Spritzophrenia

humour, music, life, sociology. friendly agnostic.

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

The Crib Notes

Posted by spritzophrenia on July 29, 2010

FAQ: All the things you wanted to know about this site, and some you didn’t. Like my life and thinking, this page is a work in progress.

The most important bit is probably the

Comment Guidelines

I love comments from all perspectives, please don’t feel intimidated. You don’t have to be a super-intellectual or brilliant writer to contribute. I’m quite ok with “I don’t feel like this is true, but I’m not very good at explaining my reasons”. After all, that’s how I feel sometimes.

I hope Spritzophrenia can be a place where we leave our pride behind and sincerely listen to each other. I have to lead by example, of course, and I’m sure I’ll screw it up at times.

If something really pushes your buttons or makes you angry you might want to consider taking a few moments to breathe before commenting.

Play nice, children.

***

Glossary, Definitions and Suchlike

Most of the below deserve posts in their own right, but for now…

Offending Your Beliefs
I’m well aware that a non-adherent of a religion usually makes mistakes in emphasis, nuance and understanding when writing about it. My apologies for any factual errors I make. I feel uncomfortable criticising a spiritual path from the outside and I try to rely on those writing from the inside. I also acknowledge the large number of good, moral people in any worldview.

See also…

Religions
I’m far from an expert on everything. Nobody can be. I’ve done a lot of reading, and have a fair amount of personal experience of a very *few* religions. Please correct me and help me understand your worldview if I’ve got it wrong.

Atheism
Sometimes I include atheism in the category of “religions”,”faiths” or “beliefs”. I don’t mean to insult anyone, it’s just simpler to write. Atheism is not a religion, and it pisses atheists off to hear that line. All I mean when I use the word in this context is “a perspective on life”, which can be grouped with other perspectives on life.

Agnostic
I call myself an “open agnostic”, a “friendly agnostic”, and a “woolly-headed intellectual lightweight without the balls to man up and be an atheist” 😉 Many agnostics are at the atheist end of the scale. I tend to float up and down the scale a little. That means sometimes I take seriously the idea there could be a spiritual reality. Sorry ’bout dat.

g0d
You’ll notice that sometimes I talk about “g0d”. That’s a zero in the middle there. I suppose it looks similar to the way some Jewish believers write G-d but that’s not why I do it. “God” is a concept that has so much baggage for so many people, including me. I’m trying to distance myself a little from any particular religion’s God, particularly the grumpy old man in the sky. If g0d exists she’s a truly wonderful being. g0d to me means a theistic god, and that’s about it.

Spritzophrenia
What does this word mean? Anything you want it to, really. I suppose seeing I coined it you want to know what I mean by it.

Anything else that should go on this page?

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Posted in atheism, ethics, God, meta, writing | Tagged: , | 18 Comments »

Clan of the Horse Passage Hunters

Posted by spritzophrenia on July 23, 2010

The following spoof might make no sense unless you’ve read one of Jean M. Auel’s novels. I wrote this some time ago after reading the first three.

***

Clan of the Horse Passage Hunters

She paused at the bottom of the slope to study the plants that grew there: Starchy roots, cat-tail, thistle, licorice fern, folderol, wild onion, lily corms, stinging nettle, flax seeds, opium poppies, red grass, yellow grass, wild carrot, thick stringy grass the mammoths liked, short tender shoots for the horses, sweet potato, venus flytrap, cannabis, triffid, rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb. Sometimes the variety of the Great Mother’s creation overwhelmed her.

She turned and whistled to her horse, “Horse”. “There you are Horse”, she smiled. She mounted in one swift leap, her perfectly coiffed blonde hair shimmering in the sun as on they travelled. On and on they went. On and on and on. And on some more.

