles. In this chapter Orwell expresses his Etonian disdain for the working class as beneath suspicion, his disgust at their inability to think: “their discontent led nowhere, because being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances.” His description of popular culture is “Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbours, films, football, beer, and above all, gambling, filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.”

Winston Smith goes on to ruminate on the reality of the past. He finds evidence of Party lying, but immediately destroys the old document out of fear, since the erasure must be forgotten. He tells of his recollections of the Revolution and its aftermath, which are clearly modelled exactly on the Russian experience, with only Big Brother/Stalin surviving from the early days, and all the other revolutionaries being purged and executed.

Musing on philosophy, Winston asks what difference there is between believing that the earth goes around the sun and believing the past cannot be changed. On that logic, he concludes that the Party must eventually decide that two plus two equals five: “Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.”

Therefore Winston sets forth an important axiom:
Winston Smith wrote:
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.


This line echoes Hegel's axiom that freedom is the recognition of necessity. The axiomatic existence of mathematical logic has a compelling power, demanding consistency and coherence. The idea that we might be free to have our own private mathematics, or construct a system where numbers lack formal precision, involve a misunderstanding of the meaning of freedom. These ideas go back to Aristotle’s original logical axiom of identity and difference, that a thing is itself and not something else. Orwell is decrying epistemological relativism, the idea that truth can be constructed, and instead presenting the moral value of objective truth.

The irony here is that Engels cited this line of Hegel in the Anti-Duhring, but Stalin completely rejected it as a basis for political sedition.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:22 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membership
Junior

Silver Contributor

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 307
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 146
Thanked: 138 times in 109 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
.
.
If all mankind enjoyed true freedom there would not be a word for it.


_________________
In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:06 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Conversationalist

Book Discussion Leader

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1167
Thanks: 1155
Thanked: 553 times in 455 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
Robert Tulip wrote:
Musing on philosophy, Winston asks what difference there is between believing that the earth goes around the sun and believing the past cannot be changed. On that logic, he concludes that the Party must eventually decide that two plus two equals five: “Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.”

Therefore Winston sets forth an important axiom:
Winston Smith wrote:
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

This is another example of Orwell's useful exaggeration. While it is true that Stalin at times had purged people removed from photos, etc., in general they were not aiming to get people to deny their own common-sense observations of reality, much less their basic logic.

This may seem trivial, but we are now learning that it isn't absolute power to dictate the facts that we have to worry about. Instead, manipulation in the established style of the legal profession is being used relentlessly to litigate the interpretation of any public information. This is not being used to complete absolute control, but it is being used to provide selective law enforcement, or prevent law enforcement that threatens their hold on power. Once the agents of the law are clear that their job is to serve the rich, they are endlessly inventive in finding ways to reinterpret reality. The Janus vs. AFSCME decision is exhibit A. Similarly the SCOTUS has found no need to maintain federal supervision of voting rights, despite case after case in which the same court has found egregious voter exclusion. And why not? They have been intent on rolling back Civil Rights ever since it became clear that the proponents of Civil Rights were also big on taxing the rich.

I don't want to be too confident that the real danger is not manipulation of "facts." An interesting article observed this week that it is now possible to make convincing, essentially undetectable fake videos.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/04/tech ... fakes.html
A wise investigation would probably conclude that the existence of such technology should be registered and only allowed for certified purposes. But let's face it, no one will believe video evidence in a few years, because some lawyer will argue that the bodycam evidence showing their client shot 16 bullets into a man who did not, in fact, have the claimed knife, was just a forgery. And no one will believe the CIA doesn't have the capability, so one will believe that anyone can trust actual evidence.

But I am still more worried about the insidious undermining of belief in evidence, the great bequest of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich to the body politic. Why roll over and accept reality when you can subvert people into denying it instead?

Robert Tulip wrote:
Orwell is decrying epistemological relativism, the idea that truth can be constructed, and instead presenting the moral value of objective truth.
Well, obviously truth has high value, but a large part of the U.S. operated for more than a hundred years on the principle that the truth is irrelevant when race is involved. White people saying something different from black people are always right, in that system. It is still surprisingly pervasive.

As I see it, you cannot claim epistemological absolutes for complex ideas. The issue of abortion, for example, is replete with ambiguities and side issues which influence people's motivated reasoning. The right wing in the U.S. is busy pushing the idea that the country is not a democracy but a republic, by which they mean any gerrymandered power by a minority is fully legitimate, and people on the left are coming back with the same line (except they are more likely to call it a "constitutional republic") to defend against majoritarian oppression of a minority.

At the level of fact, however, where two plus two make four, the moral value of truth has to be understood by most of society. As long as people are willing to put political goals ahead of allegiance to the truth, there will be ways to re-interpret, or deny, or obfuscate the facts. Just ask Rupert Murdoch.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The irony here is that Engels cited this line of Hegel in the Anti-Duhring, but Stalin completely rejected it as a basis for political sedition.
The current leader of Russia has equally callous contempt for the truth. It doesn't matter what the evidence says, because he is strong enough to kill people who contradict him. A system is not just strong by virtue of formal arrangements, such as checks and balances. It requires that people understand the reason for it and be willing to make reasonable sacrifices to keep it running properly.



