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Author Topic: What is everyone reading?  (Read 300031 times) Average Rating: 0
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stavros_388
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« Reply #2295 on: April 05, 2012, 08:52:33 AM »

Going to start The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo soon; contemplating starting on A Song of Fire and Ice as well... hmmm...

Just keep in mind that if you get hooked on Fire and Ice, you'll be waiting years and years and years for each new installment in the series.  Tongue
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« Reply #2296 on: April 05, 2012, 02:13:34 PM »

Just keep in mind that if you get hooked on Fire and Ice, you'll be waiting years and years and years for each new installment in the series.  Tongue

Tell me about it.  My wife has gotten through the 5 currently published books in a little more than 3 months, and now is likely to wait 5 years for book 6.  I'm just glad there are only going to be 7 total; telling her to wait for 15+ years for the series to resolve itself would be too much!
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« Reply #2297 on: April 07, 2012, 03:08:30 AM »

Just keep in mind that if you get hooked on Fire and Ice, you'll be waiting years and years and years for each new installment in the series.  Tongue

Tell me about it.  My wife has gotten through the 5 currently published books in a little more than 3 months, and now is likely to wait 5 years for book 6.  I'm just glad there are only going to be 7 total; telling her to wait for 15+ years for the series to resolve itself would be too much!

Whoa, really? I have a hard time waiting for new seasons of tv series/installments of manga volumes. I can't imagine waiting that long for a novel.  Shocked
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« Reply #2298 on: April 11, 2012, 02:29:32 PM »

A History of Eclecticism in Greek Philosophy, by Eduard Zeller
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« Reply #2299 on: April 11, 2012, 06:53:08 PM »

The God Delusion -Richard Dawkins.


Really, this is a silly work. The secularist crowd has much better...
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« Reply #2300 on: April 11, 2012, 07:03:11 PM »

The God Delusion -Richard Dawkins.


Really, this is a silly work. The secularist crowd has much better...

Why do you bother? I mean really?

Dawkins is a joke.
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« Reply #2301 on: April 11, 2012, 07:12:48 PM »

The God Delusion -Richard Dawkins.


Really, this is a silly work. The secularist crowd has much better...

Why do you bother? I mean really?

Dawkins is a joke.
Well, I was writing a paper and I had to show how many atheist thinkers have misrepresneted Aquinas' "fourth" way as the "Design Argument", and Dawkins was a clear example of this error.
That being said, I recognize that there are more thoughtful atheists such as Nietzsche, Hume (hume may have believed in some very limited version of God, but it was so limited that he almost appears to be an atheist), Russell, etc.

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« Reply #2302 on: April 11, 2012, 07:25:14 PM »

The God Delusion -Richard Dawkins.


Really, this is a silly work. The secularist crowd has much better...

Why do you bother? I mean really?

Dawkins is a joke.
Well, I was writing a paper and I had to show how many atheist thinkers have misrepresneted Aquinas' "fourth" way as the "Design Argument", and Dawkins was a clear example of this error.
That being said, I recognize that there are more thoughtful atheists such as Nietzsche, Hume (hume may have believed in some very limited version of God, but it was so limited that he almost appears to be an atheist), Russell, etc.

Of course, I will maintain Nietzsche wasn't an atheist. Weird that people really think that.

But sorry to hear about your luck. Dawkins is just a snooze fest. Sheep playing at wolf.

I wish Christians wouldn't take him so seriously, then he would go away.

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« Reply #2303 on: April 11, 2012, 07:28:56 PM »

The God Delusion -Richard Dawkins.


Really, this is a silly work. The secularist crowd has much better...

Why do you bother? I mean really?

Dawkins is a joke.
Well, I was writing a paper and I had to show how many atheist thinkers have misrepresneted Aquinas' "fourth" way as the "Design Argument", and Dawkins was a clear example of this error.
That being said, I recognize that there are more thoughtful atheists such as Nietzsche, Hume (hume may have believed in some very limited version of God, but it was so limited that he almost appears to be an atheist), Russell, etc.

Of course, I will maintain Nietzsche wasn't an atheist. Weird that people really think that.
Ah yes, I've heard this before, but have not studied the issue.

But sorry to hear about your luck. Dawkins is just a snooze fest. Sheep playing at wolf.

