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Saturday, July 7, 2007 - 10:23pmSanction this postReply
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Manfred, are you implying that my friends and relatives are all kookie religionists? Some people in my family are indeed churchgoing, but they are all freethinkers, and none of them suffers from theism as a major illness. Indeed, my mother used to have an evangelical come over once a week to clean house. I started calling her my mother's "Christian Slave" which caught on, but lead to a few slips of the tongue that startled the neighbors.

:)

Ted



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Sunday, July 8, 2007 - 8:03amSanction this postReply
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Ted: Either I don't understand what you wrote or you don't understand what I wrote.

I own this little booklet "What about gods?" and it clearly shows that "gods" (whatever you may mean by it) don't exist. As a matter of fact, at the back of the booklet there is a short explanation of the content: "Mythical characters, that's what gods are. They're not real. People made them up. You can unmake them just by thinking. Think about it - this book can help you." And within, among many other wonderful words: "If people are to really be good, they need instead (of churches, my info) to discover the real world and how they fit into it. Gods can't help them to be good. Gods are not real." So, please, buy this booklet and READ it!

You can also find much on atheism in a very old writing, from a contemporary of d'Holbach. See http://volney.org/. There's an English version of Volney's "The Ruins of Palmyra". I don't agree with the political views of the "volney.org" but the book by Volney is just great (Matter of fact, I have a Spanish translation dating back to 1943).

And should you really think that I am a "believer", please remember my motto, which I inscribed among the quotes of "Rebirth" and which came from my own brain: "You don't have to believe in ATHEISM, because ATHEISM is based on REASON."

Even to think that I am a "believer"! Hard to "believe" it. May I recommend you to also read Hitchens' "God is not Great"; Sam Harris' "The End of Faith", any of George H. Smith's (an Objectivist) books such as "Atheism: The Case against God", "Why Atheism?" and "Atheism, Ayn Rand and other Heresies"; Charles Freeman "The Closing of the Western Mind"; Karlheinz Deschner's books on "Criminal History of Christianity" (though I don't agree with his political standing) and Michel Onfray's "In Defense of Atheism".

But I can also offer to send you, for free, my own writing "Ayn Rand, I and the Universe", where I present the final argument on why neither "god" nor any "gods" exist, never existed nor ever will (this is one and one only universe and there is nowhere else to go). Just let me have your e-mail address and I send it over for free, whether you read it, delete it from your hard disk or spit on it. But by all means, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER call me a "believer", for I am a HUMAN BEING!.





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Sunday, July 8, 2007 - 11:16amSanction this postReply
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Manfred, I was picking fun at you since you said to buy the book for my friends and relatives. My friend and relatives are all atheists or agnostics or at worst Catholics versed in Aquinas's theology who don't think of God as some grouchy old Jewish guy sitting on a throne on a cloud. You didn't really review the book yourself, you referred us to Amazon, I read thew reviews there and I quote:

By Michael Swanson (Franklin, TN USA)

My 9 year old was disappointed in this book. He already expressed agnostic leanings, and I thought this book would help clarify the issues. The thesis of this book is that the Judeo-Christian God is part of a mythological tradition and people believe in God for nonrational reasons. My son was disappointed that the book did not effectively explain why really smart people believe in God. The problem with the book is that it does not present alternate conceptions of God (besides the old man in the sky conception), so the book is an example of the straw man fallacy. Another problem with the book is that it assumes a very simplistic view of belief and knowledge. The book raises the right issues, but it is too superficial even for children. I would recommend it only if presented with another book that scratches the surface more deeply.


Ted



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Post 3

Friday, July 13, 2007 - 8:18amSanction this postReply
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Ted: Since, being an Objectivist, I don’t rely on other people’s comments but on my own judgement, I never pay any attention to other reader’s opinions on a given book, whether they’re positive or negative. This is also the reason why I only suggest reading a given book. Whoever reads it should then form his/her own opinion.

 

Your telling me that I didn’t review the book myself is, thus, out of place. As a matter of fact, my recommendations on the “Rebirth of Reason” page for “What about gods?” were far more than sufficient to move any interested party to read this small booklet. I only mentioned “Amazon” to make it easier to find out its price and give an idea of availability. I don’t promote “Amazon” nor did I care to read any of the comments on Amazon’s page. However, I did so now, moved by your having added a reader’s comment to your own commentary. And this disclosed a rather peculiar way of proceeding against my suggestion since, while 66% of the commentaries are very positive indeed (6 out of 9), you come out selecting one of the worst. Apparently you are following the way of only finding fault if an Objectivist presents a recommendation. This reminds me of what Will and Ariel Durant wrote in their book “The Lessons of History”. It would be wise if you were to read the following carefully: “Our capacity for fretting is endless, and no matter how many difficulties we surmount, how many ideals we realize, we shall always find an excuse for being magnificently miserable; there is a stealthy pleasure in rejecting mankind or the universe as unworthy of our approval.”

 

In relation to what Swanson, the author of the only commentary on “What about Gods” which seemed to have found your approval, mentions, it is evident that he himself didn’t pay much attention to what Brockman wrote, for the author entered very specifically into the question of “why really smart people believe in God”: “Sometimes, though, even very intelligent people believe in gods because it seems to them as if most of their friends do, and they don’t want to be different.”

 

Ted, how’s about if you go, buy the book, read it and comment it after having done so????






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