The following user would like to thank Harry Marks for this post:
Litwitlou, Robert Tulip
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:18 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5655
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2141
Thanked: 2077 times in 1573 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
Chapter Eight opens with the smell of real coffee, noting this is a half-forgotten smell in the bleak England of Airship One. Winston is showing his eccentricity, walking alone, wandering the streets.

The Newspeak word ‘ownlife’ is a disparaging term for individualism, in opposition to the Party preference for mindless conformity. Orwell is satirising the contempt for existential authenticity that characterises modern mass society. Against such mass anonymity with its monstrous artificial world, a connection to nature is pure poetic heresy.

Let me take you by the hand and wander through the streets of London, seems to be the inspiration, but maybe Orwell inspired McTell? Winston wanders the slums, past houses like ratholes, filthy puddles among the cobbles, pretty girls, swollen waddling women with brick-red forearms showing what the girls would become in a short decade, ragged barefoot children, boarded and broken windows. The proles silently eye Winston’s party uniform with suspicion. He has no business here.

In comes a rocket. Orwell is extrapolating from the experience of the Second World War, and falsely claims a telepathic ability among the quasi-mystic proles to tell a supersonic rocket is coming before it hits. Walking on after the bomb hits, through a cloud of plaster dust, he kicks a severed hand into the gutter, through the sordid swarming life of the streets and its pub smell of sawdust, urine and sour beer.

He overhears obsessive conversation about the Lottery, and muses on the well-known fraudulence of the prizes, a great monument to the colossal idiocy of the proletarian culture. How Winston can maintain faith in such inane morons illustrates the fragile thread that supports his hopes of rebellion.

Into a pub, with the hope of meeting someone not entirely brainwashed by the Party. Beginning with wistful sentiment about the superiority of pints over litres, he opens his conversation with the old man of the pub with the foolhardy topic that Party claims about history may be untrue. Winston explains the Marxist propaganda version of history, with capitalism as the source of all evil. Unfortunately the old man is senile, only capable of scattered anecdotal reminiscence, where Winston is seeking a systematic understanding of history with capacity to generate revolt against the Party by exposing its mendacity. It has become entirely impossible to tell if life was better before the new order of IngSoc communism took over Britain, because history has become the plaything of power.

This reminds me of a similar problem in another area of history, the origins of Christianity. By the time the Gospels circulated in the late first century at the earliest, no one living at the alleged time of Jesus was still alive. The similar fervent orthodox insistence on the literal history of Jesus was equally impossible to refute, especially when its claims were reinforced by bloodcurdling assertions that any different views were Satanic.

Winston next finds the pawnbroker’s shop where he bought his diary. It is full of useless junk, but he buys an antique piece of coral as a token of a forgotten time. Knowing that anything beautiful is suspect, and that all old books have been hunted down and destroyed with ruthless effect, they have a conversation about the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons, making Winston think of the bells of a lost London that still existed in disguise. These thoughts seem to seal his fate as an enemy of the people.

Stepping out of this shop of another time, who should he see but Julia. The Thought Police are coming.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
DWill
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:37 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6127
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1704
Thanked: 1851 times in 1411 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
Robert Tulip wrote:
This reminds me of a similar problem in another area of history, the origins of Christianity. By the time the Gospels circulated in the late first century at the earliest, no one living at the alleged time of Jesus was still alive. The similar fervent orthodox insistence on the literal history of Jesus was equally impossible to refute, especially when its claims were reinforced by bloodcurdling assertions that any different views were Satanic.

These Gospels of course were only a few of many gospel-like books that came to be written. The others that have been recovered are thought to be Second-Century, though earlier dates are sometimes claimed. The point is that the appearance of the now-canonical Gospels would not have coincided with any authoritarian crackdown on alternative thinking. It would be a few centuries before such authority existed, and in the meantime it appeared that a great many gospels about Jesus, but not in the mode of the synoptic Gospels, circulated until they did become heresy to be rooted out. I don't believe that the non-existence of Jesus was ever asserted in the forbidden books. In an age in which a great many miraculous things were not disputed, it would be likely that the assumption that a person named Jesus had lived would not be, either. It seems that the historical reality of Jesus was very important to some but not important to others, which isn't surprising. I'm not arguing that Jesus must therefore have really existed.

The similarity between Oceania and First-Century Palestine would appear to be slight.



The following user would like to thank DWill for this post:
Harry Marks, Robert Tulip
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:36 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5655
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2141
Thanked: 2077 times in 1573 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
DWill wrote:
appearance of the now-canonical Gospels would not have coincided with any authoritarian crackdown on alternative thinking.
Thanks for picking up on this paragraph DWill. I was not suggesting the Gospels were originally authoritarian. There are several levels of comparison here with 1984. The first is that the Gospel authors wished their stories to be plausible, so setting them several generations in the past helped enable that. Orwell similarly explains in Chapter 8 how the descriptions of capitalists had become stylised and polemical due to the loss and suppression of memory of earlier times, coupled with aggressive assertion of the victor's claims.