Alyar noticed the hoofprints that Horse had left in the sand at the rivers end. She noticed Horse’s turds behind them. She noticed all the many alluvial deposits along the bank. “Oh Great Mother, No!”, she mouthed silently, accompanied by secret clan signs. “Not another turgid monologue about the windswept climate of the plains. Can’t we just find some animal to slaughter instead?”

Laughing Horse

“Oh, will we ever see people again? Will I ever see Dorc again? Will the plot ever rise from a plod to some kind of pace?”

“Alyar?”

Jondullard was standing in front of her, looking concerned. He wiped grease and blood off his great, tanned, manly hair-covered chin and looked at her with his strange piercing blue eyes, eyes that could make any woman want him, eyes that were an icy blue in summer yet contained hints of sky, star, ocean, river, …

“Alyar? You’re off in the spirit world again. Is something wrong?” he murmured.

A warmth that still managed to make her shiver washed over her body, and she noticed his glorious manhood straining against his leather g-string. How she wanted him, he was the best. Their pleasures were always good. They had to be, inserted every couple of chapters as they were, to keep the monotony of their journey from killing the reader of boredom.

Posted in humor, humour, music, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Should I Rename Spritzophrenia? Win A Prize!

Posted by spritzophrenia on July 21, 2010

It’s my birthday next Tuesday, and I’m thinking of buying a real domain name for this blog. So it’s opportune to ask you, my devoted readers (all four of you) whether you think I should rename this site.

The options are:

1. Leave it called spritzophrenia. Advantage: Unique. Disadvantages: Hard to spell, and what the hell does it mean?

2. Change it to something else. Advantages: Maybe people would find my site more easily, and have some idea of what it’s about. Disadvantage: Would I be restricting myself if I suddenly want to write about something else, or convert to Astral Chickenism?

If you DO think it needs changing, what do you think I should name it? By now you have an idea of what I write about. I’m thinking something with agnostic in the name might be an idea, but am open to anything.

eg

Agnostic Walrus
Paranoid Spiritual Geek
Pathetic Philosophy
Semi OK Writing
This Guy Is Deluding Himself

If it helps, I found a useful naming tool which is fun to try. “AgnosticBrite”, anyone? Ooh! “AgnosticArse”. We have a winner!

Please tell me if I should change, and if so make suggestions. The more the merrier, brainstorm away, you can comment many times. Your prize… um… an all-expenses-paid meditation retreat with me. We will be contemplating the inside of an empty wine bottle, and the expenses are paid by you. I can’t lose!

Please comment. 🙂

Posted in humor, humour, meta, writing | 34 Comments »

Booklust

Posted by spritzophrenia on July 16, 2010

Like interesting quotes? Here’s a random selection from my latest pile from the library:

[In] the novel Mindscan, in the future we will become immortal by first scanning our brains. … To ensure the mental health of the people undergoing mind transfer, Mindscan scientists find that these artificial brains must be pre-installed in robotic bodies before the person wakes up.

Clifford Pickover A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality: Extraordinary people, alien brains and Quantum Resurrection (Thunders Mouth Press, 2007) p94

writing

The presumption of atheism which I want to discuss is not a form of presumptuousness. Indeed, it might be regarded as an expression of the very opposite, a modest teachability.

Anthony Flew The Presumption of Atheism (Elek/Pemberton, 1976) p13

If we take the concept of embodiment seriously, then there cannot be any mental concept without its physical expression.

Anne Forest God in the Machine: What Robots Teach us about humanity and God (Plume, 2004) [She talks about a concept of embodiment I’d already thought of. Exciting!] P 105

The important thing to note is that all appeals to an infinite number of different universes as an escape from the conclusion of a divinely designed universe are forms of the gambler’s fallacy.

Hugh Ross The Creator and the Cosmos (Navpress, 3rd ed, 2001) [Um… ok? Astronomer, not a young earth creationist.]

I think evolution is true. The process, as I reflect on it, is an expression of God’s creativity, although in a way that is not captured by the scientific view of the world. … Science provides a partial set of insights that, though powerful, don’t answer all the questions.

