Books you have read
Posted: 30 April 2011 03:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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If you are a skeptic did books have anything to do with it?  If so, WHY? Philosophy comes from what?  You educate yourself how?  Do you learn from experience or hear say?  Is your mind set in stone? grrr

Can one fall victim to a book just like many with religions?

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Posted: 30 April 2011 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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OGMONKEY - 30 April 2011 03:47 AM

If you are a skeptic did books have anything to do with it?  If so, WHY? Philosophy comes from what?  You educate yourself how?  Do you learn from experience or hear say?  Is your mind set in stone? grrr

Can one fall victim to a book just like many with religions?

I first discovered The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe and Point of Inquiry podcasts. Then I guess it was books and articles of Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and Richard Feynman that did it for me. I still consider Dennett as my greatest skeptical hero.

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Posted: 30 April 2011 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Most Xians don’t want to hear this.  Not that you are a Xian, because you haven’t said.  My skepticism started when I first started reading and studying the Bible, back when I was a teenager.  So in a way it did come from a book, except that I was learning about it in class and church.  The more I learned the more I had a questions and the more I researched and studied it.  Eventually I could not believe it.  Of course I was also studying other things too, such as science, literature, mythology, philosophy, and alike.  Like everything else, it developed and grew stronger over time, esp through education.  Mine did not develop exactly through just one book, one class, or one person.  I’m not sure how one’s mind gets set in stone, but one doesn’t want to be so open-minded that their brains fall out either.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 30 April 2011 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Plus one for what Mriana said. My journey was similar. Got so involved in the Bible I signed up for a small evangelical Bible college. Took me less than one semester to to figure out that not only was the Bible contradictory, it contradicted known science. Carl Sagan’s The dragons of Eden had the answers I was looking for in the Bible, then reading Darwin’s books got me completely away from Christianity. I studied the Bible seeking answers to why we are here and our place in the universe. What I found was a book written by men describing an infantile deity with a cruel streak wide enough to make history’s most abominable men look mild. I found the answers to most of my questions in science, and have been reading science books voraciously since.

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Posted: 02 May 2011 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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OGMONKEY - 30 April 2011 03:47 AM

If you are a skeptic did books have anything to do with it?  If so, WHY? Philosophy comes from what?  You educate yourself how?  Do you learn from experience or hear say?  Is your mind set in stone? grrr

Can one fall victim to a book just like many with religions?

I suspect the seed for acceptance has to already be planted.
Humans start the social learning process by mimicking their parents or whoever seems to to achieve success, power and admiration. Someone like Jesus, Mohamed or Moses become iconic. The “perfect” individual that everyone wants to be like.

Not so much the book I think as much as the image of the individual behind the book. Certainly the book can support or detract from that idealistic image. I think people get stuck somewhere in the back of their head an image of an ideal person. An idea of a person that has admiration, success, power, whatever the individual possessing that image values.

Books either support that image or attack it. Kind of obvious I think that books or individuals which support it are readily accepted. While books/individuals which attack it are themselves rejected and sometimes demonized.

I always wonder what set of circumstances, what experience put these iconic images in place. They seem very hard to displace. As you say, set in stone.

LOL… Damn actors who play these ideal individuals get the masses to buy crap they don’t really need.

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Posted: 02 May 2011 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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OGMONKEY - 30 April 2011 03:47 AM

If you are a skeptic did books have anything to do with it? 

I note that this question does not refer specifically to religious skepticism, as some posters have assumed. Do you mean religious skepticism, or more generally?

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Posted: 02 May 2011 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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No, my earliest recollection of being a skeptic was at four when, on a shopping trip with my mother, I saw multiple Santa Clauses.

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Posted: 06 May 2011 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I used to be a member of a conspiracy forum. It took awhile, and it helped that I also read a lot of fringe books, but eventually I became a skeptic.
The fringe books helped because of how conflicting and contradictory they were. After awhile, Ihad to try to sort them out.
Getting on conspiracy forums actually helped introduce me to the people who believed these theories, and I owe a lot to the people who went in there to debate those loonies.

After I became skeptical of conspiracies, it seemed natural to apply it to religion.

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Posted: 06 May 2011 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Occam. - 02 May 2011 05:53 PM

Santa Clauses.

Shouldn’t the plural for Santa Claus be Santae Claui or something like that?  cheese

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Posted: 06 May 2011 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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How could I have made that mistake?  At the very least it should probably have been Santas Claus.  smile

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Posted: 15 May 2011 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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OGMONKEY - 30 April 2011 03:47 AM

If you are a skeptic did books have anything to do with it?  If so, WHY? Philosophy comes from what?  You educate yourself how?  Do you learn from experience or hear say?  Is your mind set in stone? grrr

Can one fall victim to a book just like many with religions?

My atheism was learned in my weekly Roman Catholic Catechism classes.  Weird, huh?

My agnosticism was acquired from reading on anthropology, astronomy, cosmology, natural history, neurology, philosophy, psychology, religion, and theology.  Still working on it.

My humanism was nurtured by my family, most all of whom were or are persons of faith. 

My secularism arose from personal experience and a reading of history.

My skepticism came from pounding through my iPhone podcast directory at 2x playback speed. 

My recent bibliography is here http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelbradycpp

My current podcast listening schedule is here http://eclecticbreakfast.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-ive-been-listening-to-lately.html

How about you, OG?

[ Edited: 15 May 2011 07:30 AM by michaelb ]
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