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Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions 
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
Its the true story of a boy living in the Sierra Leone durring the outbreak of a civil war. He gets caught up in the violence at first fighting for one of the factions, and eventually just fighting to survive. The story follows both his life as soldier, and the process by which he was turned into a killer and the much longer process that eventually restored him to a relatively normal member of society.


www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/03
74105235/sr=8-1/qid=1173362729/ref=cm_cr_dp_pt/10
4-7052280-7442305?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=
1173362729&sr=8-1

Every story must come to an end.




Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:43 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
The next book polls need to go up soon, so now would be a great time for all of us to go back through these suggestion threads and look over the book suggestions closely. We don't really need additional suggestions, but we do need further input on the ones we currently have before us.

If you suggested a book please sell us on it. All of the short posts without any additional personal endorsement are hard to read or interpret. Tell us why you like a particular book. Tell us why it might be good as a group selection. And also look at other peoples book suggestions and tell us what you think. Would you read their book suggestion if it won? Or does it not appeal to you in the slightest?

Narrowing down all these selections is much easier if there are some real explanations accompanying the suggestions. So please share your opinions so we can have an awesome discussion period in 2nd quarter of 2007!




Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
Quote:
I'm suggesting this one mostly because I'm interested in what Griffin's suggested reconciliation entails, and because I think that we've been making very partisan suggestions and decisions regarding our group readings lately, and this one seems to be suggesting a third position.


That sounds like my kind of book.

Every story must come to an end.




Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:01 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
I am almost done with Atheist Universe by David Mills and I do recommend it. Maybe not for this quarter, but we should have this on the list in the future.

It is intense in parts, like the Dawkins book but not as pervasive, but it clearly spells out the conflicts between the Christian faith and an atheist worldview...and of course, it is not the atheist that needs to do any "soul" searching to reconcile those conflicts.

The softies here will probably be offended by some of the phrases Mills uses, but he is only speaking the truth...a fact that the softies will probably ignore and rather focus on the words Milss uses rather than the point, not unlike the obfuscation that was brought to the Dawkins book.

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Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:25 am
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
I'm not sure if I am one of the "softies" you refer to, Mr. P., but does Atheist Universe speak to any other issue outside of theism v. atheism?




Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:37 am
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
No not you.

It is pretty much a discussion of why atheism is a totally acceptable worldview and it refutes the fundie claims to the contrary.

So it is basically a theism v. atheism book...but more geared against the Fundies specifically.

Mr. P.


I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

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

What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George Carlin

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




Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:05 am
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
A quick addendum. The following is from Haiman's preface:

Quote:
I am an agnostic. To me that means I simply do not know who or what, if anything, is outside our skins that human beings for centuries have called God or gods.


He goes on to briefly describe the virtues and villainies he sees in religion before concluding with:

Quote:
However, this is book is motivated neither by hostility to organized religion nor endorsement of it. Rather, it grows out of a concern I have, that for me is akin to a religion, for the preservation of a pluralistic, democratic, and secular society in the United States of America. I am, in short, a First Amendment junkie.


I'm not sure if that makes either the theists or atheists more amenable to reading this book, but I figured I would throw it out there.




Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:22 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
Dissident Heart: Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong, by Marc Hauser
Suggested by: Mr. Pessimistic
I am interested in the Chomskian connection, but not so clear what new material is provided beyond Gazzaniga's The Ethical Brain.


To be fair to Mr. P's suggestion, it looks like it has less in common with "The Ethical Brain" than DH might suppose. "The Ethical Brain" wasn't so much about the neurological basis for ethics as it was about how our expanding knowledge of how the brain works ought to influence our ethics, and about how changes in neuroscience technology complicate current ethical systems. "Moral Minds" seems to focus on the evolutionary origin of morality, which is a related topic, but isn't quite the same.

Biology as Ideology, by Richard C. Lewontin
Suggested by: MadArchitect
... I'm especially interested in the ways that faith (as an ideological foundation, not necessarily a religious belief system) has worked in shaping the field of biology.