Karl Giberson Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution (HarperOne, 2008) [Former fundamentalist young-earth creationist tells his story.] p216

“The Spirit (God himself in his relationship to the world) also works in the creation and preservation of the world. Man is not forsaken by God. Otherwise he would live in a complete hell. … People create somewhat sanctified [social] structures, and those structures force people to conduct themselves in a somewhat sanctified manner. … Tying in with … that work, the Spirit works through sanctified people as instruments of love.”

Hendrikus Berkhof Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Study of the Faith (Revised ed.) (Eerdmans, 1986) p 512 [Theology text which has some useful notes on my thinking around experience and g0d for an article I‘m working on.]

Everything I see – the water, the log-wrecked beach, the farm on the hill, the bluff, the white church in the trees – looks overly distinct and shining. (What is the relationship of color to this sun, of sun to anything else?) It all looks staged.

Annie Dillard Holy The Firm (Perennial, 1977) [Pulizter Prize Winner] p49

Leave all these things alone: silence or speech, fasting or eating, solitude or company, and the like, and don’t bother about them; you don’t know what they mean, and it’s not worth your while trying to find out. … This grace will certainly never come to us through keeping strict silence [etc] … If we are to have this grace it has to come from within, from God…

From A Much Needed Letter on Moderation In Spiritual Impulses in Charles Crawford (trans) The Cell of Self-Knowledge: Early English Mystical Treatises (Crossroad, 1981)

The theoretical distinction between substances and modes is between those things that can exist on their own and don’t depend on anything else for their existence (substances), and those that cannot exist on their own and depend on substances for their existence (modes).

Cardinal, Hayward, Jones The Meditations [of] Rene Descartes (Hodder Murray, 2006) p67 [Well-done philosophy text to accompany D’s famous work.]

Magic seeks different satisfactions from science. It is best seen as a highly developed gesture language, not depending on hypotheses or evidence, or seeking causal explanations as does science. So there is no progress in magic as there is in science.

Heaton, Groves Understanding Wittgenstein (Ikon, 2005) p 124

Posted in agnostic, Christianity, ethics, Philosophy, writing | Tagged: , , | 15 Comments »

When Courage Takes Flight

Posted by spritzophrenia on July 5, 2010

“I admire anyone who has the guts to write anything at all”, said admired writer and novelist E.B White.

Randy’s This Year You Write Your Novel reminded me to pull Ralph Keyes’ The Courage To Write off my bookshelf. I’m not a huge fan of books on writing. It’s too easy to think ABOUT writing, than to actually sit down and write. Nevertheless, this book is exactly what I need when I want to be distracted. It inspires me.

Keyes contends that writing is an act of courage. Check out what these other not-so-obscure authors have to say:

“All my life, I’ve been frightened at the moment I sit down to write” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“I suffer as always from the fear of putting down the first line. It is amazing the terrors, the magics, the prayers, the straightening shyness that assails one” – John Steinbeck

“Blank pages inspire me with terror” – Margaret Atwood

Keyes says,

We like to imagine White on his New England farm dashing off lighthearted essays and charming books for children when he wasn’t slopping hogs or chopping wood. In fact, White worried over every word. He rewrote pieces twenty times or more and sometimes pleaded with the post-master to return a just-mailed manuscript so he could punch up its ending or rewrite the lead.

In addition to being a consummate rewriter, White was a gifted procrastinator.

Procrastination is the sap that drips from the gnarled branch of anxiety. I think the tree is rooted in fear. Recently I linked anxiety to my periodic depressions. This is a good thing as my therapist and I are going to have a field day, and it may yield results in my writing. If I can gain insight and lick this, I hope the days when I want to complete that assignment but decide to “just give the kitchen sink one last polish” will be fewer. We are not alone. Procrastination, anxiety and fear are much more common to writers than I realised.

