2 of 39
2
What are you reading?
Posted: 14 July 2009 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  11
Joined  2009-07-14
beliefdoubt - 24 April 2009 10:19 AM

Interested in the books people are reading, if any.

I’m currently reading “Losing my Faith” by William Lobdell

I found this to be a good read. We hosted him in NYC, he’s a very nice, very sincere guy.

 Signature 

Hi, I’m executive director of the Center for Inquiry in New York City.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2009 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11
Michael De Dora Jr. - 14 July 2009 08:01 PM
beliefdoubt - 24 April 2009 10:19 AM

Interested in the books people are reading, if any.

I’m currently reading “Losing my Faith” by William Lobdell

I found this to be a good read. We hosted him in NYC, he’s a very nice, very sincere guy.

One of my sons is reading it right now, I plan to grab it when he is finished!

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 January 2010 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

On his last episode of QuackCast Mark Crislip recommended Earth Abides by George Stewart. I got it last night and…and I went to sleep at three o’clock in the morning. Today, I have been unable to think about anything else but the book. I love it!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 January 2010 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2009-12-24

Currently plowing through Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” (yikes), it’s awesome though.  When I need a break from that, I’m reading different books on critical thinking for a while (love all the stuff available from The Critical Thinking Foundation).  Had to take a break from politics and religion for a bit…but not for long.  It’s never for long, I’ll be back at it soon!  Haven’t read a novel in forever.  Too much non-fiction to cover.

 Signature 

“Authenticity involves living your life as if you’re actually interested in it.” ~Charles D. Hayes

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 January 2010 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1777
Joined  2007-10-22

rcase:

I read “The Story of Civilization ” many years ago, my critism is that the history of art, which the Durant’s emphasize is not as any where near as important as they made it, more attention to geography and technology would have improved their work.

I have just finished Dennett’s ” Breaking the Spell” for the fourth time,  I pick up more each time I read it, and have just started “Germany in Western Cuvilization” by Wm H. Maehl Its a bit dated (1979), but it was written after I got out of school, also I find that occasionaly reading an older book refreshes my memory of what the discussions that were going on at the time of writing.

 Signature 

Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 February 2010 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2009-12-24
garythehuman - 31 January 2010 08:38 PM

I read “The Story of Civilization ” many years ago, my critism is that the history of art, which the Durant’s emphasize is not as any where near as important as they made it, more attention to geography and technology would have improved their work.

I wouldn’t expect an account of some 11,000 pages to be anywhere near perfect.  To point out that the Durant’s may have emphasized the importance of art beyond what you think is sufficient is to me a bit trivial.  When considering the vast amount of accurate information presented, I think it’s only fair to give the author(s) a little space in which to express their interest in one area or another.  It’s a matter of opinion anyway, you find geography and technology more important than the Durant’s found art.  Also, I loved the way in which they wrote the books.  Their writing style is easy to read without dumbing down history, and the smidgets of humor throughout favor the reader.  I find such a massive undertaking to be quite impressive given the amount of accuracy and detail.

Are you familiar with Daniel Boorstin (spelling?)  I’ve been meaning to have a look at “The Discoverers” and his other stuff.  Relatively new to the world of history (one I’m having fun with and glad I inquired), I’m trying to pick and choose who to spend my time with in terms of authors.  It seems the subject of history has an endless array from which to choose.  I’d like to know more about Mr. Dennett as well.

 Signature 

“Authenticity involves living your life as if you’re actually interested in it.” ~Charles D. Hayes

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 February 2010 08:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1777
Joined  2007-10-22

I wouldn’t expect an account of some 11,000 pages to be anywhere near perfect. To point out that the Durant’s may have emphasized the importance of art beyond what you think is sufficient is to me a bit trivial.

If I remember correctly, ( I read these books probably 20-25 years ago) one of the Durant’s points was that art was one of the few things they found valuable in the study of history as works of art are one of the few things that past contributes to the present (or word to that effect).  I found this particularly elitist at the time and it is still my feeling. 

That being said, I agree the work was and is a major study that I wouldn’t even begin to attempt to reproduce.

you find geography and technology more important than the Durant’s found art.

That may be because my interest lies in the lives, struggles and conditions of the common people rather than the elites.
.

Are you familiar with Daniel Boorstin (spelling?) I’ve been meaning to have a look at “The Discoverers” and his other stuff. Relatively new to the world of history (one I’m having fun with and glad I inquired), I’m trying to pick and choose who to spend my time with in terms of authors. It seems the subject of history has an endless array from which to choose.