Of course you are correct that the authoritarian use of the Jesus story by the Roman church was a later development, although its seeds are present in the canonical Epistles of John, especially 2 John 1:7 “many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” John is offering a critique of the Docetic heresy which held that Jesus was imaginary, indicating that mythicism was widespread.
DWill wrote:
It would be a few centuries before such authority existed, and in the meantime it appeared that a great many gospels about Jesus, but not in the mode of the synoptic Gospels, circulated until they did become heresy to be rooted out.
It appears that all Docetic literature was successfully rooted out, in a highly successful cultural genocide, since we have no examples of early Christ Mythicism extant today, except the fugitive traces in later Gnostic writing and the refutations such as from John. Orwell presents the same syndrome in his statement that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
DWill wrote:
I don't believe that the non-existence of Jesus was ever asserted in the forbidden books.
Even though non-existence of Jesus is a reasonable interpretation from 2 John 1:7? My view is that Jesus started as cosmic myth, and was only later enfleshed in the gospel fables, but like a ladder that is removed after someone has climbed it, the evidence of the construction method has not survived.
DWill wrote:
In an age in which a great many miraculous things were not disputed, it would be likely that the assumption that a person named Jesus had lived would not be, either.
The non-dispute of the historical Jesus is quite a heroic assumption, since the question of whether Jesus actually existed could have been a highly political point of conflict, between Gnostic mystics who invented the cosmic Christ and orthodox believers who found the literal story effective for church growth.
DWill wrote:
It seems that the historical reality of Jesus was very important to some but not important to others, which isn't surprising.
Literal faith was essential to the orthodox church, in their use of the Orwellian method of controlling the past to control the present and the future. The myth of the actual existence of Jesus is central to Christian identity.
DWill wrote:
I'm not arguing that Jesus must therefore have really existed.
And yet to question the assumption of Jesus being a real person is deeply shocking for most people still today, as shocking as the thoughtcrimes of individual autonomy that Orwell discusses in 1984.
DWill wrote:
The similarity between Oceania and First-Century Palestine would appear to be slight.
True. The comparison I am drawing is with how first century Palestine was later interpreted by the autocratic church of Christendom, not with the early church. The broad idea is that the military security framework from the Age of Constantine was supported by universal agreement on religious dogma, with a complete ban on any divergence from the party line. Such unanimity had not emerged in early Palestine, but it became a central factor under Christendom.

The broad causal comparison here rests upon the evolutionary model, where a changed situation enables initial extreme diversity, and within that diversity, a single highly adaptive genome or meme emerges to conquer. That is the syndrome seen in the emergence of chordates from the Cambrian explosion, the emergence of Christian orthodoxy out of the heterodoxy of the early church, and the rise of Stalin in Russia and Orwell’s imaginative satire of Big Brother in the UK out of the chaos of communist revolution.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
DWill
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:02 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Conversationalist

Book Discussion Leader

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1167
Thanks: 1155
Thanked: 553 times in 455 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
The Johannine community seems to have been particularly opposed to the notion that Jesus Christ did not "come in the flesh." Long ago in a college Bible class I was told that Docetism was about fanciful Hellenistic rationalism, of the kind that gave us demiurges and what was mainly called Gnosticism in those decades, which maintained that Jesus' divinity required that his body must have been an illusion, since, for example, God cannot actually experience pain.

Wikipedia confirms this set of interpretations. It is possible that there is some preserved record somewhere of an actual shift from people being taught that Jesus was a cosmic deity or demigod to Jesus being a human who lived on earth, but such a record has yet to be found. All the evidence I am aware of argues for the opposite trajectory, that Jesus started out as a human, and like other figures whose significance was embellished with miracle stories, such as Pythagoras and Buddha, he later took on divinity. Docetism, in that interpretation, seems to be a sort of "bridge too far" for the divinizers.



Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:33 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5655
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2141
Thanked: 2077 times in 1573 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
Harry Marks wrote:
It is possible that there is some preserved record somewhere of an actual shift from people being taught that Jesus was a cosmic deity or demigod to Jesus being a human who lived on earth, but such a record has yet to be found. All the evidence I am aware of argues for the opposite trajectory, that Jesus started out as a human, and like other figures whose significance was embellished with miracle stories, such as Pythagoras and Buddha, he later took on divinity. Docetism, in that interpretation, seems to be a sort of "bridge too far" for the divinizers.


The problem in interpreting early Christian history is a lack of data alongside inexplicable anomalies, perfectly illustrating my point from 1984. In Chapter 8, Winston explains the generally accepted teaching about recent history:

A Children’s History Book wrote:
In the old days, before the glorious Revolution, London was not the beautiful city that we know today. It was a dark, dirty, miserable place where hardly anybody had enough to eat and where hundreds and thousands of poor people had no boots on their feet and not even a roof to sleep under. Children no older than you had to work twelve hours a day for cruel masters who flogged them with whips if they worked too slowly and fed them on nothing but stale breadcrusts and water. But in among all this terrible poverty there were just a few great big beautiful houses that were lived in by rich men who had as many as thirty servants to look after them. These rich men were called capitalists. They were fat, ugly men with wicked faces, like the one in the picture on the opposite page. You can see that he is dressed in a long black coat which was called a frock coat, and a queer, shiny hat shaped like a stovepipe, which was called a top hat. This was the uniform of the capitalists, and no one else was allowed to wear it. The capitalists owned everything in the world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw them into prison, or they could take his job away and starve him to death. When any ordinary person spoke to a capitalist he had to cringe and bow to him, and take off his cap and address him as ‘Sir’. The chief of all the capitalists was called the King, and——

We read this absurd caricature and know it is entirely slanted, if not entirely false, with just enough information to be credible to someone with no conflicting awareness. But when people are raised on such fodder, denied access to any conflicting information, and offered preferment for spouting such nonsense using what Orwell calls ‘duckspeak’, they have no reason to doubt it.