Agreed. I was hoping for something more substantial from a world famous biologist.


I wish Christians wouldn't take him so seriously, then he would go away.


I think they would, except for the fact that Dawkins has actually converted many away from the faith.
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« Reply #2304 on: April 11, 2012, 07:38:39 PM »

The God Delusion -Richard Dawkins.


Really, this is a silly work. The secularist crowd has much better...

Why do you bother? I mean really?

Dawkins is a joke.
Well, I was writing a paper and I had to show how many atheist thinkers have misrepresneted Aquinas' "fourth" way as the "Design Argument", and Dawkins was a clear example of this error.
That being said, I recognize that there are more thoughtful atheists such as Nietzsche, Hume (hume may have believed in some very limited version of God, but it was so limited that he almost appears to be an atheist), Russell, etc.

Of course, I will maintain Nietzsche wasn't an atheist. Weird that people really think that.
Ah yes, I've heard this before, but have not studied the issue.

But sorry to hear about your luck. Dawkins is just a snooze fest. Sheep playing at wolf.

Agreed. I was hoping for something more substantial from a world famous biologist.


I wish Christians wouldn't take him so seriously, then he would go away.


I think they would, except for the fact that Dawkins has actually converted many away from the faith.

Actually Papist google around and see how many people in America profess to be atheist. Then look at Western Europe.

You might be surprised by the numbers. The "non-religious" often get tossed into those numbers, but when you remove them, atheists are an extreme minority, especially in the USA.

Dawkins just gives the vocal minority a figurehead they have been without for some time and the media loves him because those who disagree will tune in.

The growth of the non-religious has less to do with a lack of belief in God and more in the behavior of Christians. For that, we will be held accountable.

Then again, this country as you well know, was "founded" by nominal Christians. So really, being a deist is pretty much an authentically elite American tradition.

Broad musings for what they are worth.
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« Reply #2305 on: April 11, 2012, 07:47:07 PM »

The God Delusion -Richard Dawkins.


Really, this is a silly work. The secularist crowd has much better...

Why do you bother? I mean really?

Dawkins is a joke.
Well, I was writing a paper and I had to show how many atheist thinkers have misrepresneted Aquinas' "fourth" way as the "Design Argument", and Dawkins was a clear example of this error.
That being said, I recognize that there are more thoughtful atheists such as Nietzsche, Hume (hume may have believed in some very limited version of God, but it was so limited that he almost appears to be an atheist), Russell, etc.

Of course, I will maintain Nietzsche wasn't an atheist. Weird that people really think that.
Ah yes, I've heard this before, but have not studied the issue.

But sorry to hear about your luck. Dawkins is just a snooze fest. Sheep playing at wolf.

Agreed. I was hoping for something more substantial from a world famous biologist.


I wish Christians wouldn't take him so seriously, then he would go away.


I think they would, except for the fact that Dawkins has actually converted many away from the faith.

Actually Papist google around and see how many people in America profess to be atheist. Then look at Western Europe.

You might be surprised by the numbers. The "non-religious" often get tossed into those numbers, but when you remove them, atheists are an extreme minority, especially in the USA.

Dawkins just gives the vocal minority a figurehead they have been without for some time and the media loves him because those who disagree will tune in.

The growth of the non-religious has less to do with a lack of belief in God and more in the behavior of Christians. For that, we will be held accountable.

Then again, this country as you well know, was "founded" by nominal Christians. So really, being a deist is pretty much an authentically elite American tradition.

Broad musings for what they are worth.
I was going by anecdotal evidence. Scott Hahn has stated that Dawkins was making several theology students at a Catholic university turn away from their faith.
But now that I write that, it seems like a pretty unbelievable story. You are probably right.
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« Reply #2306 on: April 11, 2012, 08:28:00 PM »

The God Delusion wasn't completely worthless, at least for people like me who hadn't read much of that type of material before. I pretty much became an agnostic/atheist without ever having read any atheist/agnostic/skeptical material, except for a couple works by Nietzsche (which at the time I thought were silly) and a couple skeptic magazines (which didn't even really cover anything related to the issue). But regarding The God Delusion, I had never heard of the cargo cult phenomenon before his book, nor some of the psychological studies he mentions, and perhaps a couple other things. But the book really seemed to me to be mostly a collection of the work that others had done, with some commentary added. On the other hand, I think people should at least read him before criticizing. There is certainly a lot to take issue with, but most people miss the target because they assume things he doesn't actually believe (e.g. Dawkins doesn't claim to be certain that there is no God, nor does he claim that evolution is random).
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« Reply #2307 on: April 11, 2012, 08:59:51 PM »

Just arrived today: per Biro's discovery, I purchased One for Sorrow by Mary Reed & Eric Morrow, it's the first of the John Lord Chamberlain mystery series set in Byzantium.