I haven’t read much Boorstin (and am not sure of the spelling either),  what I have found most useful as a background to most written history is Jared Wrights works such as “Guns, Germs and Steel” and “The Third Chimpanzee”.  Also Brian Fagan’s “The Great Warming” dealing with climate change,  Robert S. Desowitz”s Who Gave the Pinta to the Santa Maria, dealing with the spread of disease.  Apocalypse by Amos Nur with Dawn Burges , is good with dealing the background of the early middle-eastern civilizations and some of the stories in the Bible.  Just one more Phillip Ziegler “The Black Death, gives a background to European history and the commercial revolution of the 1400’s that is difficult to pick up in reading regular political history.

Much of commonly written history is basically the actions of various human and disregard the physical environment and without the background that the above type of books provide, cam become merely the story of competing elites without giving any of the underlying causes of the complex underlying factors that caused and influenced the conflict.


I’m trying to pick and choose who to spend my time with in terms of authors. It seems the subject of history has an endless array from which to choose. I’d like to know more about Mr. Dennett as well

Okay I will get off the reading list now as it never ends.  Dennett is not a historian, but a philosopher, and “Breaking the Spell” is an attempt to put the investigation of religion on a scientific basis

 Signature 

Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 February 2010 01:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  71
Joined  2009-02-28

Any suggestions on secularism and dialogue?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 February 2010 03:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2010-01-30

I am currently reading Steven Waldman’s Founding Faith (2008); after that I am set to embark upon Judaisms and Their Messiahs (1987), edited by Jacob Neusner, William S. Green and Ernest Frerichs.

 Signature 

Cattle die,
kinsmen die,
oneself dies likewise,
but good renown
will never die
for him who earns it.

- Hávamál, 76

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 February 2010 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2009-12-24

Okay I will get off the reading list now as it never ends.  Dennett is not a historian, but a philosopher, and “Breaking the Spell” is an attempt to put the investigation of religion on a scientific basis

Thank you Gary! I’ve jotted them all down and will be searching for them today.  I’m especially excited about “Apocalypse”.  I love the middle-eastern stuff for some reason.  ~Rob

 Signature 

“Authenticity involves living your life as if you’re actually interested in it.” ~Charles D. Hayes

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 February 2010 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  350
Joined  2008-12-11

David Roberts’s “Devil’s Gate,” a history of the Mormon handcart tragedy, in which 1850s Mormon pioneers trekked across the West not via ox-drawn wagon, but by pulling what were basically large wheelbarrows designed by Brigham Young. The Mormon church planned the handcart approach to cut the costs of bringing in poorer emigrants.

As http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_handcart_pioneers says, “the handcart pioneers have become an important symbol in LDS culture, representing the faithfulness and sacrifice of the pioneer generation. They continue to be recognized and honored in events such as Pioneer Day, Church pageants, and similar commemorations,”  But this book blames the Mormon leadership for negligent planning, and shows how the often heroic rescue attempts, which were too late to save many emigrants, have whitewashed the disaster.

I have several copies.  If any U.S. member of the forum wants one, send me your mailing address and I’ll send it to you.

400000000000000093711_s4.jpg

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 February 2010 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1777
Joined  2007-10-22
Michael De Dora Jr. - 02 February 2010 01:28 AM

Any suggestions on secularism and dialogue?

Not quite sure what you are looking for here.

 Signature 

Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2010 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2010-01-30

Dialogue with religion or a dialogue between secularists or secularist points of view? In the former case ,you might enjoy Russell Shorto, Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason (Doubleday 2008).

 Signature 

Cattle die,
kinsmen die,
oneself dies likewise,
but good renown
will never die
for him who earns it.

- Hávamál, 76

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2010 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  158
Joined  2010-01-03

I tend to read many books at a time, much to my wife’s bewilderment.

Just gave up on Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell after maybe ten chapters.

currently reading:
Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel
A Very Bad Wizard - a collection of conversations with Tamler Sommers
Father to Daughter by Harry H. Harrison, Jr - thanks mother-in-law!

On deck are
Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels

 Signature 

I live in a world of lighthouses. However, my friends are living in sunny tranquility.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2010 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  403
Joined  2007-08-26

I normally have 4 books going at any given moment: bedroom table,  living room table,  desk at work, and in the bathroom near the throne. wink

Bedroom: re-reading Nietzsche’s “Untimely Meditations”

Liv Rm: “Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry”

Work: doing my annual re-read of good ol’  Strunk&White;
Throne: finally tackling Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” (being a “captive audience” will hopefully enable me to accomplish what
        I could never accomplish in college   grin

 Signature 

—————————————————
http://www.StephenJGallagher.com
http://StephenJGallagher.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 39
2
 
‹‹ Eckhart Tolle (Merged)      Swine flu ››