Nexus Book Club


Nexus Book Club

A group for those of us who like reading and books. Fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry... everything goes.

Members: 829
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

Welcome to the Nexus Book Club!

Hello to all our new (and old) members! We'd love to hear from you; please take the time to introduce yourself either on the forum or the wall.

Feel free to discuss the books you're reading at the moment, your favorite authors or works, and so on. I'm sure everyone has a book they think others here might find interesting!

Also, don't forget to check out the page Books by A|N Members Who are Published Authors, located just under the members section on your right.

Books of Interest to Atheists and Skeptics
Breaking The Spell by Daniel Dennett
A Devil's Chaplain, by Richard Dawkins
The End of Faith, by Sam Harris
The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
God is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
Godless, by Dan Barker
Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris
Why I am not a Christian, by Bertrand Russell

Sites for Bibliotaphs
The Internet Archive
Project Gutenburg

Discussion Forum

The Last Blade of Grass

Started by Robert Brown May 7. 0 Replies

Top 5 Books on Atheism

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Gerald Payne Apr 30. 5 Replies

Why do they all have "happy endings"

Started by Cory D Wells. Last reply by sk8eycat Jan 22. 5 Replies

New books on the secular life

Started by Nick Bottom. Last reply by Randall Smith Oct 23, 2014. 1 Reply


Started by Don. Last reply by Don Sep 13, 2014. 1 Reply

Haruki Murakami

Started by Nick Bottom. Last reply by Michael Mann Sep 7, 2014. 1 Reply


Started by Don. Last reply by Don Aug 31, 2014. 4 Replies

top 10

Started by Jeffrey. Last reply by Nick Bottom Aug 23, 2014. 17 Replies

Atheism books (beyond Hitchens, Dawkins, & Harris)

Started by Dr. Thoss. Last reply by Kelli Evans Nov 24, 2012. 52 Replies

Robert Jordan "Wheel of Time" fans?

Started by Jenn Wiffen. Last reply by Joseph P Sep 10, 2012. 1 Reply

Currently Reading: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Started by The Big Blue Frog. Last reply by Cory D Wells Jul 24, 2012. 8 Replies

The Atheist Book Club

Started by Donegal. Last reply by Jessica Mar 28, 2012. 8 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Nexus Book Club to add comments!

Comment by Tony Davis on January 1, 2011 at 6:37pm



I concur on all.  I loved Ehrmann's "Jesus Interrupted" and learned a LOT from it!


As far as I am concerned as little suffering as a hang nail is too much for the presence of an all-might and yet all-loving God to exist.  If I could I would spare my own children even a stubbed toe, but I am not all-powerful so I can't prevent it.  God, if he were real, COULD but doesn't.


I'll check out your book!  Is it on Kindle?  Of course, when (well.. IF) I finish mine I'll ask the same of you.


The whole free will issue fascinates me and was a key facet of my very first ever actual "debate" with a Christian.  But a lot of people don't seem to like the analogy I use.  I thought it was brilliant at the time but since nobody else seems to I guess I was kidding myself.  ;-p




Comment by Johnny P on January 1, 2011 at 3:43pm



god's problem by ehrman is a great book, as is his jesus interrupted. i've got a lot of time for him. the problem of evil is definitely the best evidential argument against god, but theists always come back with the logical problem of evil answer. in other words, it is always still logical that there COULD be a reason (for the greater good) why all the evil exists. it then follows to the theist that they could be the last person left on earth with all of humanity having been tortured for 50 years, with your family being tortured in front of your eyes, and you being excrutiatingly tortured. the theist has to still maintain that it is still logically coherent that there is an all-loving god, and that we don't know the full facts as to why this might be happening. 


it then follows that it is incumbent upon a person to reason where the arbitrary line between logically acceptable evil, and gratuitous evil exists. i maintain that the amount of suffering in the world is already at the gratuitous mark, whereas the theist necessarily argues that we're still in the logical acceptance zone (and perhaps always will be).


the other problem is all loving. what does it mean? what is love? can you be all loving? no. so can you be maximally loving, since being all loving to humans is not being all loving to tuna or butterflies. i find all loving to be incoherent.


ps, please buy my book on whether or not we have free will (just a pleading reminder!!)

Comment by Howard Thomas on January 1, 2011 at 2:07pm

Interesting audio clip.