Also, Tastes of Byzantium: The Cuisine of a Legendary Empire, by Andrew Dalby, that I thought was a cookbook, but appears to be a historical look at food and wine in the Byzantine Empire. Ought to be interesting.
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« Reply #2308 on: April 24, 2012, 01:57:57 PM »

Just got "A Beginner's Guide to Spirituality - The Orthodox Path to a Deeper Relationship with God" by Fr. Michael Keiser.

After the first few pages, I'll already hooked:

"Spirituality is in! .... television mystics can teach you about releasing your inner spirit and being embraced, led, or stalked by the Light.  And, singles seeking someone make certain not to attract anyone overtly religious, but just the vaguely mystical;  we would not want to discuss any specific beliefs when we could just wallow in feeling."

and

"The word "spirituality" was formerly used in a specifically Christian sense, but today it is applied to all kinds or religious feelings and practices that are the opposite of Christian teaching.... "

I'm looking forward to learning the foundation of Orthodox spirituality, and this looks like a good book so far...  Smiley
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« Reply #2309 on: April 24, 2012, 02:00:37 PM »

Byzantium by Norwich...a wonderful read IMHO Smiley

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« Reply #2310 on: April 24, 2012, 02:04:12 PM »

Rereading...

The Ancient Maya, by Sharer and Traxler

I'm still fairly early on, in the section in which they're discussing the terrain, climate, etc. of SE Mexico, Guatemala, etc. So boring getting through this part...
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« Reply #2311 on: April 24, 2012, 02:05:51 PM »

The God Delusion wasn't completely worthless, at least for people like me who hadn't read much of that type of material before. I pretty much became an agnostic/atheist without ever having read any atheist/agnostic/skeptical material, except for a couple works by Nietzsche (which at the time I thought were silly) and a couple skeptic magazines (which didn't even really cover anything related to the issue). But regarding The God Delusion, I had never heard of the cargo cult phenomenon before his book, nor some of the psychological studies he mentions, and perhaps a couple other things. But the book really seemed to me to be mostly a collection of the work that others had done, with some commentary added. On the other hand, I think people should at least read him before criticizing. There is certainly a lot to take issue with, but most people miss the target because they assume things he doesn't actually believe (e.g. Dawkins doesn't claim to be certain that there is no God, nor does he claim that evolution is random).
My criticism of Dawkins does not address whether he is an atheist or an agnostic. My criticism of his thought is directed at his lack of understanding with regard to theistic philosophy. For the most part, he doesn't even understand what Aquinas' five ways are talking about in the first place. One example of this is Dawkins' attack on Aquinas arugment from final causality. Dawkins completely misses the point and attacks the argument as if it were the argument from design.
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« Reply #2312 on: April 24, 2012, 02:09:13 PM »

The God Delusion wasn't completely worthless, at least for people like me who hadn't read much of that type of material before. I pretty much became an agnostic/atheist without ever having read any atheist/agnostic/skeptical material, except for a couple works by Nietzsche (which at the time I thought were silly) and a couple skeptic magazines (which didn't even really cover anything related to the issue). But regarding The God Delusion, I had never heard of the cargo cult phenomenon before his book, nor some of the psychological studies he mentions, and perhaps a couple other things. But the book really seemed to me to be mostly a collection of the work that others had done, with some commentary added. On the other hand, I think people should at least read him before criticizing. There is certainly a lot to take issue with, but most people miss the target because they assume things he doesn't actually believe (e.g. Dawkins doesn't claim to be certain that there is no God, nor does he claim that evolution is random).
My criticism of Dawkins does not address whether he is an atheist or an agnostic. My criticism of his thought is directed at his lack of understanding with regard to theistic philosophy. For the most part, he doesn't even understand what Aquinas' five ways are talking about in the first place. One example of this is Dawkins' attack on Aquinas arugment from final causality. Dawkins completely misses the point and attacks the argument as if it were the argument from design.

