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Book recommendations for the new Ex-C

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The Illustrated World's Religions : Guide to Our Wisdom Traditions, A

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...=books&n=507846

 

I bought this book a few years after I initially converted, but was still hoping that there was some kind of faith I could latch on to.

 

Despite it's title, it isn't a coloring book for teens . . . it's a very expansive dissection (and quite easy on the eyes) of the major worlds religions, and how they developed; it's very objective -- and not Christo-centric.

 

To me, it helped open my eyes to the humanness of all world religions (and, thusly, the impossible nature of all of them), although it did turn me on to Buddhism for a while. Of course, Buddhism is more philosophy than religion . . . so, I really didn't digress in my trek away from religiosity. In fact, it helped a great deal.

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Yes - M.S. Pecks. - People of the lie. - here's an example of why:- http://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf/id/X0006394E

 

I read the book way to early in my research of decoversion etc. and half believed his utter crap.

I don't much like any of his stuff. Its too selfcentred and very repeatitive.

 

Yes, seems like a bit of a nut job.

 

The Illustrated World's Religions : Guide to Our Wisdom Traditions, A

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...=books&n=507846

 

I bought this book a few years after I initially converted, but was still hoping that there was some kind of faith I could latch on to.

 

I will buy this book in a few months. I found out I have to take a world religions class for a gen ed req.

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Has anyone read" Atlas Shrugged"? Ayann Rand was one of the preminent Atheists of her time and next after the Bible a book that had the most influence on me.

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Has anyone read" Atlas Shrugged"? Ayann Rand was one of the preminent Atheists of her time and next after the Bible a book that had the most influence on me.

99065[/snapback]

 

Why was the book so influential to you? I read some rewiews on it, and it seems a bit thick. Is this book supposed to be the author's perspective of what society should be like, or is it a story?

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Hi. I couldn't decide on one book, so I got 4. Heh, not much time to read 'em right now.

 

I got:

 

A brief history of nearly everything

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

The Satanic Bible

The Demon Haunted World

 

I started taking nibblets of Demon Haunted World, but mid-terms are getting in the way.

 

Anyway, what the hell was the point of this message????

 

Ah, yes. I am just giving you all notice that I will be PMing some of you with questions if any should arise.

 

Huntsvil, why did that book have such a profound impact on you?

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Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennet. This book really blew my mind. Its a tedious read, but worth it. Yanked away all my assumptions about an intrinsic meaning to life. I found it a little disturbing in fact, but also liberating. Dennet examines the philosophical implications of Darwinism, and does a thorough job.

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For the one still interested in spirituality, I highly recommend books by Alan Watts. Some titles are, "The Wisdom of Insecurity", "Nature, Man and Woman", "Still the Mind", "This is It", and "The Book". These will show you a different way of seeing the world; from an eastern perspective.

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Has anyone read" Atlas Shrugged"? Ayn Rand was one of the preminent Atheists of her time and next after the Bible a book that had the most influence on me.

 

Never read that, but I have read some of her essays. I think she is an important philosopher, I have much respect for her ideas.

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Thank you very much, Night.

 

Just as an aside, I hope there are other people in my boat who find these recommendations helpful.

 

Cuz this feels a bit like a drug intervention if it's just me being helped.

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Has anyone read" Atlas Shrugged"? Ayann Rand was one of the preminent Atheists of her time and next after the Bible a book that had the most influence on me.

99065[/snapback]

We'll she is an atheist, but her political and economic ideology extends way beyond that, although all her arguments are are predicated upon a materialist orientation. It's very very coherent, althought I am not quite sure what to make of it. I do agree with (from Leonard Peikoff exposition) that your body is your predominant right, I just dont agree that a social contract and capitialistic ethic rests solely upon that.

 

I find the casual discussion about the agreement between ppl (in a larger context.. gov't) is too easily brushed over based upon this base, i.e. redux (black and white) frame.

 

The Objectivist, paraprahasing Peikoff, is closer to the liberal, further from the conservative, but a "true" "radical".

 

Not sure what those terms are really suppose to mean, as - damn forgot who said, but on the day that the revolutionary wins they become the most ardent conservative. (EG Christianity overthrowing Paganism). But that's the gist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also Hunstvil, A-theism is just simply we dont belive in god. It doesn't mean that all athiests are of one political or ideological flavor. Should be no suprise, as all ppl are that way. For instance, in a theist sense, compare Carter to Bush II, or me to Nightfight.

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I am currently reading Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth. This is a great book which explains the myths about various religions from different cultures. He is an academic, and it takes a while for me to understand what he is trying to say, but I am impressed with his grasp on life and its mysteries.

 

Kevin:

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That sounds like a great book for my world religion class next semester...

 

I am still in the middle of Demon Haunted World. The book is excellent!

 

Keep the recommendations coming though, I am compiling a list of books that I need to read.

 

Thank you Kevin :grin:

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"The Born Again Skeptics Guide to the Bible" By Ruth Hermance Green. Should give you plenty of ammo when stating your case to xtian friends and relations (assuming they are actually prepared to hear you out...) :grin:

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Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion by Marlene Winelle, Ph.D. Winelle was born into a missionary family, and spent her early years as a faithful Christian. As she moved into adulthood, she tried to combine her faith with her counseling profession, but soon realized the fallacies of what she had been taught in the church. This book helped me a lot my first few years out of evangelical Christianity.

