Jamaal
user 13410642
Northampton, MA
Post #: 8
So the idea came up at our meetup today that we could have a PVFT book club. We would probably meet at a different time and less frequently than the usual every other week. So I am wondering what people would like to read (Bertrand Russell essays were suggested), and where you would like to meet, and who is interested in doing this. So respond here with your thoughts!
Steve S.
user 14590888
Northampton, MA
Post #: 1
It sounds like a terrific idea.
A former member
Post #: 2
I'm definitely in.

Here is Sam Harris' recommended reading list. It's extensive and includes books that cover innumerable topics and span various genres. I suggest that we start there for ideas.

http://www.samharris....­

Because there are so many topics that might interest us, we might vote on a theme to help us narrow the possibilities. Topics could include atheism, faith in politics, neuroscience, science and ways of knowing, evolution, the nature of consciousness, or public policy to name a few.

I would also be interested in discussing books from the other side as a means of "knowing your enemy," which could only add credibility and context to our arguments. So, Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ or C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity may also be fair game.

For now, though, I think we might do well to pick a generalist book that will serve to introduce us to the subject matter we as a group tend to be interested in. Any of the "Four Horsemen"--Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris--would fit this bill. Bertrand Russell's Why I am Not a Christian is also in this vein, I believe.

As far as time is concerned, other book clubs I've participated in have found monthly meetings to be reasonable, but this can be adjusted depending on the length of the book.

Those are my suggestions for now.
Jamaal
user 13410642
Northampton, MA
Post #: 11
Scott,

That seems to be a very extensive list. I looked at some and liked the idea of the Secular Conscience. But yeah we could start with the Moral Landscape, or Dawkins' the Magic of Reality. The Magic of Reality appeals to me because I have such a poor background in reality based science. I was raised christian and all science, I was told, could be reconciled with the bible.
More suggestions and discussion are welcome!
A former member
Post #: 3
Hey, Jamaal.

Do you think people know to access these discussion threads? I wasn't able to find a dedicated link on the home page that indicated that new discussion posts were available. We'll have a hard time getting feedback from others if they don't know this thread is here. I'm usually decently computer savvy and I had to search a little to find where this was. I didn't realize that it was a "discussion" as opposed to something else, so it took me a while to try the discussion link above.

Is there any way to make this thread more apparent on the home page?

Scott
Alisha
user 7933444
Wakefield, MA
Post #: 9
Count me in on the book discussion. All of the suggestions look good. I'm probably drawn the most to Secular Conscience as a first read, but will go along with whatever everyone wants.

Perhaps we should just make a decision and post it here and on the Facebook page. It will be hard to get everyone to give feedback up front.
Alisha
A former member
Post #: 4
Yeah, Alisha, I think you're right.

I found a book on Sam Harris' site that is called The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason. It is described as a summary of the New Atheism Movement that's been going on for the last ten years or so, and explains why New Atheism isn't just reiteration of previous atheist ideas. It seems like it would be a good primer for future reads, even if the lot of us may already be aware of some of what he discusses. Thoughts?

http://www.amazon.com...­

I just realized, though, that the library doesn't have this. If we're only going with books available at the library, that will limit our options. I'm okay with buying the books, but how does everyone else feel about that?
Alisha
user 7933444
Wakefield, MA
Post #: 12
That looks like a good book too, Jamal. I'm fine with purchasing, and will generally prefer to buy the books we choose in ebook form if they're available ( since I'm a geek, and actually prefer reading on my iPad).

Of course, we don't have to find the 'perfect' book for the first read. The important thing is to just get started. If "secular conscience" is available in local libraries, why don't we start with that in case purchasing vs checking out is an issue for anyone. We can discuss any preferences later when we meet.
Alisha
Jamaal
user 13410642
Northampton, MA
Post #: 15
Okay so the Secular conscience it is? And let's pick a date and place. We will probably put it a month or so out, so everyone has time to read the book!
A former member
Post #: 5
Secular Conscience will work. It's a really good length for a month, too. The author is Austin Dacey?

Weekends are definitely best for me, and Tues and Thurs are a definitely out.

The weekend of Nov. 19 is a month from this weekend.

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