Nexus Book Club

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Nexus Book Club

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

Members: 822
Latest Activity: May 26

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
Audible.com
BookCrossing.com
BookMooch.com
The Internet Archive
LibraryThing.com
LibriVox.org
Project Gutenburg
Shelfari.com

Discussion Forum

Question about The Dresden Files.

Started by Joseph P Oct 11, 2016. 0 Replies

The Last Blade of Grass

Started by Robert Brown May 7, 2015. 0 Replies

Top 5 Books on Atheism

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Gerald Payne Apr 30, 2015. 5 Replies

Why do they all have "happy endings"

Started by Cory D Wells. Last reply by sk8eycat Jan 22, 2015. 5 Replies

New books on the secular life

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

POLLY AND THE ONE AND ONLY WORLD

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

"Cli-fi"

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

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

Comment Wall

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Comment by Aiden on April 8, 2011 at 5:20am

Check out this site.  It lists 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course's "Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century" that have been the target of ban attempts.  How many have you read?

 

There's also a checklist on FaceBook, if you prefer that.

Comment by Aiden on March 9, 2011 at 1:23pm
In this week’s eSkeptic, James N. Gardner reviews Brian Greenes’s book The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. James N. Gardner is an Oregon attorney and the author, most recently, of The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos.
Comment by Johnny P on February 27, 2011 at 1:07pm
doesn't that depend on your interpretation of QM - Bohm vs Copenhagen interpretations, for example. I contest that anything is random.
Comment by Craig A. James on February 27, 2011 at 11:08am

Tony - I just got a chance to read your article on the Cosmological argument and enjoyed it a great deal.  You have a natural, easy-to-read style and yet you present the argument clearly and concisely.

 

One interesting fact that I've never heard anyone argue is that things happen all the time for no reason.  At the atomic level, nearly everything that happens is for no cause.  Nuclear decay is the prime example that most are familiar with, but the truth is that everything at the quantum scale is random and imprecise. Not just sort of random, or "we don't know the cause but there is one," but truly random.  When an electron tunnels through a Josephson junction, it's truly random.

 

The problem of the cosomological argument is exactly parallel to quantum mechanics.  We try to take our everyday experiences and concepts and apply them to realms where they don't apply. At the scales of time and space where humans acquire their "common sense", everything has a cause.  But it's a mistake to extrapolate this rule to the beginnings of the universe, just as it's a mistake to extrapolate this rule to the quantum-mechanical realm.

 

In your essay you mention that there was only one beginning of the universe so we can't make a rule about it.  But there are other areas where the cause-and-effect rule is clearly wrong.

Comment by Stephen Goldin on February 26, 2011 at 7:48pm
My satirical fantasy book Polly! (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/34606?ref=sgoldin) just got a wonderful review at the blog Great Books Under $5 (http://greatbooksunder5.blogspot.com/2011/02/divine-fantasy.html). One of the best parts about the review is the fact that my atheism is a crucial (positive) factor in it.

And I have to brag about the closing paragraph: "Polly is the kind of book aspiring writers should read just to study the craft. Goldin’s writing is fastidious. And he seemingly has the gift (Would that be a theological term?) of calling on everything he knows from the silly to the profound to create a story that starts out being entertaining and winds up being interesting, even thought-provoking."
Comment by Tony Davis on February 24, 2011 at 5:12pm

Johno - Thanks.  I will definitely take a look at your stuff and at least try to use it in my book.  Without even looking at your info yet (but I will) I admit there was a lot more I should have said.  I am just VERY limited in how long my articles can be on there and I am already blowing that out of the water on every article so far.

 

One thing I am doing though is writing long articles, for my book, then cutting away as much as possible for the Examiner articles.  Then, I go back to the book and try to flesh it out more with ideas I get from folks like you.

 

Thanks again!  After I've had a chance to take a look at your essay and videos I'll get back with you.

 

VR,

Tony

Comment by Johnny P on February 24, 2011 at 3:49pm
tony, i have written an essay broadly on this argument. i think you have missed out a really strong philosophical critique in the form of realism vs nominalism / conceptualism. this undermines the entire argument. see my essay here:

http://atipplingphilosopher.yolasite.com/essays-and-papers.php

i have also got 2 vids on youtube explaining it, and they are my most popular ones, so i must be doing something right!!! i really think you should include something about these and other points. otherwise, as good an article as ever!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7iAnaYG5rE

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxIcYKEHAig

cheers

johno
Comment by Tony Davis on February 24, 2011 at 2:52pm

I've been lazy for the past month (but hey, I retired, I am entitled lol) and have only just now gotten around to publishing an article on the cosmological argument.  For any who care to take a look it is here: http://www.examiner.com/skepticism-in-washington-dc/skeptical-of-ch...

 

As always, comments are appreciated, especially if you find an error on my part.  I'd rather be corrected that have my pride unscathed.  :-)

 

VR,

Tony

Comment by Aiden on February 23, 2011 at 4:41am
Comment by Joseph P on February 11, 2011 at 12:53pm

Yeah, particularly for something that freaking long, it's good to go into it forewarned.

 

At least I only have to deal with Thomas Aquinus's Five Proofs ... and 3 of those are the same damned things stated with barely different wording.  Then #4 is just ... silly.  It doesn't even make a logical argument, just a quick, bald assertion.  You effectively only need to deal with two arguments.

 

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