Same with the Bible. Early on in Christianity, the emerging power faction in the church determined that its interests were best served by a rigorous simple literal faith, from which all nuance must be obliterated. By imperial edict, once church dogma gained its official position as state doctrine, possession or advocacy of heresy became a capital crime for more than a thousand years, heretics were systematically extirpated, and their ideas were seen only through the lens of their orthodox tormentors.

That means literature that explained the actual events of the early church was specifically targeted for destruction, a process that exercised a systematic evolutionary memetic selective pressure. Like the situation where Winston finds a news article that demonstrates a systematic falsification of history, and his automatic cowardly reaction is to destroy it, monks managing Christian libraries used a similar policy sieve to select the type of historical data that has survived, reinforcing the history written by the victors.

Happily we have far more evidence of the systematic falsification of Christian history, for example in the removal of its original guiding astrological motifs and the weird problem that Paul’s epistles are entirely compatible with a fictional Jesus. The problem, as in 1984, is that Christian brainwashing has been so comprehensive that people exercise the powers of thought that Orwell calls crimestop and blackwhite, in his extracts from Emmanuel Goldstein’s Theory and Practice of Oligarchic Collectivism:

Goldstein wrote:
CRIMESTOP means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. CRIMESTOP, in short, means protective stupidity.

But stupidity is not enough. On the contrary, orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one’s own mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his body. Oceanic society rests ultimately on the belief that Big Brother is omnipotent and that the Party is infallible. But since in reality Big Brother is not omnipotent and the party is not infallible, there is need for an unwearying, moment-to-moment flexibility in the treatment of facts. The keyword here is BLACKWHITE.

Like so many “Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to BELIEVE that black is white, and more, to KNOW that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as DOUBLETHINK. (p267).


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
Harry Marks
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:40 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6127
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1704
Thanked: 1851 times in 1411 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
Robert Tulip wrote:
Of course you are correct that the authoritarian use of the Jesus story by the Roman church was a later development, although its seeds are present in the canonical Epistles of John, especially 2 John 1:7 “many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” John is offering a critique of the Docetic heresy which held that Jesus was imaginary, indicating that mythicism was widespread.

Well, wasn't it that Jesus only appeared to be present in the flesh but was actually spirit, and was still a being? That is not the same as imaginary. Regardless of the historical realness of this Jesus, it seems only natural that he was thought of as a person, if only to serve as a mental anchor, perhaps not unlike how the Buddha is conceived. Mythicism could have been widespread, sure, but I still think it's unlikely that it went according to the 20th Century definition which stresses that there was no Ur-Jesus.
Quote:
It appears that all Docetic literature was successfully rooted out, in a highly successful cultural genocide, since we have no examples of early Christ Mythicism extant today, except the fugitive traces in later Gnostic writing and the refutations such as from John. Orwell presents the same syndrome in his statement that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

That's a good point, but I'm thinking about the accurate records that were maintained about the many heresies and wondering if there really existed a pogrom as absolute as in Orwell's 1984. But I grant that the situations are close enough for us to say they were parallel in some fashion. (Another interesting parallel: 1984 and Plato's Republic)
Quote:
Even though non-existence of Jesus is a reasonable interpretation from 2 John 1:7? My view is that Jesus started as cosmic myth, and was only later enfleshed in the gospel fables, but like a ladder that is removed after someone has climbed it, the evidence of the construction method has not survived.

I simply haven't seen any argument convincing enough to knock out the standard scholarly view of "from Jesus to Christ." You like it the opposite way.
Robert Tulip wrote:
DWill wrote:
In an age in which a great many miraculous things were not disputed, it would be likely that the assumption that a person named Jesus had lived would not be, either.
The non-dispute of the historical Jesus is quite a heroic assumption, since the question of whether Jesus actually existed could have been a highly political point of conflict, between Gnostic mystics who invented the cosmic Christ and orthodox believers who found the literal story effective for church growth.

I don't know that there was necessarily strategic purpose in the Church of Rome selecting gospels that stressed history over the more esoteric and disconnected content of many other gospels. Certainly that church wanted its vision to prevail, but did it act according to what would best promote its market share, or from conviction, however we might judge that conviction? What happened--that the Church grew--is known from hindsight, but I'm not comfortable with the idea of it tailoring its message for that specific purpose.
Quote:
Literal faith was essential to the orthodox church, in their use of the Orwellian method of controlling the past to control the present and the future. The myth of the actual existence of Jesus is central to Christian identity.

What the orthodox church was wiping out was history in the sense of documents pertaining to groups of heterodox believers. In those documents, was there an opposing view of history from that the Church went with? My sense is that the Gnostic writings weren't much concerned with historical narrative. So the Church was imposing its view of what the faith would be--grounded in history--but wasn't altering accepted history, that I can discern.
Quote:
The comparison I am drawing is with how first century Palestine was later interpreted by the autocratic church of Christendom, not with the early church. The broad idea is that the military security framework from the Age of Constantine was supported by universal agreement on religious dogma, with a complete ban on any divergence from the party line. Such unanimity had not emerged in early Palestine, but it became a central factor under Christendom.

