Idiots verison of The End of Faith
Posted: 19 January 2007 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Hi Sam

I read and recommended both your books. I must admit though, that it was, at times, a struggle.  I am obviously not the brightest light on the harbour.  Is there a potential for "dummies" version any time soon?


Sincere regards
Bovvaboy   :D

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Posted: 19 January 2007 04:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“bovvaboy”]Hi Sam

I read and recommended both your books. I must admit though, that it was, at times, a struggle.  I am obviously not the brightest light on the harbour.  Is there a potential for “dummies” version any time soon?


Sincere regards
Bovvaboy   :D

Hey Bovvaboy,

My first attempt was to send a queston via e-mail directly to Sam.  I would not expect an answer from Mr. Harris, as I don’t think he really responds to any posts.  Which isn’t to say he doesn’t read them.  He’s probably busier than hell, though!

If you got through both books, then that’s good. Take what you can from them.  I myself often have a difficult time understanding some of the posts on this board, as many people here are extremely learned in various fields of philosophy, ethics, psychology, etc.  And it’s frustrating for me to follow a thread when it delves ever deeper into semantics - “what do you mean by ‘the truth’?”; “how do you define ‘the’?” - well ok, not quite like that, but you get the picture.  Sometimes it seems like folks lose sight of the argument at hand, but sometimes they actually dissect it even more, to the benefit of all.  Sometimes I have a hard time discerning which is which.

Anyhow, one thing you might do is post here which sections you had a hard time understanding, and someone will probably get back to you (although be warned: the answer may not come from a person taking the position you’d hoped for).

All the best -

Happy Heathen

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Posted: 19 January 2007 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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bovvaboy,

Don’t know if I could help you with ‘athiesm for dummies”, but I can help you with ‘Athiesm by a Dummy’.

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Posted: 20 January 2007 02:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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It also occurs to me, bovvaboy -

While discussion of this topic seems have a tendency to devle deeply into the complex workings of many other disciplines, one’s understanding of atheism may be simpler than all that, and (dare I say) no less valid.

In other words, if you do not believe in a supernatural god, nor in the book of mythology whose authorship is falsely ascribed to him, nor in the various absurd rituals and practices that are encouraged to pledge subserviance to this fearful mythical ghost, then….you might be an atheist!  LOL

Seriously, it seems ridiculous to me to have to even justify this stance.  Perhaps living it would be enough if our country’s majority was not so blinded by such silly occultism.  But it is. 

I do think that there are some of us who can simply live our lives rationally in the face of it all, happily and productively, without contgributing the great intellectual body of written argument supporting atheism.  Lead by example, in other words. 

Being a rational being shouldn’t need such a strong defense, but we’re stuck in a culture where it actually does.  :cry:

I remain an optimist that the tide will change, even though it seems like two steps forward, 1.999999 steps back!

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Posted: 21 January 2007 09:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Hey HappyHeathen

I have come a long over the past 20 or years.  I swung from being a devout Jehovah’s Witness to being a worried atheist. 

I worry though that beceause struggled with the reasonably complex prose, breadth and depth of history and the other deep desciplines of study; that less educated or patient will find this book difficult to work through.  I worry that these are the very people we, or aleast I, want to release from the yoke of faith.

I am one a very fortunate 20Million who live in Australia.  However, I see increasing numbers of fundamentalists, both of the Christian and Muslim faiths, becoming political; so I am becoming increasly worried about the implications of that trend for Australia.  Mind you I’d be more worried if this Brownback chap lived in Australia, he is one sick puppy.

Regards
Bovvaboy

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Posted: 22 January 2007 02:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“bovvaboy”]Hey HappyHeathen
I have come a long over the past 20 or years.  I swung from being a devout Jehovah’s Witness to being a worried atheist.

Wow, well I can’t say I share the same type of experience there. That must be quite the transition for you.  I’m still always responding to the statement “worrying is a waste of time.”  I wonder.
[quote author=“bovvaboy”]
I worry though that beceause struggled with the reasonably complex prose, breadth and depth of history and the other deep desciplines of study; that less educated or patient will find this book difficult to work through.  I worry that these are the very people we, or aleast I, want to release from the yoke of faith.

I hear you.  My problem is different in that, while the book(s) made great sense to me, leaving me very satisfied with their arguments, I have a difficult time re-articulating convincingly what I’ve read; bad memory.  Wanting to relase this particular population form the yoke of faith makes you a compassionate guy, in my view. If you are close to these people (spend time as friends), perhaps just living your life visibly “free from the yoke” and staying the compassionate guy you are will rub off somewhat.  It’s always seemed to me that the strongest influences in my life aren’t when people actually try to persuade me of something, but rather when they simply live out their lives according to any certain principle that resonates with me. 