So when the blank page is staring at you, what to do? William Moon once advised a group of aspiring writers, “Anything you can do to trick yourself out of panicking, do it”. When you’re afraid to write try some of these:

* Give yourself permission to just do one small part.
Tell yourself you’ll just write one sentence and then give up. You might be surprised to find yourself achieving just a little more.

* Give yourself guilt-free time out.
At university my friend Nathan “knew” when he just wasn’t going to sit down and study. Rather than mope about the house in a miasma of guilt, he gave himself permission to go to the cinema – and not to feel guilty. He reasoned it was a better use of his time to enjoy a movie than to feel guilty all afternoon and achieve nothing.

* Develop the space where you write so it works for you.
Do you like to sit in your kitchen and write in pencil? Do you like to write with a glass of wine? Do you like to write naked? Whatever works for you will help lower anxiety.

* Do something different.
This is a foil to the previous point. If you sit to write, try standing for a change. Or lying in bed. Or writing on the back of envelopes, if you normally type at a keyboard.

* Use fear as an ally.
Anxiety can give a heightened perception that can yield great insight and great writing. Bad days are sometimes easier to write about than good days.

* Try prayer or meditation. If you’re spiritual, starting with a period of unburdening and relaxation may help. Many studies have shown this can calm practitioners.

* Acquire Ralph Keyes’ book.
He suggests solutions as well as detailing the foibles of the great and the lowly. If you’re going to read a book about how to write, it might as well be a good one. (I’ll take that kickback now, Ralph.)

Above all, take heart: “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted”, according to Martin Luther King Jr. If salvation is in the hands of such as these, surely we can handle a mere pencil and paper? The comments are waiting: Go, write now.

Jonathan Elliot writes at Spritzophrenia where he mangles the interface between spirituality, personal development and humor.

First published as a guest post on Randy Murray’s blog. Thanks Randy!

Posted in Off Topic, writing | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

What’s Cool? Read This

Posted by spritzophrenia on July 4, 2010

Welcome 🙂 Here are a few popular posts you might enjoy:

What The World Needs Now. The answer to life’s big questions.
This Is Hard. Writing honestly about life.
If You See The Buddha On the Road, Kiss Him. A story lots of people liked.
Somewhere, Over the Rainbow Do I want God to exist?
My Pagan Experience. In which I attend a pagan festival.
Atheist Sprituality. Is there such a thing?
When Courage Takes Flight. Are you a writer? You’ll like this.

You can also click the categories at right under I write about to find topics of interest. If you enjoy, please subscribe to get updates (top left).

Your comments are welcome, opinions don’t have to be super-smart. “I don’t agree but I can’t explain why”, is fine. 🙂

Posted in meta, writing | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Showing My Hand – The Meaning of Life

Posted by spritzophrenia on June 21, 2010

For twenty years, off and on, I’ve thought about writing a book on The Meaning of Life. Last year I decided to work more explicitly towards that goal, and this blog is part of my journey towards publishing. Here’s The Meaning of Life – Part One, for example. I really value your input and constructive criticism.

I had thought I’d call my book simply, “The Meaning of Life”. However, in my research I’ve just discovered a book in the library, published only a few years ago by a UK professor of English titled “The Meaning of Life”. Aargh! Robbed! Beaten to my goal! 😉

Actually, I’m feeling quite content and rather phlegmatic. Let’s face it, it’s a big question and there’s room for all. I haven’t read his book yet, but I feel my hand somewhat forced. Before reading it, I want to note down my general ideas for structuring my book, lest I be accused of plagiarism.

42 Meaning of Life
42 – I know, I don’t get it either 😉

Big caveats: This is the beginning of a work in progress, largely in note form, misses out a lot, and will no doubt change over the course of the project. This post is abandoned, rather than finished. (Hopefully the rest of my blog is more readable – eg my stuff on Atheist Spirituality). That said, here’s a preview:


Book structure.
I’m intending to make it personal as well as philosophical? How to pitch it? Academic versus popular is tricky. I want pictures! eg Engineers versus Physicists versus Philosophers

[Edit: I now think the structure will be more short vignettes, but the content will be similar, so will leave this here.]