 

From Library Journal

Winell, daughter of a missionary and now a psychologist, had a genuine "born again" Christian experience and then much later went through another rebirth and found herself apart from that tradition. Although she criticizes fundamentalism for its rigidity, militancy, authority, and strong opposition to modern culture, she focuses on understanding and rebuilding, addressing herself not only to fundamentalists (Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) who feel the call but also to those who left and then realize, perhaps years later, that they need to think through the hold that religion still has on their lives. She then addresses issues of healing, reclaiming buried feelings, finding and loving oneself, and growing. Highly recommended for seminary and public libraries.

 

Leaving the Fold

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I am gonna jump in here and thow out an author that I have yet to see in this thread.

 

first off I want to also highly recomend "Demon Haunted World" by Carl Segan (absolutly great book)

 

 

 

I would recomend most Michael Shermer (Why People Believe Weird Things, Science Friction, The Science of Good and Evil, How we Believe) I have read most of the listed books and I hove found them to be enjoyable and an easy read (1 book takes me about a week)

 

I am currently reading Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" so far it is a very informitive read

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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this book . . .

0393327655.01._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_AA240_SH20_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

The End of Faith

by Sam Harris

ISBN 0393327655

 

Just finished it last night . . . I swear, it should be required reading for human beings. It really is a wake up call to all rational minds to put irrational religious ideas in their place. Without being encyclopedic, he talks about how religion has undeniably shaped history with its bloody hand, and yet, even in the face of religious-based terrorism, it's "impolite" to criticize one's irrational spiritual beliefs -- even when they create bloodshed.

 

He makes an excellent case that if something isn't done about it, it could destroy the world -- literally. The future of civilization could be dependent on whether or not Islamic extremists are ever able to get their hand on nuclear weapons . . . and lists the Koranic scriptures and cites the examples to show how they wouldn't be afraid to use it to glorify Allah. It really opened my eyes there -- I had bought into the Michael Moorian school of thought -- "it's because of US imperialism!" The book doesn't take political sides, and doesn't excuse any imperialism by anyone . . . but it points to the absense of Panamanian terrorists (we invaded them during Bush I's term), Grenadan terrorists or any other host of non-Islamic terrorists that have had the same "anti-imperialist" motivations to do the same. They don't exist, and he answers the nagging question about how college-trained engineers and scientists from wealthy Arab families can tie bombs around their torsos or fly planes into buildings. The only thing that connects these modern terrorists together is their religion -- and he shows how bloody Islam is capable of being.

 

But, he doesn't just talk about geo-politics, but about personal belief as well, and I think that's will be what attracts the newly deconverted to the book. It really lays out things plainly that took me years to discover . . . reading this book will take YEARS off of the deconversion process.

 

Here's part of the first paragraph in the Epilogue, which nicely sums up the book's thesis:

 

My goal in writing this book has been to help close the door to a certain style of irrationality. While religious faith is the one species of human ignorance that will not admit of even the possibility of correction, it is still sheltered from criticism in every corner of our culture. Forsaking all valid sources of information about this world (both spiritual and mundane), our religions have seized upon ancient taboos and prescientific fancies as though they held ultimate metaphysical significance. Books that embrace the narrowest spectrum of political, moral, scientific, and spiritual understanding -- books that, by their antiquity alone, offer us the most dilute wisdom with respect to the present -- are still dogmatically thrust upon us as the final word on matters of greatest significance. In the best case, faith leaves otherwise well-intentioned people incapable of thinking rationally about many of their deepest concerns; at worst, it is a continuous source of human violence.

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I would like to recommend a book per its literary merit, rather than personal agreement with the philosophy proclaimed: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. An extremely well-written novel extolling the great capacity of man's spirit and what he is able to accomplish on his own. Entirely foreign to my beliefs, the book offends me greatly... that said, this is my second read on it. A challenge, in the same respect that Paine and Huxley and Nietzche present a challenge. Many of you all would probably enjoy it, depending on your perception of man.

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Guest defcon kate

I went on a book-buying binge at the university bookstore last week when I was feeling particularly beat-up about having left the "flock". My findings, all of which I have devoured and found useful:

Doubt by Jennifer Michael Hecht (a beautifully written book on what Hecht calls the 'history of doubt', starting with the doubters in ancient Greece and proceeding through modern times. She does a service by offering classifications for various forms of 'heresy' -- it's fabulous.)

The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (okay, I'm still working on this one, but it dissects various kinds of religion and examines them as a type of sociological mass phenomenon.)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig (... if you haven't read this one, go out and read it because it's just lovely, and I find Zen to be enough of a non-religion that I feel comfortable dabbling in the idea of it without feeling panicky.)

 

Another book on Buddhism that has been my bedside book for a couple months now is The Way of Zen by Alan Watts. Watts was mentioned earlier in this thread but not this book in particular, and as I have been in the process of phasing Christ out and phasing the void in, Watts has been a rational comfort to me. I will probably end up not going the Buddhist route but just reading about non-Christians who have found meaning elsewhere is very reassuring.

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Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects Bertrand Russell... I'm currently reading it and I love it.

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