Ok, sorry if I hit you with any of my cannon fire Smiley  Fwiw I agree (I think?) that Dawkins is out of his element with that kind of stuff. Though pretty much every atheist author I've read in the last few years seems to (usually unwittingly) focus on evangelicalism, as though that's the standard or best form of Christianity. Sometimes they'll throw Aquinas or Augustine in, and maybe a lone quote from Tertullian or someone if they want to show how evil those ancient Christians were.
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« Reply #2313 on: April 24, 2012, 02:13:42 PM »

The God Delusion wasn't completely worthless, at least for people like me who hadn't read much of that type of material before. I pretty much became an agnostic/atheist without ever having read any atheist/agnostic/skeptical material, except for a couple works by Nietzsche (which at the time I thought were silly) and a couple skeptic magazines (which didn't even really cover anything related to the issue). But regarding The God Delusion, I had never heard of the cargo cult phenomenon before his book, nor some of the psychological studies he mentions, and perhaps a couple other things. But the book really seemed to me to be mostly a collection of the work that others had done, with some commentary added. On the other hand, I think people should at least read him before criticizing. There is certainly a lot to take issue with, but most people miss the target because they assume things he doesn't actually believe (e.g. Dawkins doesn't claim to be certain that there is no God, nor does he claim that evolution is random).
My criticism of Dawkins does not address whether he is an atheist or an agnostic. My criticism of his thought is directed at his lack of understanding with regard to theistic philosophy. For the most part, he doesn't even understand what Aquinas' five ways are talking about in the first place. One example of this is Dawkins' attack on Aquinas arugment from final causality. Dawkins completely misses the point and attacks the argument as if it were the argument from design.

Ok, sorry if I hit you with any of my cannon fire Smiley  Fwiw I agree (I think?) that Dawkins is out of his element with that kind of stuff. Though pretty much every atheist author I've read in the last few years seems to (usually unwittingly) focus on evangelicalism, as though that's the standard or best form of Christianity. Sometimes they'll throw Aquinas or Augustine in, and maybe a lone quote from Tertullian or someone if they want to show how evil those ancient Christians were.
Haha, not a problem at all. I just wanted to be clear on where my criticism of Dawkins lay.
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« Reply #2314 on: April 24, 2012, 04:23:18 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

 

I just finished The Virgin Suicides so its been a good transition into rereading American Gods. Eugenides is just such a mercilessly good writer, so fluid, so captivatingly bland and yet surreal to become as ordinarily out of the ordinary. Not overpowering and yet too invisible. Only Gabriel Garcia-Marquez does this better, and even he could take some lessons from the Virgin Suicides, though I just couldn't get into Middlesex even as superbly written as it was. There is a new one I'm lazily seeking..

 With American Gods, I enjoyed it the first time, but I think this second time and at this junction in my life I am appreciating it better.  So I am getting this novel a bitter more intuitively then the first time through. I find it visual, subtle, coy. The motifs slowly unveil themselves but only so slightly as if being shy.. Brilliant idea about how America has transformed the gods and devils of the Old World into trivialities, low-lives, and forgotten day dreams, and how our new things like TV, the internet, cars, are all the new devils, the new gods, as entities and not just concepts.  I do wish that Gaiman had elaborated on these a bit more, it would have only increased the brilliance of this original theme..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #2315 on: April 24, 2012, 04:53:55 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

 

I just finished The Virgin Suicides so its been a good transition into rereading American Gods. Eugenides is just such a mercilessly good writer, so fluid, so captivatingly bland and yet surreal to become as ordinarily out of the ordinary. Not overpowering and yet too invisible. Only Gabriel Garcia-Marquez does this better, and even he could take some lessons from the Virgin Suicides, though I just couldn't get into Middlesex even as superbly written as it was. There is a new one I'm lazily seeking..

 With American Gods, I enjoyed it the first time, but I think this second time and at this junction in my life I am appreciating it better.  So I am getting this novel a bitter more intuitively then the first time through. I find it visual, subtle, coy. The motifs slowly unveil themselves but only so slightly as if being shy.. Brilliant idea about how America has transformed the gods and devils of the Old World into trivialities, low-lives, and forgotten day dreams, and how our new things like TV, the internet, cars, are all the new devils, the new gods, as entities and not just concepts.  I do wish that Gaiman had elaborated on these a bit more, it would have only increased the brilliance of this original theme..