Working Title:
42 Is Not Enough:
The Meaning of Life

“God is dead! And we have killed him!” – Nietzsche

“How can anyone discover what life means?
It is too deep for us, too hard to understand.
But I devoted myself to knowledge and study;
I was determined to find wisdom and the
answers to my questions”
– Ecclesiastes (The Bible)

“‘If life was devoid of realities there would be no meaning to life’, my father wrote in one of his forewords to his book, in Hindi” – Sri Bachchan, Indian actor.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.” – Joy J. Golliver

1. Welcome to Your Life
(Introduction)

My intentions, biases and background. (Perhaps to be unpacked through the book.) I’m an open agnostic, or perhaps a theistic agnostic or a deist.
This book is only the story so far. I’d like to revisit it in 20 years and update or change it. After all, I have neglected major religions like Hinduism, and I can’t possibly fairly evaluate everything. Look at how big the religion and philosophy sections in public libraries are! The dangers of guru-ism?

Having said that, I do think there are less than a dozen major worldview alternatives, eg atheism, theism, polytheism, pantheism, monism… And few options within those are realistic, eg polytheism is just too unlikely imo. Within theism, Mormonism, for example, is just too unbelievable. US archaeology alone destroys it. Sorry Mormons 😦

Disclaimer: I’m well aware that a non-adherent of a religion usually makes mistakes in emphasis, nuance and understanding when writing about it. My apologies for any factual errors. I feel uncomfortable criticising a spiritual path from the outside so I’m relying on those writing from the inside. I also acknowledge the large number of good, moral people in any worldview.

Music! Supertramp | The Logical Song That song really affected me and made me think, from a young age.

Feel free to skip straight to my answer, although it will be more fully understood in the context of other things.

“If everybody contemplates the infinite instead of fixing the drains, many of us will die of cholera.” ~John Rich

2. There’s no Escape
(The “feel” of the meaning of life)

It’s a universal question, and arguably the motivator behind the spiritual search. Atheist spirituality.
“God is dead. We have killed him” – Nietzsche. But this is a tragedy that N spent his life trying to overcome, not the triumphalism of some atheists. See nihilism. My experiences / thinking as a youth.

Humour – Monty Python’s film, Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” – Douglas Adams

42 – note it’s called the big question of “life, the universe and everything”. Doesn’t mention the meaning of life, tho’ it’s implied?

Note 42 is the result of asking the wrong question. It’s worth considering is asking “what’s the meaning of life?” the wrong question too? (thanks Randy Murray for this).

The motivation for the search. Nihilism, atheism. Not all, or even most atheists end up nihilists, but it’s a strong pull for me.

To look in the eye of meaningless-ness is to feel the horror of being
“Cast out upon 40,000 fathoms of the deep” – Joseph Conrad??

3. Unpacking The Question
(What do we mean by ‘meaning’?)

What does “The Meaning of Life” (MoL) actually mean?
Distinguish between ‘meaning’, ‘purpose’ and ‘significance’. See my The Meaning of Life – Part One
Some people think that the question is a non-question, eg Marty at AtheistClimber. I respectfully disagree (as per my comments in his blog).

Animals and the meaning of life – dolphins, higher primates. Is intelligence alone the measure of value? No.

I think unpacking the question actually leads to a lot of insight into what the answer might be.

4. The Invisible Hand
(Theism)

Concentrating mainly on Christianity, as that’s my background but will also reference Islam and Judaism where I can. Judaism does consider the question to a degree. Victor Frankl was Jewish, although his conclusions in “Man’s Search for Meaning” do not require any spiritual point of view.

