From the fringes

Read any good books lately?
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Lausten
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From the fringes

Post by Lausten » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:28 pm

In case it is not interesting enough for you here, there is a pretty bizarre post on amazon I just came across.

http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Delusio ... ive=392969

Its on John Loftus' new book, a collection of works on atheism by several authors including Robert M. Price. Seems worth a read. Scroll down to the Ron Penrose review for the bizarre stuff. The J.P. Holding person he mentions is just one of his online names. TWeb is TheologyWeb.com, a huge discussion forum, geared toward a younger crowd of believers. It gives me the creeps thinking about Penrose's motives for hanging out there.

Just in case you don't get that he doesn't like the book, at the end he includes a description of what it is like to burn in hell.
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Re: From the fringes

Post by landrew » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:40 pm

Lausten wrote:In case it is not interesting enough for you here, there is a pretty bizarre post on amazon I just came across.

http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Delusio ... ive=392969

Its on John Loftus' new book, a collection of works on atheism by several authors including Robert M. Price. Seems worth a read. Scroll down to the Ron Penrose review for the bizarre stuff. The J.P. Holding person he mentions is just one of his online names. TWeb is TheologyWeb.com, a huge discussion forum, geared toward a younger crowd of believers. It gives me the creeps thinking about Penrose's motives for hanging out there.

Just in case you don't get that he doesn't like the book, at the end he includes a description of what it is like to burn in hell.
I'm a bit skeptical of the authenticity of those comments. They seem a bit too childish to be genuine.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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Re: From the fringes

Post by Lausten » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:05 pm

That is an odd comment. What would be the motivation if it was not genuine?

Here is a thread where he discusses the value of doing it.

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showt ... p?t=137785
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Re: From the fringes

Post by landrew » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:25 pm

Lausten wrote:That is an odd comment. What would be the motivation if it was not genuine?

Here is a thread where he discusses the value of doing it.

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showt ... p?t=137785
Thanks for that. Evidence is to skepticism, as a banana is to a chimp.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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Re: From the fringes

Post by nmblum88 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:50 pm

I have not yet read the recently published , "Faith, Interrupted; A Spiritual Journey," by Eric Lax, but as I know him , I am commenting, quite frankly as an admirer of the author, rather than in any way as a reviewer of the book itself.
Lax, a biographer of Woody Allen and Humphrey Bogart, as pop-culture icons who had a great influence on American self-image and coneventions, as well as on our image around the world, is himself a very interesting man, in the Julia Sweeney mold, serious, reflective, but also with a well developed sense of irony as well as humor...
He is, in conversation and in interviews, like Julia Sweeney, less a polemicist than a gentle memoirist sharing an experience rather than seeking converts to either his points of view or even his interest in the subject of faith, lost or regained.

So with that I will simply quote in its entirety, the review of his book, now available in book stores and libraries, from today's Los Angeles Times, and then I'm off to buy a copy, at my lovely owner managed, independent book store.....(sadly, not always what I do...).

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ne ... 8206.story

NMB
Skepticism:
" Norma, you poor sad lonely alcoholic. You entire life is devoted to interrupting other people's posts on this forum, regardless of the topic, to tell them what's wrong with them. The irony is, here you are doing it again, with this very post.
Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: From the fringes

Post by nmblum88 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:59 pm

And by the way, the lead headline to the review "Faith, Interrupted..." in the actual newspaper... is " Out of God's shadow and into the light ..."
..
Which suggests a positive judgment, apparently TOO controversial for the LA Times to allow to spill over into cyberspace...
Is there any wonder that atheists and skeptics who are engaged in what happens around them in society are perturbed by the effect that so called "repsect" for religion and religious sensibilities (real or imagined) has on the arena of ideas.... and not only as that applies to religion?
TV reporting is altered in the same way.. that is, edited from the extemporaneous, or the live, or the unedited, from what we think are simply repeats of life broadcasts of real time events....
Too much "respect" for religion is making us not only bland and dull, but also dependent on what amounts to lies (deliberate omission IS tantamount to lying ) for our opinions as bell as our convictions...

NMB
Skepticism:
" Norma, you poor sad lonely alcoholic. You entire life is devoted to interrupting other people's posts on this forum, regardless of the topic, to tell them what's wrong with them. The irony is, here you are doing it again, with this very post.
Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: From the fringes

Post by Jeff D » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:01 am

Lausten,

I've arrived late at this thread, and I've gone to the Amazon link that you provided. I see the review that Loftus contributed about this new book he edited, and I see three other "customer" reviews, two positive, one negative. But I don't see the bizarre or strange review or comment to which you appear to be referring. Nothing about Ron Penrose or "J P Holding" in the Amazon listing for the book. And I find the content on that theologyweb.com page to be barely coherent, barely readable.
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Re: From the fringes

Post by nmblum88 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:29 pm

You said it... not me.
And thank- you should pardon the expression- god!!
I was beginning to feel as if I were a reincarnation of Torquemada with poor Lausten as my sole, and deliberately chosen victim.
Maybe... just maybe.... incoherence (to put a more innocent face on the practice than is conjured up by "just make it up as needed" ) is a requirement for teaching religion to the young... or for that matter anyone chosen for, or seeking conversion.
Maybe making sense is a deterrent to capturing the grandeur, the glory, the effulgence of the message.