[quote author=“bovvaboy”]
I am one a very fortunate 20Million who live in Australia.  However, I see increasing numbers of fundamentalists, both of the Christian and Muslim faiths, becoming political; so I am becoming increasly worried about the implications of that trend for Australia.  Mind you I’d be more worried if this Brownback chap lived in Australia, he is one sick puppy.

I understand those worried feelings. It’s claustrophobic for me sometimes, especially when I see too much insanity in a short period of time.  Are there any local activist/discussion groups you might join?  I’d be a bit timid doing this (although I would) because I’m intimidated by highly intellectual folks.  Also, I’ve done something that you might consider (even if it’s a bit weird): I’ve printed out multiple copies of short articles of Harris and Dawkins - the ones that are linked to the Media and Article pulldowns up top.  They’re typically for the news media and so more accessible to the general public.  Then I’ve left them in key places around my campus - in newspaper boxes that carry the free university paper, at the student union, and in lecture halls.  I make sure nobody sees me leaving them, and I don’t know who’s reading them.  Maybe it’s a bit of a lame approach to activism, but it’s something.  Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a strong group of freethinkers here, so I feel quite alone sometimes. 

Enough from me now.  You’re not alone in your worrying.  Be proactive in some way, and stay optimistic.

Aaron

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Posted: 22 January 2007 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Welcome bovvaboy! HappyHeathen I know what you mean about being a lonely atheist. I live here in the epicenter of fundamentalist Christian activism. The good Revernd John Hagee has his megachurch about 5 miles away from where I live. And I get asked a lot what church I belong to. Not too long ago I ran for a position on our local school board and was beaten by a fundamental Christian.

Maybe I just like the abuse?

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Posted: 22 January 2007 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“lightning_fast_draw”]Welcome bovvaboy! HappyHeathen I know what you mean about being a lonely atheist. I live here in the epicenter of fundamentalist Christian activism. The good Revernd John Hagee has his megachurch about 5 miles away from where I live. And I get asked a lot what church I belong to. Not too long ago I ran for a position on our local school board and was beaten by a fundamental Christian.  Maybe I just like the abuse?

I’ve never been to San Antonio.  Never really been to Texas, except driving through as a kid.  I think it’s great that you ran for office.  Did you get beaten because you’re atheist?

My grandmother’s just entered hospice care and probably will not last the week.  It’s very sad for me, but it’s different from how it would be if I believed in god.  It’s somehow more profound because I realize this is for her.  It makes her life seem more important than her death.  I know she will not be in a “happier place” because I know she will not be in the sense that she was.  She will be cremated and scattered somewhere, and will become part of the dirt.  I don’t know if ashes from cremations can be fertilizer, though….

Anyhow, it’s lonely and it can be sad being atheist, especially when you once believed in god. But, comparatively it seems like a much more profound experience, as life takes on so much more meaning since it’s all we have.

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Posted: 22 January 2007 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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HappyHeathen…

I know she will not be in a “happier place” because I know she will not be in the sense that she was.

You don’t KNOW this. You INFERE this based upon the available evidence (or lack of evidence in the case of religion and spirituality). I’m certainly not attacking your situation in any way. I just think that it helps us, as atheists, to define our processes as atheists (thinking being the most profound of those processes ascribed to our way of life/philosophy) to those that would incorrectly define such processes. It may be a case of apparent semantics, but if you really examine the fundamentals behind such an idea (KNOWLEDGE vs. BELIEF), you’ll start to witness even larger watershed moments of logical epiphany, and this is an amazing experience… to be able to rely on rationality as a modus operandi in almost everything you do LOL

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Posted: 22 January 2007 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“vryc”]
... you’ll start to witness even larger watershed moments of logical epiphany, and this is an amazing experience… to be able to rely on rationality as a modus operandi in almost everything you do LOL

Makes sense.  But my critical thinking skills :idea:  need some development in order that my rationality can strengthen.

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Posted: 23 January 2007 04:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“bovvaboy”]Hi Sam

I read and recommended both your books. I must admit though, that it was, at times, a struggle.  I am obviously not the brightest light on the harbour.  Is there a potential for “dummies” version any time soon?


Sincere regards
Bovvaboy   :D

LOL Whew!..Did you read the end notes also?..some of that stuff is just..well Phenomilogically and Philosophically Phenomenal !..

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Posted: 23 January 2007 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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HappyHeathen sorry to hear about your grandmother. I know how painful it is to lose someone close. The only thing that really helped me was the passing of time.

I have to agree with vryc about death. Lots of people claim to know what happens when you die but they are all short on facts. Death is on my long list of mysteries that my brain is too small to solve. I’ve read a lot about it and no culture I’m aware of knows much either. Rather than being preoccupied with the idea, it’s a fate I will reach soon enough. 

The other day I was reading an interview with a physicist named Carlo Rovelli. He said he was convinced, but could not prove, that time does not exist. I put that idea on my list of mysteries too. If time does not exist then maybe death does not exist. I could be much younger than I think!

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