Suggestions needed for August & September 2011 NON-FICTION book discussion!

Help us pick our next NON-FICTION book for group discussion here. YOU MUST HAVE 5+ POSTS TO CONTRIBUTE IN THIS FORUM!
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Chris OConnor
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Interesting choice of names. LOL
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Chris OConnor
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Here are my thoughts. I am really not excited by the astrotheology stuff or whatever you want to call these books that link Christianity to the stars and numbers and other myths. Clearly, from the way I just worded my sentence I don't know a thing about the subject. But in all honesty I don't care to know anything about it. That's great that you guys enjoy it, but let's be honest here and admit that this is really a fringe subject with a niche target market.

I understand that you guys are all friends from a different site. So you share a passion for this topic and there is nothing wrong with that. But what are the chances anyone else is going to see a massive book about mythology and want to join the discussion? It just worries me.

Keep in mind that I am always willing to add a book forum if you can get a handful of people willing to read and discuss any book. You can bypass the polling process and just email me and say, "We have 7 people willing to read and discuss Blah Blah Blah" and if the book isn't something too off the all I will create a forum and it will be one of our official book discussions. I just hate to see a fringe book with a small following placed up as our ONLY non-fiction book. We can read a few concurrently. And if you want to do a chat with this Murdock author then fantastic. As long as one or two of you promise and commit to acting as the host of the chat I will advertise the chat too.
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Robert Tulip
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Chris

The perception of astrotheology as 'fringe' is itself an interesting question. What is on the fringe today can become accepted wisdom tomorrow. Murdock is a serious scholar. She presents new findings that show the error of current dominant assumptions. Knowledge advances through such courageous individuals who present a coherent vision based on evidence. This is how scientific debate has always happened. Galileo, Kepler, and even Darwin were on the fringe of the received mainstream views of their day, but the accuracy of their claims led them to becoming the basis for a new consensus once people took them seriously. I think the same will happen with Murdock.

The 'fringe' label arises from the association with various cultural currents that lack rigor, such as astrology. However, Murdock takes this material as a basis for falsifiable analysis, and in no way rejects scientific knowledge, or makes claims that lack evidence. She shot to some prominence through the use of her ideas in the internet movie Zeitgeist, which is definitely fringe in its advocacy of 911 conspiracy theories and attacks on the monetary system. Murdock has largely split from the Zeitgeist crowd, who continue to focus on their leftist utopias while she gets on with serious scholarship.

Another area in which Murdock takes a courageous leading position is in the critique of Islam. She publicizes the debates now happening in Europe with politicians who reject the cultural relativism that is allowing the spread of dangerous Islamist views. It is because she herself has a coherent vision of religious matters that she can see the danger of Islam, and can advocate for a worldview that promotes discussion of cultural identity. This itself would be an interesting question in relation to Christ in Egypt, exploring how her findings in that book inspired her to take a stand against Islam.

There is no harm to Booktalk in promoting serious discussion of this material. I think it would actually be great for Booktalk by showing interest in innovation and rationality. As some background, my interest in Murdock's work was prompted firstly by Booktalk moderator Frank013, who introduced me to the work of Earl Doherty that proves the Christ Myth Theory is the most plausible view, and by Interbane, who put me on to the Zeitgeist movie. If it had not been for Booktalk, I would never have discovered Murdock, since she is comprehensively ignored by mainstream media.

Booktalk has an opportunity to participate in cutting edge research here, especially given that Tat has indicated Murdock would herself participate. I don't think that people have to read the book to join the discussion, as it raises some basic questions in philosophy that have broader interest. One threshold question is the one you raised, namely how and why certain views get labelled as 'fringe'. Exploring the psychology around this labeling is itself a valuable point for discussion.
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FTL99
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I'm voting for Christ in Egypt.
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Vishnu
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That you, Free?
captkanguru

I would like to add my voice to the chorus asking for a discussion of Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection by DM Murdock. I'm finding it a very worthwhile read and would love to discuss it's content with people from a variety of educational backgrounds.
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FTL99
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Hey Chris OConnor,

I can certainly relate to how you feel about astrotheology and mythology and the work by Acharya S/Murdock. I felt the same way at first until I started actually studying it.

