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Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

Collaborate in choosing our next NON-FICTION book for group discussion within this forum. A minimum of 5 posts is necessary to participate here!
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Dissident Heart

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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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I'd like to suggest two books from the Routledge Thinking In Action series:On Belief by Slavoj Zizek and On Religion by John D. CaputoBoth books are relatively small, and could be read in quick succession and offer remarkably fruitful comparison between the two and challenge for all-comers at Booktalk. Zizek and Caputo are prominent contemporary philosophers who approach the topics of Belief and Religion from very different perspectives and come to conclusions that will enrage and enlighten atheists, theists and thinkers of all stripes.On BeliefQuote:Review"An erudite tour of contemporary belief.." Network'An honest and admirable meditation on what belief may mean today.' - Times Literary Supplement'The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged in Europe for some decades.' - - Terry Eagleton in the London Review of Books'An honest and admirable meditation on what belief may mean today.' - Times Literary Supplement'...The content is of the highest quality and an example of the prospective revival of the encounter between philosophy and theology... I would highly recommend (both books) as stimulating and thought-provoking reformulations of religion.' - Modern Believing on On Belief and On Religion Book Description: What happens to our supposedly atheistic, secular beliefs when they meet the internet, consumerism and New Age mysticism? Zizek, the renowned philosopher and cultural critic, shows in his controversial and witty new book that, despite postmodern warnings that belief is groundless, we are secretly believers. From "cyberspace reason" to the paradox of "Western Buddhism," On Belief traces the contours of the often unconscious beliefs that structure our daily experience.On ReligionQuote:Review'Intellectual without being overly academic...one cheers his vigor and relishes his insights into the paradoxical, ambiguous nature of religion and religious belief. Recommended.' - Library Journal (US)'With some deft sophistry (heavily influenced by Derrida who also produced one of the other five books in the Routledge's new Thinking in Action series) John D Caputo redefines religion as love of the unforeseeable. And, as that is a given in life, his definition of religiosity pretty much equates with my definition of joie de vivre. So the opposite of a religious person is not an atheist, merely a pusillanimous curmudgeon. But it's not all just clever wordplay. With his unorthodox definitions in place, Caputo goes on to denounce dogma, put Marx, Nietzsche and Freud in their historical places and to reunite religion, mysticism and science. On top of all that, there's a detailed deconstruction of religion in Star Wars. I'm converted.' - Laurence Phelan, The Independent on Sunday'Intellectual without being overly academic...one cheers his vigour and relishes his insights into the paradoxical, ambiguous nature of religion and religious belief. Recommended.' - Library Journal'I feel obliged to warn readers that I loved this book. I loved its passion, loved its ideas, and the loved the alternately sassy and incantatory rhythms of its prose ... get this book and read it' - Sea of Faith Book Description: On Religion is a thrilling and accessible exploration of religious faith today. If God is dead, why is religion back? Digging up the roots of all things religious, Caputo inspects them with clarity and style. Along the way, some fascinating questions crop up: What do I love when I love my God? What are people doing when they perform an act "in the name of God?" Drawing widely on examples from popular culture, telecommunications and philosophy, the author asks why and how religion is for many a source of personal inspiration and moral guidance in a digitalized, post-industrial, nihilistic age. Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 6/5/07 11:56 am
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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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You THIRDY bastard!!Which on you thirding? "Secret Origins of the Bible" or "Origins of Satan"?Mr. P. But atheism is no more a religion than not playing chess is a hobby. - Robert Sawyer - Sci Fi AuthorI'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 CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy PiperEdited by: misterpessimistic at: 5/26/07 9:09 am
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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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The Secret Origins of the Bible!
JulianTheApostate
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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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I refuse to read a Christopher Hitchens book. His arguments in support of the Iraq War were fervent, obnoxious, and incoherent. Besides, we've discussed too many "Yeah for atheism" books already.Of the suggested books, the only ones I might read are On Belief by Slavoj Zizek and On Religion by John D. Caputo. Probably, I'll end up skipping the Freethinker discussion.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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There are literally thousands of books advocating one religion or another. Theist authors don't seem to feel the literature market is saturated with religious books. I'd venture to say that books supporting theism are published at least 100x as often as books supporting atheism. My point is that this battle is not over and reading and discussing quality books that educate people about atheism is valuable and worthwhile. I do see how for some people the subject matter can get old, but for many of us this topic is a passion and one we wish to keep in the limelight for as long as religion remains a danger to society.
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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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Chris: There are literally thousands of books advocating one religion or another. Theist authors don't seem to feel the literature market is saturated with religious books. Chris, I don't think Julian's statement was about the market being saturated with atheist texts. At least that's not how I feel. In fact, I find it quite annoying that the few atheist texts available are often lumped in the religion section, without getting a section of their own. I think he was stating, and I would agree, that this forum, right now, seems saturated with, as he put it, "Yeah for atheism" books, and I would add discussions in general.Either way, I don't think theists' practices should necessarily be emulated. Just because theists flood the market with yeah-for-religion drivel, doesn't make it a good idea for atheists to mirror same. Chris: My point is that this battle is not over and reading and discussing quality books that educate people about atheism is valuable and worthwhile. I would agree that there is still a necessary struggle for the rejection of theism's influence on the secular; however, I would disagree that some of the atheist texts around are of a quality that makes them "valuable and worthwhile," nor are they particularly educational. Some of them are largely and merely, as Julian so succinctly put it, "Yeah for atheism" books. I don't see much educational value in such texts. Please note I am not describing Hitchens' book as a "yeah for atheism" book, I haven't read it. But looking at the description and chapter titles, I wouldn't be surprised if it were.
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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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Then maybe we should be suggesting and voting on some of the more classic atheist works, such as Bertrand Russell's, "Why I Am Not a Christian," or George Smith's, "Atheism: The Case Against God." Some of these books are indisputable classics representing the atheist viewpoint and arguments.
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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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More currently, David Mills book was very good. And he is a contributor/supporter of Booktalk!!!But I think for at least the next quarter, maybe we should try to stay away from another atheist specific book.Mr. P. But atheism is no more a religion than not playing chess is a hobby. - Robert Sawyer - Sci Fi AuthorI'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 CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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Quote:I refuse to read a Christopher Hitchens book. His arguments in support of the Iraq War were fervent, obnoxious, and incoherent. Besides, we've discussed too many "Yeah for atheism" books already.I have been an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq since long before the United States even proposed the action through the United Nations. That said, saying you wouldn't read Hitchen's views on Atheism because of his views on Iraq does not make much sense. Perhaps you do not want to support him financially because of his view points but you can likely find the book in a library or get it second hand for which the author would not profit. The two subjects couldn't be more different and we should never discount out of hand every point a person makes because we disagree with certain other points.Suggesting we pick another book due to the "Yea for Atheism" of recent readings is a valid point. Seems like we have part of the community here to discuss freethought books which includes Atheism and the other part wanting to discuss freethought and Atheism with a focus on the later. Certainly would be good to include more people rather than less in a reading as the community could use a boost in active discussions. But as previously noted by others, the Atheism titles have had the most participation.
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Re: Q3, 2007 Freethinker Book Suggestions

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Well, let's look at it from this tack:What books not about atheism would you say qualify as Freethinker books?
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