My previous conclusion that meaning is found “in God”, and later “in Jesus”. But what does that actually mean? Is it coherent? Probably not.

Conclusion: Surprisingly, even if God exists, it may not give an answer to the meaning of life. “God” cannot be a meaningful answer to the question “What is the meaning of life?”

Perhaps God needs a meaning of life too? Perhaps all “intelligent life” does?

5. If You See the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him
(Mysticism/The East)

So far, I don’t think the concept of the meaning of life is actually addressed by Buddhism. (Buddhist friends, please help?)
This leads to the interesting idea that MoL is a Western (theist influenced?) idea. My attempts at meditation. Ultimately, I don’t think Buddhism is intellectually helpful.

Mysticism? Christian Mystics? AW Tozer? (He now feels too hardline to me.) My few pagan / wiccan experiences? New Age worldview?


from http://offthemark.com

6. Both Beast and God
(Reason, Philosophy)

Am I a rationalist? Possibly, but there may be limits to reason (viz Bertrand Russell’s quote).

“To live alone one must be a beast or a god, says Aristotle. Leaving out the third case: one must be both – a philosopher.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

J P Moreland moving the question to being about value (in Scaling the Secular City) He’s a good philosopher, but I don’t think this satisfies. Although losing a sense of value is a consequence of loss of meaning for me.

Kai Neilsen and other atheist philosophers. The “new atheists” – Dawkins, Hitchens, et al (if I must! 😉 )

Philosophy is life’s dry-nurse, who can take care of us – but not suckle us. ~Soren Kierkegaard

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it. ~Bertrand Russell

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please – you can never have both. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains. ~Alfred North Whitehead

7. My Answer

I think the MoL is essentially found in living life. In life itself. (Not in biology, but in a human life lived.) Living, loving, enjoying sunsets, working to help others, playing a sport. Living itself has intrinsic meaning. (Or maybe not – that could be challenged.) Thus the specific meaning could be – in fact, must be – different for each person.

It’s the same conclusion Baggini came to, tho I came to it independently. But as he says, it’s not a great secret and you don’t have to be a great philosopher to figure it out. He is more eloquent than I am here:

“The only sense we can make of the idea that life has meaning is that there are some reasons to live rather than to die, and those reasons are to be found in the living of life itself. ”

Surprisingly, this is an answer that works for both theists and atheists.

(He also agrees with me that a religious worldview only makes a small difference to the outcome.)

“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.” ~Andre Gide

8. How Then Shall We Live?
(Conclusion)

What life might be like, “living” the meaning of life.
This book is only the story so far. I may revisit it in 20 years and update or change it.

Bibliography
My working bibliography is here.

====

What do you think? Would you enjoy reading such a book? Please comment below. Ideas and helpful criticism are really welcome both on content and structure, or anything really.

Posted in agnostic, Meaning of Life, meta, writing | Tagged: , , , , | 31 Comments »

What I’m Reading

Posted by spritzophrenia on March 10, 2010

Bibliophiles might enjoy this post. It’s intended as a reference for myself and for the curious, and will help me with bibliographies for my writing. You can search the net for them yourself, I’m often too lazy to add a link. Started mid-June 2010, so is missing quite a bit! Suggestions for reading welcome. Can’t do this without your help 🙂

2011
Well, I haven’t been a good boy and updated this for a long time. Just a few for now.

Foucault, Michel. [1966]. (2002). The Order of Things. An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. London: Routledge.

Foucault, Michel. [1975]. (1995). Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books/Random House.

Foucault, Michel. [1976]. (1978). The History of Sexuality, Volume 1. Translation Robert Hurley, London: Penguin.

Foucault, Michel. [1980]. “About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self.” in Carrette, J. (ed.) (1999). Religion and Culture. By Michel Foucault. New York: Routledge.

Foucault, Michel. [1982]. “The Subject and Power.” in Dreyfus, Hubert L. and Rabinow, Paul. (1982). Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics. Brighton: The Harvester Press.