But that once incoherence is introduced as a component of teaching religion, and reinforcing Evangelism, it grows to know no bounds?

And takes on a life of its own, becoming , for the teacher/proselytizer/institution the order of the day?
No matter the subject, no matter the audience?
And of course, all that is beside the civilized assumption that books are written by authors, no matter their point of view, to be READ in the chosen form, and in their entirety...
And that cribbing (and clumsily) from reviews on the Web, no matter how interesting, no matter how tempting as a time saver as well as instrument for blasting the audience out of its seats doesn't quite cut the mustard, the standard for scholarship or even ordinary human exchanges of opinion.
Although it COULD, come to think of it, secure one employment by Fox News, or within the entire Murdoch media empire.

NMB
Skepticism:
" Norma, you poor sad lonely alcoholic. You entire life is devoted to interrupting other people's posts on this forum, regardless of the topic, to tell them what's wrong with them. The irony is, here you are doing it again, with this very post.
Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: From the fringes

Post by Jeff D » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:44 pm

Lausten is a paragon of clarity compared to a significant amount of the stuff to which Lausten provides the links (Lausten, don't stop posting these links; most of them are entertaining and informative, sometimes in a perversely fascinating way).

I don't mind being directed to reviews of books, the longer the better, because it's an inexpensive way for me to determine whether the book seems to be worth buying or borrowing.

The TheologyWeb page was merely the most extreme recent example of incoherence, and some of that was due to the short, back-and-forth postings by the regulars there who probably know each other well and therefore can communicate in a sort of shorthand.

As for whether or why you are as "tough" on Lausten as you are, Norma, well as one adult over age 55 to another, I wouldn't presume to try to change you, and Lausten takes it all in stride.
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Re: From the fringes

Post by nmblum88 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:11 pm

He also takes in stride making excuses for religious excess as a contributor to earthly foibles... if one can call the blood letting and moral chaos encouraged by religion while calling it god's will, a foible.

But I neither want anyone to change on my behalf or take on my beliefs... not under any circumstances...
Easy converts can be dismissed as no converts at all... and that goes for skepticism as well as biblical inerrancy, or loyalty to a particular church.
But, I can't really see any virtue in letting dissimulation (again to use a kinder word than what comes immediately to mind) go by
unremarked, unchallenged.
There's nothing noble in that... and the ensuing result of depending on politeness and respect for religion in order to get some of the same for alternate ideas doesn't - not so oddly - seem to be working.
One can't help thinking in this year of the Lord 2010, of the preposterous notion of having to perpetually defend Evolution as a reasonable explanation for what we are, and where we live, while the religious use the stories in Genesis to threaten the very meaning of provably successful secular education
One is not talking about an invitation to the prom here... but the determined, take- no -prisoners- intent, of conservative American religionist to take what amounts to The Brothers Grimm into our classrooms to be taught alongside science (at least until science can, it seems inevitable, be dispensed with entirely).
But for what reason...?
For any of it?
Does it have some really measurably "spiritual" aspect?
It certainly has no practical one, other than to create hostility and divisiveness since the religious can teach whatever they like in their own schools.
Similarly, WHAT is the point of claiming to have read books, of referring to imagined authority, of suggesting quotes where none exist?
Any religionist has the right to say... "I believe..."
That's all that's required in our society that gives cachet to people (for some reason) as "persons of deep faith..."
Deep faith is more widely admired as well as courted, even by people who should know better, than having at one's disposal the longest of book lists..
Or quoting from them accurately.

NMB

And that even as the religioius insist that it is the atheist who is demanding, rude...and aggressive.

Well, ever since my sister threw a hair brush at me and broke the bedroom mirror (her last recorded act of violence) because I made fun of her "boyfriend" (third grade) I have been very suspicious of justifying slaughter as a cure for rudeness.
EVEN if one thinks that referring to a cow as bovine IS actually rude.
It would be like abandoning the history of skepticism (which is long, interesting and even noble if lacking in the power that seems to accrue to uncritical belief) to the trash barrel of pious homilies on what is good for us and what isn't.
And for those who don't yet think of it that way... neither skepticism or its offspring, atheism, did not just spring full grown from the head of contemporary existentialism, or Post WW I, angst..... in literature, poetry OR polemics...
Wherever there is tangible (read written) proof, survival of documents, there has been doubt......
Skepticism:
" Norma, you poor sad lonely alcoholic. You entire life is devoted to interrupting other people's posts on this forum, regardless of the topic, to tell them what's wrong with them. The irony is, here you are doing it again, with this very post.
Your fanciful card games, movie sojourns and exciting overseas trips, that all take place within the four walls of an aged care retirement home, do not suggest your own children offered you the care, I gave my parents."

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Re: From the fringes

Post by Lausten » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:16 pm

It appears the Ron Penrose/JP Holding review has been removed. You didn't miss much.
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