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Not a big Gaiman fan, but I think the Anansi Boys is better than American Gods. It just a better story overall, more personal and the like.

Plus, I could use the nearly pointless experience I have with Yoruban folks and thus their many syncretic offspring here in the Real World to add a little flavor to the book.
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« Reply #2316 on: April 24, 2012, 05:21:28 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.
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« Reply #2317 on: April 24, 2012, 06:06:55 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.
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« Reply #2318 on: April 24, 2012, 06:56:45 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.
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« Reply #2319 on: April 24, 2012, 07:01:00 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.

What? Are you talking about the 18th century one or the early medieval one?
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« Reply #2320 on: April 24, 2012, 07:07:13 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.

What? Are you talking about the 18th century one or the early medieval one?

Yes.
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« Reply #2321 on: April 24, 2012, 07:22:09 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.

What? Are you talking about the 18th century one or the early medieval one?

Yes.


Not a yes/no question. I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about. If you think Islam made a significant contribution to decline in violence I'd be fascinated to see your evidence.
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« Reply #2322 on: April 24, 2012, 07:39:33 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.

What? Are you talking about the 18th century one or the early medieval one?

Yes.


Not a yes/no question. I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about. If you think Islam made a significant contribution to decline in violence I'd be fascinated to see your evidence.

You can't hold a simple back and forth on a thread.

To help you, let me point out the obvious:

Are you talking about the 18th century one or the early medieval one?

Can indeed be answered with a yes or a no. You posed the question. Sorry if you cannot ask what you actually want to know.

If you think Islam made a significant contribution to decline in violence I'd be fascinated to see your evidence.

Has nothing to do with anything I posted in response to you. Next time you are in a cab, pre-paid phone or a convenience store, etc. thank the clerk for your Englightenmentses.




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« Reply #2323 on: April 24, 2012, 07:45:06 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

I have already found that his treatment of Christianity tends to be very biased and rather unfair. For instance, he goes on a digression about Christianity stealing from all of the pagan myths right at the beginning of the book (citing a reference that I believe has been long refuted), and then has the audacity to say that Christians nowadays are non-violent in spite of the teachings of Christianity and not because of them. Because, you know, the New Testament is filled with all kinds of calls to violence.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2324 on: April 24, 2012, 07:46:27 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.

Tell me you're not bringing this act to open mic night.
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« Reply #2325 on: April 24, 2012, 07:50:12 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.

Tell me you're not bringing this act to open mic night.

Only if it is trivia night, because that is where you would be still languishing without Muslim influence.

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« Reply #2326 on: April 24, 2012, 07:52:09 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

I have already found that his treatment of Christianity tends to be very biased and rather unfair. For instance, he goes on a digression about Christianity stealing from all of the pagan myths right at the beginning of the book (citing a reference that I believe has been long refuted), and then has the audacity to say that Christians nowadays are non-violent in spite of the teachings of Christianity and not because of them. Because, you know, the New Testament is filled with all kinds of calls to violence.  Roll Eyes

It is. And the Scripture for Christians is the Bible. Not the New Testament. Stop your hereticals.

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« Reply #2327 on: April 24, 2012, 08:00:25 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

I have already found that his treatment of Christianity tends to be very biased and rather unfair. For instance, he goes on a digression about Christianity stealing from all of the pagan myths right at the beginning of the book (citing a reference that I believe has been long refuted), and then has the audacity to say that Christians nowadays are non-violent in spite of the teachings of Christianity and not because of them. Because, you know, the New Testament is filled with all kinds of calls to violence.  Roll Eyes

It is. And the Scripture for Christians is the Bible. Not the New Testament. Stop your hereticals.

"It is" as in his treatment of Christianity? Or "it is" as in the New Testament's calls to violence???
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« Reply #2328 on: April 24, 2012, 08:01:34 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

I have already found that his treatment of Christianity tends to be very biased and rather unfair. For instance, he goes on a digression about Christianity stealing from all of the pagan myths right at the beginning of the book (citing a reference that I believe has been long refuted), and then has the audacity to say that Christians nowadays are non-violent in spite of the teachings of Christianity and not because of them. Because, you know, the New Testament is filled with all kinds of calls to violence.  Roll Eyes

It is. And the Scripture for Christians is the Bible. Not the New Testament. Stop your hereticals.

