Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!
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Author:  Chris OConnor [ Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

Official Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

Q1 2007 = January, February & March

Please read these directions BEFORE you vote! ::44

How many nonfiction books will we be reading?

This poll will select 1 FREETHINKER book for community discussion. The Q1 2007 Nonfiction Book Poll will select a general interest nonfiction book. So we're reading a total of 2 nonfiction books where one is of general interest and the other advances issues of importance to freethinkers. Periodically, there will be some overlap of these two sections.

How long will the poll stay open?

This poll is opening on Friday, December 15th, 2006 and will be closing on Sunday, December 24th, 2006. This is a total of 10 full days. I'll probably shut the poll down in the middle of the day on the 24th seeing is this is Christmas Eve and Santa is coming the next morning. So cast your votes early!


Who can vote?

All active members are invited and encouraged to vote and participate in our book selection process, but please follow these simple rules:

Only cast a vote if you have 10 or more posts on our forums. If you don't have at least 10 you should have no problem jumping into some discussion threads and meeting this rather relaxed criterion. You can meet this requirement in one day.

Don't vote if you don't plan on participating if your book wins. Again, if you vote for a book and it wins we really hope you participate. You should not be influencing the direction of the community if you're not actively involved.

If you vote for a book and it does not win we still hope you read and discuss the winning book with us, but we understand if you opt to not participate. Please try to get involved no matter which book wins, as this is all about education AND entertainment. We can all learn from our book selections and from each other, and reading a book you typically would never have even picked up is a great way to expand your horizons and perspective on life.

How do I vote?

If you are an active member with 10 or more total posts AND you plan on participating in the Q1 2007 discussion if your chosen book wins THEN you are permitted to cast a total of 3 votes. You can use your three votes however you see fit, which could mean assigning all three votes to just one of the book choices, or distributing the three points over the book choices according to your own interest level for each book. No half-points assigned to books. ::204

You should make a brief post to this thread telling everyone how you wish to distribute your three votes.

Nothing further needs to be said, however you're welcome and encouraged to be as verbose as you like. Just make it crystal clear how you are voting.

It is inevitable that some people will either forget to cast all three votes or will not have read this entire post. They will simply vote on one book. If this happens I will be assigning all three of their votes to the one book they selected.

You are permitted to change your vote at any time during the voting period, but not after I close the poll. The poll is closed on the last day of the polling period as stated above.

This thread can be used as an open discussion of the books on the poll. You're welcome to try to sell people on a particular book, or dissuade them from another.


As always, we will need a discussion leader that is willing to be active in the reading and discussion of the winning book. If you are up to the task please let us all know in this forum by making a post and stating your interest.

Or, if you are only interested in being the discussion leader if your choice of books wins the poll, you may wait to see if it wins and then let us know of your interest in the forum that is created to discuss that book. But please consider volunteering! ::80

Being a discussion leader does not entail being an authority on the subject matter or defending the author's position. You simply need to attempt to stimulate discussion.

And here are our FREETHINKER book choices for 1st Quarter 2007 (January, February & March). Please read about all books before casting your votes. Think hard about which book will be the most educational, entertaining, and worthy of discussion. May the best book win!

Drum roll please...

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

BOOK 1: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

From Publishers Weekly
The antireligion wars started by Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris will heat up even more with this salvo from celebrated Oxford biologist Dawkins. For a scientist who criticizes religion for its intolerance, Dawkins has written a surprisingly intolerant book, full of scorn for religion and those who believe. But Dawkins, who gave us the selfish gene, anticipates this criticism. He says it's the scientist and humanist in him that makes him hostile to religions

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

BOOK 2: History Of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by Karen Armstrong
Armstrong, a British journalist and former nun, guides us along one of the most elusive and fascinating quests of all time--the search for God. Like all beloved historians, Armstrong entertains us with deft storytelling, astounding research, and makes us feel a greater appreciation for the present because we better understand our past. Be warned: A History of God is not a tidy linear history. Rather, we learn that the definition of God is constantly being repeated, altered, discarded, and resurrected through the ages, responding to its followers' practical concerns rather than to mystical mandates. Armstrong also shows us how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have overlapped and influenced one another, gently challenging the secularist history of each of these religions. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly
This searching, profound comparative history of the three major monotheistic faiths fearlessly illuminates the sociopolitical ground in which religious ideas take root, blossom and mutate. Armstrong, a British broadcaster, commentator on religious affairs and former Roman Catholic nun, argues that Judaism, Christianity and Islam each developed the idea of a personal God, which has helped believers to mature as full human beings. Yet Armstrong also acknowledges that the idea of a personal God can be dangerous, encouraging us to judge, condemn and marginalize others. Recognizing this, each of the three monotheisms, in their different ways, developed a mystical tradition grounded in a realization that our human idea of God is merely a symbol of an ineffable reality. To Armstrong, modern, aggressively righteous fundamentalists of all three faiths represent "a retreat from God." She views as inevitable a move away from the idea of a personal God who behaves like a larger version of ourselves, and welcomes the grouping of believers toward a notion of God that "works for us in the empirical age."

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

BOOK 3: The Secret Origins of the Bible by Tim Callahan

Book Description

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

Those are the 3 FREETHINKER choices so research them and cast your votes soon. You can hold your mouse over the book title to see a copy of the book cover. Again, the poll might come down early on the 24th since this is Christmas Eve.

Author:  Saint Gasoline [ Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

My three votes are for The God Delusion.

This one would hands-down provoke the best discussion, and I can say this considering that I've read all the books mentioned here.

Author:  ginof [ Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

well, I'm a little dissapointed that these books are all >400pp. It's going to affect my ability to read them!

that being said, since they are all this long, I think I'd like The Secret Origins of the Bible the best as I'm kind of facinated about the historical aspects of this bible/religion thing.

so, 3 votes for that book.

Author:  JulianTheApostate [ Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

And, to balance things out, 3 votes for History of God.

I read Karen Armstrong's Battle for God back in 2000, and got a lot out of it even though she went into too much detail at times. Her writing and clarity of thought were impressive.

The God Delusion seems like more of the same, after reading Breaking the Spell and other books. Though the topics are related, the history of religion sounds more exciting than the history of the Bible.

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

3 votes for The God Delusion

Author:  Federika22 [ Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:58 am ]
Post subject:  Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

The God Delusion- 3 votes

Author:  Mr. P [ Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Q1 2007 Freethinker Book Poll!

God Delusion - 3 votes.

So that is:

Bible - 3

History of God - 3

God Delusion - 12

Mr. P.

Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!

Mr. P's Bookshelf.

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

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

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

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

Edited by: misterpessimistic  at: 12/12/06 1:16 pm

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