Books: what are you currently reading?

Mark Peachey

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God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

I don't believe very strongly in either direction when it comes to the god issue, but do like a good read and arguments to mull over. These two fit the bill nicely.
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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A Brief History of Time (Leofranc Holford Strevens) and Protect and Defend (Richard North Patterson)
 
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Swiftandsure

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God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

I don't believe very strongly in either direction when it comes to the god issue, but do like a good read and arguments to mull over. These two fit the bill nicely.

Dawkins does not answer fundamental questions : how is it that things are (if they are)?
If laws (as natural selection, who seems his pesonal "credo") exist, who is the lawmaker?
From a scholarly point of view, his biblical exegesis is a pile of crap, totally ignorant of the basics of litterary analysis (not even speaking of specific biblical hermeneutics).
For an instance, he evokes terrible events (e.g. Lot offering his daughters to the Sodom rapists ) considering that the Bible present them as perfect standards of morals - which is utterly stupid, as the text does not give any moral judgement of that behaviour...

But I appreciated his insistance upon the fact that children should not be considered as "christians", "jews", or whatever other type of believers, and that one should offer them the opportunity to make their own mind, with the means of critical thought.
 

M Faulkner

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Dawkins does not answer fundamental questions : how is it that things are (if they are)?
If laws (as natural selection, who seems his pesonal "credo") exist, who is the lawmaker?
From a scholarly point of view, his biblical exegesis is a pile of crap, totally ignorant of the basics of litterary analysis (not even speaking of specific biblical hermeneutics).
For an instance, he evokes terrible events (e.g. Lot offering his daughters to the Sodom rapists ) considering that the Bible present them as perfect standards of morals - which is utterly stupid, as the text does not give any moral judgement of that behaviour...
But I appreciated his insistance upon the fact that children should not be considered as "christians", "jews", or whatever other type of believers, and that one should offer them the opportunity to make their own mind, with the means of critical thought.
Don't hold back Robin....:clown:
 

Scott Tortorice

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Dawkins does not answer fundamental questions : how is it that things are (if they are)?
If laws (as natural selection, who seems his pesonal "credo") exist, who is the lawmaker?
From a scholarly point of view, his biblical exegesis is a pile of crap, totally ignorant of the basics of litterary analysis (not even speaking of specific biblical hermeneutics).
For an instance, he evokes terrible events (e.g. Lot offering his daughters to the Sodom rapists ) considering that the Bible present them as perfect standards of morals - which is utterly stupid, as the text does not give any moral judgement of that behaviour...
Well said. I have read some of Carl Sagan's works (particularly The Demon Haunted World) and he too would make very ignorant observations of religion in general, and Catholicism in particular. It was clear the man did not have a good grasp of the fundamentals of Christianity, but that didn't stop him from critiquing it.


But I appreciated his insistance upon the fact that children should not be considered as "christians", "jews", or whatever other type of believers, and that one should offer them the opportunity to make their own mind, with the means of critical thought.
Of course, in a free society, people should be free to choose their own religion. But having said that, the idea of allowing children to choose their own faith would seem to be foolhardy if, for no other reason, that it takes many years - well into adulthood in my opinion - for a person to fully grasp the philosophical and theological implications of any particular faith. What is more, considering the manifest fact that a parent is charged with seeing to the well-being of their children, how could any confirmed Christian, Jew, Muslim stand idly by as their child gleefully walks down the road of heresy all in the name of willful choice? If you hold to your faith with any degree of certainty, the idea of allowing your children to engage in a religious toss-up is a horrifying concept.
 

Cherper

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This is quite an interesting debate. As someone who recently lost faith (past 5 years, now I would say I am agnostic) I found Dawkins entertaining (he is actually at his best in The Ancestors Tale, River Out of Eden and some of his other scientific works, Hitchens likewise (especially in regards to the ills of some organized religion), but I have found Bart Ehrman to be the best. His latest book (God's Problem) was very well written, and I found his explanations and historical views both enlightening and personally fulfilling. He too "lost" faith, and at the end of the day, his own story of that event was very much mirror-like to my own.

Personally I would rather read a nice military history, but occasionally a book on religion and god do intrigue.
 

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This is quite an interesting debate. As someone who recently lost faith (past 5 years, now I would say I am agnostic)....
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. :)

I can relate. Even though born a Catholic, I lost my faith for about a year or two some time ago. Ironically, it was after spending time amongst agnostics and atheists that I finally discovered the value of what I had lost (long story for another time). What is more, it was a science book (Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist by Guy Consolmagno) that finally reconciled me with my faith.

Faith informed by reason...that is the key.
 

Cherper

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I am currently reading Days of Infamy by Gingrich and Forstchen. A very plausible "what if" of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the second book in the series after "Pear Harbor." What I have liked about the books is that the change in the historical event isn't major, in this case a third wave strike at Pearl on the 7th as opposed to the two that occurred. This isn't an enormous change (unlike Turtledove's Japanese invasion of Hawaii,) and seems to be doable from the forces that Japan had at the time. Overall it has been a good book and a fast read.

Anyone else read either of these books?
 

Swiftandsure

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I just begun reading the English translation of the complete Qûmrân (non biblical) writings (published by Penguin books - I bought it at the Book Museum, in Jerusalem, some days ago).
The introduction is very interesting, as it dates from 2006, and gives a clear insight of the present researches and conclusions about the alledged Essene Qûmrân sect - I would have been shoved out within minutes for "uncleanness", "moaning against the rules" and other unforgivable sins (not speaking of the fact that, as a Gentile, I would not even have been allowed to set a foot in the place!).:laugh:
 

Pdqport

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I am currently reading Days of Infamy by Gingrich and Forstchen. A very plausible "what if" of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the second book in the series after "Pear Harbor." What I have liked about the books is that the change in the historical event isn't major, in this case a third wave strike at Pearl on the 7th as opposed to the two that occurred. This isn't an enormous change (unlike Turtledove's Japanese invasion of Hawaii,) and seems to be doable from the forces that Japan had at the time. Overall it has been a good book and a fast read.

Anyone else read either of these books?
I haven't read them yet, but only because I hadn't realized that Gingrich and Forstchen had gone back to writing WW2 alternate history after their Civil War series.

They wrote another WW2 alternate history, '1945', some years ago that I enjoyed. I was disappointed that they didn't continue the series.

Bill Forstchen has also written a number of sci-fi/fantasy books on his own which are quite good. The 'Ice Prophet series was his first and still his best imho. He also created quite a franchise with his 'Rally Cry' books, about a Civil War regiment that ends up on an alternate Earth. I read the first few, but they became rather repetitive and I lost interest.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s, Bill Forstchen was a high school teacher up here in Maine and helped run a gaming group that I was involved with as a teenager. He was a neat guy, into all sorts of cool stuff. He was a notorious cheater when it came to games though, but far too likable for anyone to hold it against him ;-)
 

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Currently reading Phillip Pullman, His Dark Materials. Then gonna read the Ruby in the Smoke stuff which got me into him. Ahhh A blast to the past, and all because I couldn't find out where to buy the Jim Butcher books...

Anyone read them? Are they reaaaally that good?
 

Cherper

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I have read a few of the Jim Butcher books, and while they are enjoyable, they seem to be pretty hit and miss. I have really liked a couple (don't ask for the titles, I don't remember) and I have been so-so on others.
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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He has some good books. I have his latest "To the Death" in the to be read pile.
I *think* I have another (or a couple) of his books lying in one pile o'books or another but retreading Barracuda, I'm remembering how the Kerman/Rashood angle was so compelling. I think I'll have to make an effort to dig out the others/get the rest of the set.

"...when I have a little money, I buy books, with whatever's left, I buy food..."
 
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'Ol Fezziwig

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August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The first book in the Red Wheel cycle. The first two should be easy to track down, the last two...?
 
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