It does appear that the late Roman Empire took advantage of the synergy available from the new state religion combining with military force. Greek and Roman gods probably weren't so exploitable as was God the King or Jesus the Lord at the head of the battle. Military discipline and religious discipline coincided.
Quote:
The broad causal comparison here rests upon the evolutionary model, where a changed situation enables initial extreme diversity, and within that diversity, a single highly adaptive genome or meme emerges to conquer. That is the syndrome seen in the emergence of chordates from the Cambrian explosion, the emergence of Christian orthodoxy out of the heterodoxy of the early church, and the rise of Stalin in Russia and Orwell’s imaginative satire of Big Brother in the UK out of the chaos of communist revolution.

The welter of heretical groups is mind boggling and the controversies seem a little nonsensical today. But at the time they represented genuine intellectual foment. Regarding the memes that appear to have won, what truly boggles the mind is how they did so. For it doesn't appear that any of them had inherent advantages; rather, the environment happened to give them advantage. It was no different during the Cambrian. Any environmental alteration changes the selection of organisms that can go on to outreproduce others. Evolution might have taken a different track, which might not have led the way to humans. With Christianity, some accident that prevented Rome from being positioned where it was could have meant no Roman church ascendant. Orthodoxy was just as strange and unlikely a result as any other of a thousand possibilities.



The following user would like to thank DWill for this post:
ant, Harry Marks, Robert Tulip
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:57 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5433
Thanks: 1285
Thanked: 875 times in 755 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
Quote:
Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” John is offering a critique of the Docetic heresy which held that Jesus was imaginary, indicating that mythicism was widespread.


The above is a patently false interpretation of Docetic doctrine. Mythers routinely read too much into doctrine as a convenience to add substance to their alleged scholarship.
I'm sorry if that seems harsh to say, but it simply much be said.


Even based on Wiki's entry re Docetism, it would be a non sequitur to conclude Jesus was "imaginary" - meaning, he never existed as a historical person.

Quote:
In Christianity, docetism (from the Koine Greek: δοκεῖν/δόκησις dokeĩn "to seem", dókēsis "apparition, phantom",[1][2] is the doctrine that the phenomenon of Jesus, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality.[3][4] Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion



Quote:
Since Arthur Drews published his The Christ Myth (Die Christusmythe) in 1909, occasional connections have been drawn between docetist theories and the modern idea that Christ was a myth. Shailer Mathews called Drews' theory a "modern docetism".[26] Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare thought any connection to be based on a misunderstanding of docetism.[27] The idea recurred in classicist Michael Grant's 1977 review of the evidence for Jesus, who compared modern scepticism about a historical Jesus to the ancient docetic idea that Jesus only seemed to come into the world "in the flesh". Modern theories did away with "seeming".[28



Last edited by ant on Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.



The following user would like to thank ant for this post:
DWill, Harry Marks
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:02 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Conversationalist

Book Discussion Leader

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1167
Thanks: 1155
Thanked: 553 times in 455 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
DWill wrote:
Quote:
It appears that all Docetic literature was successfully rooted out, in a highly successful cultural genocide, since we have no examples of early Christ Mythicism extant today, except the fugitive traces in later Gnostic writing and the refutations such as from John. Orwell presents the same syndrome in his statement that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

That's a good point, but I'm thinking about the accurate records that were maintained about the many heresies and wondering if there really existed a pogrom as absolute as in Orwell's 1984. But I grant that the situations are close enough for us to say they were parallel in some fashion. (Another interesting parallel: 1984 and Plato's Republic)

Without sliding into a debate about mythicism, I think Robert raises an interesting point with the destruction of heretical documents. (The preservation of some of them at Nag Hammadi presumably could have gotten the monastery in a lot of trouble, but also owes its success to the dryness of the desert, which resisted the deterioration of the hidden texts.)

One of the stories I was told was that the Gnostic teachers were often charismatic (as were the sophists that Plato despised) and the opposition by dry and pedantic scholars was partly a resistance to the sociology of gurus forming a little cult following around their insider knowledge and superior understanding. The Gnostic texts found at Nag Hammadi are more "spiritual" in general than the canonical gospels, and often focus on hiddenness of hidden knowledge, incomprehensible to the average person.

To my mind, the suppression of such movements is more mingled with idealism than Orwell's Ingsoc (from which all idealism has been purged). As such it hangs together less with ruthless purging of rival ideologies than the Orwell version, which is clearly about brute power. We have many records that heretical ideas were taught - the subordinate or even undivine Jesus of Arianism survived into the 7th c. CE, thanks to Visigothic and Lombard converts. What we mostly don't have are texts explaining the ideas.

DWill wrote:

I don't know that there was necessarily strategic purpose in the Church of Rome selecting gospels that stressed history over the more esoteric and disconnected content of many other gospels. Certainly that church wanted its vision to prevail, but did it act according to what would best promote its market share, or from conviction, however we might judge that conviction? What happened--that the Church grew--is known from hindsight, but I'm not comfortable with the idea of it tailoring its message for that specific purpose.
This was the section that I most wanted to respond to. I am not an expert on early church controversies, but I read quite a bit of the relevant section of Diarmaid MacCulloch's history of the church (a mere 1100 or so pages, of which I have probably read 400). It seemed to me that these interesting variations on the message evolved out of either efforts to make the whole story hang together with people's experience and struggle with sin, or of efforts to justify points of doctrine such as the Virgin Birth.

Issues such as whether Jesus could feel pain were argued out partly with scripture references, but also partly with "implications" such as that if Jesus could not feel pain then his sacrifice is not meaningful. Paul seems to have been willing to argue based on such theological "implications", and I suspect someone who knew about Talmudic developments of the time could point to a strong component of the style in Paul's writings, with a somewhat more Hellenic orientation among later Christian Patristic writers.

Talmud is open to more than one interpretation of a text, as Jesus and Paul clearly were, while the Hellenistic culture seemed to think there must be one single true version of the supernatural truths being referenced. Constantine's decision to impose uniformity on the church doctrine (albeit with a conciliar approach that let Christians work it out among themselves) took Christianity down a fateful, and to my mind unfortunate, path.

DWill wrote:
What the orthodox church was wiping out was history in the sense of documents pertaining to groups of heterodox believers. In those documents, was there an opposing view of history from that the Church went with? My sense is that the Gnostic writings weren't much concerned with historical narrative. So the Church was imposing its view of what the faith would be--grounded in history--but wasn't altering accepted history, that I can discern.
Well, the response to this that I have seen among mythicists is that the lack of historical narrative among the Gnostics was due to their having no historical narrative. In this view the Gospel approach, which probably began with the highly subversive Gospel of Mark, simply infiltrated itself among people who were hearing about "Jesus the Christ" as Osiris worshipers were hearing about Isis. Since, they argue, there was an initially open and non-literal approach, the narrative Gospels could take hold in the popular Christian imagination without having to impose anything.

I'm doubtful that the evidence supports this, but I would have trouble showing that much evidence directly contradicts it. Since my own view is that something like that happened with the Resurrection, (an initially spiritual resurrection was superseded by the preferred literal version, complete with walking through walls, inserting disciples' hands in wounds, and eating food just to prove he was not merely spiritual), I am leery of claiming dogmatically that the mythicist version could not be true of Jesus' very existence.

DWill wrote:
It does appear that the late Roman Empire took advantage of the synergy available from the new state religion combining with military force. Greek and Roman gods probably weren't so exploitable as was God the King or Jesus the Lord at the head of the battle. Military discipline and religious discipline coincided.

This is a strange thing, really. For its first two centuries, pacifism seems to have been one of the hallmarks of Christianity. The monk Telemachus tried to stop gladiatorial combat by interposing his body, in 391, leading to death at the hands of the crowd and, when scandal ensued, the emperor Honorius banning the gladiator exhibition after that. That Christianity could ever have been a support to military power seems to me only explainable by its having become a merely cultural Christianity, adopted by many because so many others were adopting it.

Constantine's mother was a Christian and seems to have gone in for the relics and other superstitions of the popular faith, so maybe Constantine simply cynically calculated that claiming he received a sign before winning an important battle could enlist a lot of popular support.

DWill wrote:
The welter of heretical groups is mind boggling and the controversies seem a little nonsensical today. But at the time they represented genuine intellectual foment. Regarding the memes that appear to have won, what truly boggles the mind is how they did so. For it doesn't appear that any of them had inherent advantages; rather, the environment happened to give them advantage.
I think you are right about the result being highly contingent, but a Council was no random thing. Hundreds of bishops gathered and heard arguments from advocates of different points of view, and then argued among themselves to try to sort out a single consensus. I think the result for the Trinity, which was the main topic of discussion, was actually pretty insightful, indicating to me that they still had some of Paul's ability to read deep issues of the heart in seemingly abstruse concepts about the supernatural.

Essentially, Jesus had to be divine for love and grace to have full authority, and he had to be human for his sacrifice to communicate grace to us. for me it works. Your mileage probably varies from that.



The following user would like to thank Harry Marks for this post:
DWill
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:12 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Conversationalist

Book Discussion Leader

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1167
Thanks: 1155
Thanked: 553 times in 455 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
ant wrote:
Quote:
Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” John is offering a critique of the Docetic heresy which held that Jesus was imaginary, indicating that mythicism was widespread.


The above is a patently false interpretation of Docetic doctrine.
Quote:
The idea recurred in classicist Michael Grant's 1977 review of the evidence for Jesus, who compared modern scepticism about a historical Jesus to the ancient docetic idea that Jesus only seemed to come into the world "in the flesh". Modern theories did away with "seeming".


I agree with you and Michael Grant as to the most sensible and straightforward interpretation of what was going on with Docetism. Their belief in a Jesus who only seemed to be a body seems to reflect an ultra-spiritualization of the understanding of Jesus, consistent with the trajectory launched by some of the Gnostic texts.

On the other hand I find it hard to completely dismiss the possibility that an unregulated, undoctrinal cloud of mythical notions that coalesced in various directions with different communities (e.g. the Ebionites) might have manifested as Docetism as a reflection of an original transcendent narrative, lacking any use for a historically specific Jesus.

It is troublesome to contemplate the possibility that much of the Gospels were made up, as glorification and spiritual metaphor, but I am not sure that would have bothered most of the early followers. On the other hand, I don't see the need that Robert seems to see, to dismiss the historical basis for Jesus having lived as a method of getting past a literal reading of the Gospels.



Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:28 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5655
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2141
Thanked: 2077 times in 1573 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: 1984 by George Orwell - a discussion of Part 1
Well, having opened the can of worms of how the methods of 1984 compare to those of early Christianity, let me see if I can sustain the connection to Orwell in these comments.
DWill wrote:
wasn't [the Docetic Heresy] that Jesus only appeared to be present in the flesh but was actually spirit, and was still a being? That is not the same as imaginary.
This comparison with early Christianity gets to the nub of whether Orwell is presenting an accurate portrayal of human psychology and politics. My view is that the writings of the heresiologists which are our main source for what the heresies claimed are utterly unreliable. You might as well consult Donald Trump about the actual views of Hillary Clinton as ask these authors for an accurate description of Docetism.

For the church, the claim that Jesus was invented had to be extirpated from the face of the earth. That meant that the large communities who knew non-existence to be a fact had to be maligned and their views twisted. So this definition of Docetism that you cite is indeed what its opponents claim was the case.

But I don’t believe it for a second. The overall heuristic here should be to ask, if Jesus was actually invented, how was the historic record so comprehensively altered to conceal this invention? Given the time, resources and motive available to the church, this Orwellian alteration of history was entirely possible, and provides the most compelling explanation of the extant evidence.

A counter-Orwellian analysis of history applies what the philosopher Paul Ricouer called a ‘hermeneutic of suspicion’, a refusal to accept claims on face value when the assumption that they conceal hidden interests and motives provides a better explanation. In this context ‘Orwellian’ means the cynical manipulation of facts while 'counter-Orwellian' means the exposure of that process.
DWill wrote:
Regardless of the historical realness of this Jesus, it seems only natural that he was thought of as a person, if only to serve as a mental anchor, perhaps not unlike how the Buddha is conceived.
Yes, that is entirely true; the great emotional comfort provided by the story that God walked the streets of Jerusalem and Galilee does make it seem only natural for believers to accept the Gospel account as literal history, perhaps deleting a few miracles.

The question for historical analysis is when this belief began. I don’t accept that Saint Mark believed he was writing history, instead I think it is far more plausible that Mark saw his Gospel as an imaginative account of what Jesus would have done if he had actually lived. Only later did the Gospels come to be seen as literal accounts of actual events.
DWill wrote:
Mythicism could have been widespread, sure, but I still think it's unlikely that it went according to the 20th Century definition which stresses that there was no Ur-Jesus.
Your phrase ‘Ur-Jesus’ is rather ambiguous. The primordial idea of an original Jesus Christ as the anointed saviour of the world is far more imaginative than historical, reflecting John’s claim that in the beginning was the Word. So mythicism does have an Ur-Jesus, it just places him in heaven rather than on earth.
DWill wrote:
I'm thinking about the accurate records that were maintained about the many heresies and wondering if there really existed a pogrom as absolute as in Orwell's 1984.
Those records were not accurate! The full powers of the state and church were devoted to highly partisan efforts to denigrate and squash all unorthodox beliefs. And they were highly successful. When the Nag Hammadi trove was discovered in the sands of southern Egypt in 1945, it contained numerous texts that had previously only been known from summaries and extracts from detractors. All other copies throughout the Empires of Christendom had been lost, with this one source only surviving because it was hidden from efforts to destroy it. That is a record of elimination as effective as Orwell's Ministry of Truth achieved.
DWill wrote:
But I grant that the situations are close enough for us to say they were parallel in some fashion. (Another interesting parallel: 1984 and Plato's Republic)
Karl Popper argued in The Open Society and its Enemies that The Republic was the urtext for totalitarian thinking. So your suggestion of a connection with 1984 is important.

My view is that Plato presents the social model that Orwell used for the Inner Party, the Outer Party and the Proles. But the interesting thing is how Platonic philosophy was used in Gnostic mystery schools to imagine themselves as the Inner Party. I think that is the basis of the double meaning interpretation of the Gospels as providing secrets of the kingdom for initiates (the Inner Party) concealed within a public message for the Outer Party. The problem with that social model was that the Roman imperators, the real inner party of the sword, did not take kindly to anyone asserting secret power.
DWill wrote:
I simply haven't seen any argument convincing enough to knock out the standard scholarly view of "from Jesus to Christ." You like it the opposite way.
Yes I do see the causal process as having followed the reverse of the traditional belief that Jesus Christ founded Christianity. I find the logic of Richard Carrier in On The Historicity of Jesus and of Earl Doherty in Jesus Neither God Nor Man compelling as arguments for the evolution of Christianity from an original myth of a cosmic Christ into the later Gospel account of the historical Jesus of Nazareth.
DWill wrote:
I don't know that there was necessarily strategic purpose in the Church of Rome selecting gospels that stressed history over the more esoteric and disconnected content of many other gospels. Certainly that church wanted its vision to prevail, but did it act according to what would best promote its market share, or from conviction, however we might judge that conviction? What happened--that the Church grew--is known from hindsight, but I'm not comfortable with the idea of it tailoring its message for that specific purpose.
My view is that there was abundant strategic purpose in cultivating the core myth that the Gospels were history. The Roman Empire found that religious dissension was a security problem. That is why the Empire demanded through the settlement of Constantine at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD that everyone should hold the same beliefs, as expressed in the Nicene Creed. Any claim that the canonical Gospels were wrong would undermine that project of imperial unity, and would set personal scholarship above the social consensus, opening a path toward sedition and social fission.