"It is" as in his treatment of Christianity? Or "it is" as in the New Testament's calls to violence???

Do I really have to start quoting Scripture?
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« Reply #2329 on: April 24, 2012, 08:05:18 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

I have already found that his treatment of Christianity tends to be very biased and rather unfair. For instance, he goes on a digression about Christianity stealing from all of the pagan myths right at the beginning of the book (citing a reference that I believe has been long refuted), and then has the audacity to say that Christians nowadays are non-violent in spite of the teachings of Christianity and not because of them. Because, you know, the New Testament is filled with all kinds of calls to violence.  Roll Eyes

It is. And the Scripture for Christians is the Bible. Not the New Testament. Stop your hereticals.

"It is" as in his treatment of Christianity? Or "it is" as in the New Testament's calls to violence???

Do I really have to start quoting Scripture?

You're cryptic.
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« Reply #2330 on: April 24, 2012, 08:10:38 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.

What? Are you talking about the 18th century one or the early medieval one?

Yes.


Not a yes/no question. I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about. If you think Islam made a significant contribution to decline in violence I'd be fascinated to see your evidence.

You can't hold a simple back and forth on a thread.

To help you, let me point out the obvious:

Are you talking about the 18th century one or the early medieval one?

Can indeed be answered with a yes or a no. You posed the question. Sorry if you cannot ask what you actually want to know.

If you think Islam made a significant contribution to decline in violence I'd be fascinated to see your evidence.

Has nothing to do with anything I posted in response to you. Next time you are in a cab, pre-paid phone or a convenience store, etc. thank the clerk for your Englightenmentses.






Um, OK. In English, which is the language we are using at the moment, either/or questions are not answered with "yes" or "no". There were four possible answers to my question: "the former", "the latter", "both", "neither". I assume you meant "both".

As for the second part, I didn't understand what you were trying to say since you don't seem to know how to answer questions properly, and so I hazarded a guess, which is that you were regurgitating the surely-by-now-refuted claim that Islam was a more peaceful and tolerant religion than Christianity. That would have been relevant to this conversation. But it seems rather that you want to draw attention to an example of the influence of Islamic poetry on 18th-century Western poetry, which is very interesting no doubt, but not relevant to this conversation, which is about how Steven Pinker neglects to mention the role of Christianity in declining violence during the past two millennia.
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« Reply #2331 on: April 24, 2012, 08:18:49 PM »

The Life of St. Anthony the Great by St. Athanasius and tranlsated by Evagrius.
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« Reply #2332 on: April 24, 2012, 08:37:09 PM »

The Life of St. Anthony the Great by St. Athanasius and tranlsated by Evagrius.


The ultimate guide to spiritual warfare!


Selam
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« Reply #2333 on: April 24, 2012, 10:23:31 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
The Life of St. Anthony the Great by St. Athanasius and tranlsated by Evagrius.


sometimes the blessed Saint Anthony reminds me of the Doctor Gonzo approach to monasticism Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #2334 on: April 30, 2012, 04:09:59 PM »

Finished The Annotated Alice... well, got to the last chapter and found that my copy is a misprint that just repeats itself half way through. Lewis Carroll would have been amused!

School ends on Friday and I'll return to I, Robot.

I've also been reading through Carl Barks and Don Rosa's Donald Duck comics (you gonna need a barf bag, orthonorm :p?)

In terms of school reading, I've been reading Berkeley and Leibniz mostly. A bit of Spinoza as well.

This summer, I'm probably going to read some more Russian history for the senior paper in the fall, so I won't have a lot of time for leisure reading.
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« Reply #2335 on: April 30, 2012, 04:22:34 PM »

Finished The Annotated Alice... well, got to the last chapter and found that my copy is a misprint that just repeats itself half way through. Lewis Carroll would have been amused!

School ends on Friday and I'll return to I, Robot.

I've also been reading through Carl Barks and Don Rosa's Donald Duck comics (you gonna need a barf bag, orthonorm :p?)

