I really hate that I downloaded this irrational junk. First off, Ehrman the agonistic can't make up his mind if he believes in "God" or not. Then he t...moreI really hate that I downloaded this irrational junk. First off, Ehrman the agonistic can't make up his mind if he believes in "God" or not. Then he tells the story of Jesus, the son of "God", as if "God" really exists. Why would a being who created the entire f-ing universe need to have a Jewish son of a "chosen people" be born to save all human beings for the "sins" of two people, whom he "God" should of have known were going to sin in the first place? And on top of that, "God" brings human beings into "his" world whom don't even get asked if they/we want to come into existence. But then they and all the generations after them are damned because they don't do the right thing, especially if they don't believe in the patriarchal Jewish "son" who is "crucified and resurrected"—which is supposed to make him divine! What a bunch of crap. Reading this book simply reminds you of how Judaism and Christianity come out of Bronze Age ethnocentric cultures that pushed their apocalyptic god beliefs on one another, and other cultures. The Bible reads like mythology because that's all it is. There's no god or Jesus, and this book fails to prove otherwise. Ehrman needs to study evolution and how people come to believe irrational stories. This is the last book I'll read of his. (less)
Very good read. Though I have a lot more reading and studying do before I can begin to understand basic physics, I appreciate how Stenger provides sci...moreVery good read. Though I have a lot more reading and studying do before I can begin to understand basic physics, I appreciate how Stenger provides scientific evidence about important questions, including the accidental emergence of the cosmos, the lack of evidence for the existence supernatural gods and transcendent after-life, the lack of intrinsic purpose in the universe, and arguments that morality comes from God.
Stenger makes no apology for arguing that there's no compatibility between religion and science—the former relies on believe and ancient outdated scriptures, and the latter relies on material evidence, reason, and empiricism.
He takes on the religious apologists, like Dinesh D'Souza, by quoting and explaining their claims, and then argues how they are wrong. He also takes on his fellow scientist who support Stephen Jay Gould's concept that science and religion are "non-overlapping magisteria" (NOMA)—i.e., that science is concerned with the "'outer' world of the senses, while religion deals with the 'inner' world of morality and meaning." Science and I would add "critical thinking" can say a lot about morality. Our morality is based on our biological evolution, and more on social morals codes that cultures and and societies have developed and agreed upon based on numerous factors. Outdated god-believe is no longer needed to teach us about morality.
Stenger is of course a physicists, and he does make arguments using the evidence and claims of physics, but you don't have to fully understand the science in order to get through the book. (Read what you can, because you'll need to read more than one book to understand physics.) Stenger's writing is lucid and engaging, and he is very much concerned about the survival of the planet. He rightly argues that religion is holding back humanity, and it's time we move forward and bury religious philosophical views. His books are a contribution to the transition from a religious-based society to one guided by science, reasoning, critical thinking, and I would add, social and economic justice.(less)(less)
It only took a few days to read this book, but I'll will be using it for quite some time as a reference for my own journal writing. Kathleen Adams pro...moreIt only took a few days to read this book, but I'll will be using it for quite some time as a reference for my own journal writing. Kathleen Adams provides a smorgasbord of ideas for helping you document and reflect on your life experiences. Some of the ideas, such as "Stepping Stones," may be familiar to experienced journal writers, but Kathleen's insight about journal writing as a whole makes the entire book worth reading.(less)
Before reading Joel's book, I didn't know my habit of keeping an annual list of books I read is an example of curating. I always thought curating had...moreBefore reading Joel's book, I didn't know my habit of keeping an annual list of books I read is an example of curating. I always thought curating had to do with art and book collections. But the way Joel explains it, the annual family portraits I take, my iTunes smart list collection of favorite jazz songs, and the two books of tweets I had published are also examples curating my life experience.
As Joel explains it, curating is about recognizing, capturing, organizing, and sharing our most valuable moments. And thanks to digital technology, curating our life experiences is much easier, and efficient now. His book also made me realize how I rely onTwitter or Google+ contacts and RSS feed apps for curated information on certain topics.
Joel describes using spreadsheets to document his life collections, but after reading his book, I would say that tagging entries in my Day One digital journal is another way I curate my experiences. With my tagged journal entries (e.g., about books, individual family members, jazz artists and albums, work, and other topics), I can filter and export them to PDFs or printed books. I've even started tagging journal entries about the meals I eat, for the purposes of developing better eating habits.
I wish I had been aware of curating experiences when my children were younger. There's so many details in life that slip our mind as the years pass along. And as Joel points out, curating helps us see what we truly value. "It helps us get more of the good stuff, and protects us from the distractions."
I think Joel does a great job explaining what curating is, and how it can be useful. His writing style is congenial, and his conviction about the subject is evident on every page. The book can be read in less than a day, and I think it will help you to see how you're probably already curating stuff in your life, and how your curations can be more useful and meaningful. The only part I felt missing in this book is maybe including a list of ideas for curating life experiences. Joel provides a few ideas based on his and a few others' experiences, but I'm sure there are at least a hundred ideas that readers may not realize. Perhaps a follow-up book could provide numerous examples of how different people curate their life experiences and what tools they use to do so.
"Experience Curating" may seem a little right brain or geeky for some people, but it's definitely an practice that more people should engage in, especially with the various digital apps and online services that can automate some curating tasks.(less)
The author makes a pretty huge claim in the title of his book, but by the time I finished reading it, I would agree that religion as we know it will p...moreThe author makes a pretty huge claim in the title of his book, but by the time I finished reading it, I would agree that religion as we know it will possibly fade away over the next hundred years. (I just hope religious fanatics won't kill more and more people in the process.)
Williams argues his claim by first describing the origins of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, which serves to remind us just how archaic and irrational these religions have been, and they in the long run hold back our greatest potential as human beings. With the emergence of science, and rational and critical thinking, these religions will not be able to withstand the forces of modernity. As Williams says in his book "Our gods have never appeared to us and never will. We have fooled ourselves into creating and believing in them. It is time to propose formally the next day of our spiritual[?] and cultural development."
Quite frankly in order for us to survive and persevere, humanity will have to move past outdated religious beliefs, and use the guiding principles of humanism to fashion a better world. In the second part of the book he explains evolution — i.e. the origins of life, and the origins of us Homo sapiens sapiens. His descriptions of religion and evolution are clear and easy to read. One of the necessary ways that we move away from a dependence upon religious myths is that we become more scientifically literate about the origins of life and the nature of the universe, and that we better understand our human psychology.
Future generations will increasingly see that the claims of religion have no evidence, and ultimately religious practices and institutions have not and will not solve most of the worlds problems. This is why the claims of this book point to the type of knowledge and confidence we need to ensure that our children and future generations are not shackled by religious dogma and confusion.
"Why Our Children Will Be Atheists" is fairly short, and most descriptive, but it's well the worth the read for getting a framework about how world is chaining without the need for gods and mythical beliefs. (less)