The alliance of altar and throne was the great rock of Saint Peter. That alliance demanded ‘market share’ of 100% under the tutelage of church and state, and could not tolerate the existence of conflicting beliefs.
DWill wrote:
What the orthodox church was wiping out was history in the sense of documents pertaining to groups of heterodox believers. In those documents, was there an opposing view of history from that the Church went with? My sense is that the Gnostic writings weren't much concerned with historical narrative. So the Church was imposing its view of what the faith would be--grounded in history--but wasn't altering accepted history, that I can discern.
That does seem a rather biased reading! Allowing only one documented account means insisting that people’s memories are invalid and illegal. Having only one version allowed in public is what Orwell calls controlling the past to control the future. And that is entirely what the Christian church did to consolidate its alliance with the state, holding the pen to prevent other authors from having their voice heard. Whoever holds the pen determines what will be written.

Just because autonomous memory did not achieve the status of “accepted history” does not justify the extensive pious fraud of church historians. The ancient church historian Eusebius is notorious for altering the past to bolster church interests, with the most notorious his apparent insertion of mention of Jesus Christ into the Jewish history of Josephus.

I have previously mentioned the excellent recent book The Memory Code which explains how preliterate societies used spoken ritual to retain the integrity of beliefs. This method of not writing down core beliefs continued into the mystery tradition of the ancient world, with the pervasive idea that the written text served as a camouflage for secret teachings.

That whole process was intensely vulnerable to the combined power of the pen and the sword. The Empire insisted on the new idea that only written text had authority, destroying the old diverse traditions that vested social power in the holders of elite hidden wisdom. 1984 tells a similar parable of the destruction of autonomous civil society by the monolithic power of the state.
DWill wrote:
It does appear that the late Roman Empire took advantage of the synergy available from the new state religion combining with military force. Greek and Roman gods probably weren't so exploitable as was God the King or Jesus the Lord at the head of the battle.
The early Roman Olympian myths of Jupiter and Apollo were too culturally narrow to impose on subject peoples, so the Empire introduced sun worship, the cult of the invincible sun as a basis of imperial unity of belief. But this confected faith lacked humanity, and the sun god had to be personalised, a project for which Christianity was uniquely well suited, with its Saviour displacing the Sun as the Light of the World.

So Christianity served as solar religion for the masses, but the legions retained belief in Mithras as Sun God well into the fourth century, as shown by the use of Mithraic symbols on Constantine’s Triumphal Arch in Rome.
DWill wrote:
Military discipline and religious discipline coincided.
That was the aim, but the Christian ideas of compassion and love lacked the pitiless cruelty of Roman religion, so I think contributed to the collapse of the Empire by undermining military discipline.

Orwell presents a return to a merciless mentality as the basis for the omnipotence of the party. The experience in Russia was that consistent Stalinism proved very difficult to sustain due to its extreme evil inhumanity, causing a hollowing out of institutions of state. The overplay of power by Stalin was a main cause of the eventual exhaustion and moral collapse of the Soviet Empire. That also shows why 1984 was inaccurate as prophecy, that people could not cope with sustained tyranny, especially where fossil fuels enabled mass consumption to create a brave new world.
DWill wrote:
The welter of heretical groups is mind boggling and the controversies seem a little nonsensical today. But at the time they represented genuine intellectual foment.
The nature of ecology, whether in culture or biology, is that separated systems become more different while connected systems become more identical. The aim of the Roman Empire, as a connected cultural ecological system, was to enforce unity of religion as a strategy of military security, requiring the elimination of diversity of creed. Again, with these debates we have to bear in mind that surviving descriptions often reflect hostile malice toward those beliefs, giving a distorted picture.
DWill wrote:
Regarding the memes that appear to have won, what truly boggles the mind is how they did so. For it doesn't appear that any of them had inherent advantages; rather, the environment happened to give them advantage.
Orthodox Christianity has clear selective advantage over Gnosticism, since it can be explained to the illiterate masses as a way to give them emotional comfort and security, whereas complex philosophies are only suitable for small elites. So bishops who supported historicism were able to promulgate a simple message backed by the sword, while those who questioned aspects of the creed found themselves isolated and marginal.
DWill wrote:
It was no different during the Cambrian. Any environmental alteration changes the selection of organisms that can go on to outreproduce others. Evolution might have taken a different track, which might not have led the way to humans. With Christianity, some accident that prevented Rome from being positioned where it was could have meant no Roman church ascendant. Orthodoxy was just as strange and unlikely a result as any other of a thousand possibilities.
The key selective pressure for Christianity was ability to replicate and endure at scale, in an environment characterised by steadily increasing cultural contact in the Common Era. That evolutionary factor gave the single simple creed of Nicaea an overwhelming advantage, especially combined with the Orwellian effort to hunt out and destroy all rivals.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
Harry Marks
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:45 pm
Profile Email WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Announcements 

• Promote Your Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:33 pm

• Promote Your Non-Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 pm



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2018. All rights reserved.


seo for beginners