Now, I find it far more interesting and an occam's razor explanation towards the origins of religious concepts. Of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with "numbers" or numerology. It's nothing like that or flaky astrology. There's a mountain of credible evidence for astrotheology throughout history. Some scholars are well aware of it while others are not. It simply isn't taught as a major discipline in academia yet but, it will be. Now, one has to take it upon them-self to do the research. I hope there will soon be a Department for Astrotheological Studies soon, same as Archaeoastronomy only became a legit department in the mid-90's. Now, they need the astrotheology and mythology to go with it.

Robert Tulip is spot-on.

The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ

Jesus as the Sun throughout History
Last edited by FTL99 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FTL99
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Vishnu wrote:That you, Free?


Yes sir ...
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tat tvam asi
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Well Chris, she did a dam good job on this book and we're just trying to get this information up front for public discussion and debate. If you opt not to give it THE non-fiction discussion for August and September than I think we'd still like to have Robert lead a discussion in a secondary type of category as you've suggested. I'm sure that if we get some type of discussion going on the book here she'd be happy to join in whatever the case may be. The only astrotheology discussed in the book is how the Egyptians revered the earth, elements, and sky and how their myths reflected that, which, then carried over to Christianity as they continued to use these old motifs for their own goals and purposes. The claims that were made of Horus in ZG part 1 are gone over thoroughly addressing the so-called debunkers who thought that these claims were easily dismissed. They are not. And this book is a powerhouse of knowledge in that respect and that's why so many apologists refuse to read or acknowledge it.
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tat tvam asi
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Chris wrote:I understand that you guys are all friends from a different site. So you share a passion for this topic and there is nothing wrong with that. But what are the chances anyone else is going to see a massive book about mythology and want to join the discussion? It just worries me.


You can test the waters with either the secondary category suggestion or putting it straight to the top. Anything causing this much of a controversy is likely to get viewed. Look at all the views Strawbe brought in just because of the controversy surrounding religion and religous claims that went along with everything posted. This is no different in that respect. Plus, just the amount of people who are fans of Murdock alone would likely darf the participation of some of the previous BT discussions I'm sure. Add to that all those who are not already Murdocks fans and there could well be a nice turn out. But who knows? There's only one way to find out how it will go...
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Chris OConnor
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I'm not suggesting that Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection by DM Murdock be a "secondary" discussion at all. It would be an official BookTalk.org discussion.

I just would like another book discussion running concurrently for those people not interested in participating in the astrotheology book. We run multiple book discussions concurrently all the time. No one book discussion is subservient to the next so there wouldn't be anything in the forum name, description or format to give members or visitors the notion that this isn't an official book discussion.

Since so many of you are interested in Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection by DM Murdock I think we should simply get moving on it. I will create the forum and announce it very soon as the August and September book.

I will be counting on all of you guys that have drifted over here from the Murdock site to actually participate in this discussion. I notice several people chiming in and they haven't even read the first post and the rules. As regulars know, and as the first post in this thread says, we only accept suggestions and votes from members with 25 posts. We have good reasons for this rule, but in this case we can throw that rule aside. If you all are friends from another forum and are committed to a quality discussion of this book then we can just go for it.

Also, would one of you like to volunteer as discussion leader for this book? And can you talk to the author and see about a live chat session? We could do a live chat at the end of September OR simply an email interview OR the author could jump right into the forum discussion OR any combination of these options. But I will really need some help here. If you want to do the live chat I need one or two of you to agree to act as chat host. This is pretty simple stuff. Just be present in the live chat and ask questions when other people aren't asking questions. Do your best to keep the chat humming along and everyone having fun and learning. I will not do a live chat without this agreement because quite frankly I am not planning to read this particular book. I cannot ask educated questions if I haven't read the book. So I will need some help here or we can stick with an email interview.

If the discussion is active and everyone is enjoying it we can extend it an additional month too.
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Robert Tulip
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I would be happy to lead discussion on Christ in Egypt. This promises to be a very stimulating conversation.

I thought Landroid's suggestion of the book on the Second World War also looked really interesting. We have obviously not had anything like the followup on the other suggestions compared to Christ in Egypt, so it might be good to plan a September-October book on a completely different topic as well.

People feel strongly about Christ in Egypt because here we see a great scholar ignored. Broadening the venues for discussion of this material, especially in a site such as Booktalk that has high standards regarding quality of discussion, is a very positive thing.
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tat tvam asi
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Ok, thanks for clarifying Chris. And thank you for going ahead and giving a discussion of CiE in a chance here at BT. I'll participate with Robert to take care of the tasks that are necessary for discussion.
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Chris OConnor
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I'm setting it up right now.
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