"We don't ask God why he does things, The koran says that he (god) is not answerable to what he does, but everyone else will be. That's it, it's as simple as that."


There's a grotesque beauty in that simplicity isn't there? God is conveniently above justice, because god determines what justice is. If god determines that children be abused - he allows it, wills it - then that is his justice - and therefore our justice - and his slaves are not in a position to question. "That's it, it's as simple as that."


There is no need to be embarrassed about the way your God behaves, or question his immorality. Everything he allows, no matter how awful or painful or immoral, is his will - inshallah - and that's the highest good. All you can do is shrug your shoulders and be eternally thankful that you are god's slave and be grateful for your chance at spending blissful eternity with him. What's not comforting - once you abandon the expectation that your heavenly guardian will at least act justly and morally from a humanist perspective - about that?

Comment by Howard Thomas on January 1, 2011 at 1:27pm

Submission to God's will is paramount in Islam, regardless of whether his will reflects immorality. We can see this in the Sacrifice story, and this is the basis for a major Islamic festival, Eid al-adha (festival of Sacrifice). Muslims celebrate Abraham submitting to god's will, even though this meant Abraham attempted to murder an innocent, which is of course, immoral, or should be viewed as immoral. Abraham should have said to God "no, it's immoral". So we see that particularly within the Islamic religion, acting in a moral way is strictly secondary to submitting to god's will, no matter whether his will reflects immorality. As has been said, how god operates is not asked. This is what is frightening. All the more astonishing to hear Muslims - and people of other Abrahamic faiths - promoting their faiths as a basis for a moral upbringing.


I think Islam avoids the question of evil by simply mindlessly not addressing it. Inshallah - The will of Allah, no matter if it means thousands die horribly from an earthquake he could have prevented, is simply paramount, and at that point one is left with nothing else to do apart from to shrug one's shoulders.

Comment by Tony Davis on January 1, 2011 at 1:09pm



I agree with you totally.  I "question" the existence of God for a number of reasons.  I truly "doubt" the existence of God because of evil.  This same evil makes me absolutely certain there is not a God who is loving, merciful AND omnipotent.

Comment by Tony Davis on January 1, 2011 at 12:28pm



Thanks!  I'll read that article in a bit.  This conversation reminds me of one of the books I am reading right now, "God's Problem" by Bart Ehrmann.  If you haven't read it, it is a fascinating look at this whole theodicy issue from the perspective of the Bible.  One thing I find most interesting (and sort of already knew it, but not very well) is that you can find exactly what you just described in the Bible.  You can also find about 4 other "good" explanations for where evil and suffering come from.



Comment by Ian Mason on January 1, 2011 at 12:05pm
Isn't this polytheism under another/other name(s)? Or some kind of Buddhist influence via the Silk Road?
Comment by Tony Davis on January 1, 2011 at 10:29am



By the way, I stayed at your hotel in Cairo.  Nice place!  And sorry if you or others don't get the reference, I can explain it if necessary.


On a serious note however...  I am aware of the 99 attributes of Allah, in fact, when I was in Egypt I got a nice copy of them, in Arabic, for a Muslim friend who I cherish as a fine human being.  That aside, I don't see how the problem of evil is any less for the Muslim than for the Jew or Christian.  And maybe I am missing something and you can enlighten me (which is why I pose the question - not to challenge you, just for clarification).


For example, the first one "The Compassionate" and the second one "the Merciful", yet in the time it has taken me to type this reply at least 32 people, most of them children, have died of starvation (  How is this compassionate or merciful and how is that that a god who is almighty (number 8) allows this to occur?


Just some thoughts.




Comment by Tony Davis on December 31, 2010 at 11:15am

Keith - Thanks so much for taking the time to read my article and provide feedback.  I really do see it as a "community effort" - all us reasonable folks against the forces of ignorance.  I have to run some errands now but will definitely take a look at your comments and my article when I get back!


I realize I need to go back and proof all my articles better.  I think my ideas are sound but my grammar sucks!  ;-)

Comment by Keith Brian Johnson on December 31, 2010 at 4:15am
I thought I got fifteen minutes in which to edit my posts, but apparently I don't.  It really looks as though your previous sentence--"However, it must also exist in reality, because to exist in reality as well as in the mind is greater than to exist in the mind alone"--already says that God, on the OA, must be real.  Since you introduce omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence for the first time in the sentence in question, maybe you really want to say something like "Thus, an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being--namely, God--must be real."

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