Then you might be disappointed by this book. Lewontin doesn't talk a hell of a lot about faith, and while he does mention religion once or twice, it's only as background to other issues. The subject of "Biology as Ideology" is the way in which science effects our view of the world, and the way that financial interests effect the practice of science. I think it's a very worthwhile book, but I don't want anyone voting on it under false pretenses.




Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:55 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
Haiman: However, this is book is motivated neither by hostility to organized religion nor endorsement of it. Rather, it grows out of a concern I have, that for me is akin to a religion, for the preservation of a pluralistic, democratic, and secular society in the United States of America. I am, in short, a First Amendment junkie.

Thanks for taking the extended time to spell out the direction of the book in relation to my brief concerns irishrose. I like this quote and would be interested in exploring how his desire to preserve a democratic, secular pluralistic society is "akin to a religion". This sounds somewhat similar to other conversations we have had where you have recognized your commitment to democracy and human rights as a type of faith...rooted not in transcendent holy deities but as a trust in immanent human dignity.

MA: "Moral Minds" seems to focus on the evolutionary origin of morality, which is a related topic, but isn't quite the same.

Thanks for the clarification. I like the conjunction of ideas in their titles: Moral Minds and Ethical Brains.

MA: The subject of "Biology as Ideology" is the way in which science effects our view of the world, and the way that financial interests effect the practice of science.

I am interested in the role of faith (or epistemological assumptions and existential commitments) in shaping ideology, and then the way in which these ideologies (shaped by some sort of faith) influence the practice of science.

I am also very interested in how economic theory and financial systems are ideologically driven beyond/beneath the domain of the social sciences: The ideological assumptions that shape the economic structures that influence the practice of science...and how that science reinforces or challenges ideological assumptions.

Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 3/14/07 5:00 pm



Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:57 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
D.H.: Thanks for taking the extended time to spell out the direction of the book in relation to my brief concerns irishrose.

No problem, it gave me a chance to champion my personal choice. ::151
(No, I don't own pink pompoms.)

D.H.: I like this quote and would be interested in exploring how his desire to preserve a democratic, secular pluralistic society is "akin to a religion".

Yes, but note, though Haiman may have been inspired



Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:27 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions
I am for:

Blood Rights (and I think we can see why this might be a freethought type of book)

Religious Expression and the American Constitution

Moral Minds

&

Biology as Ideology


Mr. P.


I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

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

What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George Carlin

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




Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:38 am
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Post 2 possibilities
There are only two books on the list the interest me. That may be picky, but with all the great books out there I've decided not to spend time on books that don't hook me.

Religion and Scientific Naturalism sounds interesting, since I haven't heard a clear explanation of how one could reconcile science & religion.

Blood Rites, which I suggested, has some neat original ideas, is easy to read, and will give us plenty to discuss.




Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:02 am
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Post Re: 2 possibilities
Thanks to those that suggested books and participated in this thread. Your comments about other member's book suggestions is super helpful. So thank you very much. I'm closing this suggestion thread and working on the narrowing down process tonight. The poll should be up soon, but please be understanding if it takes me a little time. :)




Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:43 pm
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Post Re: 2 possibilities
Tomorrow I'll put the new polls up, but here are the books that you'll see as choices.

Freethinker Poll

1. Moral Minds: How Nature Designed our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong
2. Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA
3. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
4. Religious Expression and the American Constitution

General Nonfiction Poll

1. Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War
2. In Cold Blood
3. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.
4. Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower
5. The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do

There are 4 choices on the freethinker poll, so let's allow each qualified voter to cast 4 total votes, which can be distributed across the 4 book choices however they see fit. Same goes for the General Nonfiction Poll, which will have the above 5 choices. Every qualified voter can assign a total of 5 votes however they deem appropriate.

But this is not the poll thread. This is just a heads up so you can start thinking now. ::171




Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:39 am
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