In terms of school reading, I've been reading Berkeley and Leibniz mostly. A bit of Spinoza as well.

This summer, I'm probably going to read some more Russian history for the senior paper in the fall, so I won't have a lot of time for leisure reading.
You have a particular taste for Idealist/Rationalist philosophy?
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« Reply #2336 on: April 30, 2012, 04:24:37 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


 



 With American Gods, I enjoyed it the first time, but I think this second time and at this junction in my life I am appreciating it better.  So I am getting this novel a bitter more intuitively then the first time through. I find it visual, subtle, coy. The motifs slowly unveil themselves but only so slightly as if being shy.. Brilliant idea about how America has transformed the gods and devils of the Old World into trivialities, low-lives, and forgotten day dreams, and how our new things like TV, the internet, cars, are all the new devils, the new gods, as entities and not just concepts.  I do wish that Gaiman had elaborated on these a bit more, it would have only increased the brilliance of this original theme..

I just finished this one through.  I understood it much more clearly this time, perhaps I was in a more lucid mode or a more receptive mood.  It seems to me that this is essentially a personification of grieving or finding faith.  The gods in this novel are symbols of belief.  Shadow is grieving his dead wife, and the meeting of these gods through out the story is a symbol of his searching for faith while grieving.  Each of his relationships with the personified gods is really just symbolic of his trying to develop an understanding and relationship with them in his mind.  The gods themselves are symbols of all the things humans believe in, tangible and intangible, forces, phenomena, technology, ideas, opinions, myths, etc etc.  What believe become "gods" and in this novel these beliefs are just personified as the characters called gods.  The old gods battle the new gods, the old ideas battle with the new ideas, all in the mind of Shadow for dominance, for influence, for a relationship.  Laura, as a zombie, represents his inability to accept her loss.  she carries on because he still believes in her, just as the gods carry on because of the last bits of belief which keep them going.  She destroys several of the gods in this story to save Shadow, symbolizing how his grief for her is overpowering even the other gods, the other aspects of reality.  Only she remains somewhat real to him, everything else is in flux.  Each event, each idea, each force, becomes a new god which he interacts with.  In the end he only wins the battle for his own mind when he accepts and embraces her death as concrete, and lets her go.  Further, the struggle with the gods only ends when he also yields to fate, and accepts whatever comes in the flow.  As he concludes, "the only thing I've really learned about dealing with gods is that if you make a deal, you keep it.. even if I tried to walk out of here, my feet would just bring me back."  Since the gods in this novel are essentially just all the aspects of human reality and the human experience personified, then what Shadow is saying is that in the end, all humans can do is submit to the whims of reality.  This is truth.  A delightful novel now that I have really attached myself more so to it.  The first time I read it through I enjoyed it, but I didn't find any kind of depth, but now, I think I get it Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 04:25:22 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #2337 on: April 30, 2012, 05:10:55 PM »

Finished The Annotated Alice... well, got to the last chapter and found that my copy is a misprint that just repeats itself half way through. Lewis Carroll would have been amused!

School ends on Friday and I'll return to I, Robot.

I've also been reading through Carl Barks and Don Rosa's Donald Duck comics (you gonna need a barf bag, orthonorm :p?)

In terms of school reading, I've been reading Berkeley and Leibniz mostly. A bit of Spinoza as well.

This summer, I'm probably going to read some more Russian history for the senior paper in the fall, so I won't have a lot of time for leisure reading.
You have a particular taste for Idealist/Rationalist philosophy?
Yeah, it's kind of fun.
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« Reply #2338 on: April 30, 2012, 05:53:41 PM »

The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.

Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.

Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.

Historically speaking, I can get behind this assertion.  They conquered many ancient civilizations - the Romans, Indians, and Persians being the most important - and adopted their knowledge and then disseminated it to any other civilizations they conquered or warred with.  Islam has bloody borders, but bloodshed is the most effective transfer of knowledge. 
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« Reply #2339 on: May 04, 2012, 04:50:22 PM »

Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christian Spirituality, the latest book by Kyriacos C. Markides.

So far, it seems like a lot of material from the previous two books is here reiterated, but in such clear and concise terms that it is proving most valuable. I enjoy Markides' writing and am constantly encouraged by the words of Fr. Maximos.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 04:51:06 PM by stavros_388 » Logged

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