Foucault, Michel. [1983]. (2010). In The Government of Self and Others. Lectures at the Collège de France 1982-1983. (ed. Frederic Gros). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Foucault, Michel. (1998). Michel Foucault. Aesthetics, Method and Epistemology. ed. Faubion, James. New York: The New Press.

Can you tell I’ve been reading lots of Foucault this year? 😉

2010

Non Fiction
Vernon, Mark | After Atheism: Science, Religion and the Meaning of Life (agnostic theist)
Comte-Sponville, Andre | The Book of Atheist Spirituality (found it!)
Sallis, Zoe | Ten Eternal Questions (interviews people for their opinions)
Fukuyama, Francis | Our PostHuman Future (biotechnology and ethics. Some don’t like Fukuyama, but I thought it would lay the groundwork usefully.)
Lane Craig, William | No Easy Answers (Christian philosopher. doubt, failure etc)
Anne Lamott |Plan B
Elizabeth Gilbert | Eat, Pray, Love (populist hinduism for the west, soon to be a film. With Julia Roberts – blah. Very readable.)
Tomlinson, Dave | The Post Evangelical (seminal book)
Budd, Malcolm | Values of Art (philosophy of art)
Frankl, Victor | Man’s Search for Meaning (a classic work)
La Vey, Anton | The Satanic Bible (Dipped into. i Like it but tempted to put this under Fiction 😉 )
Various authors | The (Christian) Bible (used to know it very well, now just dip into it.)
Eagleton, Terry | The Meaning of Life (he wrote my book! – see Showing My Hand.)
Chapman, Colin | Christianity On Trial (Lion, 1981) (Christian author outlines options very well. Great quotes.)
Lemmy (w Janiss Garza) | White Line Fever (autobiography)
Timothy Keller | The Reason For God (Dutton, 2008) (mainly for his brief but useful discussion of rationalism)
Romy Shiller | You Never Know(autobiography of a friend and amazing woman)
Anthony Flew | The Presumption of Atheism (Flew when he was an atheist)
Anthony Flew | There Is A God (The book he’s written about his reasons for now thinking God exists.)
Sue Hamilton, Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford Uni Press, 2001) Great little book.

Fiction
Niles, Chris | Vanished (thriller)
Stephenson, Neal | Snow Crash (classic cyberpunk, has great religion quotes which I didn’t know, it was just time-off reading)
The Historian (QUALITY vampire writing, which is rare)
Le Carre, John | The Mission Song (the master)
Di Filippo, Paul | Ribofunk (biologic sci fi. Good)
Ellis, Deodato (Marvel Comics) | Thunderbolts : Faith In Monsters . (Enjoyable amoralism)
Gail Simone, Eaglesham et al | Villains United (DC Comics, 2005) (evil heroes trying to become good? Blurs the lines.)
Eric ? | Savage Dragon
Richard Morgan | Thirteen (SF cybernoir action. One of my favourite authors. Also published as ‘Black Man’)

See also https://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/booklust/

And this. I’m not doing well at updating with all I’ve read @November 2010 😉

Want to Read
No doubt there will always be more in this list than I can actually manage.

Berry, R.J | Real Scientists, Real Faith: 17 Leading Scientists Reveal the Harmony Between Their Science and Their Faith scientists who are also theists
Adams, Douglas | The Meaning of Liff (and want to re-read his others for the ??th time)
Eric Reitan | Is God A Delusion: A Reply To Religion’s Cultured Despisers (liberal-ish christian? reply to the new atheists by a theist? philosopher)

Suggestions by Others
Shiller, Bryant | The 5th Option (proposed new options for origins of life. Thanks Romy.)
Aronson Living Without God (thanks Romansh.)
Mary O’Reilly | The Barn At The End of the World (The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd. Thanks Kimh)

Posted in meta, writing | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »