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Reddit reviews: The best world history books

We found 3,526 Reddit comments discussing the best world history books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 1,211 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about World History:

u/LaskerEmanuel · 5 pointsr/MultipleSclerosis

I have been struggling with the same thing, after years of being what some people might think of as a bit of a workaholic, once I got to “Now I can’t work, what do I do” (After I got done struggling with “Now I can’t work, who am I), this is what I came up with:

 


Exercise: Everything I have read thus far, highly encourages persons with MS to get as much exercise as they can get. All of the stories I read about MS that make you think “I would like to experience what that person is experiencing” start out with “I got MS, and I thought my life was over, but then I got very serious about sleep, diet, and exercise”) This gentlemen just posted a very nice one on this very subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/MultipleSclerosis/comments/ca5lem/something_uplifting_after_two_and_a_half_years_i/
One of the challenges for me was as someone who used to be fairly athletic years ago, for me exercise was a way to enjoy the wonders the human body was capable of, and going for a short, shuffling walk at the end of which I was exhausted felt… I don’t know, not great. At that point I went to a talk on MS and one of the doctors that was speaking talked about the importance of exercise, and relayed a series of stories about exercise and MS. One of them was about a gentlemen who had lost the use of everything but his left arm. His words were something like “That arm is one of the most important things going on in my practice, it’s the arm he uses to order food, to facetime with his children…”, and then he went on to describe the stretching and exercise he would do to try to preserve as much function as possible.
Some days of course are better than others, on the good ones I try to get in as much exercise as possible. On the bad ones, well I can do less, but I try to do what I can. One thing that has helped for me is thinking of the MS like a foe. It wants to destroy you, take things away, crippled you (I realize this is silly anthropomorphizing, but I feel like it helps me maintain a good state of mind). On the days I feel good, it makes it easier to go out and do what exercise I can, it feels like I am gaining on my foe. On my bad days, I think “Alright, you got me today, but let’s see how I feel tomorrow, perhaps the MS leaves a hole and I can slip through”. Somehow approaching it this way makes me feel slippery and determined, rather than crippled.

 



Reading: When I was younger I read a great deal, but it fell off as my career picked up. I got to a point where I would only read a handful of books a year. Now with more time, I have been spending more time with a book.
I recently finished Sapiens, and very much enjoyed it: https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095
I am now working my way through the histories of Herodotus (and am finding them fascinating): https://www.amazon.com/Landmark-Herodotus-Histories-Robert-Strassler/dp/1400031141/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=landmark+histories&qid=1562946514&s=books&sr=1-1

 


Watching: The wife and I watch some TV together, and we have both been on history kick. We have been watching some of the great courses, and really enjoying the experience. Some of our favorites:
https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/show/the_rise_of_rome?tn=Also+By+This+Professor_0_3 Everything I have seen by Greg Aldrete is good, he seems to conduct creditable scholarship (For example, he calls out when historians disagree on some topic, shares the views of both camps, and THEN shares his thoughts), and he tells a fantastic story.
https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/show/living_history_experiencing_great_events_of_the_ancient_and_medieval_worlds?tn=The+Great+Courses+Plus+Online+History+Courses+_0_70 Robert Garland takes moments out of history and works to make them come alive. I would argue that (at least for me) he succeeds spectacularly in this series.
https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/food-a-cultural-culinary-history The history of food, and history told with an eye to how everything has been shaped by food.
In addition to these, there are countless other good ones. As someone who purchased some great courses in the past (at what were some fairly exorbitant prices even on their sales), I very much like their new subscription model where you pay a fee each month and have access to everything. You can try out a lecture and see if you enjoy the lecturer style.

 


Gaming: Weirdly, being sick has destroyed a lot of the fun of gaming for me. Before I got sick, gaming was a thing I enjoyed “After I did my work”. Now that I don’t have work to be done with, someone how I don’t feel like I have “Earned the right to game”. Not saying this makes sense, necessary, but of course we feel how we feel. I have continued to play EVE Online (which I played before I got sick), albeit at a much lazier pace. I played through much of the latest Zelda with my 6 year old, which was fun, and recently played through FAR: Lone Sails which is a quiet, atmospheric puzzle solving game that involves piloting a vehicle through a post apocalyptic wasteland. Despite that description, I feel like the game is more soothing then it is anything else. It’s beautiful made, it was an enjoyable experience.

 


In addition to this jazz, I have of course been spending time with my wife and children. After my last flare I was spending a lot (almost all) of my time in the house, and more recently I have been making plans to see friends. Because my energy does not last so long, I have been trying to do lunches, perhaps meet a friend on their lunch break at work. The lack of outside the family adult contact once I stopped working has been weighing on me, and having a chat with an old friend has been a real boost.

u/seagoonie · 11 pointsr/spirituality

Here's a list of books I've read that have had a big impact on my journey.

First and foremost tho, you should learn to meditate. That's the most instrumental part of any spiritual path.

 Ram Dass – “Be Here Now” - https://www.amazon.com/Be-Here-Now-Ram-Dass/dp/0517543052 - Possibly the most important book in the list – was the biggest impact in my life.  Fuses Western and Eastern religions/ideas. Kinda whacky to read, but definitely #1

Ram Dass - “Journey Of Awakening” - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006L7R2EI - Another Ram Dass book - once I got more into Transcendental Meditation and wanted to learn other ways/types of meditation, this helped out.

 Clifford Pickover – “Sex, Drugs, Einstein & Elves…” - https://www.amazon.com/Sex-Drugs-Einstein-Elves-Transcendence/dp/1890572179/ - Somewhat random, frantic book – explores lots of ideas – planted a lot of seeds in my head that I followed up on in most of the books below

 Daniel Pinchbeck – “Breaking Open the Head” - https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Open-Head-Psychedelic-Contemporary/dp/0767907434 - First book I read to explore impact of psychedelics on our brains

 Jeremy Narby – “Cosmic Serpent” - https://www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Serpent-DNA-Origins-Knowledge/dp/0874779642/ - Got into this book from the above, explores Ayahuasca deeper and relevancy of serpent symbolism in our society and DNA

 Robert Forte – “Entheogens and the Future of Religion” - https://www.amazon.com/Entheogens-Future-Religion-Robert-Forte/dp/1594774382 - Collection of essays and speeches from scientists, religious leaders, etc., about the use of psychedelics (referred to as Entheogens) as the catalyst for religion/spirituality

 Clark Strand – “Waking up to the Dark” - https://www.amazon.com/Waking-Up-Dark-Ancient-Sleepless/dp/0812997727 - Explores human’s addiction to artificial light, also gets into femininity of religion as balance to masculine ideas in our society

 Lee Bolman – “Leading with Soul” - https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Soul-Uncommon-Journey-Spirit/dp/0470619007 - Discusses using spirituality to foster a better, more supportive and creative workplace – pivotal in my honesty/openness approach when chatting about life with coworkers

 Eben Alexander – “Proof of Heaven” - https://www.amazon.com/Proof-Heaven-Neurosurgeons-Journey-Afterlife/dp/1451695195 - A neurophysicist discusses his near death experience and his transformation from non-believer to believer (title is a little click-baity, but very insightful book.  His descriptions of his experience align very similarly to deep meditations I’ve had)

 Indries Shah – “Thinkers of the East” - https://www.amazon.com/Thinkers-East-Idries-Shah/dp/178479063X/ - A collection of parables and stories from Islamic scholars.  Got turned onto Islamic writings after my trip through Pakistan, this book is great for structure around our whole spiritual “journey”

 Whitley Strieber – “The Key: A True Encounter” - https://www.amazon.com/Key-True-Encounter-Whitley-Strieber/dp/1585428698 - A man’s recollection of a conversation with a spiritual creature visiting him in a hotel room.  Sort of out there, easy to dismiss, but the topics are pretty solid

 Mary Scott – “Kundalini in the Physical World” - https://www.amazon.com/Kundalini-Physical-World-Mary-Scott/dp/0710094175/ - Very dense, very difficult scientific book exploring Hinduism and metaphysics (wouldn’t recommend this for light reading, definitely something you’d want to save for later in your “journey”)

 Hermann Hesse – “Siddartha” - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/siddhartha-hermann-hesse/1116718450? – Short novel about a spiritual journey, coming of age type book.  Beautifully written, very enjoyable.

Reza Aslan - “Zealot” - https://www.amazon.com/ZEALOT-Life-Times-Jesus-Nazareth/dp/140006922X - Talks about the historical Jesus - helped me reconnect with Christianity in a way I didn’t have before

Reza Aslan - “No god but God” - https://www.amazon.com/god-but-God-Updated-Evolution/dp/0812982444 - Same as above, but in terms of Mohammad and Islam.  I’m starting to try to integrate the “truths” of our religions to try and form my own understanding

Thich Nhat Hanh - “Silence” - https://www.amazon.com/Silence-Power-Quiet-World-Noise-ebook/dp/B00MEIMCVG - Hanh’s a Vietnamese Buddhist monk - in this book he writes a lot about finding the beauty in silence, turning off the voice in our heads and lives, and living in peace.

Paulo Coelho - “The Alchemist” - https://www.amazon.com/Alchemist-Paulo-Coelho/dp/0062315005/ - Sort of a modern day exploration of “the path” similar to “Siddhartha.”  Very easy and a joy to read, good concepts of what it means to be on a “path”

Carlos Castaneda - "The Teachings of Don Juan" - The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge https://www.amazon.com/dp/0671600419 - Started exploring more into shamanism and indigenous spiritual work; this book was a great intro and written in an entertaining and accessible way. 

Jean-Yves Leloup - “The Gospel of Mary” - https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Mary-Magdalene-Jean-Yves-Leloup/dp/0892819111/ - The book that finally opened my eyes to the potentiality of the teachings of Christ.  This book, combined with the one below, have been truly transformative in my belief system and accepting humanity and the power of love beyond what I’ve found so far in my journey.

Jean-Yves Leloup - “The Gospel of Philip” - https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Philip-Magdalene-Gnosis-Sacred/dp/1594770220 - Really begins to dissect and dive into the metaphysical teachings of Christ, exploring the concept of marriage, human union and sexuality, and the power contained within.  This book, combined with the one above, have radically changed my perception of The Church as dissimilar and antithetical to what Christ actually taught.

Ram Dass - “Be Love Now” - https://www.amazon.com/Be-Love-Now-Path-Heart/dp/0061961388 - A follow-up to “Be Here Now” - gets more into the esoteric side of things, his relationship with his Guru, enlightenment, enlightened beings, etc.

Riane Eisler - “The Chalice and the Blade” - https://www.amazon.com/Chalice-Blade-Our-History-Future/dp/0062502891 - An anthropoligical book analyzing the dominative vs cooperative models in the history and pre-history of society and how our roots have been co-opted and rewritten by the dominative model to entrap society into accepting a false truth of violence and dominance as “the way it is”

u/Sword_of_Apollo · 4 pointsr/changemyview

Metaphysics

>The dual wave/particle nature of matter is something that Rand has trouble with.

Not so long as the duality is accounted for in a non-contradictory way. It's self-evident that you will never find both sides of a contradiction existing in reality. If you could, you would never be able to know anything about anything. I explain this point further here.

Epistemology

>Rand's epistemology posits a fundamentally knowable world, so much so that we can draw strong conclusions about ethics and politics from principles founded on literally any observation.

I think it's pretty clear that this was not Rand's view of how principles are derived and grounded. It certainly isn't Dr. Leonard Peikoff's view of the induction of ethical and political principles, and he studied under Rand for 30 years and, to the best of my knowledge, agrees with Rand on every philosophical principle she wrote on, (and some she never wrote on.)

An individual's conceptual knowledge is an integrated whole, with a network of relationships between the different concepts and propositions.

Inductions of principles are not made by any random observation, but by multiple, relevant observations that are then integrated with each other and with other concepts, by a certain method (inductive logic) ultimately forming a theory that explains the observations causally. There is a whole lecture course and a book extending Objectivist theories to the issue of induction.

>I think there is a very powerful case that the complexity of the real world is such that drawing universal conclusions from a tiny base of priors will lead you far astray.

As I mentioned earlier, Rand isn't basing principles on "a tiny base of priors," but on concepts and theories that rest on a large number of perceptions and observations. But I also want to emphasize that complexity does not preclude the derivation of principles. Issac Newton derived principles from a tremendously complex physical world. And these principles still work in the context (including the precision of measurement) in which they were derived, (i.e. when things are not too small, too large, or too fast.) (That is another thing about principles that Objectivism recognizes: they are contextual with respect to evidence. See: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.)

>She is also extremely uncharitable to Kant, who explores very similar ideas...

Not really similar, actually. Rand didn't take respresentationalism, or the causal theory of perception (in which external objects are the causes, but not the direct objects of perception) for granted as starting points. Nor did she make a distinction between "things-in-themselves" and "appearances," nor did she believe in the "synthetic a priori," nor did she posit that "objects must conform to our knowledge."

Rand was a direct realist (but not a "naive" one) about perception, and her philosophy goes on from there. (I recommend The Evidence of the Senses by David Kelley. If you want a more in depth explanation of what's wrong at the root of Kant's epistemology, I recommend this post, especially my last couple of comments: A Critique of Kant on the Noumenal World / Phenomenal World Distinction (“Thing-in-Itself” vs “Appearance”).)

Ethics

>However, Rand's conception of human happiness seems at odds with what we see in actual human lives. The deep and lasting connections of love that form among people and the genuine sacrifice people will make for their loved ones are such a big part of human behavior that it pushes me away from Rand's philosophy here.

If this is supposed to be persuasive, you're relying on an argumentum ad populum. The fact that many people behave a certain way doesn't make it right.

Now, you might say that the great prevalence of certain behaviors in people makes theories that condemn that behavior, prima facie, counter-intuitive. But to oppose the theory on these grounds, in the face of solid philosophical argument, is succumbing to the ad populum fallacy.

I would also like to note, for clarity here, that a genuine sacrifice is one in which a person willfully does net damage to his ability to carry forward with life, when everything, including his mental (conceptual and healthy emotional) needs over the long term are taken into account. I must say that I doubt that genuine sacrifices are quite as common as you indicate.

Politics

>Interpersonal relations are maddeningly complex, and a political system which presupposes to answer nearly all questions from basic principles is going to fail to account for that complexity.

Again, complexity does not preclude principles. Things that are varied and disparate in perceptual reality can be organized and kept track of conceptually. Principles can be derived from them.

>The modern liberal democratic welfare state has in fact worked really well.

To what are you comparing it and what standard of measurement are you using?

Countries today that can be called "modern" in the sense of technology and prosperity appear to be so, largely to the extent that they have been good at respecting the principles of freedom (that is, individual rights: life, liberty and property.)

Welfare, (redistribution based on need) on the other hand, exists, not only in these prosperous countries, but also exists in abundance in places like Cuba, North Korea, the former USSR, Haiti, and Somalia. (In these last two cases, the redistribution is in the form of international aid.)

This video shows the correlation between economic freedom and quality of life: Episode One: Economic Freedom & Quality of Life. Explanation of the causation can be found in works like Rand's Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and Bernstein's The Capitalist Manifesto.

As Bono said,

>Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.

>In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure.

>Entrepreneurship is the most sure way of development.

(Though I think that even calling welfare and foreign aid a "stop-gap" is giving them too much credit. I think it actually hinders economic progress by helping to insulate the county's people and--especially--leadership from the full consequences of their failure to uphold individual rights on principle.)

[Edit: Added the first sentence of the first response.]

u/ModernSpiderman · 2 pointsr/TheMassive

Ah I'm glad you asked!

My next project coming up is actually to create a site for analyses like this, aimed towards teaching others, like yourself, how to think tactically. Unfortunately there aren't many resources available for “a beginners approach to tactics”, per se, which is a shame; as the initial learning curve can definitely be steep and intimidating.. but, I'll share with you the process I used to learn about tactics and hopefully I can give you some ideas on how to learn to think tactically!

---

  1. Pick a team / manager whose style you like and follow them. Watch games of various teams in various leagues. Like how a certain team plays? Follow the team, watch games of them when you can, and look for analyses of some of their bigger games online. (If you are a Crew fan and you want to analyze Crew games, watch the game the first time to “enjoy the game”, then watch it again in-depth to dissect it. It also helps that you know what is going to happen; ask yourself: What led to the Union’s goal? What events happened prior to it? Did the Crew make adjustments later on to fix an obvious problem? - I bought MLS Live specifically so I could do this.

  2. Focus on the positioning of players. - one part of the field / position at a time. Ask yourself the following questions when watching a game such as: what formation are both teams using? How are players finding space? Are the teams playing wide or narrow? Fast or slow? Possession or counter? Fluid or rigid? etc. - (I’ll provide a complete list in an article later this week)
    Once you learn a tactic, pay attention to how that tactic fares against other teams' tactics (ie. 4-3-3 v 4-3-3; 4-3-3 v 4-4-2; etc.).


  3. Follow the players when they leave said team This will naturally branch out your tactical knowledge, and allow you to compare and contrast the different systems.


  4. Choose high profile games to watch, with big-name coaches. There are quite a few distinct styles today; Tiki Taka ([email protected]), Juego de Posicion (Pep @Bayern), and Gegenpressing (Klopp @ Dortmund & Liverpool) being the most talked about, but there are many that exist.

    ---

    Some really interesting reading materials and resources:


    Inverting The Pyramid : This book is what I call my “soccer bible”. It gives an incredible scope into how soccer has changed throughout its existence, and while it only lightly covers modern tactics, as it was written in 2008, it explores the intricacies of various tactics, why they are used, and how to identify them. Its long, and very detailed so it may be a tough read but if you can get through it you will be gold.

    Football and Chess I mentioned in another comment how soccer is analogous to chess, as this book taught me. A good starting point as it is a very accessible book to any reader.

    Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning A fantastic read by itself, but with many parallels between Berhalter and Pep, this book can help understand some of Crew SC's tactics.

    Zonalmarking.net : The “Tactics in the 2000’s” section is almost an extension to the aforementioned book; it outlines the current trends in football really well. The author of the site also does very detailed statistical and analytical recaps of matches.

    Spielverlagerung.com (bonus content if you speak German- the German side of their site .de has even more info): The “Tactical Theory” section is a good place to start - While they are rather advanced articles, they do a good job at defining some of the key concepts in modern football. The writers are all very knowledgeable about tactics, and do in depth game analyses regularly.

    The Number 6 Role : His last post sadly was 2 years ago, but his pieces are fantastic. Of course I'm biased, but Sean’s analysis of Frank de Boer’s Ajax team is incredible, and I would completely recommend a read as Berhalter employs similar offensive tactics (defensively totally different, but the situational pressing application is fascinating).

    Think Football : Site focused on providing a wide range of info, content has declined in recent years as the site has sort of turned into a news site with brief articles, but it provides a bit more insight into world football happenings than say sky sports or fox sports; Good intro material.

    ---

    I hope this helps, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions as I’m happy to help you learn! Also I have begun writing a rather lengthy piece that will expand on the 6 points highlighted above, it’s far too long to post here but I will be sure to let you know when I have it up on my site. For now you have a reference sheet you can save and hopefully I set you up with a good place to start!
u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/exchristian

Let me first say this: you are an amazing and incredibly courageous woman! There are two things I have found to be the most important in life. A life without them is one stripped of its humanity and flavor. Indeed, people have died for them, fought for them and spent countless lifetimes seeking them;and rightly so for they are freedom and truth. I left my religion because I would not be a slave to any man, clergy or capricious deity. I left because I would not rest my entire existence on an iron age book that was obviously a lie. I valued my freedom and my quest for truth more than the love that my family had for me, more than my friends and my security. For finding the strength, the courage and above all the love of humanity to do the same...I want you to know that you deserve respect.

I can definitely sympathize with the non-christian culture problem. Think about it this way: you are on a great adventure. For the first time in your life, you have been given the chance to discover what it truly means to be YOU (free of cavemen superstitions and guilt of being human). As hardcore Christians we were taught that everything about us is just that-christian. That is not true! We still have our own personal preferences, personalities and tastes. The mistake that people make is to assume that, because they are no longer Christians, they are sorority material and going clubbing every weekend is their cup of tea. So be yourself, surround yourself with people who will love you for it and most importantly: don't be afraid to tell your story. Stories are the foundation of identity and having one is essential to being human. The next time you are completely lost in a conversation, don't be scared to say why. Doing so will not only help the other person connect with you on a deeper level, it will also help you gain more self acceptance. Sure, maybe the sexy quarterback won't want you anymore. But do you really want people in your life who would turn their backs on you, if only they knew ye? Don't worry about it too much though. In time, you will be surprised by how much of a non-christian you have become.

Your mother may no longer be with you but she lives on through your memories and her legacy to the family she cherished and to the world she lived in. I think it is more respectful and humane to celebrate who she was and what she accomplished than to constantly spend that time feeding the false hope of seeing her again. I am sorry if I sound too rude but I could not find a better way to say it. When all the chips are down, your family may no longer want you. I can feel the pain that brings as I write this. However, its would be their loss and not yours. You can surround your life with people who love you and support you despite not being blood relatives-isn't that what family is all about? And should you feel so inclined, you can make your own family and have children that you will "love no matter what (parenting 101)".

Lastly, you do not need to worry about burning in hell, trust me. Better still, don't trust me and pick up three books I strongly recommend: [Godless] (http://www.amazon.com/Godless-Evangelical-Preacher-Americas-Atheists/dp/1569756775) ,[Letter to a christian nation] (http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Sam-Harris/dp/0307278778/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427723744&sr=1-1&keywords=letter+to+a+christian+nation) and [God is not great] (http://www.amazon.com/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/0446697966/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427723824&sr=1-1&keywords=god+is+not+great) . Before you do that ask yourself: if you went to heaven, would you trust yourself to have a good time knowing that good people are being tortured FOREVER? Why? Because they didn't believe in a god that did everything he could to hide from us. Or maybe they mistakenly believed in the wrong one?

As for my story. Well, I was raised in a christian fundamentalist cult. Being LGBT certainly didn't help and all in all, it would probably make you cry. You don't need to cry right now, you need to be happy because from now on you will forever be free of the superstitions of ancient cavemen (85% of the world still isn't). You are free to own your own mind, your body and your soul -just kidding, nobody has one-you are truly free (pause a moment and realize what that means) and the prototype for the next step in the evolution of the homo sapiens mindset. I am sure there are far more cheerful stories here on Reddit.

u/LindsayHansenPark · 40 pointsr/exmormon

Great question. Again, I struggle with being concise but I will try.

Belief is hard. I'm still trying to understand it myself. The short answer is, at the end of the day- I still feel like a believer. Like, I wake up many mornings and feel like nothing has changed for me. I think this suggests that Mormonism is far more than just a belief system. I still feel Mormon. It's still a very natural instinct to pray when I'm stressed.

Logically, I don't believe in God, but I still feel like I do and so I still pray. I think this is the actual definition of Mormon faith- a hope for things. I hope that someone or something hears my prayers, but I know it is very unlikely. But it's a habit and practice I value.

I don't believe in the literal truth claims of most things, only because I have a very different understanding of how to view it thanks to my professional historian friends who have taught me how to think of things from a sort of dispassionate, scientific way.

That shows me, and experience has shown me that things don't have to be literal to have meaning. Have y'all read Sapiens? I love the way Harari talks about constructs and myths. Everything is a myth- everything- equality, human rights, religion, all of it. I sort of take that approach.

So what do I believe? It's hard to pin down. I have a testimony in the messiness of it all. I bear my testimony that humans are super illogical and messy and broken, acting out of hurt and scarcity sometimes, and other times acting out of generosity and kindness. I see this acted out through Mormonism daily. It certainly isn't specific to Mormonism, but I've learned it all through a Mormon lens and I really value that.

So I believe in the Mormon movement. In Mormon people to do good and bad things in a very Mormon way. I love the Mormon communities we have and actually feel spiritually fed in seeing the complexity of it all. To me, divinity is found in collective human experience and I see that in Mormonism.

I know that doesn't make a lot of sense and isn't sufficient. We want temple recommend answers to this sort of thing. Everything else feels like deflection. But the reality is, it's not deflection- I just am not sure how to articulate that my mind and body are very complicated in Mormonism. So the easiest thing to say is that I still feel Mormon and I still feel like a believer. My brain is just more naturally oriented towards belief than skepticism. That's caused me plenty of problems along the way.

I certainly also have a lot of harmful scripts I'm still unpacking but I'm committed in a very Mormon-dilligence sort of way to deconstructing that so i reserve the right to constantly change my mind.

Belief really is complicated and complex. But I certainly no longer believe in a literal, traditional way we usually define belief. But I think that sort of belief requires a very underdeveloped way of looking at the world and most believers I know these days don't subscribe to a sort of blind-faith, immature, take-your-word-for-it belief. There are certainly many that do, but there are also very smart and thoughtful people who let belief be complicated.

u/JCCheapEntertainment · 1 pointr/aznidentity

>As for your “race realist” beliefs, the way I see those theories is that they are backwards rationalization of “innate” human capacities based on results of recent history (a time period that accounts as a mere tick on the entire span of human time-line). It also does not take account the effects of disparity in starting points of geography and environment, and different available starting packages offered by said environments.

They're not backwards rationalizations for the results of recent history. Evolution never stopped, different selection pressures have been placed on different lineages of humans ever since they diverged some 40-50k years ago when the group that became our ancestors (all none Africans) marched out of Africa. And the theory of course takes into account varying geography and environments, in fact they were the very driving force behind the evolution of different population traits or averages. Culture and biology are intertwined, they can and in fact have co-evolved with each other throughout our evolutionary history. If you're open to learning more about this, The 10,000 Year Explosion is a good primer on the topic of recent human evolution. It is an easy (even if you have little knowledge on genetics) and succinct read, but is definitely compelling in the theories it puts forth as they are backed up by ample evidence.

>if you want to subscribe to “race-realist” beliefs, then you might as well save the effort and just kowtow to the white man's self-researched “Goldilocks superiority”, and accept your current lot in life as a second/third class worker drone. After all, if “race-realism” is real, then everything as manifested in the status quo is the natural order of things right? Why struggle instead of just accepting the world order? It's yet another comfortable trap of contentment to curl up in after all.

You speak of "subscribing to 'race-realist' beliefs" as if it's some religion one can just choose to follow or not. It's either science or it's not, and if the former, then I have no choice but to "subscribe" to it. For every group of people, there are theories in the race realism framework that would make them uneasy and perhaps feel some sort of immediate revulsion to. But at the end of the day, how one feels about these theories are completely irrelevant, if the research methodologies are sound (which after having read many books and studies on both sides of the debate, I've deemed to be so), then the ensuing results and conclusions must be incorporated into our understanding of the world. Admittedly not all aspects of racial differences are well studied, which is exactly why they should be, science and knowledge in itself is neither good nor evil, morality only comes into play when it's time for their application. And again, just as evolution never stopped at the advent of human cultures, it continues to enact itself even today, and will continue to do so for as long as humans exist. So just because the white man might be the "Goldilocks" currently, doesn't mean Asians cannot become strictly better in every genetic metric that matters via the application of science. So no, understanding race realism does not at all necessitates one to "just accept the world order".

>Empathy could be useful for knowing your enemy, know what makes them tick, and devise how to deal with them. Going beyond that becomes sympathizing with them, a pit of no return where you become their useful idiot.

Yes point taken. But again, I'm not at all advocating for Asians to put their necks out on the line for them right now (or ever if one chooses not to), but rather once our position is secured, why not help the other groups of people? It is the moral thing to do. There's little to be gained from being cruel masters.

>As for morality, I got only one word: Lol. We Asians are family-oriented though, so save that morality for your loved ones.

This ties back to my earlier point that humanity is an extended family. You don't treat all members of your family the same, do you? Of course not, that would be impossible. Some you like more, some you like less. Some you treat better and help out more, others you're simply indifferent to. But at the end of the day, they're still your family members. Barring unforgivable transgressions, you would not usually wish irreversible ills upon any member. And so it goes for me when it comes to humanity.

>Why is it always individuals from the losing side that talks about reconciling with everyone to sing cum bah yah? Why is it that Asians, the most ridiculed race on planet earth, who have the least reason to want to reconcile, have most people among them that want reconciliation?

Hopefully you realize by now that's not the message I was trying to convey. No illusions of pleading and begging the victor for pity and scraps on my end here. The future goal is exactly that, for the future, after we get our own shit taken care of. East Asians are well on their way to reclaiming the throne for the top civilizational center of the world. The dominance of the West over Asia is an aberration through the lens of history.

>You want to change the rules of the game from zero-sum (the way history and nature had operated since inception) to something else? At the very least, you have to be in charge in order to have any chance of changing the rules.

Precisely. This was implicitly stated in my previous comment, guess it wasn't clear enough.

>And all this without even having to look at how all utopian ideals fail to address how to change human nature to make that utopia work.

I don't believe in Utopias, because that implies there is some idealized final destination for society, which goes against science. And yes human nature needs to be changed for the better, it will continue to evolve, just as it has always done so. But if science and technology grants us the choice to direct it to a course that would be beneficial for all of humanity, why not take it?

>then we are eagerly wanting to break bread and seek commonality with white nationalists.

In general, Nationalists (who love their own) are not Supremacists (who hate and oppress others), this applies to nationalists of all races, whether they be Asian, white, brown or black. And if they follow similar core beliefs as those that I outlined, which many do, then they can definitely be reasoned with and made into allies for the common Human Nationalist cause. I'd die for my family, have love my people, and do good for humanity.

>What “unique strengths” would that be? Whites are more adept at leadership? Asians at being mental workhorses? Blacks at being physical workhorses? Latinos at keeping the spaceship decks immaculate?

Lol. Not everyone needs to work or even be on the spaceship. In any case, by the time such efforts become feasible, the state of science and technology (especially wrt automation) would likely be very different from that of today, so it's rather pointless to speculate about it now.

u/ciarao55 · 33 pointsr/worldnews

I think part of the problem is really that people are looking at only granular parts of problems today and don't have enough historical context. Its useless to follow every story about everyone and every little thing. There are lots of ups and downs in politics and there's no reason to be so reactionary to every single new and probably manufactured "scandal".... that's what's exhausting. I like to keep updated on a few big issues, I follow the careers of a few people I find inspiring (and follow a few that do things that worry me), and spend the rest of the time reading up on topics in book form... they have the advantage of being written over time, and with more vigorous standards for accuracy. The news, while still important where immediate info is necessary, is essentially click bait now. You don't need to get caught in the rip tides that pull you everywhere constantly, just understand the general trajectory of the important things.

edit: to those curious about some book recommendations: I'm by no means an expert in anything really, and the books you read should really be about the topics you personally are interested in, so don't take my word as gospel (or any author's). I like American history, ancient history, international relations, and though I think they're more boring I force myself to read about the health care system and the American education system because I feel they're important. I'm also looking to read some books on the military industrial complex and cyber security/ big data because I don't really know anything about them other than the stuff I see in passing on the news or here on Reddit. So if anyone knows a good overview of those issues, feel free to let me know.

  • For a good start on human history and the beginnings of modern economics/ intl relations (basically why the West has historically dominated), try Guns, Germs, and Steel I believe there's also a documentary if the book is too dense for your taste (it is pretty dense).

  • Perhaps if you're interested in why people get so damn heated talking politics, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation

  • If you wonder why people vote against their own social and economic interest: What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America Full disclosure: I liked this book, but I lean left. I'm not sure if it matters, the point of the book is just to track how the Republican party went from being the party of elites, to the party of blue collar workers.

  • If the Supreme Court interests you at all, I liked Jeffrey Toobin's, The Nine

  • The achievement gap? Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria

  • Health care? There's a lot, but this one is an easy read and it compares the systems of Britain, Japan, Germany, and I believe Cuba (which is very good for their GDP!) and the US's. The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid

    This is just some stuff I've listed off the top of my head. Another thing that I find helpful to better understanding intl relations are books about the major genocides of the past few decades, which are hard to get through (because of the brutal content) but... What is the What (Sudan), First they killed my father (Cambodian genocide), Girl at War (more of a autobiography, but still chilling) there's a couple of others I've read that I can't remember now.

    Anyway, just go to Good Reads and look at Contemporary Politics. Perhaps Great Courses has a political philosophy course too that you can draw from if you wanna go even farther back into the origins of society's structure and political thought.

    Also podcasts! I've just discovered these but there's a lot of audio content (FREE!) that you can listen to on your commute and whatnot. I like Abe Lincoln's Top Hat right now.

    Edit edit: wow thanks for the gold!!
u/MadCervantes · 1 pointr/lostgeneration

Energy sufficiency is simple math. Cities use way less energy. New Yorkers use about 4700 kilowatt hours versus the US average of 11,000 kilowatt hours. The UK average is even lower than New York's with an average of 4,300 kilowatt hours per year. [Source] [Source]

So assuming that the current trend of cities becoming more dense continues (which has been the trend since the 1980s) you could double the population in America while halving the energy use and end up with the exact same net energy usage.

Now you bring up a good point about cost. It is more expensive to live in a city. You are wrong about infrastructure though. Simple truth is rural areas have much more expensive and less efficient infrastructure. Rural infrastructure is used by less people and has to stretch out for more miles and requires more travel and time for maintence. Cities have expensive infrastructure but more people use it. [Ed Glaeser has a book on this subject] He's an economist at Harvard.

Also the cost of living is more expensive in cities...if you require the exact same lifestyle that Americans have come to expect during the post-war boom. If you want a home with a big green front lawn, it's going to cost a lot more in a city. City living is more expensive because the "standard" in America is inflated. Yet that's not how things have to be, and things are beginning to change fast.

People adapt to their environment. It's natural instinct to try and take the maximum available resources into account. That's why we love the taste of fats and salts. If you're a prehistoric hunter gather 12,000 years ago, then if you can get pack on some extra pounds, you take advantage of that. Studies show that people with hybrid cars use JUST as much energy as people with normal cars. They have better mpg, they just end up driving more, because the cost of driving goes down. [Source]

So Americans haven't adopted a more energy efficient lifestyle because they haven't had to. Land is cheap, gas is cheap, resources are cheap. When people have more resources they spend with less care (if you go to Qatar where electricity is state funded by oil money people take electricity for granted in the same way you probably take clean drinking water from the tap for granted). But as those resources are restricted and become more scarce people adopt their lifestyles, and remain fairly comfortable. When people's expectations are adjusted, people can be quite happy and productive. Just check out neat things like the [Tiny House Movement] Do you really need all that space? Do you really want a front lawn you have to mow, water, and care for? Maybe you have a green thumb but even in the urban dense areas people have taken up communal gardening projects that can help satisfy those needs in the community while decreasing total land usage. Personally I'm glad I don't have to mow lawns anymore.

A quick anecdote. I was looking for an apartment with a friend recently. We were looking at some bottom rung houses due to the nature of his and my employment situation at the time. I grew up in Texas and I'm back here but I went to school in Boston and London, so coming back to Texas has been weird. My last apartment room in Boston was 6 feet by 10 feet. It was a closet. Terribly small but I didn't mind in the least. In Texas (a city more densely populated than most in Texas) we were looking at apartments that were cheaper than that room, but 10 times bigger. One house has 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. WHY? Why would you need 3 bathrooms if you only have 2 people living in the house? Hell, I've lived in houses with 7 people and only 2 bathrooms and we had zero problems. If it wasn't illegal to have more people occupying such a house (a measure taken by local government to help protect landowners) then I could have easily comfortably packed 4 or 5 more people in that apartment.

u/OrbitRock · 3 pointsr/onehumanity

Book list:

Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin. The author discusses this same theme of The Great Turning. Argues that people in modern western society are pathologically orientated towards adolescent things, and among our main problems is that few of us mature fully, and few of us can ever be considered elders who guide each other towards a wise way of life. He also argues that we historically have developed equally in both nature and culture, but modern people spend their lives solely in culture, and lack understanding of the natural world.

Future Primal by Louis Herman. The author lays out a big picture view of human history and how the solutions for the future we face can be found in the past among primitive cultures. He links his own personal struggles to the planetary struggles we face, and shows that it is true that the personal and planetary are linked.

The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein. Lays out huamn history, and "how the illusion of a seperate self has led to our modern crisises".

Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein. Looks at how primitive economies differed from our own, and how we can come to a different understanding of economics and wealth in our own society.

The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein. Lays out a vision for what the world could be and how we could organize ourselves in a wiser way.

Limited Wants, Unlimited Means an analysis of the economics of hunter-gatherer societies by an actual Economist. Very in depth look at the different foundational beliefs and practices. This is the most scientific and in depth book I've ever come across on this subject.

Eaarth by Bill McKibben. Goes into great detail on the the stark reality of the effects that climate change have already had and will likely have over the next decades and century. Finsihes by making reccommendations for how to make a life on a rough new planet.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. A look at the deep history of our species. This book presents an understanding about what humans are and where we've come from that I think is hard to get anywhere else, really great work.

Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken. Very similar to the theme of my above post, the author explains how this new movement is much larger than you might think, and could soon become one of the largest cultural movements in all of human history.

Active Hope by Joanna Macy. On "how to deal with the mess we are in without going crazy".

Greening of the Self by Joanna Macy. An exploration into the idea that we are interdependent with the ecology around us.

Natural Capitalism by Paul Hawken and others. A look at how we can start a green industrial revolution.

The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones. Lays out the idea that one solution- work on constructing a sustainable infrastructure- can fix our two biggest problems: the ecological crisis, and the rampant poverty and inequality in our society.

Spiritual Ecology: the cry of the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, and others. Outlines a spiritual perspective of what is happening to the world, and how we can remedy it, rooted in Buddhist thought.

Changes in the Land by William Cronon. A look at how the ecology of New England has been altered since Europeans first set foot there.

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. This is one of the classics of nature writing by a great naturalist. I include it here because I think it fits, and shows how much of this in not new thinking. Leopold talks about his experiences in nature and from living off the land, and lays out his own 'land ethic' for how best to coexist in nature.

The Evolving Self: a psychology for the third millennium by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. Explains the authors view of psychology and how to find meaning in the modern world. Talks about playing an active role in the evolutionary processes of life, and linking that up with your own personal evolution.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimerer. Brings together scientific understanding, indigenous wisdom, and respect for nature and for plants, in a very poetic book.

The Future of Life by E. O. Wilson. Wilson is one of the greatest biologists of our time, and gave us many of the foundational concepts that we use today, such as popularizing the idea of "biodiversity" and the desire to preserve it. Here he talks about the future of life and the challenges we face in preserving the Earths biodiversity.

Half Earth by E.O. Wilson. Here Wilson lays out his strategy for saving the biodiversity of the Earth and preserving it through the hard times it will face in the future, by devoting fully half of the surface of the Earth to wildlife habitats. This book just came out so you might not be able to order a copy yet.

If you know of any other books or media in this sort of genre feel free to post it.

u/Neanderthal-Man · 1 pointr/Christianity


>The statements you made before this one, about what each gospel author wrote, similarities and differences, are factual statements. This conclusion on what it "seems" is an opinion, even if it is an opinion "based on evidence."

All rational conclusions are opinions drawn from evaluation of evidence or premises. I use words such as seem, appear, or suggest, to allow for some element of inconclusivity when making assertions about authorial intention or other elusive subjects. We don’t know, for example, why the author of the Gospel of Luke omitted instances of Jesus experiencing emotions like compassion and anger, but we can reasonably argue that Luke may have considered such depictions inconsistent with his conception of the Son of God, or, possibly, he was concerned with what his readers might extrapolate from a God who displays emotion.

It’s hard to say for sure; Luke’s motivation could have been something else entirely. What we do know, is that Luke made conscious editorial decisions when incorporating Mark’s material into his own gospel, and that these conclusions make sense of the available data. Based on the evidence, textual-analysis, and logical reasoning, one can eliminate certain incorrect interpretations of the data easier than locking down a definitive conclusion.

>But even if it is fully correct that Luke was intentionally sending a different message about the meaning of Jesus' life and death... There is a difference between "they have two different messages" and "there is no conceivable way to combine the two into a coherent single message," much less "the two contradict each other."

Much of this semantic quibbling preoccupied with the meaning and appropriate use of terms such as message. I would argue that Luke and Mark have different soteriological concepts which are, on some significant points, at odds with one another. This is not to say that they don’t have substantial commonalities.

I’ve never made a statement like, “there is no conceivable way to combine the two into a coherent single message" because I realize that Christian apologists and theologians conceive numerous ways to reconcile, harmonize, and gloss over such difficulties. My criticism of their efforts is that they don’t make the best, most reasonable sense of the data. Furthermore, I would contend that apologetics and harmonizing is ultimately motivated by a felt need to protect an untenable belief about the nature and origin of the Bible, (i.e., their doctrine of scripture and the inextricable concepts of its infallibility and inerrancy), and is not prompted by a desire to follow the evidence, wherever it may lead.

In practice, people effectively harmonize the differences between the gospels all the time. Most are unaware that Mark and Luke have different soteriologies; that Matthew and Luke have conflicting infancy narratives; and that John has no parables and changes the essential message of Jesus from that found in Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Some Christians argue that such differences are complementary, the authors only highlighting portions of the story left out by the other writers. This is, technically, a “conceivable way to combine [the multiple accounts] into a coherent single message,” but is it the best, most rational way to make sense of the readily apparent differences? Would someone draw the same conclusion if they didn’t have so much at stake? If they didn’t already assume that the Bible was supernaturally inspired? It’s a considerable, rationally-indefensible bias which Christians must overcome.


>… it makes more sense to me, and is more of an evidence of veracity, for there to be noticeable differences between authors than for the versions to be suspiciously in lock-step as if someone intentionally modified them to make them match up better.

>Confusion and/or contradiction would be for example if gospel 1 & 2 say Jesus came to pour out His blood for the sins of many, Gospel 3 says Jesus was incorporeal and didn't actually have blood or a body, and Gospel 4 says Jesus is Ba'als son by Asherah and demands you worship at your nearest temple prostitute.

From comparing the two gospels, it’s evident that Mark considered Jesus’ death to be atonement for sin while Luke did not, though he did think it necessary to fulfill God’s plan of salvation. You’re free to dismiss this difference as inconsequential and easily reconciled. Much of the divergences between the biblical texts are of this sort, small but significant theological disparities and narrative contradictions which present multiple interpretations and accounts.

>The "textual elements" -- Differences, similarities, incongruities, changes, omissions, recurrent words and themes -- are facts. The explanation "posited" is an opinion, no matter how closely it looks at the facts in coming to those conclusions. Do all textual critics agree perfectly on their conclusions? Or at least all "true" textual critics?

Unanimity is hard to come by due to the complexity of the issues but it’s not required for one to draw conclusions. You don’t seem to understand that a conclusion is an explanation based upon premises and evidence. You’re equivocating about terms which can be used synonymously, i.e., an explanation, opinion, belief, or judgment can all appropriate be identified as a conclusion in the right context.

>… it strikes me as pretentious to say that Bible students' opinion that they are revealing different faces of a coherent single truth is, in your eyes, proven false by textual critics' opinion that there is some alternate motive at play behind the differences.

I don’t know that I can make the difference between the armchair theologian and the biblical scholar apparent enough for me to persuade you that some positions are more rational than others. You would need some more info besides what little I can effectively articulate here.

I do appreciate that fact that from your perspective, the book I recommend is equally as suspect as religious propaganda. That’s a fair expectation. Thankfully, you have to ability to read and evaluate for yourself. Should you so choose, you could take that Book of Mormon, peruse it, study its origins, and determine the reasonableness of the positions held about it by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Likewise, you can look at the text of the Bible and assess what the best rational explanation for its origin and nature. Until you’re aware of the “textual elements” to which I’ve alluded, you’re ill-equipped to make an evaluation.

If you’re interest in textual-criticism, you can check out Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman, despite its sensationalist title, it’s a good, popular introduction to the field. As to be expected, there are apologetic responses to Ehrman's claims. If you like, read the book and a response, and determine which makes the most compelling case.

u/LIGHTNlNG · 1 pointr/islam

> I just want to research it as much as possible before I commit myself.

Here are some resources that were recommended by users on this subreddit. Check out the ones that you might be interested in.

---

___INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM____

u/nostalghia · 3 pointsr/Christianity

I've been reading a really great book on God and humanity, and how it is that we come to know ourselves, others, our environment, and God through interpersonal relationships. It's called The Face of God, written by the English philosopher Roger Scruton. He's an Anglican Christian, though he doesn't believe in the traditional dogmas of the Church (like the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the Trinity), and he re-interprets traditional doctrines like the real presence of the Eucharist to fit a more philosophical perspective (which I completely endorse, but the average orthodox Christian may not).

Anyway, I think he offers some very valuable insights into the nature of God and the human response to God, hinting at ways in which we come to know God through the knowledge of ourselves, others, and the sacredness of life around us. It's not necessarily "personal" in the way the typical Evangelical might define that word, but it certainly is personal in that it supports a view that we must ask God to forgive our transgressions against him and against others, and to realize that we encounter God in the experience of love and beauty.

If you enjoy philosophical reading, I would also encourage you to read David Bentley Hart's book The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss, which demonstrates the existence of God who gives the necessary ontological grounds for existence, consciousness, and the transcendental virtues. One reviewer of this book said that it made him realize that God is "the most obvious thing of all."

u/PMme_Your_Problem · 1 pointr/pics

Ahahaha. Ha.
Your bullshit theory that you use to justify the blatant racism of yours is not going to get you far, amigo. Stop trying.

Have you ever heard of the Guns, Germs, and Steel theory? I don't count on it, so I'm going to educate you on it if you would like to consider some truth for a change. Guns, Germs, and Steel (hereafter referred to as "GGS") states that no race is superior to another due to its genetics or culture, but rather due to being incredibly lucky in geography, wildlife, plant-life, and their culmination with farming and so forth. The GGS theory is constantly getting stronger with every circumstance it is applied to. It does state that Caucasian people have essentially 'won' the literal human race, as Caucasian people were the ones to settle an entirely new continent, have won every colonial battle, and have propagated their religions the furthest.

To start off with a very shortened version of world's history with relation to man, people first moved out of Africa and into the Middle East. There they let go of their nomadic lifestyles and settled next to rivers and took advantage of crops like barley and wheat, which could have multiple harvests, easy planting styles, and could last long times in grains reserves before becoming inedible. They also were the first to domesticate animals that were around them, like cows, sheep, goats, pigs, horses. This was due to them being herd animals, and once they controlled the leader of the herd they could control the entire herd. Thus they had plentiful food, plentiful meat and milk, and this created a loop of positive feedback, with animals feeding on harvest leftovers and then fertilising the fields. This eventually allowed room for creativity within the small communities, as there was no need for every person the a farmer now. They started specialising in different skills, and then invented plaster, by hearing rock rubble and mixing with water (my knowledge of plaster is limited, correct me if needed). These skills branched out widely. But eventually they had to move out of the Fertile Crescent. Evidence suggests that this was due to over-farming and unrestrained use of surrounding natural resources. They moved eastwards and westwards. In this they had their second major advantage; their continent itself, Eurasia. Eurasia is spread out majorly on the east-west axis. This provides an advantage in that those people could take their crops and animals with them and not worry about growth of them, as the climate does not change greatly along line of latitude, but not so for longitude. This allowed them to settle in the Europe proper and east Asia.

So to summarise so far, the early people have had advantages with agriculture, domestic animals, and geography. But it only goes further. Some of the broader ideals is that due to their close contact with animals, these people contracted diseases from their animals, but eventually gained immunity to these diseases. People they would eventually come in contact with would contract these germs, and because they have no natural immunity, would start dying off. Guns have been instrumental in their progress, as there has only been one battle in history where the side with guns lost against those without guns (The battle of blood river). Steel has led to the production of guns, of plate armour, and of trains which have been vital to the creation of larger empires and countries.

So read up on the topic! Educate yourself! I'll make it easier. Here: Buy a copy of it on Amazon, its worth it. , or just read the Wikipedia page, I'm not a cop. So maybe one day, instead of posting on a thread like this, you can post on a thread like this

No one needs to 'win' this debate. We can both leave with newer opinions, not necessarily for worse or for better.

u/RideandRoll · 3 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
u/jchiu003 · 1 pointr/OkCupid

Depends on how old you are.

  • Middle school: I really enjoyed this, this, and this, but I don't think I can read those books now (29) without cringing a little bit. Especially, Getting Things Done because I already know how to make to do list, but I still flip through all 3 books occastionally.

  • High school: I really enjoyed this, this, and this, but if you're a well adjusted human and responsible adult, then I don't think you'll find a lot of helpful advice from these 6 books so far because it'll be pretty basic information.

  • College: I really enjoyed this, this, and started doing Malcolm Gladwell books. The checklist book helped me get more organized and So Good They Can't Ignore You was helpful starting my career path.
  • Graduate School: I really enjoyed this, this, and this. I already stopped with most "self help" books and reading more about how to manage my money or books that looked interesting like Stiff.

  • Currently: I'm working on this, this, and this. Now I'm reading mostly for fun, but all three of these books are way out of my league and I have no idea what their talking about, but they're areas of my interest. History and AI.
u/Shoeshine-Boy · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Personal research, mostly. I'm a big history nerd with a slant toward religion and other macabre subject matter. I'm actually not as well read as I'd like to be on these subjects, and I basically blend different sources into a knowledge smoothie and pour it out onto a page and see what works for me and what doesn't.

I'll list a few books I've read that I enjoyed. There are certainly more here and there, but these are the "big ones" I was citing when writing all the comments in this thread. I typically know more about Christianity than the other major faiths because of the culture around me.

Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years - Diarmaid MacCulloch

A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam - Karen Armstrong

The next two balance each other out quite well. Hardline anti-theism contrasted with "You know, maybe we can make this work".

The Case for God - Karen Armstrong

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins



Lately, I have been reading the Stoics, which like Buddhism, I find to be one of the more personally palatable philosophies of mind I have come across, although I find rational contemplation a bit more accessible to my Westernized nature.

Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters - Translated by Moses Hadas

Discourses and Selected Writings (of Epictetus) - Translated by Robert Dobbin

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - Translated by George Long

I'm still waiting on Fed Ex to deliver this one:

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - William B. Irvine

Also, if you're into history in general, a nice primer for what sorts of things to dive into when poking around history is this fun series on YouTube. I usually watch a video then spend a while reading more in depth about whatever subject is covered that week in order to fill the gaps. Plus, John and Hank are super awesome. The writing is superb and I think, most importantly, he presents an overall argument for why studying history is so important because of its relevance to current events.

Crash Course: World History - John Green

u/alanX · 3 pointsr/atheism

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why is a wonderful and much more complete picture of where we stand in textual criticism of the Bible.

And what the author fails to point out is that if you take the best translations of the best texts (many not available when the King James Version was written) and compare them, you just don't get that many differences.

The King James is often more poetically written, even with some slight inaccuracies in the process.

As a theist, I find the process of textual criticism fascinating, and it reinforces my belief that the very heart of Christianity isn't in its theology, but in the First and Second Commandments (as reportedly taught by Christ):

  • Love God with all your heart
  • Love your neighbor as yourself

    Nothing there about making my neighbor conform to my morals and ethics. Everything there about me treating my neighbor with respect and honor, as I would want to be treated myself. Coupled with other teachings of Jesus, and clearly the idea that we are supposed to police the behavior of others is not Christian, despite any issues of textual criticism. We are instead to police ourselves.

    Edit tl;dr: Anyone who invests heavily into theological concepts that hinge on just a word or two in these texts is already playing with fire. On the other hand, committing to the core ethical and moral teachings in these texts is pretty safe.
u/ethicsengine · 1 pointr/atheism

Oh man, you've hit on a really hard topic.

First off, before I get into any of the juicy topics, let me say this: Consider where your parents are coming from based on their views. An analogy: If you were evacuating a building on fire and saw someone who didn't know they are in danger, would you try to notify them? For the sake of argument, let's say yes (I expect so). They see this world as a building burning down and they view themselves as trying to warn us of the danger we are supposedly in. Expand this to the fact that they are your parents and as their kid, you told them you are walking back into a burning building. They are literally scared for you. Irrationally scared, but still scared non the less. I am not sure if your short term situation or plans, but in the long term you need to accept that they are not going to share your views and may not accept you. Don't let them abuse you! They have to independently accept you for who you are or you need to distance yourself if they don't. Take care of yourself, maintain your dignity and self respect, and make decisions that make you happy and lead you towards living a happy and fulfilled life.

Some information on their reaction:

> I tried to be gentle about it and not criticize her but she kept telling me to defend why I didn't believe in God, and then when I answered she was like "you're trying to disprove God and attack my beliefs" . she later said I was being rude, (I was being as respectful as possible) when I explained that she said I was being "politely rude"???? But because of my beliefs I obviously thought she was a moron and I reject her values. (I never called her a moron and I said that I respected her faith and I didn't want this to be a source of contention for us)

Let's step back and parse this. Typically, strongly religious people follow a form of ethics called "Theological Ethics." The theological ethics system may incorporate other forms of ethics such as utilitarian, kant or phenomenological, but it is ultimately rooted in theology. Do [Action] because god demands it in or through [insert religious book, prophet, etc...]. In their view, all ethics and morality flow only from god. If god says give to the poor, you give to the poor. If god says kill that tribe, you kill that tribe. All ethics and morals are literally rooted in their version of god.

So, when you say "I don't believe in god," many people will imply "therefore I am not a moral person" OR "you think I am an idiot because I need god to work out what is right or wrong." In some cases, a person "without god" is seen as downright evil. However, we know that people can be moral and develop an ethics system without attributing it to or believing in god. We often follow heuristics such as the golden rule, informed consent or "no person is a means to an end."

Some theologians argue that this is only by the grace of god that he has allowed us to be a tool for good despite disbelieving, never mind that in many religions we are still considered doomed to eternal torment no matter how much good we do in the world and that an immoral or amoral person who believes in god has a higher chance into being accepted into paradise over an atheist who genuinely wanted to help others.

A few things you can do is work out why you can continue being a good person without needing to believe in a god. I personally see value in both society and individuals. I want the world to be a better place so that I can enjoy less violence, longer healthier lives. I want to see people individually succeed because it betters our society. Society is made up of individuals. Because life is precious, and this is our one life, we must make the most of it but not at the expense of others because their life is precious too. Informed consent is incredibly important. A society following informed consent reduces or prevents rape, murder, irresponsible or malicious human testing, robberies, etc...

Anyways, if you are interested in ethics and morality in the context of atheism and why reason will likely lead to a more just society, you should pick up a copy of The Moral Arc by Michael Shermer. http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Arc-Science-Better-People/dp/0805096914

If you're interested in why atheism and why you don't need religion to be moral, you should pick up a copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (who is giving an AMA this may 27). https://www.amazon.com/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins-ebook/dp/B003JTHWJQ

I personally think you will have a hard time converting your family to atheism, but if you want to shore up some of your arguments about why atheism, you should pick up a copy of A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghassian. I don't recommend you actively seek out these conversations with your family at this point, but they can help give you a better grounding about your belief system (yes, atheism is a belief system). http://www.amazon.com/Manual-Creating-Atheists-Peter-Boghossian/dp/1939578094

To conclude, don't stop loving your parents but don't let them abuse you either.

[edits for minor typos and formatting]

u/mementomary · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I pretty much only read non-fiction, so I'm all about books that are educational but also interesting :) I'm not sure what your educational background is, so depending on how interested you are in particular subjects, I have many recommendations.

Naked Statistics and Nate Silver's Book are both good!

Feeling Good is THE book on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

The Omnivore's Dilemma is good, as is Eating Animals (granted, Eating Animals is aimed at a particular type of eating)

Guns, Germs and Steel is very good.

I also very much enjoyed The Immortal Live of Henrietta Lacks, as well as Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman :)

edit to add: Chris Hadfield's Book which I haven't received yet but it's going to be amazing.

u/antonbe · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

I've immersed myself in science and history my whole life and quite possibly the best book I've ever come across that condenses everything in a sequential order is "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson.

> In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, traveling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.

The book is simply amazing. I learn something new from it everytime I read it and I highly recommend it to everyone from an uneducated teenager to a PhD carrying senior!

While you're at it, I would also recommend the rest of his books. Bryson is an amazing nonfiction writer (I daresay one of the best in the world) and his penmanship will captivate you. Just search for him on Amazon and pick another one of his books up in a category that interests you as he writer about a very broad range of topics.

Edit: Also, I highly recommend "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared M. Diamond. and Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt

u/LRE · 8 pointsr/exjw

Random selection of some of my favorites to help you expand your horizons:

The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan is a great introduction to scientific skepticism.

Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris is a succinct refutation of Christianity as it's generally practiced in the US employing crystal-clear logic.

Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt is the best biography of one of the most interesting men in history, in my personal opinion.

Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski is a jaw-dropping book on history, journalism, travel, contemporary events, philosophy.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is a great tome about... everything. Physics, history, biology, art... Plus he's funny as hell. (Check out his In a Sunburned Country for a side-splitting account of his trip to Australia).

The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland is a thorough primer on art history. Get it before going to any major museum (Met, Louvre, Tate Modern, Prado, etc).

Not the Impossible Faith by Richard Carrier is a detailed refutation of the whole 'Christianity could not have survived the early years if it weren't for god's providence' argument.

Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman are six of the easier chapters from his '63 Lectures on Physics delivered at CalTech. If you like it and really want to be mind-fucked with science, his QED is a great book on quantum electrodynamics direct from the master.

Lucy's Legacy by Donald Johanson will give you a really great understanding of our family history (homo, australopithecus, ardipithecus, etc). Equally good are Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade and Mapping Human History by Steve Olson, though I personally enjoyed Before the Dawn slightly more.

Memory and the Mediterranean by Fernand Braudel gives you context for all the Bible stories by detailing contemporaneous events from the Levant, Italy, Greece, Egypt, etc.

After the Prophet by Lesley Hazleton is an awesome read if you don't know much about Islam and its early history.

Happy reading!

edit: Also, check out the Reasonable Doubts podcast.

u/solters · 2 pointsr/history

This question seems to be driving at how wealth & power was organized historically - although I'm not sure that most experts would agree with the claims that
>a hereditary oligarchy has wielded almost all of the wealth & power.

and the claim that
>the decisions they make are almost always for the benefit of themselves & their cronies & not the societies they rule

What follows is an attempt to give an answer framed around how political power has been structured historically.

There are and have always been different power centers in society, and the balance of power among those actors determined exactly who benefited from the state's monopoly on force. Usually one power center was a single executive (monarch, Roman consuls, etc), based on some sort of divinity doctrine, and they usually had enough power to ensure kin inherited the executive authority - and it took civil war/invasion to break the line of succession. But even in monarchies like that there were other power centers that had enough power that the state usually benefited them (examples include the Janisary armies in the Ottoman empire, sometimes the professional bureaucracy in China, the nobles in England and Ukraine, the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe, etc)

India is an interesting example historically in that Hindu religion was dominant over even the heads of state very early in its history (India had lots of them - its current single state (...caveat: Pakistan) is a historic anomaly). So in that case there really wasn't a hereditary oligarchy holding power in most Indian states (monarchy wasn't uncommon and monarchs were usually wealthy, but oftentimes didn't actually hold a lot of power). But the system did create very rigid castes, and society was structured such that the lower casts ended up with the short end of the stick.

It's very difficult to answer your question because it is very difficult to even define what "benefitting the society they rule" even means. Arguably the fascists of the early 20th century did a reasonable job at this by defining society so narrowly that they could treat everyone not part of their definition of society as animals with no rights (to be tolerated at best, killed at worst). Liberal democracies are structured to do this by declaring universal rights enforced by strong courts that bind a democratically elected legislature (and the executive authority, which may or may not be independent of the legislature) - and succeed to differing levels.

I'm fairly confident there is no example in history where every individual in a nation-state benefited equally, so you could make the argument that an oligarchy is always the beneficiary of state power - but there has been a strong trend of making that oligarchy more and more inclusive (in theory, and not necessarily year-to-year, but definitely century-to-century).

Most of the above is based on "The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution" (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0374533229/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_3uMiDbF4CN8EE), which is a dense read but really interesting and covers state power and organization across the world up until the dawn of liberal democracy. Definitely worth a read if you are interested in the history of political organization throughout the pre-industrial era. He also wrote a second volume that focuses on industrial era state organization, bit I found the 2nd volume to be more opinionated and subjective (the author has been involved in US government, and so has a bias when it comes to contemporary political structure that I felt showed in the 2nd volume. But the 1st volume is much less relevant to current government policy and seemed to be pretty objective - although I'm just an interested layman, not an expert).

u/albino-rhino · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

Coming to this a little late but wanted to say that (a) I completely agree, and (b) I'd take it a little further.

The thought that there was some Valhalla of wonderful food in earlier days is easily proven wrong. We live in the best time for eating there has ever been. For instance this article explains at some length and convincingly to me that food has only improved. Think about it - name one major city in the US where food was better 15 years ago. I can't think of any.

And if you go back further in time, you find that agriculture is coincident with higher population but also with malnutrition. This book is awful in some parts but it explains at length the accepted knowledge that agriculture = more people, but is also = disease and malnutrition at significant levels.

Skipping forward, I think 'modern' agriculture starts with crop rotation, Source, and pretty soon you have the British Agricultural revolution that kickstarts the industrial revolution.

Coincident with that you have the greatest rise in per-capita GDP there has ever been. Source, The Great Divergence.

And then that's why I get to work at a desk instead of doing mind-numbing, back-breaking work in the fields, and that's why I enjoy more material plenty than anybody could imagine 200 years ago, and why I can choose among multiple places, in my major urban center, to get pretty damn good pho. Lo those many years ago when I was young, sushi was a foreign concept. Now I can get it (or a rough approximation of it) in a strip mall in the middle of nowhere.

There is a downside to removing people from their food. There is also a downside to industrial agriculture. A lot of folks eat out more often. We have lost the spiritual connection to our food in large part that is created by hunting for your food or growing it and shepherding it the whole way through. We don't take food as seriously, and we don't contemplate as closely where it came from. We are complicit in the dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi and in the overuse of antibiotics in, and ill-treatment of, our livestock, to name but a couple examples.

But come the fuck on. I more than likely owe my life to my forebearers moving away from the fields and working in factories. I certainly owe my material comforts to that. I don't have to wonder whether I'm going to have a crop failure and starve to death.

That some of us can turn back and re-discover a better connection with food is a wonderful luxury. Appreciate it as such.

u/DrDerpberg · 3 pointsr/worldnews

>I see your point, and it makes sense, but belies the logic of your post in saying he is trying to be a dictator because he is opposing the other two forces. Isn't the tug just part of the balancing that takes place for those three bodies?

A little bit, sure. I would freely agree that the executive branch has probably become quite a bit more powerful than "intended" by the founding fathers (though I'm not a constitutional scholar). But I think there's a difference between tugging a little on the chains and trying to find a big enough sledgehammer to free yourself entirely.

President's implementing policies that are eventually struck down in court, or trying to convince Congress to do what they want Congress to do, or trying to dodge the media when they've done something unpopular, are common. But it's a question of extents - can you name another president who publicly sought to undermine confidence in something as important as the intelligence community or FBI? Or who labeled everyone who didn't stand and clap for him as traitors?


> Maybe you're right, though, you seem to know more about this than I do.

If you have a couple hours to burn I'd highly recommend you read the book [On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century] (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0804190119?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf). It's a quick read, and is essentially a list of warning signs governments have given along the path to tyranny. While not specifically about Trump, the commonalities between his behaviour and various tyrannical governments from the 20th century are shocking. I went into the book convinced he was little more than a xenophobic moron and finished it completely convinced that the only thing standing between him and total authoritarianism is the robustness of American institutions.

One thing I do agree with you in terms of the balancing act, however, is that the system only works if the other branches actually use their powers. I think Congress and the Senate have massively failed in their duties to stop the President given how early and how often he's crossed the line, but even that is due in large part to Trump appointing people loyal to him to the roles that normally would oversee him. Devin Nunes, for example, should not be on the intelligence council, and has sabotaged it from day one.

>When I was talking about the Iraq etc war, I meant the military-industrial complex and corporate dictatorship and other special interest groups at play, from which Trump is seen by some as an outer entity

Is he though? His tax cut was a giant handout to rich corporations, the FCC under Ajit Pai is pretty much the definition of regulatory capture, he's always talking about how many more nukes the country needs and he's done nothing to cut back on some of the negative things the US does. I think he played up the outsider role during the election but the agenda he's actually followed is exactly what mega-corporations want.

u/MiffedMouse · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

Not books, but I recommend CGPGrey's videos on topics such as the formation of the commonwealth for some anecdotal discussion of how modern states are structured. Crash Course World History is another good series that gives extremely quick (~10-15 minutes) overviews of a variety of topics historians like to discuss.

As for books - many of the more interesting books are on specific topics. Guns, Germs, and Steel is an interesting discussion on why some societies do better than others. Stuff matters is a neat discussion of how modern materials came to be. Honestly, I think it is more fun to pick a topic that interests you and dig into that topic specifically. You will probably learn about other things as necessary along the way. One of Dan Carlin's Common Sense podcasts, Controlling the Past, discusses this very idea.

Some of my favorite "history" books aren't even sold as "history" books. The Emperor of all Maladies is a fascinating look at the history of cancer. As a kid I loved David Macaulay's Building Big, which discusses large structures in America. And an embarrassing amount of my knowledge on other countries comes from folktale anthologies.

If you are interested in international politics specifically, I would suggest looking for books on the UN and NATO (two of the biggest international organizations right now).

u/Nrussg · 2 pointsr/AskThe_Donald

No problem - like I said, history is my jam so I never mind talking about it.

In terms of history subs - I think /r/AskHistorians is great, and usually really well sourced - they have an FAQ that is fun to browse and a cool collection of best answers.

In terms of books, I would recommend Guns, Germs, and Steel - it is far from a perfect book (I don't agree with a lot of it) but it presents a very interesting perspective, and based of the types of things you were asking, I think you would really enjoy it. It's also fairly accessible as far as these types of books go. Just make sure you think of it as a starting point rather than an end point.

I would also recommend both Mike Duncan's podcasts (the History of Rome - dealing with Roman History, and Revolutions - dealing with various historical revolutions) Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast is also pretty good and spans a lot of topics.

If you're in college or have the opportunity to attend classes, I'd also recommend just trying out a class on non-European history.

If you ever have any questions feel free to message me.

u/caffarelli · 26 pointsr/AskHistorians

How to Judge a Book Without Even Reading It


Do you think librarians read all those books they buy?? Heck no. Yes, collection development librarians rely heavily on library review journals, but you can pretty successfully judge a book before you even read the intro. And how!

1. Try a Little Intellectual Snobbery


Basically with this you need to try to smell out the people who are saying “I’m not a historian but…” when they start their books. Who wrote this thing and why? Is this a historian going for tenure, is this maybe a historian trying to write more popular history, is this a historian at the end of their life putting out a magnum opus, is this a journalist? Who published it, academic press or regular press? Does this person have Something to Prove with this history book?

Now, I’m a little leery of recommending this method first, because I’ve seen some pretty shitty books published by big academic houses from heavily degreed people, and I’ve seen some very nice historical work put out by tiny publishers you’ve never heard of or self-published, and written by people who just decided to write a book because they cared deeply about the history of something that few others cared about. Good work absolutely stands on its own merits, and independent scholars are important animals in the academic ecosystem. But there is a correlation here, and not necessarily a causation, between academics working with academic publishing houses and the production of rigorous history, and you can lean on it a little.

2. Give it the Vulcan Citations Pinch


Flip to the back of the book. Where does the actual book stop and the endmatter start? Basically the more endmatter the better. You want maybe a good solid half centimeter of paper between your fingers, preferably more. If you start seeing appendices in addition to citations and index that’s very good.

3. Scope-to-Cred Ratio


This one’s hard to quantify but basically, the more modest the book’s scope the more modest of arguments and credentials the author needs to pull it off. So a book about say the importance of paperback books for soldiers in WWII, this is a pretty modest scope, and it’s not making any very bold claims, there’s no real reason to be suspicious about the arguments made in this book, although it’s absolutely a popular history work. A book trying to explain the history of everything, get suspicious.

4. Read the Intro


Okay after the first three bits you’ve decided this book has merited your attention enough to open the thing. The intro to a book should give you the outline of the major argument and you can decide whether the argument passes a basic smell test of not being total bullshit. If you find the argument compelling and you want to see how they are going to argue it in the knitty gritty, it’s time to commit to checking out/buying the book and seeing what’s up. (Intros are usually available for new books on Google Books or Amazon previews.)

4b. Read the Acknowledgments


You can tell a lot about a person from their acknowledgments section. I’ve seen books where the author specifically thanked the ILL staff of their local library. They should ideally be thanking an archives or two if it’s a modern history book, because that means they’ve done Real Research.

5. Have a Good Idea of How One Does History


This one takes a little time investment, but having a basic idea of what makes a good historical argument and what makes a bad one will serve you well for judging any history book, from any topic. Maybe just spend some time on the logical fallacies section of Wikipedia. Just knowing to run away when you hear someone start yammering about glorious progress or indulging in extended hero-worship will serve you remarkably well in the history section at Barnes and Noble.

6. Nothing Wrong with Reading a Bad Book


Okay, so you did all this pre-judgement and you still managed to read a real turd. Ah well. You always can learn a lot from something done poorly. They’re a certain grim joy in hating a bad book, especially if you get to feel smarter than an author, so just treat yourself to a really firm critical dismissal of the work. Maybe leave a real stinker of a review here on a Saturday or /r/badhistory.

u/Doggies_of_War · 8 pointsr/nrl

TL;DR There are still, and have been a lot of changes. Because soccer is such a global game with different names for everything, a clash of cultures and an open field.

WALL OF TEXT WARNING. There have been some changes to the way certain positions operate making them almost unrecognizable from the way they used to operate. They are somewhat static, though, and I have a few ideas on why that is (I'll point out the soccer/AFL thing too, though I know more on soccer than AFL). Please not that I'm basing a lot of my earlier knowledge of league from old tapes and discussions as I wasn't there.

I don't know how old you are but no.3 used to be "outside centre" and no.4 used to be "inside centre" as in attack they would move to opposite sides of the field to attack. This has a good bit on why that is.

Another thing you'll notice is the modern emphasis on "spine" players. Fullback and hooker were both important positions, but that is nothing compared to today where if you have a good fullback/hooker combo you'll generally be in contention for a top 4 spot (Souths, Manly, Melbourne). Both these positions are now playmakers.

Back in the day you needed a hooker to be a good defender, who could pinch the ball at scrums (when was the last time you saw a hooker "hook" the ball), scoot from dummy half and have a pair of functioning ears to listen to his halfback (kinda oversimplifying). Cameron Smith and Robbie Farah would be halfbacks thirty years ago. They can pass exceptionally well, they can kick, have great vision, call the shots and often slot in to first receiver. Cameron Smith changed this role by kicking ass.

Fullbacks are also now playmakers. Jarryd Hayne would have played in the halves, ditto Boyd. They used to slot into the backline as an extra set of hands to try and get around the outside of a winger, now they are slotting in and given several options to make a play. I think this is because of the fitness of the players means they can play a better "out and in" defence which makes it VERY hard to get on the outside of a defensive line, but that's just speculation.

Halfbacks and five-eighths don't always play on the half and five-eighth line (first and second receiver. I mean Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran most of the time could be called "left and right halves". Benji was often the dominant half and usually played first receiver despite being a five-eighth.

The game is changing in the forwards quite significantly in the last few years. Look at the Dogs ball movement in the forwards from 2012. This came about (I assume) from a lack of quality halves so they HAD to change it up. They did well and we're seeing it a bit more. Teams are stuck on either side of the field more than they used to be. You used to, say, hit the ball up across the left, then have your backline across the right, with all but your winger switching sides but staying in position. You have left/right second rowers now which is different.

On to soccer, the game is based across the entire world, and has intercontinental competitions where playing styles are suddenly clashing. As a team gains ascendancy, everyone else plays "follow the leader". E.g. the Storm wrestled and won, so now everyone does it. Scotland beat England in the VERY early days with a very controversial tactic known as the "passing game". Rather than get the ball and run it up the field until you were chopped down, the womanly Scots actually passed the ball to players who were open, confounding the English. Eventually they gave in and copied it. This required switching up how you play.

These changes have been mirrored all over the shop: from "catenaccio" in Italy to "total football" from the Netherlands to combat it, which required "pressing" to be invented in (I think, but I'll check when I get home to my books) Eastern Europe. Each one of these required different formations: less forwards so you can press, a "sweeper" so you can play the old Italian style. These are quite obvious and all have different names, even though they are quite similar. If the changes happened in league they wouldn't change the name. Matt Scott and James Graham do not play the same role but wear the same jersey and are called "props". If it was football, you wouldn't call them the same name, ie if you are a striker you can be an "out and out", a "false 9", an "inside forward". If you want a better understanding you should read Inverting the Pyramid, you can borrow mine it if you want. I'd call Glenn Stewart and James Graham "forward halves" or something.

Also, bear in mind that Greg Inglish looks like a prop, as do most centres and wingers. I would argue we DO have different positions of props, who are also very quick.

From what I can gather, the old VFL/WAFL/SANFL teams used to "bomb the ball forward" and have tall forwards try and take a grab. Quite simply, they took soccer tactics and adapted them, interchanges helped them to "press" over the massive field, forwards dropped deep to help press and hold possession, etc. I think Kevin Sheedy went to Manchester to scout this but I'm not sure.

u/aPinkFloyd · 14 pointsr/exmormon

Lots of love for you, here are some thoughts of mine...

  • it is a mistake to believe that you should be asking the question "What is the purpose of my life?" it's not a question you ask, IT IS A QUESTION YOU ANSWER! and you answer it by living your life as ONLY you can, having the adventure that is your life experience, discovering the magical miracle that is ONLY YOU in all of this vast universe!

  • After losing Mormonism and the understanding of the universe that goes with it, I find myself an atheist, which has made this little journey of life INFINITELY more precious to me. It's all and everything we have! (as far as we know).

  • I have pulled in many helpful, empowering, peaceful ideas from Buddhism, Philosophy, Science that has helped me start to form a new, optimistic, and amazingly open minded new world-view. I no longer have to believe anything that doesn't make sense, I get to believe only sweet things now, and that is SO nice.

    Here are some resources that I have been really grateful for on my journey, which I am 12 months into...

    The Obstacle is the Way

    The Daily Stoic this is my new "daily bible" I read a page every morning

    Secular Buddhism podcast

    Waking Up podcast

    End of Faith

    The Demon Haunted World

    Philosophize This! podcast OR Partially Examined Life podcast

    I wish you the very best in your journey, be patient with yourself, you have EVERY reason to be! Start filling your mind with powerful positive ideas, keep the ones that help you find your way, set aside the ones that don't.

    And remember, you are young and free and the possibilities of what your life can become are boundless!
u/ResonantPyre · 2 pointsr/slatestarcodex

A work I recently finished that you might find interesting was King Leopold's Ghost. It was a rigorous study and explanation of Belgian colonialism in the Congo under King Leopold in the 19th and 20th centuries; I found the book gave a very vivid summary of that, and filled in a bit of a blind spot of mine to the exact horror European colonialism could reach to. I was familiar with colonialism in the general, but I think it furthered my understanding to see such a detailed work on just one example of colonialism in history.

A couple books ago, I also read The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution which, although a work of historical analysis primarily, still informed me in the process of elaborating its historical analysis of quite a bit of history to which I was hitherto unaware. I've heard its arguments come across even better if you're acquainted with Francis Fukuyama's other political philosophy work (famously, The End of History and the Last Man), but I had not read that and its arguments still came across well. It was fairly wide-spanning in history like the title says, but as a fairly long work it was still able to go into detail. The book shined the most for me when it was exploring state building in India and China, while relating and contrasting these processes to the mechanics of European state building, something I was more familiar about. He describes the story of state building in all these areas, starting from the very beginning, and attempts to answer why it went certain directions in some places but differed in others. He makes the very convincing argument that religion was an essential factor, relating it to the rule of law and informing me in the process a lot of the details of how religion operated in India and China historically. I'm not really qualified to accurately evaluate the book's core theses, but disregarding them, the journey to those theses was still very enlightening.

Also, I think I've seen you mention elsewhere on this subreddit your interest in phenomenology and philosophy at large. I was wondering how you would recommend approaching the canon to say, have a good understanding of someone like Heidegger. It feels a bit overwhelming to look at the sheer complexity of later philosophy like that and confront it. Do you think it would be best to try to start at the beginning of Western philosophy and move up from there, work by work? I have a basic knowledge of some philosophy, mostly gained at random from secondary resources and occasional primary sources I found really interesting, but it's all very scattershot and not super rigorous. I'm currently reading through a history of Western philosophy which I hope will give me a broader perspective, and some more insight into how all the ideas relate and developed. Anyway, I was just hoping you might have some thoughts or advice on this, thanks.

u/fridgidfallus · 1 pointr/alaska

I agree with you that equality is a fallacy that doesn't really exist. Some people are simply born with better tools in their toolbox. Some people are nicer, smarter, better looking, and some people are are dumb, ugly, assholes. That's just the way of the world. However, the notion that race determines any sort of objective intelligence characteristic has been roundly rejected by the anthropological, biological, and sociological communities (read: all of credible science). Yes, race can determine your height, color of your skin, your hair type, but it does not determine your intelligence. Any studies that claim that race does this have been show to be using a biased test. Giving a kid from the Sahara a #2 pencil and asking him to complete an IQ test in English, isn't really a fair measuring stick. One also has to remember that race and culture are two related but different things. You are born WITH your race INTO your culture. There can definitely be cultures that place different levels of value on certain types of intelligence, decorum, physical beauty, etc and therefore cause their cultural members to strive for/away from those certain characteristics. But the thought that onc group is inherently better or smarter based on their race is the textbook definition of racism and asking for a separation of people based along these lines is extremely racist. Most of the differences that are apparent today have a lot more to do with opportunity, access to resources, geography, and well.. simple luck. I recommend Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. In there he very eloquently explains a lot of the factors that lead to Europeans finding their way to the top of the heap.

That being said, if you want to have one country that is whites only that's totally fine for you to want it. But you gotta realize that's a pretty racist thing to want. I don't accept the notion that a homogeneous society is inherently better than a mixed race one. I have heard you claim that no one has provided tangible evidence of the benefits of a mixed race society. That is very difficult because the main benefits are acceptance and open mindedness and those are not very tangible benefits in the sense you are looking for. But I would ask you to explain to me the credible and tangible benefits to a homogeneous society. And we have to remember that correlation does not equal causation. Show me something credible that proves the link.

u/uncletravellingmatt · 5 pointsr/atheism

When I was a little kid I loved the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. They are very Christian, but I just enjoyed them as entertaining stories. So I guess that's an honest answer to your question. (Although reading his apologetics like Mere Christianity now it just looks like a lot of double-talk and logical fallacies, it seems like it would only seem deep or meaningful to people who really wanted to smooth-over their own cognitive dissonance, and doesn't prove any points if you weren't already assuming his conclusions to be true.) If you broaden your question to "from a religious perspective" without requiring that it specifically be a Christian one, it gets easier to think of answers. I just read "The Story of God" and even though the author was a theist (Jewish) I thought he made a lot of good points in explaining the cultural and religious history of how monotheistic religions including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam came to be.

I think Sam Harris stands out as a very readable atheist author. His books such as "The End of Faith" and its follow-up "Letter to a Christian Nation" are short and powerful paperbacks. Watch this short talk and you can get an idea of his perspective before you buy any books:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3YOIImOoYM&t=1m25s

u/timojen · 4 pointsr/DebateAChristian

The point of my comparison was: It seems unstructured to me. And I am often confused by that lack of rules moderates live by.

I constantly meet people who consider themselves Christian or Muslim or whatever but do not follow the rules of that religion. For instance a good friend of mine who is a Catholic, like many american's, believes the sacrament is symbolically the body and blood of Christ and also uses contraception. These are big no-nos for a Catholic. Another friend is Muslim and he loves bacon and also uses contraception and does not believe his daughter should grow up thinking herself less than a male.

Essentially, these types of people make up the bulk of religious people I meet. So maybe they are a good %age of the religious in america. But effectively they are not religious. They simply believe in a god and pick the rules they want to follow based on a number of different criteria. Those criteria are almost always cultural.

This seems like sentimental (in the philosophical sense) religion to me. Why not drop the religion altogether?

EDIT: have you read this book? http://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Jesus-Story-Behind-Changed/dp/0060859512/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347757261&sr=8-1&keywords=misquoting+jesus

u/isthisisthis · 6 pointsr/soccer

A very nice Rupert Fryer piece on Riquelme, "The Quixotic Enigma"

Marcela Mora y Araujo on Riquelme's return to Boca

Part one of a story where the author flies from England to Argentina to watch Riquelme (featuring life endangerment)

and

Jonathon Wilson on Riquleme from Inverting the Pyramid

>It is Riquelme, mournful of demeanour, graceful of movement and deft of touch, who best embodies the old-style enganche. When Eduardo Galeano drew the comparison between footballing artists and the devotees of milonga clubs, it was to players like Riquelme he was referring, and it is upon him that the debate about the future of such players has focused. Riquelme has become less a player than a cipher for an ideology.

>‘In the pause,’ the columnist Ezequiel Fernández Moores wrote in La Nacion, quoting a phrase common in the blues tradition of Argentina, ‘there is no music, but the pause helps to make the music.’ He went on to recount an anecdote about Charles Mingus walking into a bar to see an impetuous young drummer attempting a frenetic solo. ‘No,’ the great jazz musician said, ‘it’s not like that. You have to go slowly. You have to say hello to people, introduce yourself. You never enter a room shouting. The same is true of music.’

>But is it true of football? Nostalgists and romantics would like to believe so but, Moores argued that Riquelme would have to change, that he would have to learn, like Messi, a directness. Can the game today cope with a player who does not charge and hustle and chase, but exists apart from the hurly-burly; the still point of an ever-turning world, guiding and coaxing through imagination rather than physique? ‘Riquelme’s brains,’ Jorge Valdano said, ‘save the memory of football for all time… he is a player of the time when life was slow and we took the chairs out on the streets to play with the neighbours.’ Perhaps his melancholic demeanour reflects his knowledge that he was born out of his time. Then again, perhaps his lack of pace would have found him out whichever era he played in: he is, after all, not a paradigm for theoretical debate but an individual with many very great gifts and one very obvious weakness.

>In Argentina, Riquelme is adored and despised in equal measure, the depth of feeling he provokes indicative of how central the playmaker is to Argentinian notions of football. The enganche, Asch wrote in a column in Perfil in 2007, is ‘a very Argentinian invention, almost a necessity’. The playmaker, he went on ‘is an artist, almost by definition a difficult, misunderstood soul. It would, after all, hardly seem right if our geniuses were level-headed’; it is as though they must pay a price for their gifts, must wrestle constantly to control and to channel them. Certainly there is that sense with Riquelme, who eventually frustrated the Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrino to the extent that he exiled him from the club.

>‘We are not,’ Asch wrote, ‘talking necessarily about a leader. Leaders were Rattín, Ruggeri, Passarella or Perfumo, intimidating people. No. Our man is a romantic hero, a poet, a misunderstood genius with the destiny of a myth… Riquelme, the last specimen of the breed, shares with Bochini the melancholy and the certainty that he only works under shelter, with a court in his thrall and an environment that protects him from the evils of this world.’ Perhaps, Asch said, he should never have left Boca.

>Well, perhaps, but it is not that Riquelme cannot prosper away from the club he clearly adores. He struggled with Barcelona, but he was the major reason Villarreal reached a Champions League semi-final 2005-06, and his intelligence was central to Argentina’s sublime progress to the quarter-final of the World Cup later that summer. And yet he took blame for his sides’ exits from both competitions. He missed a penalty against Arsenal in the Champions League, and was withdrawn after seventy-two anonymous minutes against Germany. Some cited Riquelme’s supposed tendency to go missing in big games; but what is striking is that the coach, José Pekerman, replaced him not with a similar fantasista, despite having Messi and Saviola available, but with the far more defensive Estaban Cambiasso, as he switched to a straight 4-4-2. He either decided that Torsten Frings, the more defensive of the two German central midfielders in their 4-4-2, would get the better of any playmaker he put on, or, as many argued, he lost his nerve completely and lost faith in the formation because of Riquelme’s ineffectiveness. Little wonder that Riqelme has commented - as a matter of fact, rather than from bitterness - that when his side loses, it is always his responsibility.

>Riquelme is a wonderful player. He may prosper at Boca, to whom he returned at the beginning of 2008. He may even prosper for Argentina, for international defences are not so well drilled as those at club level, but he is the last of a dying breed, a glorious anachronism.

u/trailrider · 1 pointr/atheism

There's more to chrisitinty than just the resurrection. What about Adam/Eve? Moses and the Exodus? Pretty much the rest of the OT? I mean, if Adam/Eve never existed, then why the need for Jesus? Basically there's no reason to think they did exist. There's no evidence for them. Same for Moses and the Exodus. No evidence of ~2M people wandering around for 40 yrs. To put that into perspective, that would be like everyone in modern day Austin, Tx picking up and roaming the mid-west without leaving a trace. Can you imagine that? And I don't even need to talk about Noah's flood, do I?

As for your other specifics, #1: There is no contemporary accounts backing up the bible's claim of a resurrection. Nothing about about the temple curtain ripping, an earthquake, the sky going black for 3 hrs, or (and this is one of my fav's) not a PEEP about dead saints coming out of their graves and were "seen by many". All of these were certainly note-worthy events but yet...*crickets*. The historians who do mention are people who lived after Jesus's time and were not eyewitness's. They're just relaying what was told to them and even that can't be considered reliable. The one that Christians like to point out is Josephus where he talks about people worshiping a guy named Jesus. Aside from just saying there were christians, which means nothing because it's like pointing out we have scientologist today, most historians consider that passage a later addition because it doesn't fit within that particular works. Kinda like seeing Darth Vader appear in a Star Trek film.

#2: What were their names? Where do they live? Where's their accounts? 10 million people saw me fly around in the air by me flapping my arms! Must be true because soooo many people saw it. Oh, who are they? Just ... people. No, I don't know any of their names but trust me, they saw it!

See how that works?

#3 & #4: Whether he was even buried by no less than a member of the Jewish high council who was calling for his death just the night before is a matter to cause one to raise their eyebrows but let's go with it. Let's assume he was. Which do you think it more likely: That someone removed the body? Or that he rose from the dead?

#5: Read up on the Heaven's Gate cult. All died for their beliefs but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and declare that there was no UFO waiting for them behind the Hale-Bopp comet. Seriously....if you never heard of it, this was back in '97 so may be before your time, read about it. Then I can point out the 9/11 hijackers. They obviously died for their belief's yet I don't see christians rushing to convert to Islam. I don't doubt the sincerity of their beliefs but that doesn't make it true. I can believe that I can fly if I flap my arms hard enough but something tells me that if I jump off a cliff, gravity is gonna prove that belief off.

There's a lot more to this than what I've written here. Books have been written. I would recommend that, if you're interested, start with anything from Dr. Bart Ehrman. He's the chair of the Theology Dept. at the Univ. of N. Carolina. He's a proper authority on this issue. I've read/listened to pretty much every book he has. Might want to start with "Misquoting Jesus". It's the first book I read from him and the stuff I read in there blew my mind. Stuff that you're not likely gonna hear at your school. There's other accounts of Jesus outside the bible and most christians would certainly clutch their pearls over the "Greater Questions Of Mary" account. There's also numerous Youtube vids of his lectures, talks, and debates. He runs a blog as well that you can access for $25/yr which he's pretty good at updating regularly. Money goes to charity.

Might also want to look up Candida Moss who wrote " The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom" She's a NT scholar as well and I learned a lot by reading her book. Like, did you know there were ISIS like groups of christians roaming the area back then? That groups of christians demanded to be killed?

One last book I'd like to recommend is "The Dark Side of Christian History" by Hellen Ellerbe. While I've not found much on her, she does a great job in citing her sources. What will you learn? Know where the phrase "Kill them all, let God sort them out" came from? While I can't recall the specifics, there was basically two groups of christians fighting and the leader of one, when asked how will we know our own from them, proclaimed to kill them all, God will know his own! This book helps to disabuse people of the notion that christianity has been nothing but loving and caring, not to mention persecuted, through the centuries.

Hope this helps and good luck!

u/SpaceYeti · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Thanks for sharing your perspective. It seems to me—and I may be way off the mark—that you still believe in God and the Christian values of the the Mormon faith, but not in the institution of the Mormon church.

Question: have you investigated other Christian churches outside of the Mormon tradition? I know that for many on this sub, losing their belief in Mormonism has been accompanied by a loss of belief in Christianity or religion in general, but many others find a home in a new faith community. I am currently one of those people.

One thing that I learned as a product of my questioning my faith was that I didn't really understand non-Mormon Christianity very well at all. That is, what I thought I understood about Christianity was really more of a caricature of Christianity I had been given through my Mormon upbringing, and not really an accurate representation. As I started to research religion more broadly, I discovered that Christianity is actually far more diverse than I had supposed. Through my upbringing and bias-colored experiences, I had come to think of all of Christianity as a sort of Bible-belt, evangelical, born-again, fundamentalism, that in many ways is actually not that dissimilar to Mormonism in practice, despite significant differences in theology. However, I discovered that—primarily in the "mainline" Christian denominations—there is also a rich tradition of Christianity that remarkably different from what I had experienced or presupposed.

Anyway, the short version: it seems like you might still identify as non-evangelical Christian, but just not Mormon. That might be me projecting, but if not, you might consider looking into some of the mainline Christian faiths and seeing if you like it. And maybe you wont, but at least you'll know. If you are interested, I highly recommend reading Marcus Borg's The Heart of Christianity, which is a light and conversational read on 'progressive Christianity', or Karen Armstrong's The Case for God, which is a much more detailed treatise on religion throughout history but ultimately covers some of the same ideas.

u/simmelianben · 1 pointr/writing

> do you know of any helpful formatting guides?

Here's a google search
that may help you get started. That said, just getting the words onto paper will be the hardest, longest portion of the work.

I would also suggest reading some non-fiction books for ideas of how you can layout your ideas.

"Group Theory in the Bedroom" for instance uses essays with postscripts/afterwords for each chapter. Each 'chapter' is it's own, self-contained work. You could yank out any chapter and have a cohesive work.

Meanwhile, "Guns, Germs, and Steel" breaks down more by topic/question and ties them together for a summary "the whole is greater than the parts" ending. You cannot take out a portion and still get the whole idea. They all intertwine.

Then you have biographies of all sorts that basically start with "So and so was born" and tell the story from there. You can yank out a portion and get a cohesive idea about "so and so's" high school years or education, but not the entire person.

I'd suggest leaning towards a Guns, Germs, and Steel style if you can. Tying together how fried chicken carries across cultures, connects huge portions of the planet, and carries an huge amount of "cultural capital" in popular culture and real life would be huge.

Some examples you can borrow/develop:

  • KFC is huge in China, bigger than McDonalds even.
  • The Japanese celebrate Christmas by eating KFC
  • The film "The Help" includes Fried Chicken as a crucial plot point as a black woman teaches her white employer how to make it properly. Fried Chicken is a form of "Cultural capital" in the film.



    Last words: You're looking at the phenomenon of Fried Chicken, so sociological concepts like Phenomenonology and other Sociological terms will help you in the research phase of your question. Cultural rifts about fried chicken and "the right" way to make it for example will likely be discussed using terms like "cultural lag" and "norms".
u/MyDogFanny · 2 pointsr/atheism

In his book Sapiens, Harari talks about this issue at length.

>As far as we know, only Sapiens can talk about entire kinds of entities that they have never seen, touched, or smelled. Legends, myths, gods, and religions appeared for the first time with the Cognitive Revolution. Many animals and human species could previously say ‘Careful! A lion! Thanks to the Cognitive Revolution, Homo sapiens acquired the ability to say. ‘The lion is the guardian spirit of our tribe.' This ability to speak about fictions is the most unique feature of Sapiens language…You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

>Any large-scale human cooperation — whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city, or an archaic tribe — is rooted in common myths that exist only in people's collective imagination. Churches are rooted in common religious myths. Two Catholics who have never met can nevertheless go together on crusade or pool funds to build a hospital because they both believe God was incarnated in human flesh and allowed Himself to be crucified to redeem our sins. States are rooted in common national myths. Two Serbs who have never met might risk their lives to save one another because both believe in the existence of the Serbian nation, the Serbian homeland and the Serbian flag. Judicial systems are rooted in common legal myths. Two lawyers who have never met can nevertheless combine efforts to defend a complete stranger because they both believe in the existence of laws, justice, human rights, and money paid out in fees.

Blog source for the above quotes and an excellent review of this topic from the book.

A quote from the above blog:

>Harari is quick to point out that these aren't lies. We truly believe them, and we believe in them as a collective. They have literal truth in the sense that if I trust that you believe in money as much as I do, we can use it as an exchange of value. But just as you can't get a chimpanzee to forgo a banana today for infinite bananas in heaven, you also can't get him to accept 3 apples today with the idea that if he invests them in a chimp business wisely, he'll get 6 bananas from it in five years, no matter how many compound interest tables you show him. This type of collaborative and complex fiction is uniquely human, and capitalism is as much of a collective myth as religion.

u/Matt2142 · 30 pointsr/soccer

Inverting the Pyramid - Jonathan Wilson
A pioneering book that chronicles the evolution of soccer tactics and the lives of the itinerant coaching geniuses who have spread their distinctive styles across the globe.

Teambuilding: the road to success - Rinus Michels
The late Rinus Michels, FIFA's Coach of the Century, offers his unique insight into the process of "teambuilding".

The Coaching Philosophies of Louis Van Gaal and the Ajax Coaches - Henny Kormelink and Tjeu Seeverens
Louis van Gaal, Frans Hoek, Co Adriaanse and fitness coach Bobby Haarms discuss their training methods and philosophies in this book full of creative ideas for soccer coaches at any level.

Dutch Soccer Secrets - Peter Hyballa & Hans-Dieter te Poel
This book is a first attempt to present expert knowledge of internationally proven useful and effective Dutch soccer coaching in theory and practice, based on qualitative data collection.

Attacking Soccer: a tactical analysis - Massimo Lucchesi
This book examines match strategies for creating goal scoring opportunities out of various systems of play.

Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong - Chris Anderson, David Sally
Innovation is coming to soccer, and at the centre of it all are the numbers—a way of thinking about the game that ignores the obvious in favour of how things actually are.

Football Against the Enemy - Simon Kuper
Kuper travelled to 22 countries from South Africa to Italy, from Russia to the USA, to examine the way football has shaped them.

u/The_Last_Y · 2 pointsr/exmormon

[The Case for God] (http://www.amazon.com/Case-God-Karen-Armstrong/dp/0307389804) by Karen Armstrong. It never mentions Mormonism, so it is unlikely your wife will feel like you are trying to persuade her away from it. In addition the author's goal is to promote faith in God. She goes through the development of religion from an anthropological method and covers a lot of different religions and theological view points. She does a very good job of explaining the different belief systems and why they are valuable. And this is the important part. She makes different views and ways of thinking important and valuable. One example is that her explanation of the Trinity doctrine made me actually feel okay with someone believing that version of deity. The book helped me understand how it is we ended up with extremist views like fundamentalist Christians and how my own views and atheism fit into that puzzle. I think it could be a great way to help her become comfortable with thinking outside the Mormon box and about looking at religion critically in general.

u/TonyBLiar · 1 pointr/Christianity

>Yet while he never delineates Gospel specifics (other than the Last Supper, the Crucifixion & Resurrection- three of them you claimed he doesn't)

Sorry, I should have been clearer when I said…

>the only part of the Jesus story Paul does write about, just so happens to match almost exactly the same death and resurrection arc attributed to hundreds of hero warrior gods throughout antiquity

…that this is exactly the part I was referring to. The death and resurrection narrative is, contrary to your assertion, littered throughout ancient folklore.

http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Puzzle-Christianity-Challenging-Historical/dp/096892591X/ref=pd_sim_b_2

http://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Jesus-Story-Behind-Changed/dp/0060859512/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269831504&sr=1-1

>I suggest you read the early Church Fathers objectively. Seems as if you're actively looking to prove a thesis you already have (that Jesus never existed or that he wasn't what Christians claim he is or whatever). Early Church history is actually quite fascinating.

I couldn't agree more on that—and I'm sorry if I seem 'pre-convinced', because I'm not. The historicity of it is, as you say, truly fascinating stuff. But as I'm sure you'll also concede that doesn't necessarily make any of it true. And I don't mean that in a small way. I mean how, for example, would you explain to someone in 2000 years time what the narrative of the Superman story was supposed to impart, if you were to travel forward in time and arrive in a future where astronomers who could prove there was never a planet Krypton were accused of being selective, or "actively looking to prove a thesis [they] already have"?

I'm sure you're intelligent enough to have noticed by now, incidentally, that I might just as easily say the same about Christianity's truth-claims as you say about mine to the contrary—which I would like to assure you extend much further than having watched merely a few direct-to-web documentaries, however well the one to which you refer to happens to have been made. I was born and raised for the first 16 years of my life a Catholic and "got saved" at around 10 or 11. I've been religion free for the best part of the last 20 years and an atheist since September 11th 2001.

u/GlorifiedPlumber · 1 pointr/ChemicalEngineering

I don't know of any that compare, but, the Napoleon's Buttons is SUPPOSED to be good.

http://www.amazon.com/Napoleons-Buttons-Molecules-Changed-History/dp/1585423319/

Other books, engineering related, that I liked are:

Norm Lieberman's Process Troubleshooting books, the guy cracks me up!

Working Guide to Process Equipment (3rd edition probably cheaper): http://www.amazon.com/Working-Guide-Process-Equipment-Fourth/dp/0071828060/

Process Equipment Malfunctions (not as good as the other one, some overlap, but still worthwhile, and covers more breadth for individual issues): http://www.amazon.com/Process-Equipment-Malfunctions-Techniques-Identify/dp/0071770208/

The Prize (mentioned above): http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1439110123/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/188-3799228-4803548

The Quest (Follow on to The Prize): http://www.amazon.com/Quest-Energy-Security-Remaking-Modern/dp/0143121944/

Oil 101: http://www.amazon.com/Oil-101-Morgan-Downey/dp/0982039204/

The Mythical Man Month (Not engineering directly as it pertains to software, but, projects and project management are huge in engineering, though this book is timeless): http://www.amazon.com/Mythical-Man-Month-Software-Engineering-Anniversary/dp/0201835959/

Piping Systems Manual (You can NEVER know enough about pipe!): http://www.amazon.com/Piping-Systems-Manual-Brian-Silowash/dp/0071592768/

Pumps and Pumping Operations (OMG it is $4, hardcover, go buy now! This book is great... did you know OSU didn't teach their Chem E's about pumps? I was flabbergasted, gave this to our intern and he became not a scrub by learning about pumps!): http://www.amazon.com/Pumping-Operations-Prentice-Pollution-Equipment/dp/0137393199/

Any good engineer needs to understand MONEY too:

The Ascent of Money: http://www.amazon.com/Ascent-Money-Financial-History-World/dp/0143116177/

It's Nial Fergesuon, who has had his own series of dramas and dumb stuff. The Ascent of Money has a SLIGHT libertarian tinge... but it wasn't bad enough that I didn't enjoy it. I consider it a history book, and he attempts to write it like one.

Have fun!

u/global_domer · 9 pointsr/DebateReligion

Before I get to my main point, I would just like to briefly comment upon this short phrase,

>another case of philosophy failing to keep up with modern science

which demonstrates a patent lack of understanding of what philosophy and science are, and what distinguishes them, as disciplines. Science's domain is the empirical -- it is concerned with physical stuff, with things that can be physically (and usually quantitatively) observed, measured, and examined. Philosophy is concerned with metaphysics, that is, with non-empirical reflection, and for that reason can never really 'keep up' with science. You cannot derive from empirical foundations the principles of moral behaviour, nor what constitutes a 'just' political system, nor whether there is an immaterial God. There is no 'keeping up' between philosophy and science. They deal with fundamentally different subject matter.

To the main point: Arguments to the effect of modern science (in any field, not just cosmology) definitively disproving the existence of God are short-sighted. Even recent developments in the field of cosmology are insufficient to demonstrate the non-necessity of a God, for the reason that they do not broach the fundamental question of why anything at all exists. The classical theist, drawing upon Aristotle, would consider the notion of a godless universe as patently bizarre. Any universe is necessarily 'contingent' in philosophical terms, which means that there is a distinction between what it could be (its potentiality) and what it is at any given moment (its actuality). Since any universe (or any set of pre-universe laws or constants) is necessarily contingent, subject to either change or the mere theoretical possibility of existing in some other way, its existence is not necessary as such.

The theist would then say that, to explain all contingent realities, we must posit some ultimate non-contingent reality in which no distinction exists between potentiality and actuality. In other words, all contingent, non-necessary reality must derive from some necessary reality, which cannot be any particular universe nor any pre-universe state of contingent laws. In theological language, this necessary entity which is fully actual (the 'I AM who am' of the Jewish tradition) is termed 'God.'

Edit: To quote from the great David Bentley Hart,

>Hawking’s dismissal of God as an otiose explanatory hypothesis, for instance, is a splendid example of a false conclusion drawn from a confused question. He clearly thinks that talk of God’s creation of the universe concerns some event that occurred at some particular point in the past, prosecuted by some being who appears to occupy the shadowy juncture between a larger quantum landscape and the specific conditions of our current cosmic order; by “God,” that is to say, he means only a demiurge, coming after the law of gravity but before the present universe, whose job was to nail together all the boards and firmly mortar all the bricks of our current cosmic edifice. So Hawking naturally concludes that such a being would be unnecessary if there were some prior set of laws — just out there, so to speak, happily floating along on the wave-functions of the quantum vacuum — that would permit the spontaneous generation of any and all universes. It never crosses his mind that the question of creation might concern the very possibility of existence as such, not only of this universe but of all the laws and physical conditions that produced it, or that the concept of God might concern a reality not temporally prior to this or that world, but logically and necessarily prior to all worlds, all physical laws, all quantum events, and even all possibilities of laws and events. From the perspective of classical metaphysics, Hawking misses the whole point of talk of creation: God would be just as necessary even if all that existed were a collection of physical laws and quantum states, from which no ordered universe had ever arisen; for neither those laws nor those states could exist of themselves. But — and here is the crucial issue — those who argue for the existence of God principally from some feature or other of apparent cosmic design are guilty of the same conceptual confusion; they make a claim like Hawking’s seem solvent, or at least relevant, because they themselves have not advanced beyond the demiurgic picture of God. By giving the name “God” to whatever as yet unknown agent or property or quality might account for this or that particular appearance of design, they have produced a picture of God that it is conceivable the sciences could some day genuinely make obsolete, because it really is a kind of rival explanation to the explanations the sciences seek. This has never been true of the God described in the great traditional metaphysical systems. The true philosophical question of God has always been posed at a far simpler but far more primordial and comprehensive level; it concerns existence as such: the logical possibility of the universe, not its mere physical probability. God, properly conceived, is not a force or cause within nature, and certainly not a kind of supreme natural explanation.

from The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss (https://www.amazon.com/Experience-God-Being-Consciousness-Bliss/dp/0300166842)

u/ashowofhands · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

Album- I listen to music constantly, this one is tough. If I'm allowed to cheat a little, I'm going to say Keith Jarrett's Sun Bear Concerts box set. It'd really give me a chance to delve into them, and Keith Jarrett solo piano improv concerts are perfect for long drives/plane rides/whatever.

If I can't cheat with a multi-CD set, I'd just go with Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism. I always thought of it as being an album about distance - literally and figuratively.

Book- Not a big novel reader (I have neither the time nor the attention span). But I'd probably bring either Go Like Hell, about the battle for LeMans between Ferrari and Ford in the 1960s, or this book about Robert Schumann's late music. The former is an interesting story and my interest was revitalized with the recent segment on The Grand Tour about it. The latter is a book I've wanted to read since I was in music conservatory 3 years ago, but could never afford to buy at the exorbitant price (and honestly would still have a hard time justifying). Honestly, I question whether I'd ever get around to reading any of either, but I'd pack them with the best intentions in mind

Person- I cannot think of a single person who would have any interest in spending three months straight with me. I think I'd much rather do a solo road trip or motorcycle tour (in this hypothetical scenario, I've learned how to ride a motorcycle - something else that's actually on my to-do list).

EDIT - oops, I forgot one. Electronic device, definitely a smartphone. Not because I'm glued to snap chat and can't fathom going 3 months without a selfie or whatever other nonsense people assume you do with smartphones, but because it's the most versatile and useful - I can call (or text, if necessary) for help in an emergency situation, I can capture pictures without having to bring a standalone camera, I can use it to look up street directions, lookup nearby restaurants/stores/gas stations/mechanic shops/whatever, it's got a compass, it's got a flashlight, I can create a text log of memorable events, so on and so forth. And I can send selfies of myself to people on snapchat. I guess I'd have to install snapchat first.

u/DavidByron · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

For politics there's a lot of heavy heavy stuff which is good but if you want something light and more story orientated but still good try Confessions of an Economic Hitman It's about how America came to dominate and exploit the third world.

If you can handle something a little heavier I'd suggest the free on-line copy of A People's History of the United States. It's an upbeat history of ordinary people struggling for their rights against the rich - stuff you don't get told at school.

Many people will suggest George Orwell's 1984 which is also free on-line but I'd read only half way through if you want to keep it a bit lighter because the ending is pretty goddam nasty and all the buzz words that the book entered into the English language (apart from "Room 101") are in the first half of the book.

For a great book on pre-history try Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. Famous book with ideas you'll find very useful in conversations. It answers the question as to how come it was White Europeans going and beating up on everyone else instead of vice versa?

If you're not a conservative (and why would you be) you'll enjoy Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians. It's his research on why some people seem to act in irrational ways and it's free on-line again. Bonus: his writing style is very easy to read and it's short.

u/CrimsonGear · 7 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

So, all white people in America have the same culture? A culture that values education and politeness? What about the deep south, where, let's be honest, higher education is not overly stressed? Or how about the differences between a person from New York and a person from Idaho?

"White" is a homogenized term that refers to skin color only. The culture you speak of is "American".

I'll also just point out that Africa is not a uniformly shitty hellhole, and the parts that ARE hellholes are like that largely due to outside influences. I'd also point you toward places like Egypt, with cities like Alexandria that were the once the center of knowledge and learning in antiquity. If you're interested in learning why certain cultures seem to be underdeveloped while others thrive technologically, you should read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. There's also a movie version on Netflix.

Anyway, let's get down to brass tacks. When I see a "black cultural event", I see a group of people with common interests and common troubles who come together to support one another. The fact that they feel the need to do this tells us more about the environment they exist in than it does about their culture. If I were in another country - one that did not support or welcome me as an American - I would probably find other Americans or like-minded people to hang around.

During the time of slavery, the ONLY people that would support black people was other black people. They formed a culture that meshed (mainly southern) American elements with their African heritage. Because they had no real support from the outside, they had to support themselves from within, and that leads to a very strong cultural identity - one that still exists. And a big reason that it still exists is because, by and large, they are still not completely welcomed or accepted.

Now, when I hear a white American complaining about black events, I think of a child who has always gotten his way, who throws a tantrum when someone else gets to do something that he can't. Largely because he, and people like him, created a NEED for those sorts of things in the first place. Black people wouldn't feel the need to form these groups and events if the larger population accepted them the same way they accepted other cultures. And regardless of what you, personally, may feel or believe, there is still a very large group in America that sees blacks as foreign and thuggish. It's a foolish thing to think, and is clearly untrue.

And it's this "why do they get an event, I want an event!" mentality that makes anyone who wants to form a "white culture" event or group seem like a spoiled brat who wants something solely because someone else has it.

u/jmynatt · 2 pointsr/exchristian

Thanks for the feedback and thoughtful reply! "Condemns most" refers to several indications that the (currently) 2/3rds of the world that does not believe in Jesus will be lost.

 

I do think it's a position reasonably supported by the text. Not that I agree -- I find it morally reprehensible that any "good pagans" and/or the vast billions raised without much exposure to Christianity would be lost due to being born in the wrong place/time. William Lane Craig, a leading apologist, has written a thoroughly repulsive response on the topic: God already knew they'd be lost, so he put them in those places -- and, he says, for all we know, the ratio of saved-to-lost is is perfectly optimal. Ugh!

 

To your point, I'd have a hard time agreeing that Mk 9:40 and Lk 9:50 "whoever is not against us is for us" indicates Jesus believed people could be saved without him. For starters, he contradicts this in Mt 12:30 and Lk 11:23 "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." In context though, both seem to refer to doing miraculous works (casting out demons) and aren't discussing how to be saved at all.

 

In addition, there are ample NT verses saying Jesus saw himself as the only way to be saved:

  • Jn 3:18 and Mk 16:16 "whoever believes in Him will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned"
  • Jn 14:4 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
  • Jn 3:36 "whoever does not obey Him does not have life; the wrath of God remains on him"
  • Mt 7:21-23 "And they will say 'Lord, did we not do many mighty works in your name?' And I will declare 'Depart from me; I never knew you, you workers of lawlessness'"
  • Mt 7:13-14 "the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. The gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
  • Acts 4:12 "there is salvation in no one else; there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved"
  • Jn 17:3 "and this is eternal life: that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent"
  • Rm 3:22-23 "The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. There is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"

     

    Many contradictory religions claim exclusivity. If Christianity let go of the idea of needing Jesus to be saved, it's a slippery slope to not needing him for anything -- just be a decent person and live your life. But in holding onto the need for Jesus, it ran headlong into another huge problem: if it's all about "accepting God's free gift of love", then a serial rapist can accept Jesus and be fully saved on death row, while a lifelong moral non-theist will go to hell for not accepting the gift. This completely devalues any of our actions and puts all the emphasis on "believing on bad evidence" instead of what you actually do with your life.

     

    It's all a moot point, however -- as it's likely "Jesus", if he existed, never said most of the things attributed to him, and some epistles attributed to Paul were written pseudonymously also. The whole idea of a "final judgment" wasn't from the Old Testament (which focused largely on earthly kings and national victories); rather, it was borrowed from Zoroastrianism eschatology during Babylonian/Persian captivity, which is around the time the Jews rewrote their national history to better fit their unfortunate circumstances, leading to inclusion in Jewish inter-testamental scripture such as the Book of Enoch, which was accepted as scripture for hundreds of years and was quoted by and influenced the thinking of New Testament writers who were making all this stuff up at the time.

     

    So, yeah -- who cares what Jesus said anyway, it's a lousy plan that wasn't even original! :-)
u/zxcv73 · 1 pointr/worldnews

>Marxists claim the exact same thing.

If Marx did claim this, he wouldn't advocate government law like he did. Your idea of Marx sounds very wrong, or maybe your idea of economic law. But that's beside the point. You are projecting some ideals on to me. I never said anything you are claiming I did. I don't know where you are getting that I think the market is a separate unified thing. The market is everyone. Therefor every individuals action shapes the market. If you keep trying to put words were there are none, than debating you is a waste of time.

Nothing I say is ideological drivel as you try to point out. Simply because 2 things are intertwined does not mean they are the same, and cannot be separated. I base my concepts on the facts at hand, history, and solid theory. You are debating with a lot of emotions here, you should look at the alternatives to these factories, and what else the market in those countries has to offer. If someone is forcing anyone to work that is a problem in itself, but for most of the cases no one is forcing any of these children or adults to work. They choose to work in one place, because another place is worst or not an option. I'm not saying 'it sucks but what can you do.' I'm saying raising standards of living takes time, it can't happen because you wish it or because of a law. Looking at the history of western working conditions, it took time there as well, and the governments had to get out of the way. It's just usually the governments that get in the way and slow things down or make them worst. Look at the freedom of industry in Honk Kong and their standard of living compared to the rest of China. Hong Kong is much better off then the rest of China is, and they have very little government, comparatively, and a lot more open market. So when I say the market will fix it, I mean if governments allow the people to do what they do, then things will get better. It's not a mystical force, it's just what people do. Most of the history of the U.S companies on average were doing things and paying better than what government laws enforced. But the law is still forcing people to do things that is against their best interests, especially on a small business scale, which really slows progress.

>Sure. If you entirely ignore the evidence in the article itself, then squint at it until your previous assumptions are justified, I'm sure you can convince yourself of anything.

That was what your article said. Also it is government building of roads that causes "urban sprawl" anyway, as pointed out in this book. by Harvard economics professor Edward L. Glaeser.

Also from your article:

>In this case, in order to boost the production of cheaper goods, governments have maintained artificially low food prices in urban areas. The strategy here is to maintain urban food prices below market levels to reduce the cost of urban labor and urban life.

So no squinting needed to see government intervention as the problem.

u/FitzGeraldisFitzGod · 3 pointsr/worldbuilding

I'm afraid I don't have the ability to break down political and social orders into a few short, easy to digest paragraphs of general advice. Political worldbuilding is what interests me the most and is a focus of my world, but I wouldn't have the first idea how to give lessons on how to learn how to do it.

The best I can do is suggest a book, [The Origins of Political Order] (https://www.amazon.com/Origins-Political-Order-Prehuman-Revolution/dp/0374533229) by Francis Fukuyama. It attempts to understand and explain why political institutions developed as they did, why in some places and not others, and why some institutions survive and others don't. It is, in my opinion, the single best book a layman on the subject who seeks to improve their political worldbuilding could read on the matter. It attempts to tackle Big History and give general rules on institutional development and is probably the closest thing to a pageturner the field of political theory has ever seen, perfectly readable at the college freshman level. It will teach you to think in terms of political cause and effect far better than I ever could.

u/DynamoManiac · 5 pointsr/dynamo

Welcome, if you know absolutely nothing about soccer then you've got your work cut out for you. You can imagine knowing nothing about football and then suddenly tuning in. At first, just looks like a bunch of guys standing around and running occasionally. After a while, it will start to look like more but really understanding it in a deep sense to where you can stand around the cooler and talk plays, situational decisions, etc requires years and years, like growing up with it right? Europeans like to say that Americans don't understand soccer. They are snobs that way, but they are also not wrong. Most fans are in that intermediate step of watching the game and enjoying it but not being able to peel away the next layer of the onion with a detailed understanding of the tactical elements, etc.

If you're up for it, I'd recommend this book, one of the best soccer books out there which gives you both a detailed history of the game but more importantly a detailed history and understanding of tactics: https://www.amazon.com/Inverting-Pyramid-History-Soccer-Tactics/dp/1568587384

u/TheSpaceWhale · 0 pointsr/atheism

I'd like to put out a counterpoint to a lot of the comments about "finding holes in the books" etc. You don't need to convince her that there is no God, Bible is mythology, etc. You don't want to come off as attacking her beliefs or from a side of negativity. You need to convince her that you're an adult, a good person, and that you've found another "belief system" that fits better for you and deserves her respect. You want to approach her as Carl Sagan, not Richard Dawkins.

I would highly encourage you to read Karen Armstrong (A History of God, or The Case for God). They're both not only fascinating books on the evolution of religion in general, but they show a non-theistic side of religion/spirituality within Christianity. She'll likely feel more comfortable with your lack of belief in a literal personal God if you approach from an angle of something WITHIN Christian theology. Another good view of this is When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy, which describes the positive side of atheism and science. Maybe give her one of these books rather than The God Delusion--it's something she's more likely to read.

Ultimately, most religious people having their own different religious beliefs than they are with people rejecting their beliefs. Present atheism as something positive, inspiring, and fulfilling for you.

u/vette91 · 1 pointr/SoccerCoaching

https://www.amazon.com/Inverting-Pyramid-History-Soccer-Tactics/dp/1568587384/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502589346&sr=8-1&keywords=inverting+the+pyramid

This book, Inverting the Pyramid which is a great start for tactics.

As far as positions and tactics go, how much soccer do you watch? Watching is the best way to learn.

As far as tactics at this age group I usually would stick to a 4-4-2(4 defenders, 2 central midfielders with 2 wide midfielders, and 2 forwards. One of the forwards should drop deeper and play a more of a CAM. They are creative, need to be able to dribble, shoot, have "vision" to pass to open players or play through balls.

As far as teaching them the technical side(dribbling, trapping, shooting ect). The best way to teach them is to let them get as many touches on the ball as possible. Do drills(or games) where you match up two players(of similar skill) and they get one ball and dribble around a cone(or jersey or towel or water bottle or whatever) and then have to find the person they are paired up with. Do that drill but add a couple of defenders in there who put a little pressure on them and it makes the person who is off the ball learn good movement to get open.

Another one I did when I was at that age was we'd have two people one ball and they would dribble up the field, pass it a couple of times, you'd be standing at the top of the box with your back to goal and eventually you'd yell "pass" and whoever has the ball passes it to you and then the two over lap and you randomly choose one side to pass it to and they can take one touch and then they have to shoot the ball. This helps them learn to use both feet, learn to take good first touches as if they take bad touches they won't be in the position to shoot. After they shoot one of them gets the ball and dribbles back and gets in line. (note the line shouldn't be long, you don't want them standing ever really, you want them constantly moving, passing, dribbling ect)

If you PM me I'd love to help talk you through some tactical stuff. I'll look for some websites that I know have good drills. Also, I'd like to thank you personally for taking the time to spend time with young men(or women) and mentor them!

u/if_and_only_if · 5 pointsr/islam

I was a Catholic. I had issues with certain parts of the faith that I didn't think too much about since I didn't really have a way to answer them, such as reconciling the idea of the trinity with monotheism.

I've studied the church's stance on it but it doesn't FEEL like the two beliefs are compatible and it never has. The explanations I was given and that I thought of myself always seemed a bit unsatisfactory like technicalities. That and the idea that I had to accept the teaching of a church whose members consist of fallible people. How do I accept creeds and beliefs laid down by other people throughout history hundreds and thousands of years after Jesus lived? It was, in fact, the vow of obedience to the church that dissuaded me early on from contemplating joining the clergy.

The last reticent doubt I had was about the authenticity of the bible, having studied a bit about the Documentary Hypothesis and the different authors of the bible. It became a bit hard for me to believe it could be very factually accurate or (more importantly) have spiritual authority for me to base my beliefs on. Different people throughout hundreds of years wrote different documents and I'm supposed to follow this specially compiled group of them as an authoritative fact? It would require me to accept the authority of the people who wrote them, and the people who edited them, and the people who compiled them, the authors and the church. So I ended up not reading too much of the bible after a point.

When I learned about Islam (completely by happy accident, I enjoy studying world religions anyways and realized reading through the Islam wiki I had no idea what this huge religion was about or how it originated, etc) I found that I agreed with Islam's teachings about Jesus as prophet. And then the Qur'an (in Islam) does not present the same difficulties as the bible does in Christianity IF you believe in the prophethood of Muhammad ﷺ. That came to me upon reading the Qur'an and reading a short biography about the prophet's life and the origin of Islam source

If you'd like to talk more about this please feel free to PM me :)

u/OuRR_World · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I'm not sure if Jerry's gotten to this one yet, but I'll post also just in case.

  1. The God Virus
  2. Godless
  3. The Magic of Reality
  4. Letter To A Christian Nation

    Also there are great podcasts, of course we are partial to Living After Faith (our official Podcast with Deanna and Rich Lyons), and there are many others as well. For blogs there is always Hemant Mehta's Friendly Atheist, and we're starting our blog this weekend as well, but there are tons of just quality folks out there who have so much to share and offer to the secular world.
u/Quock · 2 pointsr/exchristian

Popular Richard Dawkins books are The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene. I haven't read the Selfish Gene yet, but I have read the God Delusion, and it is a very good book. It may be a tad technical if you aren't well versed in science, but it's still very manageable.

The late Christopher Hitchens wrote a very famous book called God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Admittedly, I have not read this one either, but it's an atheist staple.

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible is next on my reading list (as you can tell, I have a HUGE reading list...), but also widely regarded as an amazing piece of literature for rational thinking.

I'm sure others can suggest more specific books, but these are the basics as far as I know.

Edit: Definitely forgot to mention that the Skeptic's Annotated Bible can be found online. I assume that this is in it's entirety?

Edit 2: Found this list on GoodReads.com. Seems to be another good resource for finding books :). Happy reading!

u/LarParWar · 2 pointsr/TheRedPill

Words such as "race" are used to draw dividing lines between genetically dissimilar populations. How dissimilar varies over time. Europeans and Africans are clearly of different races, for example. Nor would Europeans and Arabs ever be mistaken. When you compare West Europeans (core Europeans) and Eastern Europeans (Slavs, mostly), the water gets a little murkier. They certainly fall under the "white" umbrella, but how much? For instance, I have a good eye for this, and can tell them apart with ease. The average white person cannot. So is there a grand unified White Race™? Probably not. But there are white races, of which the label "white" can be reasonably applied to all of them.

What seems to have happened to most of the ancient world—through Europe, Asia, the Middle East—is that the Indo-European people(s) swooped down and conquered, established civilizations, and then gradually, over many generations, "melted" into the conquered peoples. The white phenotype was probably as fragile to intermixing then as now, and besides, though most similar to Europeans (or "whites") they were forerunners, "prototypes".

Historical genetic overlap, though important, is not the whole story, as evidenced by convergent evolution, which can form nearly the same structure from totally unlike ancestries; see sharks, which once were fish, and dolphins, which once were deer-like ungulates. Not the same, but remarkably similar in some important ways. Put differently, a group of stone-age Europeans living in Africa would lose their essential European characteristics over time, slowly becoming more and more like Africans.

And the ancient Romans were right: the tribes that inhabited the island of Brittania were incapable of being civilized. They are the ancestors of modern Britons, yes, but not the same. They have changed—genetically; they literally evolved—rather substantially in the past two millennia. Read The 10,000 Year Explosion for a better idea, it's quick and easy.

Re: Iraqi vs Iranian. I can tell them apart, but again, convergent evolution.

Yes. Do you have two thousand years to wait while the harsh European environment civilizes the Semitic tribes currently colonizing it? I don't. (And even then they'll still be largely Semitic in nature and temperament, just see the Ashkenazi jews.)

The Japanese are indeed distinct from all other Asian races. They alone were subject to similar environmental conditions as Europeans over the millennia. The small island of Japan just off the Asian continent is remarkably similar to the small island of Britain just off the European continent.

u/CreationExposedBot · 1 pointr/CreationExposed

> No, they don't.
>
> https://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Jesus-Story-Behind-Changed/dp/0060859512
>
> But we might just have to agree to disagree about that. In any case...

No, the only thing I'll agree to is that both you and Ehrman are totally wrong.

https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Christianity-Homicide-Detective-Investigates/dp/1434704696/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Cold+case+christianity&qid=1554338796&s=books&sr=1-1

>Either way, let me just ask you: does faith in the God of the Bible produce any measurable (by a non-believer) effect that faith in some other god does not? If so, what is it? If not, then in what sense can such a god be said to exist?

You're asking the wrong question. The only effect my faith in God produces is my personal salvation, which is not testable. But is there good evidence that the God of the Bible is the one true God? Yes, there is very good evidence of that. One of the most powerful of these is fulfilled prophecy.

See:
https://www.amazon.com/Messianic-Hope-Hebrew-Studies-Theology-ebook/dp/B004OR18CY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=181JAOD14V0WZ&keywords=is+the+hebrew+bible+messianic&qid=1554338880&s=gateway&sprefix=is+the+hebrew+bible%2Cstripbooks%2C274&sr=8-1

---

Posted by: K**5

u/trixx1 · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

>Assertions from church fathers and theologians have NO BEARING bearing on what textual scholars have discovered over the past 19 centuries my friend.

That is a ridiculous statement. The gospel of John for example was completed around 98CE. You believe what contemporaries of John wrote just a few years later in the early 2nd centuries doesn't matter? That is ridiculous. You say you believe in textual examination to determine the author, then why did you dismiss exactly that. Here's what certain textual scholars have said:

>Since Matthew had been a tax collector, it was natural that he would be explicit in his mention of money, figures, and values. (Matt. 17:27; 26:15; 27:3) He keenly appreciated God’s mercy in allowing him, a despised tax collector, to become a minister of the good news and an intimate associate of Jesus. Therefore, we find Matthew alone of the Gospel writers giving us Jesus’ repeated insistence that mercy is required in addition to sacrifice. (9:9-13; 12:7; 18:21-35) Matthew was greatly encouraged by Jehovah’s undeserved kindness and appropriately records some of the most comforting words Jesus uttered: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.” (11:28-30)

I also mentioned how 42% of Matthew's account is not to be found in any other gospel.

>I love the way you emphasized the Matthew specific material while leaving out the fact that 50% of his gospel is copied WORD FOR WORD from Mark

58% of what he wrote is also written about by one or more of the other gospel writers. However, the claim that he copied word for word from Mark has no basis.

>On top of that there are verbal cues in the text that show beyond doubt it was originally composed in Greek..with many of the so-called OT prophecies referenced by Matthew worded (and mistranslated) exactly as they were in the Septuagint, which was a Greek version of the OT that the author used for a source.

Matthew was actually written in Aramaic and Koine Greek. So when the book of Matthew refered to OT prophecies it used the Greek septugent OT translation. I do agree with that but I fail to see how you are claiming this proves Matthew did not write the book that bears his name.

>There are a myriad of other reasons why mainstream scholars believe that all of the gospels were composed by anonymous Greek-speaking Christians long after the death of anyone who knew Jesus. If you are sincerely interested in how the NT came together, rather than bolstering conclusions you have arrived at for other reasons, this book is a good starting place: http://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Jesus-Story-Behind-Changed/dp/0060859512/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330919177&sr=8-1

I have in fact read a good part of that book as well as other books of Bart Ehrman. He takes things people have known all along and tries to sensationalize them. His basic argument is that the new testament has hundreds of differences with many early manuscripts. What he doesn't tell you prominently is that almost all the differences are attributed to trivial things like misspellings which don't in fact change the meaning of the words. I invite you to share with me two or three points that absolutely convince you that the Bible was altered. You will quickly realize the book is largely designed to make huge claims through sensationalizing of things we already know.

> I refer you to this site, created by Christians, maintained by Christians, and used by students in every major seminary on earth for research purposes. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com

I fail to see why you refered me to this site. A majority of it is talking about writings of early christians after the first century. Are you claiming these writings are also part of the Bible?

u/rdar1999 · 4 pointsr/btc

As she said, the potential to do harm and to do good is huge. This is in all dimensions.

The good side is to make the world even more connected for mutual enrichment. Our species's great leap was the ability to cooperate with large amounts of unknown people, this means trade with them (see https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095).

We want to interact with other groups because we want to trade with them. To do this, we need communication, which is flexible but also standardized: languages. Trade is the biggest drive to language, the same way trade is the biggest drive to money (and only from this we derive the concept of store of value BTW).

All of this makes me pretty confident that we need bitcoin (cash), it is the natural step forward. We can only cooperate in higher degree if we can eschew the trust element, that's why national issued "cryptocurrencies" are an uninformed move to keep the obsolete alive, it won't work, I'm 100% confident of that.

The "evil" part of it is the perception that if I control communication, I control the economy. If I control money, I control trade, I control cooperation, I control an important part of communication.

Hence the tension.

ps: that's why I always agreed with Ver on how stupid core's concept of "bitcoin as reserve of value" really is, it is fundamentally flawed.

ps2: Teal Swan, whoa, what an alluring human being :D

u/peninsuladreams · 6 pointsr/samharris

Letter to a Christian Nation is short, accessible, and always relevant. It's written as a response to the critics of Harris' first book, The End of Faith, but you certainly don't need to have read The End of Faith to appreciate what he says in Letter.

Sam is perhaps a generation younger than Hitchens, Dawkins, and even Dennett, but as others in this thread have pointed out, he tends to be more reserved, collected and cool in his talks, debates, and interviews. He does use some dry humor, often to pretty good effect.

I think Sam's address at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival is probably one of the most well-written and compelling anti-religion speeches I've ever seen. And although the moderator is pretty awful, he has some similar powerful talking points in the Truthdig debate against Chris Hedges of the same year.

u/SecretAgentX9 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I was a Jehovah's Witness for the first 24 years of my life. Very devout.

It's hard for me to know what these particular folks' motivation for being in the JWs is.

Here is what helped me:

Problems With a Global Flood, 2nd Edition: Witnesses are very literal about their interpretation of the bible. If they actually read this page it will go a long way toward dislodging the cornerstones of their faith.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

Finding Darwin's God by Ken Miller: A book about evolution that is not directly threatening to religion. It's written by the head of biology at Brown University. The science is solid. The theology is unsurprisingly weak. This book changed my life.

http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Darwins-God-Scientists-Evolution/dp/0060930497

If they make it that far, give them this one: Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. Not all of it applies to witnesses directly (they're not young-earth creationists, for example), but a lot of it still applies. This will supply many final nails for the coffin.

http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Vintage-Harris/dp/0307278778/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291101892&sr=1-1

One thing to keep in mind is that they're very unlikely to seek any of this out on their own. They'll view it as a sin. Your best bet is to print these texts out or buy them. Both books can be purchased on Amazon in used condition for almost nothing. Tell them you'll read their books if they read yours and hold them to it. That culture has a very strong intellectual conscience. Most witnesses are really decent people. They're just stuck in a totally stupid mind-trap.

Good luck! You're doing a great thing by trying to help these people.

u/WarwithintheWalls · 31 pointsr/writing

I like thinking about culture. We tell the story of people, real and imaginary, and we should know where they come from.
I believe culture is driven by the head, the heart, and the belly. So if an idea comes into my head for a culture I ask five questions:

  • What do they eat?
  • What do they believe in?
  • Where do they come from?
  • Where are they going?
  • What do they consider family?
  • How do they court, marry, fu...nction in a relationship?

    You'd be amazed how much you can inform yourself there.

    That gives me a nice start. Then I start to ask other questions on themes. Ask the 5W1H (Who What When Where Why How) questions about 6 random subjects based on what you now know

    For instance, Death:

  • Who handles the body?
  • What is done with the body?
  • When is this done?
  • Where do they put a body?
  • Why do they do these things?

    It's a never fails way of going about things. Now come up with the life of five people living in a society based on this information. Use Proust's questionnaire and Gotham's questionnaire to frame them.

    Do all of this with first thoughts. Look it over. Think about it. Look at common travel questions like "What's the best place to eat?" or "what should I not do to piss off the locals"?

    You can get the true feel for a society in hours. Then put your characters who are in that culture through those same questionnaires, same random questions. You'll know them from head to heart to belly, and you're golden.

    EDIT: I just saw some other information. DO NOT READ GENRE FICTION FOR WORLD IDEAS. Read history, philosophy, anthropology. Pick up a history of food ,Guns, Germs, and Steel, other books that give you overviews on specific topics in history and anthropology.

    Tolkien wasn't reading Kingkiller Chronicle, he was learning about hillbillies, ancient languages, and living in WW1 England. Pratchett was a polymoth. Heinlein dug in on so many topics it's unbelievable. Inform with ideas, write from your head and not someone else's.
u/Zero_Risk · 8 pointsr/history

At 15 years old he should be able to handle any sort of casual history book. A text book probably isn't up his alley, but when I was 15 I bought a Philosophy for Dummies book to help me understand some topics a teacher didn't clarify well enough for me. I was hooked on those For Dummies books for awhile. They're vaguely humorous and they explain topics in an easy to digest, non-tiring way.


Aside from that, A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich, and A Brief History of Time and the Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking were both wonderfully fun books that might appeal to his history and science interest without being belittling.

u/BBQ_HaX0r · 4 pointsr/reddevils

While not specifically United books, three books that I highly recommend and have increased my knowledge of the sport are:

  1. Money and Soccer: A Soccernomics Guide; by Stefan Szymanski

    I really recommend this one if you're interested in the financial aspect of the game. It explains a lot about Manchester United's dominance in that front and discusses how many other clubs have to go about obtaining success. It's a pretty easy and entertaining read. I really enjoy Stefan's writing and work and this was one of my favorites.

  2. The Numbers Game: Why Everything you Know about Soccer is Wrong; by Chris Anderson

    This is an easy read that uses advanced analytics to explain the sport. It goes into detail about how many times cliches and sayings (e.g. defense wins championships!) are often mistaken and breaks things down from an analytical point of view. Even if you're skeptical of advanced metrics, it provides an interesting view. Actually quite an easy read considering the subject.

  3. Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics; by Jonathan Wilson

    This one is great from a tactical point of view. Not a lot about United. It focuses mainly on the evolution of the game and providing history and context. I found it very dense and labored through the book a bit. Still some very interesting stuff to help grow your knowledge of the sport and it's history from a tactical point of view. Louis van Gaal I believe gets quite a bit in it, mainly his time at Ajax and Barcelona, but it focuses primarily on 'innovators' of tactics. So the end is quite heavy on the possession tiki-tika style that is seen as the future of the sport. A little disappointed with the lack of SAF and United in this book, still a worthwhile read.
u/I_just_made · 1 pointr/BlackPeopleTwitter

>"Fake news" and "alternative facts" actually prove that you can't revise recent history. Regardless of what you say, you can't change the events if people are alive who witnessed it. That's why any one who uses those terms aren't taken seriously.


The problem with this is that people read what agrees with them and disavow any differing opinions. If people look no further than their normal news source, then they could be misunderstanding current events. Have to read multiple several news sources, as many different angles as possible, to infer what you believe is an accurate representation of the event.

>Then why even provide the source?

I do not want to pretend to be an expert. This is provided as an entry point for people interested in further reading and what the current state of the situation is.

>The fact is Egypt is in Africa, and Europeans/Arabs didn't invade until millenia after the pyramids were built. Things are a black and white issue because it's the world we live in. I'd never have to even make this argument, if it weren't about black & white to begin with. Ancient white civilizations are credited with these discoveries and advancements, not because they were first, but because they were white.

This saddens me to read it. We will never get past these issues when people are too stubborn to see it any other way. And I never debated that humans didn't originate in Africa. Science agrees with that, and I'd hope most people are in agreement as well. For an interesting read that goes into a bit more detail about this, check out "Sapiens:
A Brief History of Humankind"
. Issues will always be black and white as long as you use a filter to see them that way. And to briefly revisit your response about white civilizations stealing Egyptian discoveries; that is just patently false. You learned about papyrus and mummification for instance? Egyptians were hosts to all sorts of discovery that is to their credit.

>Yes, because those events are fairly recent in human history and include genocide, slavery, and oppression of my ancestors. I can't move on from it because the ancestors of the people that committed the atrocities, and their descendants, never made things right.

And does the same go for genocidal events throughout history like that in Rwanda?


>You don't know that for sure, and even stated that you can't say with absolute certainty that some other ethnic or racial group would have done the same thing, because there's no reset button.
Violence is a part of our nature, but so is the dignity, compassion, and love that comes with "helping your fellow neighbor" that you speak of at the end of your argument.

And you don't either. That's the point. If you push the reset button time and time again, you may get a different outcome. But given how human history evolved during those critical points, it is a reasonable assumption that any group outstripping their competitors in weapons and innovation would have done what they could to secure their dominance/future.

>I'm not gonna pretend like I have the solution, but I know at the very least, reparations and the end of white supremacy is where it begins. These two things lie in the hearts of white people, and aren't something black people can give themselves.

You see the white supremacists on the news right now, but those people are not what we feel. We abhor those people, we want just as much for them to go away, and I do think that we need to do more to stand up to them and move them out. People need to understand that Trump has done this nation no favors by giving them a voice.

Social reparations are a great idea. But monetary reparations are not. Who gets it, how much? Who has to pay? What if there is no trace of slave ownership in your history? What if you are a recent immigrant? What happens to the people who don't get the money?

>We can build our way out of poverty, rebuild our communities, end drug addiction, and gang violence...but there'll still be a white person somewhere to call us all niggers.

Sure, there will always be a racist somewhere. It is a numbers game. There will always be someone believing something; that is the problem we face with religious extremism. But how do you effectively combat it? That is not so simple, and it is a problem we all desperately want to solve.


>The solution to the revision of history being carried out is to educate our children at home. Buy them books and teach them about the other ancient civilizations.
There are more and more black people doing that every day, and there'll come a time, when they'll show up in your classrooms and correct the teacher when they begin their lessons on revised history. How do you think those teachers are going to treat them?

YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! That is EXCELLENT! We have to realize that education does not stop at the parking lot of the school! Foster curiosity, education, learning in the home, it will benefit everyone. Can you imagine what this world would be if people did that? It would be so much better. We wouldn't have many of the petty divides that exist today. Creationism vs Evolution as an example.

>White supremacy is a problem, and it's ubiquitous. It's not just the cross burning, violent shit you see on TV, or at Charlottesville. It's in our education, our media, our tastes, it's to a point where even non-white people unknowingly take part in it through their own language, beliefs, and attitudes.

I agree with the first part, and want to do everything reasonable to put an end to it. But your second part edges on a racist remark. Where is the line drawn between white people allowing to have a culture and it becoming white supremacist?

>That's the truth, no matter how many accounts you long on to downvote in disagreement with.

I only have one account, I could care less whether there is a positive or negative number there. It is about discussion.

>I'll leave you at it. You can have the last word and log onto your other accounts to downvote me if you want.

Again, not doing that. I'm sorry this is your first thought.

>You clearly just wanna argue and gaslight. You've moved so far from my original point, that I've had to argue prehistorical remains, textbook publication, human nature, and what we're doing to fix it.

Come on, really? Why does an opposing viewpoint have to lead to petty insults and character attacks? There is no gaslighting here. I saw you said things that I believed were very biased in a way of misrepresenting historical events, I responded with a point of view to counterbalance that. If you treat everyone who doesn't hold your view as a gaslighter or agitator, then you are closing the door to open discussion; and that is exactly what this country needs right now. I'm really sorry you feel this way, I do not deny that there is a lot of work to be done. But let's work together to do it right, and to be proactive in avoiding these events in the future.

u/astroNerf · 1 pointr/atheism

> Is there anything at all I can say to get him to even consider my stance?

One approach might be to ask if he could be wrong about his understanding of God. Point out that just within Christianity, there are thousands of sects that all have slightly different approaches to how they interpret the bible. They can't all be right, can they? Are some sects or denominations likely to be more (or less) correct compared to others? For instance, Mormons believe that Jesus was a prophet but is not part of the trinity that most other trinitarian sects believe. Can a Mormon be correct while your friend is correct? Or is it possible that one (or both) are wrong?

He might scoff at Mormons but you can point out that it was decades between when Jesus was supposed to have died and when the gospels were written down. Point out that the gospels are anonymous. A book like Misquoting Jesus is not a bad way to point out that there are a lot of things in the bible that are likely to have been the result of copying errors - accidental or on purpose. That calls into question much of what's in the bible. Even details about what Jesus said and so on are open to question, simply because the "chain of custody" you hear about on cop shows was simply not present in the decades and centuries following Jesus' death and before the bible as a single collection of books was compiled.

Ask him if he was wrong about God, do you think it's important for him to improve his understanding of God? Ask him if being as obstinate as he is is likely to help or hinder his ability to evaluate his beliefs about God.

On your own, you might get a copy of Peter Boghossian's book A Manual for Creating Atheists. While it won't help you to make your friend an atheist, it will help you to talk to your friend and people like him in a non-confrontational way about their faith. Faith for most people is a very personal thing and talking to people about such personal things is, as you've gathered, very difficult. The book will give you some tactics for talking about faith without being threatening. It might help.

Ultimately, though, you and he might decide to avoid the topic entirely. If he's not comfortable discussing his beliefs then it's not fair to him. It's possible he's going through a period of doubt and it may take years for it to fester to the point that he's willing to be more open.

u/WhiteDove · 2 pointsr/atheism

If you are very curious I'd recommend reading Guns Germs & Steel for a fairly accurate (and interesting) summery of why Europe pretty much won Civ V. If you are only moderately curious the documentary is pretty informational as well.

TLDR; Europe is wide, and had more resources due to natural selection having more contiguous territory to play with.

Edit: Also, the southern hemisphere mostly consists of narrow landmasses. The argument is essentially that because the basic biomes are much larger in the northern hemispheres they had more 'advanced' plants and animals, essentially wolves, cattle(cows, sheep, pigs etc...) and grain. This jumpstarted northern societies so they were able to have the excess resources to develop technology (the guns and steel part). The germs were because they domesticated (and lived closely with) animals as well as traveled extensively. Once the oceans were conquered it was pretty much settled.

u/onecommentpastor · 2 pointsr/atheism

And if you continue to believe that moderate Christians somehow magically transmogrify into fundies you'll still be missing the point.

I'm going to try to be as clear as I can. It seems as though you imagine religious belief as a sort of spectrum with "atheist" on one end and "fundamentalist" on the other. This is inaccurate and does not hold up to scrutiny. You could do worse than an intro Sociology text that deals with patterns of religious behavior. Even something older, like Mauss' General Theory of Magic.

Fundamentalism is not the opposite of atheism. You can want it to be that way, but wanting something to be true does not make it so. The opposite of atheism is probably something like negative theology. Interestingly, this topic is also taken up in Armstrong's book.

Fundamentalism and atheism actually live right next to each other on our imaginary "spectrum of belief." Fundamentalists believe in a silly sort of God - a sort of imminent being summoned forth to help self-sooth a frightened child. Anyone could invent this kind of thing. It's a totem, and idol. And it is as easily debunked and dismissed when exposed to even the most basic, sophomoric scrutiny. (i.e. Why doesn't God heal amputees? If God is male, what do his sexual organs look like? Why does God hate figs? and on and on.)
Incidentally, this is why I personally believe so many of these new sorts of courageous anti-theist crusaders come from lunatic fundamentalist families. They were weened on sugary pabulum and silly, idolatrous presentations of the Holy and it is easily dismissed and subject to ridicule. Those who don't make it out spend a lot of calories defending some really indefensible stuff.

For what its worth - I am not a religious "moderate." My heart is saturated with religious awe, speculation, a healthy measure of terror and trembling, and a constant gasping awareness of the cosmic, Holy Other. I rather suspect that I am several orders of magnitude more religious than even the most devout fundamentalist. So be careful who you are calling a "moderate." I think the fundamentalists are actually, in reality, mostly atheists in their hearts. Idolators at least - but more likely atheists.

u/BigSnicker · 0 pointsr/metacanada

I'm pointing out history.

I'm not sure what part of that you need me to 'prove', but it's all easily available on the internet or in your public library.

Heck, here's a good start for you, if you're interested.

It would be useful for /u/KEKconfusa as well, to try to get him to break out of all of that non-stop NPC messaging.

It has some very useful guidelines, if you're interested in protecting democracy against fear-mongering demagoguery.

u/Lordsnoww · 2 pointsr/agnostic

Book [The End of Faith] (https://www.amazon.com/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393327655) By Sam Harris
-This book was the support I needed to feel comfortable saying I do not believe in organized religion. (I felt guilty for never being a believer but this book helped me find my voice to explain why.)
-He also has a fascinating podcast on the topic along with youtube videos, just type in Sam Harris and you will easily find it.

[Stephen Fry Annihilates God] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-d4otHE-YI) Short video but fantastic.
EDIT: The link I posted for this all you need to watch is the first two minutes.

Other than those two sources that is pretty much all I have. I am fairly new to giving a voice to my lack of belief in organized religion so I do not have many sources yet.

Hope this provides some use to you.

u/Folkariffic · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Hey! This is my kind of contest. Here's my list:

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Horari -
    From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
    One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? (copied from the Amazon page)

  2. [Name of the Wind - Kingkiller Chronicles by Pat Rothfuss] (https://www.amazon.com/Name-Wind-Patrick-Rothfuss/dp/0756404746/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537668772&sr=1-1&keywords=name+of+the+wind) -
    My name is Kvothe.
    I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
    You may have heard of me. (copied)

  3. [The Golem Cypher: T.R.I.X. by B.V. Bayly] (https://www.amazon.com/Golem-Cypher-T-R-I-X-B-V-Bayly-ebook/dp/B072C11JJS/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537668912&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=golem+the+trix+cypher) - Once one of the best assassins in the galaxy, Cadell is now the hunted. The Ascendency, the ruling galactic empire and Cadell’s ex-employer, has stripped him of everything and placed a significant bounty on his head. Forced to live with the shadows of his past, Cadell hides on the backwater planets of the outer rim. Away from anyone who would recognize him.
    When his old friend and mentor, Salis, dangles a job in front of him that will get him an Ascendency pardon and let him clear his name, Cadell is ready to take it on. Armed with his constant companion, a strange alien symbiote named T.R.I.X. and his skills as an assassin, Cadell sets off to complete the strange job. ( A nifty book but a relatively new author, worth the read!)

  4. [I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid] (https://www.amazon.com/Im-Thinking-Ending-Things-Recommendation/dp/1501126946/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537669080&sr=1-1&keywords=i%27m+thinking+of+ending+things) - All I'll say about this is that it's quite volatile when it comes to the reviews it's received. I enjoyed it, but many other didn't... It's quite a ride if you end up enjoying it.

  5. [Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer] (https://www.amazon.com/Into-Wild-Jon-Krakauer/dp/0385486804/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537669320&sr=1-1&keywords=into+the+wild+book) - In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. (One of my favorite books/stories of all time. I
    also hold the movie close to my heart.)



    This took me a good few minutes, I hope you find something you like through this contest :)
u/swjd · 1 pointr/islam

Additions:

Lives of other Prophets Series

  • [Video] Lives of the Prophets - Series of 31 lectures by Sheikh Shady on the lives of the Prophets from Adam (AS) to Isa (AS).

  • [Video] Stories Of The Prophets - Series of 30 lectures by Mufti Menk on the lives and stories of the Prophets from Adam (AS) to Isa (AS).

    End times, Death, Hereafter

  • [Video] Death and the Hereafter - Series of 10 or so lectures by Sheikh Shady on what happens during and after death. Also, the minor and major signs that would occur until the end of times.

  • [Video] Signs of Day of Judgement - Series of multiple lectures on the signs of the day of judgement by Sh. Yaser Birjas.

    Seerah (Life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

  • [Video] Seerah - Series of 47 lectures on the signs of the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by Sheikh Shady.

    Understand the Quran

  • [Video] Story Night - How Allah(swt) wrote/directed the Quran with analogies to popular works of flim and stories. Another way of looking at it is that why does it seem the Quran is out of order sometimes? Noman Ali Kahn mainly talks about the story of Musa (AS) and how ayats pertaining to his story are written.

  • [Book] The Qur'an by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem - Translation of the Quran with modern English vernacular.

  • [Book] Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells - There's a chapter that goes in depth about how the pre-Islamic Arabs previved the concept of love and the female beloved character layla and what Islam changed about this concept.

  • [Book] No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan -- Covers lots of topics, excellent writing overall.

  • [Audio] Fahm al-Qur'an - Tafseer of the entire Quran in very simple English. The commentary is by a female scholar, Amina Elahi so it's a good tafseer for gatherings with a lot sisters but obviously anyone can listen. Best way to make the most of this tafseer and others like it is to have a translated copy of the Quran in front of you and some highlighters, sticky notes and a dedicated notebook and just scribble away as you listen. BTW, if you have a Muslim friend(s) who is/are interested in Islam and you don't have access to a teacher or w/e, have a listening party/gathering with these lectures once a week. Since each lecture is 2 hrs long, in 30 weeks, you will have finished the tafseer of the entire Quran and you have a notebook filled with notes and a translated Quran that is now colorful and filled with notes.
u/NewUploader1 · 11 pointsr/MMA

If you're a Sam Harris fan, there are a few of his debates on the DebateGod podcast on iTunes. You don't have to be an atheist to like those podcasts either. Good points from both sides. Also, here is a great article he wrote about BJJ from his site. Lastly, feel free to read The End Of Faith. It is a HUGE eye opener.

Sorry to just get all teen girl on you guys... I just get excited when multiple interests of mine join together like Voltron.

u/davidsa35 · 3 pointsr/Israel

>Who/which are the best Israeli musicians/bands in your opinion?

I like Avraham Tal (singer) he has unique and stirring songs

>How much can you understand Arabic (or other Semitic languages) just basing on Hebrew?

While watching "Fauda" last year (an Israeli tv series about Israeli unite disguised as Arabs to collect intelligence and make operations and arrests in the Palestinian authority) I realized that there are many words in Arabic which resemble Hebrew

>How are the relationships between the Mizrachim and the Ashkenazim?

As the time goes by the differences between the two are blurring more

>How are the Ethiopian Jews treated in your opinion?

There is some racism from private people and not from the government which gives them many privileges as scholarships and affirmative actions

>What's the greatest thing about living in Israel? What's the worst thing about living in Israel?

The greatest thing in my opinion (as one who had also lived abroad) is to feel Jewish pride, to see the renascence of the ancient Jewish identity in Israel (Judea) after 2000 years and having our own country and military to take care of ourselves
The most irritating thing in my opinion is the feeling that here is too much corruption, especially on the municipal levels, I've seen many bribery and such stuff that I feel that it's not fair for the law abiding citizens who work their ass off for a decent salary. I also think that some of the public sector is not efficient in that there is much hidden unemployment. People who literally contribute nothing and get large salaries just because they have "connections" with the right people - although those phenomenons here aren't as bad as in 3d world countries and I think there is some improvement and efficiency under Netanyahu's tenures

>Got any good (and translated) Israeli poets or writers to recommend?

Edit: in second thought I remember that Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by prof. Yuval Noah Harrari was a good read

>Why are Israeli girls so cute?

I think that it's because of 2 main causes:

  1. "Intermarriages" between Jews of different backgrounds in Israel (Europeans with North Africans and so) which make some amazing kids with unique facial features - reminds me a little of Brazilians

  2. Military/civil service - this period in their lives is shaping their personalities and make them grown up women in their early 20s

    >I've got to say that your national anthem is sick wicked. Fucking a+ music.

    This is my favorite performance, by the Jewish community in Moscow

    I hope I was informing, take care.
u/seriously_chill · 3 pointsr/Objectivism

> Perhaps you'd care to disclose the particulars of the metaphysical pincicples that cash out capitalism, and what the rational/axiomatic justification is for accepting them, then?

This is a start - http://campus.aynrand.org/more/selected-full-essays/

I know I sound like a broken record but it really helps to read and grok before seeking out discussions or debates.

u/Diabolico · 3 pointsr/atheism

Many instances in which Jesus is referred to as actually being God or of divine origin in the bible were antiadoptionistic changes made to the texts by theologians in order to discredit a group best described as messianic Jews (the Ebionites). They believed that he was born via the natural union of Joseph and Mary, and that he was given a special calling by God that invested him with divinity only after his birth.

By this theology Jesus did not preexist creation and was truly a normal human being until after his crucifixion. The prevailing Christian groups who opposed this wen to extreme measures to wipe the group out, especially because they demanded that all Christians would also have to be Jews, as Jesus was, and this required circumcision and kosher eating practices: two things not very popular in the classical Roman empire.

See these excellent books for extensive details about Biblical alterations and pre-orthodox Christianity:

Misquoting Jesus

Lost Christianities

u/Ibrey · 3 pointsr/Christianity

You're right to ask how we know God exists and that Christianity is true. Contrary to what many believe, "having faith" does not mean believing in something for which there is no evidence, and Christianity hasn't survived for nearly two thousand years just because nobody ever thought to question it. You shouldn't envy anyone for their ability to shove these questions aside; their faith is founded on sand.

I think the best way to start forming an answer to questions like these is to find out how others have answered them in the past. So I suggest that you read a textbook like An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion.

A recent book with a heavy focus on the kind of wonder you describe at the existence of the world is The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss by David Bentley Hart. It has a great bibliography for further reading.

u/djoliverm · 1 pointr/FIFA

If you REALLY wanna like dive deep into soccer and understand everything about formations and the history of the game, get this book:

Inverting The Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics https://www.amazon.com/dp/1568587384/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_tDgzyb5QTEA1H

But really if you go on YouTube and with videos that explain the basic rules, subscribe to some great YouTube soccer channels (uMaxit is one, Kick TV another), and start following a team and watching matches you'll be well on your way.

I've always been a Real Madrid fan, but catching games can be tricky if you don't have beIN sports. Download the go90 app and you can stream La Liga and Serie A matches for free, and cast to a chromecast or apple tv. If you wanna get into the premiere league it's pretty easy with NBC Sports, carried by most cable networks. Cheers!

u/Asco88 · 7 pointsr/soccer

Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics by Jonathan Wilson is a book that I simply can't recommend enough. You learn a lot about the development of the game, not just tactics but the great early players, great teams, the significance of changes in fitness levels on pressing, the different philosophies of the biggest minds in football and how they inspire each other.

u/warmrootbeer · 0 pointsr/atheism

counter-counter clockwise... and yeah. I live in the south, and it seriously isn't a stereotype. It really is about 90% Bible thumpers. There's a special place in my heart for any post related to Christians whining about being oppressed, when every few months I'm made to feel extremely uncomfortable about my lack of faith. And I'm not a preaching atheist, I grew out of that after a couple years of falling on purposefully deaf ears.

(I mean like, I'll comment on my Facebook something funny and atheist in response to someone on my page, always, and rarely, if ever an OP from me re: atheism. And every once in so often I'll get a roommate pissed at me cause her grandma read it and was offended... no joke, or one of my 'bros' will randomly decide to pseudo-debate (read: trash talk) me because he knows no one else is atheist, or would admit to it publicly. High school shit.)

Sam Harris' book The End of Faith kind of re-kindled my openness to... well being open about it, but it was much worse. Once I hit my 20s and it really just settled in to my mindset and my regular day-to-day thoughts were no longer bogged down by faith and whether I had it, whether I really believed in all of it and then apologizing to Jesus for driving a fresh nail into his skin for having sinful thoughts...

I don't know. Once you hit that stride it becomes really, really difficult to have any patience for perfectly intelligent people who are also... fundies. Of course there are the samaritans and the non-denominationals and the small churches where the Real gospel is preached and those people tend to be awesome people. People I love dearly. But their small percentage of good deeds in the name of a false god legitimizes extremist sects of the same faith, whether they denounce extremism or not. Which means the blood shed by extremists is ultimately on the hands of us all: the extremists for the sword, the moderates for defending the faith, and the non-believers for demanding a stance of non-involvement.

It's a simple fact that by globally refusing to reject the teachings of moderate religous sects, we grant that same acceptance to extremist sects of the same religous affiliation. They will always continue to co-exist, because the teachings of Islam and Christianity, for example, literally demand the conversion at the cost of death of every other sect on Earth. As long as moderate faith persists, there will be extreme faith. As long as there is extreme faith, there will be war.

That's fine and fucking dandy when we're all scimitars and swords. But we live in a global world now. I don't need to spell it out in put-you-on-a-list keywords, but holy shit man. What else do we drop the big bombs for? We're pretty well settled up on land- the only people callin' nukes these days are Ahmadinejad (yes I know he has no real power) and wild card-ass North Korea. Israel doesn't even have to call em, everyone knows they got em and Big Daddy 'Murica got em all day, come GIT SOME!! GIT SOME! 'MURICA!

TL;DR The world needs atheism, but isn't ready for it, and will probably end in nuclear fire while we all pretend it's not over fucking fairy tales so as not to offend. Oh and also, I should really go to sleep because the sun's coming up.

u/bwv549 · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Thank you. I acknowledge that the topic is deep (far deeper than my training and study, and I've been studying the topic for quite some time).

I think Guns, Germs and Steel is great for exposing a person to lots of the data that scientists use to make these models and with some of the way these models are arrived at and reasoned with.

Other than that, I mostly go at it one wikipedia article, or one Young Earth Creationist debate, at a time. :) For real, I think that engaging in thoughtful debate with someone who holds an opposing viewpoint is a very quick way to bring yourself up to speed on the issues (gives you the opportunity and motivation to study one issue at a time). It's definitely still a work in progress for me.

u/JaccoW · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Shot put is a very specific athletic sport to stack hunter gatherers against? It's like complaining that they are not the greatest basket ball players, are noobs in eSports or suck at cycling.
Of course a trained professional will win from a layman especially in areas where skill becomes more important.
Certain martial arts such as Jiu Jitsu and Wing Chun favor smaller or more skilled performers.
But even the best female female martial artist will struggle against a stronger opponent if she is 1.50m (4.9feet) and up against a 2.2m (7.2feet) male. Myths of the short person in martial arts

All I am saying is, when given similar training, ancient hunter gatherers would dominate our current day athletes.

Fossil records shows that after we started with agriculture our bones and muscle mass started to dwindle. We did get very efficient in specialised areas such as our brains which shrunk 10% in the past 20,000 years and processing certain food that became important to ancient famers such as corn and milk. (Though to be fair it is uncertain if our minds became more efficient or if we basically domesticated ourselves)

Sources:

u/DeviousBluestocking · 10 pointsr/AskFeminists

> What you say would only makes sense if germs guns and steel would have been unrelated to immigration

My point is that immigrants to the US will not be able to colonize us using superior weaponry, resources, or immunity asymmetry. They will not be able to overpower us with their superior numbers. We are in no danger of going the way of Native Americans or Texas. With or without a more secure border.

>native Americans who were so stupid to think the refugees they helped would be grateful in the long run and treat them with respect and behave as guests?

Well, for one thing, Native Americans were so outmatched that they could not have prevented us from immigrating, as many attempted to do throughout the the Continent. Particularly after we unleashed several deadly plagues.

>By contrast the Africans who did resist immigration/conquest still have their culture and way of life

Your example of African is not nearly the gotcha you think it is. People on the African continent traded with Eurasia for thousands of years and built up an immunity to diseases like small pox, what's more many African regions had their own deadly diseases that Europeans were not immune to. A big part of the reason that Africa put up a better resistance to colonization was that they had the same type of immunity asymmetry that Europeans had in North and South America.

Source

More info


>A lot of them quite prefer living under white rule and emigrate to white areas like South Africa and Europe and most people would say their life would be better off if we accept our way of life (doctors transportation jobs economy all around whiteness) as better, but they have a choice to live like their forefathers or not.

This really has nothing to with your point, but it is still a profoundly ignorant understanding of colonization. For one thing, South Africa is a majority black state. Doctors, transportation, and jobs are not exclusively the white way of life. Just ask China who had such advanced "transportation" that they could have make a trans Atlantic or trans Pacific voyage several hundred years before Europeans.

What's more colonization is the systematic pillage and dominance of another country. African countries did not have to be invaded and stripped of their sovereignty and resources in order to import European innovations such as cars.

There are many people all over the continent of Africa that do choose to follow a more traditional way of life. And, like you said, many African countries have economies that are prosperous and culturally more similar to European and Asian countries. There are also a number of countries and regions that are still struggling with the atrocities of the past five centuries, and do not "chose" to lack jobs, doctors, and "transportation"(cars?, highways?).

u/Rhianu · 2 pointsr/Alabama

Actually, their ancestors DIDN'T start out in the same socio-economic situation as everybody else. In fact, there isn't even a standard starting point for anyone. Each continent had different natural resources, and those people who happened to be lucky enough to be born on continents with better and more plentiful resources became more prosperous. The only reason white people became the most prosperous race is because Europe had better natural resources than any other continent on Earth (though Asia was a close second). The book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond reveals the absurdity of racial meritocracy.

Also, legal rights mean nothing if those in power still want to keep you down. The book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander exposes how white politicians have used all sorts of creative and underhanded methods to keep black people uneducated and poor, despite the passage of apparent equal rights in the legal system.

u/beatle42 · 2 pointsr/Christianity

> Your assumptions about not looking for discussion are silly at best and spiteful at worst.

I didn't say you weren't looking for discussion, I said it seems the type of discussion you're looking for is likely better served in a different forum. I hardly think that's thoughtless or disrespectful.

Regarding legislation that is religiously motivated I'll first site gay marriage which attempts to limit people's rights because (in most cases) of religiously motivated "morals."

Second, I'll point out that (typically) religiously motivated opposition to stem-cell research is almost certainly condemning people in this world to addition suffering and death.

A third example is the increase in STDs and unwanted pregnancy caused by the instance, often by religiously motivated people, that only abstinence only sex education be taught.

I'll certainly accept your argument that good intentions do not equate to good outcomes, but certainly they don't necessarily require that they lead to bad outcomes. Does everyone do bad or wrong things at various points throughout their lives? Of course they do. Does that automatically define them as bad people? I would argue of course not. They are factors to be weighed, but to think that we are all born evil and have no hope of being better without having someone continually watching over us is a bleak view of human nature. Hobbes might agree with you, but I think that humans have the capacity for goodness as well, and that we can do good simply for the sake of being good, not because there's someone watching us or because we expect a reward for being good. That was more the point of my argument that atheists (and all people by extension) do good things. We are all capable of being good, at least most of the time. We need not have fear of, or hope for, what comes next to do so.

> You're presumptuous to speak for the billions of people you don't know.

So your claim, then, is that the people who live short unpleasant lives are the luckiest of us all? They have the most capacity to approach god because, like Paul, they suffered the most? Or, am I faulting God for being ignorant and there really are not billions of people suffering every day because they lack the basic necessities of life? I am pretty confident that it's true that they do lack such things, and I don't think it's much of a stretch to point out that that leads to suffering. Beyond that I don't think I did anything to "speak for [them]" as you suppose I did. I pointed out that the majority of people in the world are living short lives of nearly continual suffering. That isn't really putting many words in their mouths.

Interestingly about your point about pain being necessary and then suggesting I read, I just finished a book by Bart Ehrman on the topic of Biblical explanations of why people suffer (your view is only one of several presented in the Bible by the way). He's the dean of theological studies at UNC at Chapel Hill if you're unfamiliar with who he is. It's a very interesting read, and I would like to recommend you pick up your own copy of God's Problem. I think that many people who know me would be surprised to hear that I lack basic reasoning skills. I, obviously, disagree with your assessment there. As for your slight against the American education system, I'll point out that my University education anyway was in Canada.

I wouldn't say that I know nothing of Jesus' anger, although one of the most famous examples (throwing the money changers out of the temple) is probably not actually original to the Bible. We could get into a lot of textual criticism but I'll confess I only have knowledge of that from a single source (another Bart Ehrman book called Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

If you think the Bible as you read it is the original way it was written you would do well to read that, just for the introduction into the search for the original text of the NT in particular.

u/sir_tejj · 4 pointsr/soccer

My Turn: A Life of Total Football

By Johan Cruyff. I have still yet to read it, but I've heard good things about it.

Also, another one is Inverting the Pyramid, but its not by a player/manager though. Brilliant book on tactics, either way. Definitely worth the read.

Personal bias aside, My Story: Steven Gerrard is a very good read as well. Published after he left Liverpool, so you can imagine the weight of the words he writes.

u/Ned_Shimmelfinney · 6 pointsr/PipeTobacco

Some personal favorites:

u/brownribbon · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

There are too many reasons to post here. I recommend reading the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (or at least the miniseries--available on Netflix last I checked).

Some of the main reasons include:

  • No domesticable pack animals in the Americas to do work. Eurasia has things like cows, horses, etc. that could be tamed and trained to do hard labor like plowing fields and hauling carts. The closest such animal in the Americas is the llama/alpaca, native to northern South America. This made food production in the Americas more human labor intensive which took away time from other endeavors.

  • The Americas are "taller" than they are "wide." That is, they cover a greater range of latitudes than longitudes. The opposite is true of Eurasia. As it turns out, crops, technology, and people diffuse less efficiently north/south than they do east/west. This is primarily due to climates being more even along latitudes than longitudes. This retardation in trade would slow the exchange of ideas, and therefore technological development.

  • The Americas have fewer cereal crops (rice, wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, etc.) native to them compared to Eurasia. These are the crops that are responsible for the establishment of agriculture and, as a result, sedentary societies. A sedentary society (i.e., one that is not picking up and moving itself every few months to follow food supplies) is one that can allow for specialization. Some people will become really good farmers and can produce enough food such that others can pursue different fields. With fewer available crops there were fewer opportunities in the Americas to establish such societies.

    Again, there are reasons beyond these and everything I just listed is conjecture. Human development was an incredibly complex process and for every example supporting one argument there is another example that refutes it.
u/MisterE_MD · 1 pointr/history

After I graduated high school/college, one of the first books I picked up for myself was A Short History of the World by H G Wells. It's ~300 pages and, I'm sure, is not a perfect account of world history... but, Wells takes the universe back to its origins to his present day (post WWI).

If you just want an explanation as to how civilizations formed and why some seem more successful than others, I loved Guns, Germs, & Steel. My world history teacher used it as a template for our course, and I read it after. Excellent book.

u/WikiRelevance · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The relevant wikipedia article on domestication explains that there are several traits that a species typically possess that enables them to become domesticated. For animals they should preferably have: a flexible diet, reproduce in captivity, fast growth and reproductive rate, pleasant disposition and good temperament, and should have a social hierarchy that humans can become apart and "alpha" of.

Some species don't have these traits, for example the Indri lemur of Madagascar does not breed in captivity. Another good example is the Zebra: "Attempts to domesticate many kinds of wild animals have been unsuccessful. The zebra is one example. Despite the fact that four species of zebra can interbreed with and are part of the same genus as the horse and the donkey, attempts at domestication have failed. Factors such as temperament, social structure and ability to breed in captivity play a role in determining whether a species can be successfully domesticated".

Domestication differs from taming. "the process whereby a population of living organisms is changed at the genetic level, through generations of selective breeding, to accentuate traits that ultimately benefit the interests of humans. A usual by-product of domestication is the creation of a dependency in the domesticated organisms, so that they lose their ability to live in the wild. This differs from taming in that a change in the phenotypical expression and genotype of the animal occurs, whereas taming is simply an environmental socialization/behavioral trait; the process by which animals become accustomed to human presence."

In actuality only a handful of animals have been truly domesticated. "In human history to date, only a few species of large animal have been domesticated. In approximate order of their earliest domestication these are: dog, sheep, goat, pig, ox, yak, reindeer, water buffalo, horse, donkey, llama, alpaca, Bactrian camel and Arabian camel." Jared Diamond's book guns, germs and steel explores how the natural distribution of these species influenced how cultures arose and how some gained dominance over others...simply because they were located in the right area where a domesticable species lived. It is one of the explanations he gives for the development of great city states in Eurasia, as opposed to say...Africa. Guns, germs and steel has also been made into an excellent movie by PBS

Domestication and Evolution

Domestication is an event, not a trait. There are certain heritable traits that make a species better suited for domestication (e.g. flexible diet). In those specific species these traits were selected for other reasons (e.g. a flexible diet is a good thing in a highly variable habitat where food resources fluctuate), specific to that species within its niche - not for some unforeseen future domestication event by humans. Remember that evolution has no goals or directions. And evolution cannot select something from nothing. First a trait or behaviour must exist within the population, then selective forces within their social or natural environment will dictate whether that trait remains or disappears. Domestication can also be described under aritifical selection which differs from natural selection in that the actor is not nature, but humans.

u/NukeThePope · 16 pointsr/atheism

I second the suggestion of Letter to a Christian Nation. While I loved TGD, I think it's better received by people who already like science, and who enjoy having a professor talk at them through a book. LtaCN is shorter and more to the point, so it may be a better choice as a first and maybe only atheist book.

After being reminded by Murrabit, I also recommend Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World. It's gentler, not as aggressive as LtaCN and doesn't have the "eww, Dawkins!" stigma. To Americans, Sagan is more lovable than Dawkins.

u/Banzeye · 4 pointsr/gameofthrones

Shit, some interesting reading material is Guns, Germs, and Steel.

It's an interdisciplinary work but it's pretty fascinating and its a good read.

Interested in a fun East Asian account? Try reading The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori. This is the book that the movie of the same name was adapted from. (I seriously mean ADAPTED, by the way.) It's an interesting read about the Meiji Restoration and how the Japanese countryside reacted.

How about something from Africa? Read Sundiata: an Epic of Old Mali. It's an epic poem about the founding of the African state of Mali (MANSA MUSA DA GOD). Captivating read.

Get cracking.

u/OccamsRZA · 2 pointsr/soccer

If you're interested in a bit of reading, I suggest Inverting the Pyramid, by Jonathon Wilson. All of his books are really good, he's got a really interesting one about the Soviet Top League during the U.S.S.R., but Inverting the Pyramid probably is most comprehensive for tactics and how the fundamentals of the game work. As a Napoli supporter you'd probably like it, it talks about a lot of the history around Italian football! : )

Also, Football Manager. Take how it rates players with a grain of salt, but it's fantastic for learning how tactics work. Just... be prepared to deal with the amount of time you'll sink into it.

u/GeistFC · 2 pointsr/MLS

So one way to get started is this book but its not necessarily newbie friendly. I find this series of videos to be fun and interesting. Lastly I recommend when watching a game to have a drawing of the starting formation handy and periodically (after a big play or near miss) take a look at where each player is on the field in relation to their starting position it will start to become clear the rolls different spots have. Also look for triangles, boxes and diamonds. Hope this gets you started.

u/BionicTransWomyn · 3 pointsr/DebateFascism

>And how can colonization make the African nations all inferior to the European nations?

Because when you litterally enslave millions of people and force them to work for you without providing their offpspring with education, it might harm their long term potential for a bit. As for Africans themselves, are you even kidding? We basically took over their entire continent and kept them in abject poverty, actively creating colonial institutions that worked against their betterment. What African kingdoms were actually doing well, we quashed with superior technology (ie: Zulus)

>Why are Europeans richer and brought up in better circumstances than Africans? Who creates these circumstances? Europeans built the strongest nation on Earth today, the USA, on the same land that Native Americans lived on for thousands of years while accomplishing little. Africans or Native Americans have done this no where.

A combination of geography, access to natural ressources and communication with every part of the world. This is a question that would require a small book to answer on its own, so I'm simply going to link you to some of the more prevalent theories:

https://www.caltech.edu/news/why-did-western-europe-dominate-globe-47696

http://www.amazon.ca/Guns-Germs-Steel-Jared-Diamond/dp/0393317552


>I don't know if I should bother arguing with someone who just claimed that most of Europeans great generals were of African descent.

What? Can you even read. Here's the quote for you, emphasis mine:

>Some of Europe's most talented generals and officials were of African descent.

--

>Surely the Africans wouldn't have been so badly defeated and enslaved if they were truly equal with the Europeans.

Actually, it turns out that when they are given a good education and the tools to succeed, they can hold their own quite well:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toussaint_Louverture

Also, it might surprise you that for a long time, Europe was basically irrelevant and weak. Its ascent really doesn't start until the 16th-17th century, and even then, most empires were able to marshall, by then, ressources that Europe could not dream to match. Already, Western Europe is weaker than China and Russia, and depends on the US to prop itself up.

>The different races of humans are certainly genetically different and have different traits.

Physical traits certainly, but there's a marginal difference between a half-black/half-white kid and a kid from either ethnicity.


PS: You should probably source your claims, I'm sure Darwin would love to have a word with you about the misinterpretation of his theories.

u/digitalsciguy · 2 pointsr/urbanplanning

I think I get what you're saying - you wish /r/urbanplanning would acknowledge the fact that we have suburbs and post more things like the Build a Better Burb design challenge for Long Island, which does still endorse many of the things that do get discussed and posted here on the subreddit, like better transit access, increasing density (the slippery slope argument against density is that we want skyscrapers...), and improving a sense of place.

I'll definitely say that there's a lot to be had from the influence of land-use policies that could be changed to encourage transformations of suburbs to European-like strong towns linked by rail with greenspace in between, as is discussed in this article. However, a lot of these ideas aren't as easily applied elsewhere in US suburbs where suburbs came in after the decline of the railroads; Long Island is unique in its mostly electrified commuter rail services and lends itself better toward the idealistic transmogrification we'd love to see across the US. Perhaps this is the space of the discussion you're looking for?

On top of that, you still do have the issue that people do live in the suburbs for one or more of the features one finds/expects to find there. Actual implementation of land use policy can be very difficult when dealing with many individual property owners, even if those policies encourage the improvement of transport access, community amenities, public spaces, etc.

I've always been intrigued by the book Retrofitting Suburbia but haven't pulled the trigger on buying the book yet - I'm still going through the Shoup bible and my signed copy of Triumph of the City.

u/MWrathDev · 1 pointr/atheism

> For the past 2-3 years, I've grown uneasy with the things I've heard and have been taught over the years.

From our perspective this is a good sign! Throw another baby on the BBQ lads, one of us, one of us /s ;)

> I'm feeling pretty lost and a little scared since pretty much all of my family is religious (they would never abandon me or disown me if they knew but the thought of disappointing them hurts...a lot).

Be careful! When it comes to religion you don't know what people are capable of and this sub is littered with tragic stories of people who thought they knew their families, but didn't expect what happened when they let on they were doubting, came out, or were outed.

To sum up if you don't have some kind of independence (namely financial) be discreet in your movements to keep the peace. That doesn't necessarily mean lie (though you can if you want), it means don't reveal all at the drop of a hat, gotta look out for #1.

> Which leads me here. Both sides of this religious debate hold biases

Unfortunately that's not really true, we don't hold bias when attempting to ascertain the truth regarding gods existentialism.

In fact most atheists (being skeptics) hold religion to the same standards of evidence as everything else, and try to remove as much bias as possible i.e. you'll hear the scientific method (methodological naturalism) bandied about a fair bit in atheism, because that's the best method we have for reliably producing results.

Oh yeah that's one other thing you gotta reconcile. Absolute truth (or falsity), doesn't exist. You can only say what is true with X amount of certainty based on how good the evidence is (i.e. how much there is, quality/standards, etc).

> So I'm looking into maybe some books, documentaries, research papers...anything really addressing the validity of the bible, the historical evidence, the contradictions, etc.

Be my guest : http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

That's notes regarding what's contradictory in the bible when read literally, can't remember if they included the "poetic" bits in it. The thing is though most of the bible is supposed to be read literally, there are a few poetic bits yes, but just like any book the author sets the context for reading.

So whenever you hear a Christian saying : no it's supposed to be "interpreted" like this... that's generally code for

"oh shit bible says something wrong, better try and make excuses by putting it in a different context (than the author intended) that makes sense for the modern day".

Which is completely wrong, you don't get to read Harry Potter and put him in the star wars universe (although that would be kinda fun), nope JK determines the context.

Sorry got a bit ranty there, but it's one of my pet peeves.

> I'm trying to find sources that are mostly impartial, so nothing that goes into the subject that actively tries to prove or disprove.

Self-contradictory? You just said you're looking for resources addressing the validity of the bible... that's literally asking to prove / disprove things in it.

No one's forcing you, and it can be scary / frustrating. But you should know that even if you don't accept the bible as true anymore it doesn't make you an immoral monster i.e. morals are independent of religion...

But you gotta make up your mind, you either care about "the truth" or not, you're either going down the rabbit hole or not. Pandora's box once opened is not so easily closed and once you see, it's difficult to unsee.

If you want some "softer" titles, i'd recommend:

https://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Sam-Harris/dp/0307278778/

Or any of Bart Ehrmans books:

https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/wiki/recommended/reading#wiki_bart_ehrman

To save you some time, most of the bible is either:

  • Made up e.g. story of moses/egypt, genesis, etc.

  • Stolen... "appropriated" from other religions, mainly zoroastrianism which influenced all the messianic religions of the time : judaism, islam, christianity e.g. Ahura Mazda = God, Angra Mainyu = Satan (responsible for demons), Zarathustra = Jesus.

  • The result of "chinese whispers" i.e. where there could be a story that was based on some truth (e.g. Noah's Ark / epic of gilgamesh / Atrahasis / King Ziusudra), but it was retold over and over again so many times by word of mouth before it was recorded in writing that it only faintly resembles the original story.

    All the best, feel free to ask questions here.
u/Fireclave · 1 pointr/worldbuilding

This might be overkill to suggest, but you might be interested in the book "Guns, Germs, and Steel", by Jared Diamond. It's an archaeological exploration of causes behind why power, wealth, and technology became so unevenly distributed around the world. It explores factors such as environment, resources, agriculture, and culture. It's certainly good food for thought for these kind of questions.

u/Nobusuma · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

As stated Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. The region played a factor. Focusing on Europe, Europe had easy access of travel due to the Mediterranean sea. In broader view they had the silk road. There is a book called Why Nations Fail. A very interesting read. Out of dozens of examples the book shares, I will point out two that help shape Europe; the first being the story of Hercules and second the Black Death. The story of Hercule enabled a change in thought over the centuries as greek men went to the Olympics trying two win fame and glory for themseleves. The individual. The Black death on the other hand destroyed the working class and enabled a change in the current western system.

u/MarylandBlue · 1 pointr/MCFC

Definitely Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson
It's a bit dry, but it's a great history of the tactics of football, and how they & the game in general spread across the world.

Even though it's about Arsenal, Fever Pitch by Nick Hornsby does a good job describing what it's like to be a fan.

I haven't read this yet, but have heard very good things about Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer by David Winner

Those are the ones that jump to my head immediately.

u/yo2sense · 1 pointr/AmericanPolitics

> "Why did Europeans rule the world, more or less, at one time? Because of Evolution and they were superior, or because God blessed them?"

So either whites are naturally superior or are superior because God has given some special blessing to whites? I reject both racist options. And so does science. Guns, Germs, and Steel is a good place to start informing yourself about these things before you put your foot in your mouth again.

u/xandarg · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I know exactly what you mean! I'd call myself a monkey when explaining my desires/belief structures all the time, even before my first experience with hallucinogens.

I think my thought process in nightclubs or parties was always more self-scrutinizing, due to approach anxiety, so it was easy for me to sit there and start philosophizing about the social dynamics, and how this guy was trying to seduce this girl, and whether it seemed to be working or not, and what signals I was putting out by acting uncomfortable, etc. And how weirdly simplistic it was, on some level (and I'm sure there was also some aspect of belittlement out of sour grapes as well).

You'd probably like this, if you haven't read it yet. It sort of gives me hope that even though we might all be monkeys clamoring for power now, there are other, more healthy ways for monkeys to feel good and live in harmony with each other, too: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC387823/

Oh, and you might also like the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (it's soooo interesting!!)

u/greatjasoni · 5 pointsr/slatestarcodex

This seems like a word salad of assertions without any actual derivation from first principles. A first principles faith would be Thomism and it's already extensively mapped out with all sorts of variations. Maybe look into analytic Thomism? Physics, the multiverse, etc. would have to be first derived from metaphysical principles which aren't established here. I don't know what the first principles of the article are. It seems more like an aesthetic than a coherent set of beliefs.

You're trying to untangle what can and cant be coherently said about God. Sophisticated theology mapped out all these linguistic issues thousands of years ago, and in the analytic tradition continues to get more and more precise statements. It engages with the multiverse, the probabilistic logic of good/evil, what does and doesn't fit in a word game, all of that. You're unnecessarily reinventing the wheel here. I personally think analytic thomism is misguided and you're better served by a classical picture. But it is a whole field that seems to share your interests and made lots of rigorous logical progress.

u/Mookind · 1 pointr/atheism

Well you'd definitely have to define free will some way

Does a dog have free will? Is it just being able to override your instincts? Does it have to happen in all instances, or do you always need to be in control? If so I'm not sure we meet the requirements. Do other primates have free will? Do other mammals?

Are we really sure our decisions are based on conscious thought and not some sort of subtle instinct?

I'm assuming this is the context you mean. And there is no definite answer for you.

We obviously weren't there, so we can't be sure how exactly our cognitive abilities developed. We have the fossil record and assumptions about life on the savannah for our ancestors. The common seems to be the social aspects of our lives coupled with the harsh lives they lived ended with only the smartest surviving.

Especially considering chimps and humans are the only species that will go to another group's territory just to kill other males. I would suggest the origins of political power, although I'm sure there are better books on pre-history. But it seems to be mostly conjecture anyway

http://www.amazon.com/The-Origins-Political-Order-Revolution/dp/0374533229

u/brinstar117 · 15 pointsr/todayilearned

I'd imagine it's more of a generality than anything else. I'd wager that it is partly based on the fact that certain latitudes were more conducive for successful colonization by European powers. Those latitudes closely approximated the seasonal conditions in which their draft animals and crops thrived. This lead to a larger and more stable base in which to built wealth upon.

I recommend reading Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond as he details reasons why environmental factors are major contributors to why certain societies (ultimately countries) are wealthier than others.

u/Mythpunk · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

What would be considered safe for retirement plans? There aren't any other investments available that can be liquidated on the spot at the decision of the retirees that also provide the amount of growth necessary to have a retirement plan worth anything.

I don't really see how this law would destroy Comcast, at all. It would radically harm working class people with retirement plans, but the wealthy people in control of Comcast would develop complex legal arrangements via contracts and insurance to ensure that their business would continue otherwise.

For example: suppose such a law passes and all shareholders are held directly liable in proportion to their ownership. This effectively destroys limited liability capitalism. Share prices of every company would drop as every charity, retirement fund, investment bank, and regular person sells as fast as they can. The economy suffers another Great Depression due to the sell-off. Smaller firms die. The larger ones, like Comcast, will have the capital to buy back their shares and "go private." The individuals owning those shares could then put the shares into a trust - they would be the grantors and trustees, but the beneficiary (the individual with legal title to the property) would be a well-paid fall guy. That fall guy would likely never have the money necessary to cover any of a company's legal obligations; the company would become judgment proof.

Destroying limited liability capitalism in this way would not kill Comcast. But it would essentially halt all economic growth and cement wealth even more firmly into the upper classes. Before limited liability, economic growth was essentially zero. Limited liability capitalism (read: the distribution of risk and reward behind an artificial legal entity) is the engine that enabled the global economy to grow so rapidly since the 1500s. This is what enables the vast majority of humans to have the wealth necessary to be something besides subsistence farmers. Check out Sapiens for an explanation.

u/bethelmayflower · 1 pointr/exjw

I listening to http://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-A-Brief-History-Humankind/dp/0062316095 which i'm pretty sure you would like.

One point that was of interest to me is that the whole point of science could be said to be the acceptance of ignorance.

During the dark ages even up to Christopher Columbus most people believed that old sacred texts contained all knowledge that would ever be needed.

As soon as the idea became popular that it was important to admit not knowing and just looking and seeing where the evidence leads that real progress happened.

If you only pick and choose evidence that supports your preconceived conclusions knowledge stops.

The fundamental problem is the idea that the Bible is true.



u/gibberfish · 2 pointsr/Documentaries

Haven't yet watched the documentary, but the description reminds me of Guns, Germs and Steel, an excellent book on the same subject.

The fact that Western culture dominates the world (for now) seems a given, but it's not so easy to explain why it wasn't, say, Sub-Saharan Africans or Native Americans that conquered the world.

If you're at all interested in how geography defines societies, why inventions were or weren't made by them, why conquests happened or didn't, and so on, I can really recommend this book. Easily one of the most fascinating I've ever read.

u/Jamie_Gerrard · 1 pointr/LiverpoolFC

Simon Hughes' Red Machine, Men In White Suits, and Ring Of Fire are all interesting and great books.

Jonathan Wilson's The Anatomy of Liverpool was a very good read. Of course, Wilson is best known for Inverting The Pyramid, which is a staple football book.

I also enjoyed David Goldblatt's The Game of Our Lives, which chronicles the Premier League from it's birth to roughly 2014-15 I believe (at least in the paperback edition).

u/attofreak · 3 pointsr/india

Wow, I didn't know he wrote a book dedicated specifically to "the Grandest Society of Merchants in the Universe". East India Company has been a subject of intrigue for me since the first time I got to know of its exploits during school. This company had an army (not mere mercenaries) to fight kingdoms! Imagine that in today's time. In Sapiens, Harari briefly mentions them, and the trinity of Imperialism-Capitalism-Scientific Revolution that swept the entire globe from Europe. Reading John Keay's unbiased narrative and propensity to be poetical in A History, The Honourable Company looks like an amazing read. And something that I naturally want to know more of, once getting at least some idea of the grand history of this country. Thank you!

u/bagpipeninja · 6 pointsr/books

I certainly consider A Little History of the World an essential read. It's basically a summary of the human history, from cavemen to the end of WWI over 300 easily read pages. He touches on all major events, and touches upon most religions in a very easy to follow and fun writing style. It's essentially a World History for dummies if you will, but is still a very interesting read. one of those books I plan to buy future kids. Highly recommended! he also has a similar book - The Story of Art - but this is a lot bigger and more advanced, requires an actual interest in art history.

u/plaitedlight · 9 pointsr/exchristian

It seems likely that the original authors were recording the existing mythos of their people, and the myths were used in their society like myths are used in every society: to explain and give meaning to a world they didn't understand, to provide a cohesive narrative for the group, to pass along and reinforce values. I have found learning just a little about the common mythologies of the world extremely interesting and helpful in putting the bible into correct perspective. Like, how many times a flood myth pops up and the different interactions between the diving and humanity in those stories.

You might enjoy Bart Ehrman's writing on the new testament and Jesus as he explores the story of Jesus, who wrote, changed and codified it and why, and how it became a religion.

Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

u/JAFO_JAFO · 1 pointr/energy

Yeah. I was meaning that he was choosing to only speak to the high level. If he speaks to detail, it will become a promise and people can then claim he doesn't have integrity. If you keep the language to the high level, the specifics of exactly what the promise is and what's delivered are unclear, and he can do ANYTHING and claim that he's achieving his promise.

MAGA is a great example - "great again" is specific to each person, and he's letting them define it and letting them think he knows exactly what that is, and what's required to achieve it.

NLP has two models that are pretty important. Milton model and Meta model. Milton is very abstract and high level, and Meta is specific and concrete. By keeping most of the promises abstract, it's hard to hold him to them.

There's more info here: but I'd suggest watching this: Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Donald Trump's "Linguistic Kill Shots" and also Why the 'Dilbert' creator is supporting Donald Trump - note he doesn't support Trump, he's just analysing and opining on Trump's success.

My concern with using all these techniques to influence people unconsciously is very possibly not in their highest good (they didn't give conscious consent). I value democracy, and that means people consciously choosing what and how their government does. Also, many people have real concerns that the country may be going in a direction which will change the fabric of the republic.

u/fallenpollen · 2 pointsr/arabs

This author is right on the money! So many of us blame the current Arab situation on some kind of moral failing on the part of the people, but the reasons are usually tied to the bigger picture and the world around us.

'Guns, Germs, and Steel' by Jared Diamond expands on this so much in terms of the basic idea. Although its not specifically about the arab world and about all societies in general, its a fantastic read and i recommend it wholeheartedly.

And the take from all of this is quite positive in my opinion. The Arab world is currently undergoing a fundamental shift in terms of demography, economics, and education. As the Arab world starts to reach its full potential in these areas in the coming decades, I foresee wonderful advancement in our societies and resurgence of our historical status in the world as a whole.

u/DeusExCochina · 5 pointsr/atheism

No answers yet?

Many of the atheists here agree on Bart Ehrman as a good source. He's a Bible scholar who used to be Christian but whose studies have left him an atheist. He's written a whole series of books about how the Bible was cobbled together and, self-plagiarized, forged and fiddled, and so on. There's a field or method of study called critical analysis that makes the Bible's authenticity problems apparent, and Ehrman writes that stuff into popular books.

Two of his hits have been Misquoting Jesus, Jesus, Interrupted and Forged. The latter is perhaps his most explicit indictment of the intellectual crimes behind the Bible. Lost Christianities and other books talk about the many gospels and other writings that never made it into or were excised from what's known as the Bible today.

Ehrman also has a bunch of talks on YouTube where he engagingly presents those same ideas.

There are alternatives, of course, and it could be argued whether Ehrman is "the best." But he certainly knows what he's talking about (mostly), is a recognized authority on this kind of stuff, and presents it well. Best of all (from our point of view) he doesn't Lie For Jesus.

u/liquidpele · 1 pointr/Christianity

If you want....

http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Sam-Harris/dp/0307265773

http://www.amazon.com/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0618680004

I just like Sagan's works better myself, he has a way with words and his unwavering optimism and love of science is refreshing to me, but because of that he usually doesn't address religion directly and sticks to explaining why science is better at explaining nature. Any of Sagan's books are good, the other I recommend is Cosmos.

u/Dorrin · 1 pointr/atheism

Coming out is a big and unpleasant step. Kudos for planning.

Also, welcome to the party.

Many stay in the closet for years for good reason, coming out to religious family can rend that family to bits. No amount of logic, documentaries, or articles can bridge the fundamental gap if they decide you aren't family anymore. End result=huge unpleasantness.

That being said, there are two general trajectories for this type of thing. Fast and hard, or slow and kind. Both have their value, sometimes a swift thwap to the skull can break down barriers, for others a slow approach can provide better results over time. Slow and kind isn't my forte and others can help with that. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris and Dear Christian by JT Eberhard are the top of my list for kicking down doors and taking names.

u/AlSweigart · 2 pointsr/atheism

"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins doesn't really go into anything new or original, but the strength of the book is that is a great, concise summary of all the beginning arguments for atheism.

http://www.amazon.com/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0618680004

I'd follow it with Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell", also a good recommendation. Same goes for Carl Sagan's "A Demon Haunted World"

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Spell-Religion-Natural-Phenomenon/dp/0143038338

http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Haunted-World-Science-Candle-Dark/dp/0345409469/

Christopher Hitchens is a bit vitriolic for some, but "God is not Great" has some nuggets in it.

http://www.amazon.com/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/0446579807/

I personally didn't like Sam Harris' "End of Faith" but I did like his "Letter to a Christian Nation".

http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Christian-Nation-Vintage-Harris/dp/0307278778/

For the topic of evolution, Talk Origins is great (and free) http://toarchive.org/
Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene" is also a good read (and short). Not so short but also good are Dawkins' "Blind Watchmaker", "Climbing Mount Improbable" and "Unweaving the Rainbow"

http://www.amazon.com/Selfish-Gene-Anniversary-Introduction/dp/0199291152/

http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Watchmaker-Evidence-Evolution-Universe/dp/0393315703/

http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Mount-Improbable-Richard-Dawkins/dp/0393316823/

http://www.amazon.com/Unweaving-Rainbow-Science-Delusion-Appetite/dp/0618056734/

u/kalimashookdeday · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

There are lots of different theories out there, some stronger than others. One that you may find interesting and that I enjoyed reading and getting more insight on is that of Jared Diamond. He has a book called, Guns, Germs, and Steel I would recommend as a good read for a theory about this. There are some criticisms of Diamond, but most theories have a few.

Diamond's book discusses plenty of reasonings and ideas for why societies in Europe/Asia developed. He starts by explaining ideas of a hunter gathering society's limitations on technological advancement as well as the society/cultural connotations versus those of agrarian societies (who invented farming). A huge difference being farming societies had more time to develop other areas and skills (technology, art, etc.).

Another one of his compelling ideas is that horizontally oriented societies benefited more from similiar plants, animals, and trade versus societies who were oriented vertically. Due to climate and simliarities in culture (in horizontally oriented societies) the spread of technology, domestication, and availability of different animals and resources aided man's ability to develop faster than Native cultures on North America for instance.

u/Ohthere530 · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

Atheism is spreading and seems to be getting more socially acceptable in many parts of the US. That is a social phenomenon worth studying.

Atheism itself (non-belief in any gods) isn't much of a belief system, but it is often associated with other beliefs. In that sense, there are "atheistic mindsets" worthy of study. Some atheists focus on the reliability of the scientific method and skeptical thinking more generally. Others focus more on the discovery that their childhood religion seems not to make sense. There are probably other clusters of "atheistic thought".

I don't agree with everything they say, but "prominent atheists" like Dennett (link and link) and Dawkins (link) have certainly influenced my thinking.

There are interesting polls (link and link) that give a broad-based sense of what people think about religion and atheism.

How to keep up with atheism? My three main sources are amazon, google, and reddit.

u/slosmoothsmoothfast · 2 pointsr/Atlanta

This is true. Based on your comment, you might like a book called "The End of Faith".

https://www.amazon.com/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393327655

"In The End of Faith, Sam Harris delivers a startling analysis of the clash between reason and religion in the modern world. He offers a vivid, historical tour of our willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs―even when these beliefs inspire the worst human atrocities. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris draws on insights from neuroscience, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism to deliver a call for a truly modern foundation for ethics and spirituality that is both secular and humanistic. Winner of the 2005 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction."

u/NewbombTurk · 1 pointr/religion

> How do you explain the beginning of human civilisation? Did it automatically start?

We were discussing the origins of the universe, not human civilization. Why the hard left turn? However, unlike the origins of the universe, which we know almost nothing about, the development of human civilization is better understood. I imagine you’re a young person. Can I suggest that you read Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind? They’re both brilliant. I’d send you copies of both if you were in the US.

The short version is that we evolved as social, tribal, animals. We were nomadic, hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years. But, after the discovery of agriculture, we could settle in one place. This allowed specialization of work. People no longer had to do everything. Hunting was done by those good at hunting, for the whole group. Farming was done by those good at farming, for the whole group. And, maybe most importantly, this created more time to innovate. To test out new ways of doing things without jeopardizing the tribe. Out of this, civilization was born.

u/regypt · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism

The book you're looking for is "Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why"

I'm about 70% though it and it's been a great read. It's thick reading, but super interesting.

http://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Jesus-Story-Behind-Changed/dp/0060859512

Free (legal?) ebook links here: https://archive.org/details/Prof.BartEhrman-MisquotingJesus

u/BitcoinAllBot · 1 pointr/BitcoinAll

Here is the post for archival purposes:

Author: Jebick

Content:

>A few of my assumptions.

<ul>
<li>The oldest coin currency that we know is a Sumerian bronze piece dating from before 3000 BC. </li>
<li>The Sumerians also created writing which was a basic form of accounting. </li>
<li>Humans were able to grow, in part, beyond what normal forces of natural selection because our ability to believe in intersubjective</strong> realities. The are subjective realities shared between many people. Such realities are money, gov., and countries. (talked about in Sapiens by yuval noah harari)</li>
<li>These intersubjective realities allowed us to cooperate in scales unknown to other animals. </li>
<li>Money is an intersubjective reality</li>
<li>Money only has value because people all believe it has value (intersubjective)</li>
</ul>

>These intersubjective realities take decades to build and are a function something like this:
time to build = ((impact on people) * (inherent trustworthiness)) / (quantity of people involved in the reality)</strong>. The problem is Bitcoin's trustworthiness is low, because it's not backed by an established asset such as gold. The impact on people is critical, because money... and the quantity of people in the reality is **everyone on earth</strong>. If Bitcoin can provide legitimate value to our world and annihilate other currencies, I think it will take decades for the world to adopt it.

>Next, the electricity per transaction is 524kWh per transaction (on average) per this . That's enough energy to power 5000+ 100 Watt lightbulbs. How is that sustainable when you scale up to billions of transactions per hour on a global scale?

u/RobertGreenIngersoll · 1 pointr/exatheist

>rather suddenly, came abstract thought, art, religion, jewelry, and eventually things like language and alphabets. Our consciousness greatly leaped forwards, and began exponentially increasing on such a level that it still hasn't stopped. Interestingly, interference from something like Set is by far more parsimonious than the entire humans species magically sharing the same mutation which overwrites the previous genetic makeup of the whole species, or even worse, having a massive leap forwards as some sort of uncaused event.

Some have argued that not all ethnic groups were equally involved in that leap, and that we only know of the advances of those which did.

>Scientists have long believed that the 'great leap forward' that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked the end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunning account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilisation arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed.

u/worlds_of_smoke · 13 pointsr/occult

I don't think so.

I took an online class based on this book and it has a good theory in it. It's been a few years but, IIRC, Harari says that the followers of monotheistic religions are almost required to suppress or eliminate other religions and their deities. If your god is the only true god, all other gods must be false gods or your entire religion is false. Nobody likes their religion being called a false religion, especially when they're deeply emotionally invested in the religion.

Basically, IMO, calling pagan gods "demons" is the result of a smear campaign against those gods and religions tied to them by monotheistic religions. Polytheistic/pagan religions are much older than monotheistic religions, but one of the results of this drive to prove that YHWH is the one "true god" is that some of the other deities became "demons". And the Bible, of course, has to reflect this bias.

Yes, you have some people who believe in monotheistic religions and are more secular. But this smear campaign was run by the church and people who were/are deeply religious and fundamentalist.

u/When_Ducks_Attack · 179 pointsr/todayilearned

A fantastic book on this very story is Go Like Hell by AJ Baime. Goes into a lot of detail on the relationship Ford and Iacocca had with Shelby, and how much they all wanted to beat Ferrari at his own game.

Great read, even friends of mine who aren't racing fans have enjoyed it.

u/hallonkatastrof · 1 pointr/RandomActsOfGaming

If you like reading I highly recommend this book! It's taught me some very valuable things and increased my understanding of society, as well as giving me a new way to look at society. :)

https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095

u/metatron-one · 8 pointsr/badhistory

I've been reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, due to an interest in the history of the human species brought about by an Intro to Biological Anthropology class I'm in. I'm maybe three chapters in so far, but I'm engrossed. Harari theorizes that the reason that Homo Sapiens were able to outlive all the other Homo species is our ability to conceive fiction, our ability to conceptualise things that don't exist, like religions, nations, etc. This isn't really a historic text, but it's well written and seems to be worth reading if you have an interest in the topic. I'd like to read some critical reviews from experts in the field, though.

u/Indubitablyz · 2 pointsr/changemyview

I am as ardent an anti-theist as you'll find, however, few points

>I am not trying to offend anyone who is religious

Not up to you, they're going to get offended anyway.

>I know religion is responsible for many of our moral values

Is it though? Morality is still an incredibly rich area of study and thought (along with consciousness.) There are many competing theories such as: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_morality

In any case- religion certainly teaches that some things are bad and other things are good. I reject the claim that it is responsible for "many of our moral values." (Reference the Old Testament- morality isn't the word I would use to describe stoning people to death for transgressions.)

>Religion is responsible for some of the worst atrocities in human history.

I would say that close-minded adherence to bad ideas are the root of the worst atrocities in human history. Religions are among the worst ideas and the most deeply held convictions people have and have contributed mightily (and have been the primary factor for a lot of the atrocities) however, people are responsible for the worst atrocities in human history.

>I don't understand how people are willing to die for something that they have been told and never actually seen.

Philosophy Psychology of` religion is pretty useful here. You may find the following concepts interesting:

  • The Backfire Effect
  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • Confirmation Bias

    It is important to note that religious adherents often grow up being taught these dogmatic systems as truth. To them it is common sense and they attribute their good feelings and positive experiences to the religion.

    >We are not born believing in religion it is taught to us.

    Someone along the way came up with the idea. Generally these days we cannot tell because not many people can get to age 18 without being subject to religious ideas. Although, I tend to agree with this hypothesis in a modern sense.

    >I believe that any religion, whethever it's monotheistic (one god) or polytheistic (many gods) that believes in a divine creator is a plague and gives evil people justification for committing awful crimes againist others (molesting children, terroist attacks, etc).

    Well, polytheistic religions have a history of being tolerant and intolerant of other gods/faiths. Monotheism has a horrific track record here.

    Jainism is non-violent: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

    >I think social philosophies like confucianism which are built on more ethical and natural principles should replace religion.

    Secular Humanism sounds like it would float your boat: https://secularhumanism.org/index.php/3260

    What people find irreplaceable about religion is its answers to big questions, comfort, and "spiritual fulfillment."

    Whether you believe in spirituality or not, there have been many hypotheses about what spiritual experience is, or where exactly it comes from. Personally, I think religions are middle men between you and whatever those experiences are. Meditation and other methods have been suggested.

    >Religion is an evil plague apon society CMV.

    Ultimately, I agree with you. Although, I do think that some people get things from religion that are good or benign (things that could be gotten from other sources IMO.) Your view just needs a bit more nuance, respectfully. The following sources would be interesting to you:

    https://www.amazon.com/Christian-Essays-Religion-Related-Subjects/dp/0671203231

    https://www.amazon.ca/End-Faith-Religion-Terror-Future/dp/0393327655

    https://www.amazon.ca/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/0771041438
u/WastedP0tential · 20 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

You wanted to be part of the intelligentsia, but throughout your philosophical journey, you always based your convictions only on authority and tradition instead of on evidence and arguments. Don't you realize that this is the epitome of anti – intellectualism?

It is correct that the New Atheists aren't the pinnacle of atheistic thought and didn't contribute many new ideas to the academic debate of atheism vs. theism or religion. But this was never their goal, and it is also unnecessary, since the academic debate is already over for many decades. If you want to know why the arguments for theism are all complete nonsense and not taken seriously anymore, why Christianity is wrong just about everything and why apologists like Craig are dishonest charlatans who make a living out of fooling people, your reading list shouldn't be New Atheists, but rather something like this:

Colin Howson – Objecting to God

George H. Smith – Atheism: The Case Against God

Graham Oppy – Arguing about Gods

Graham Oppy – The Best Argument Against God

Herman Philipse – God in the Age of Science

J. L. Mackie – The Miracle of Theism

J. L. Schellenberg – The Wisdom to Doubt

Jordan Sobel – Logic and Theism

Nicholas Everitt – The Non-Existence of God

Richard Gale – On the Nature and Existence of God

Robin Le Poidevin – Arguing for Atheism

Stewart Elliott Guthrie – Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion

Theodore Drange – Nonbelief & Evil



[Avigor Shinan – From Gods to God: How the Bible Debunked, Suppressed, or Changed Ancient Myths and Legends] (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0827609086)

Bart Ehrman – The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

Bart Ehrman – Jesus, Interrupted

Bart Ehrman – Misquoting Jesus

Burton L. Mack – Who Wrote the New Testament?

Helmut Koester – Ancient Christian Gospels

John Barton, John Muddiman – The Oxford Bible Commentary

John Dominic Crossan – Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography

Karen Armstrong – A History of God

Mark Smith – The Early History of God

Randel McCraw Helms – Who Wrote the Gospels?

Richard Elliott Friedman – Who Wrote the Bible?

Robert Bellah – Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age

Robert Walter Funk – The Gospel of Jesus

u/aynrandfan · 1 pointr/Libertarian

I would recommend seeing the total picture of Objectivism, and seeing it is a superior ideology than libertarianism (or that Objectivism is in a way libertarianism, plus much, much, much more). Objectivism focuses on ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics which freedom absolutely depends on.

Atlas Shrugged
http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Ayn-Rand/dp/0451191145

The Virtue of Selfishness
http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=objectivism_nonfiction_the_virtue_of_selfishness

Capitalism The Unknown Ideal
http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Unknown-Ideal-Ayn-Rand/dp/0451147952

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.amazon.com/Objectivism-Philosophy-Rand-Library-Volume/dp/0452011019

There is a significant difference between libertarianism and Objectivism, and people need to look hard at both sides and choose.

u/atheistcoffee · 3 pointsr/atheism

Congratulations! I know what a big step that is, as I've been in the same boat. Books are the best way to become informed. Check out books by:

u/ktool · 3 pointsr/evolution

The 10,000 Year Explosion answers your exact question.

> Scientists have long believed that the “great leap forward” that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked the end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.

u/WhineyThePooh · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

I remember really liking Lies My Teacher Told Me, which debunks common misinformation found in U.S. History text books. Though it might be not be as intellectual as he likes. Check it out, though.

There is another one my father-in-law gave great reviews, but I can't remember the title. I'll ask and edit if I figure it out.

Edit: Guns, Germs, and Steel!!! I haven't read it myself but it sounded interesting.

I also thought of The Master and Margarita, if he hasn't read it already. I bought this version, and a lot of the footnotes go into how the Russian political climate at the time influenced the novel. I thought it was very interesting.

u/imfalliblek · 1 pointr/MLS

Anyone interested in understanding the tactics would do well to read Inverting the Pyramid, a history of soccer tactics. It's an intereting and informative read, and pairs well with your browser and youtube. It's fun to pull up clips (when available) of games and moves the author mentions. For example, when he talks about Kruyf - just find kruyf on youtube and enjoy.
Wonderful combination.

u/anomoly · 9 pointsr/atheism

Ok, I'll give it a go...


The first thing that got me questioning religion was seeing massive amounts of hypocrisy in church leadership. I was extremely involved as my father was a deacon and my mother worked at the church we attended. It was a common practice for us kids to go to one friends' house or another between morning and evening services, so I saw how the adults acted differently at home then they did at church. I realize not all religious people are like this, but it was the first step for my questioning. Once I was old enough I became a leader in the youth group and started seeing the same hypocrisy in myself.


Despite realizing my hypocrisy I continued to believe, even to the point in participating in multiple missions trips held by the organization Speed the Light. While on these trips we were told to write down our personal testimony so that we could present it during presentations and services. When I tired to put into words why I believed in God and, more importantly, why the audience should believe, I couldn't come up with a good reason. I sat in a bed in the country of Belize thinking, "If I can't come up with a good reason why these people should believe what I do, then why do I believe it?". Despite this thought I continued my charade for two more missions trips and a few more years.


Eventually I stepped down from youth leadership and entered a state of apathy towards religion. I didn't go to church, but I didn't really think about it much. Every now and then something really bad would happen and I'd wonder if God was punishing me, but they were more of fleeting thoughts than anything.



The next big hit for me was when I went to Iraq for a year. When you see good people with families who love them (some of which who were religious) die, the answer "God allows us to suffer so we learn/build character/build faith etc" just doesn't cut it anymore. About a year after I came home from the deployment I actually started looking for information that refuted religion. I'd say that was when my state started the path from apathetic to agnostic to atheist.



The book Letter to a Christian Nation was a big eye-opener for me. Along with other works of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christoper Hitchens, and other authors I'm sure you'll become aware of if you continue to question things. The more I investigated, the more absurd religion seemed; and the more science explained all of the things that I attributed to the supernatural. When I was a child I believed, truly believed, that when I was lying in bed one night I saw an angel appear in my room. It wasn't until I read The God Delusion that I realized there was a scientific explanation for things like that.



The more I found that science could prove things, really prove things, the more I realized that "it's true because the Bible says so" didn't work for me anymore. In the last few years I've learned things that have blown my mind. Things that I thought would take away the wonder of the world have actually enhanced it. I'm a good person because I want to be, not because I'll burn in hell if I'm not; I don't steal because I realize that it's unproductive in the long run, not because some ancient stone tablet and a preacher told me not to, etc.



I'm not saying I don't have personal issues like anger, sadness or depression. You can only fight evolution to a point, we are still human. I guess I'm just saying that the answers I found leading me to atheism were far more satisfying and comforting than anything religion ever offered me. Hope that helps.


tl;dr: it's basically a de-conversion story, read if you'd like I suppose.

u/Katholikos · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

No problem, friend.

For an argument against religion, I'd highly recommend the famous The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. It's very well-received and typically considered one of the best arguments against.

For an argument in favor of religion, I haven't read it yet, but I've heard very good things about Five Proofs of the Existence of God by Edward Feser.

They go well together, because the Five Proofs book tries to make arguments with specific reference to The God Delusion, but of course there are tons of other resources you could use instead. Either way, if you do decide to read through them, hopefully it at least gets you thinking a bit, even if it doesn't sway your opinion at all! :)

u/NomadicVagabond · 5 pointsr/religion

First of all, can I just say how much I love giving and receiving book recommendations? I was a religious studies major in college (and was even a T.A. in the World Religions class) so, this is right up my alley. So, I'm just going to take a seat in front of my book cases...

General:

  1. A History of God by Karen Armstrong

  2. The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong

  3. Myths: gods, heroes, and saviors by Leonard Biallas (highly recommended)

  4. Natural History of Religion by David Hume

  5. Beyond Tolerance by Gustav Niebuhr

  6. Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel (very highly recommended, completely shaped my view on pluralism and interfaith dialogue)

  7. The Evolution of God by Robert Wright

    Christianity:

  8. Tales of the End by David L. Barr

  9. The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Crossan

  10. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan

  11. The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan

  12. Who Wrote the New Testament? by Burton Mack

  13. Jesus in America by Richard Wightman Fox

  14. The Five Gospels by Robert Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar (highly recommended)

  15. Remedial Christianity by Paul Alan Laughlin

    Judaism:

  16. The Jewish Mystical Tradition by Ben Zion Bokser

  17. Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliot Friedman

    Islam:

  18. Muhammad by Karen Armstrong

  19. No God but God by Reza Aslan

  20. Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells

    Buddhism:

  21. Buddha by Karen Armstrong

  22. Entering the Stream ed. Samuel Bercholz & Sherab Chodzin Kohn

  23. The Life of Milarepa translated by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa

  24. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers

  25. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones compiled by Paul Reps (a classic in Western approached to Buddhism)

  26. Buddhist Thought by Paul Williams (if you're at all interested in Buddhist doctrine and philosophy, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not reading this book)

    Taoism:

  27. The Essential Chuang Tzu trans. by Sam Hamill & J.P. Seaton

    Atheism:

  28. Atheism by Julian Baggini

  29. The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud

  30. Doubt: A History by Jennifer Michael Hecht

  31. When Atheism Becomes Religion by Chris Hedges

  32. Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
u/Gorm_the_Old · 1 pointr/history

There's a lot of discussion on this subject, and a lot of debate between academics, but no real consensus. Some people think they have the answer - William McNeill is an older example and Jared Diamond is a more recent example - but the debate is still ongoing.

I would say, though, that at a very basic level, the Old World was simply larger and more interconnected than the New World. With more people in the Old World and more people connected to each other, technology was developed more quickly and transmitted across a wider distance. That meant that even though the Old World had its ups, like the dramatic technological advancement of the Roman Empire, and its downs, like the Mongol conquest, it more or less moved forward.

The New World actually had significantly better technology several hundred years prior to the arrival of the conquistadors. The Mayan civilization was much more advanced than the Aztec civilization, including a much more sophisticated system of writing that let them preserve knowledge. But the Mayans went into a long-term decline for reasons that are still not entirely clear. They didn't have as much contact with neighboring groups as civilizations in the Old World did, so when they went into decline, they took much of their technology with them. Contrast that with the fall of Rome - even as Rome fell, much of its knowledge and technology was preserved in the Islamic world or in the monasteries of Europe. That didn't happen for the Mayans, and so the native peoples that were met by the conquistadors were significantly behind where they had been a thousand years previous.

u/Leisureguy · -2 pointsr/wicked_edge

Synthetics started getting actually good around 2011, with at least some if not most of the impetus coming from a feeling that the EU might prohibit the use of badger hair (cf. ivory prohibitions). Mühle took an early lead, but quite a lot has happened. Check out, for example, these articles in Sharpologist, and note the dates.

Memes (in the Richard Dawkins sense—cf. Chapter 11 of The Selfish Gene) are subject to the Darwinian laws that follow from inheritance with some variation and limited resources, which brings natural selection into play: those memes with variations favoring reproduction will survive, just as is true for lifeforms, only memes evolve at a MUCH faster rate. The recent book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is, in effect, a history of the evolution of memes. It seemed to me that many of his insights and much of his account required looking at things from a meme point of view, though he doesn't even mention memes until the middle of the book, and then only briefly and diffidently. (Bayesian statistics was initially looked down upon by classical statisticians as not quite the thing, but quite a few found that Bayesian statistics actually worked really well, so they started using it in secret and, when publishing, translated their results back into classical statistical terminology and methods. It seems that the same dynamic is at play here, with a reluctance to talk explicitly about memes, even though they explain a lot.)

u/fallflight · 3 pointsr/Anthropology

For books, The Fossil Trail and The Complete World of Human Evolution are good overviews, while Sapiens and Lone Survivors are interesting accounts of evidence about the emergence of our species.

I also really recommend the CARTA lectures available on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1B24EADC01219B23.

You can browse through that playlist to look for interesting topics, or search for something like 'carta university california' or 'carta uctv' or 'carta uctv [topic]' to see what's popular, or follow YouTube's recommendations between videos. Each one is pretty short at ~20 min, with 3 sometimes linked in hour-long videos.

There's a wide range of evidence and interpretations about things like coexistence of varieties vs intra-population diversity, the general nature and causes of genetic structure between populations, extinction due to direct conflict or competition vs. other factors, and so on - so it helps to see the range of viewpoints between different researchers, and range of evidence and interpretations from different fields.

These are some examples:

Emergence of Homo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W005V6OV_E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CazsHKnxmHQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5vOgDK3BKs

Sapiens origins, population movements, non-sapiens admixture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdP-Wjd1qSY&t=888s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ2H9NUn150&t=2343s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCzcPSMz1tA

'Self-domestication':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaS-teo33Zo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaS-teo33Zo

Climate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcBMrw9JQgA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLmCbBVq0xM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRk_gcNf7jo

Violence:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRsQDfgwP08&t=12s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGaQ-oEpNG0

Art:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCuQw5I1-z0&t=423s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0TKYxAYGGA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2rodmJcn7g

u/SigmaStigma · 1 pointr/askscience

There were also several layouts proposed for the table, and debates on how best to arrange the elements.

It's also easier to see that they fit in this configuration because it's a human invention. Elements as we know them are just electrons, protons, and neutrons. Certain electron shells convey certain properties, and have been arranged to show the most in common properties.

For a good read on this topic, check out The Disappearing Spoon. It has some history behind the discovery of various elements.

u/martineduardo · 2 pointsr/Gunners

Also, after watching Thierry Henry's goals, watch his statue unveiling (bonus: Dennis Bergkamps statue unveiling), Henry and Bergkamp are two of the most influential players from the past three decades in Arsenal who represent both attacking style and finesse, as well as having a big heart for the club. If you enjoy reading, maybe you'd like Wenger's biography and if you're interested in footballing history, Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson is a good read.

To get a bit of insight into why the matches against Tottenham can be very intense, maybe this can help you: "I Hate Everything About Them" - North London Derby

u/Fraek · 0 pointsr/Conservative

"no scientific consensus that black people are genetically predisposed to lower intelligence"

The report is by the APA from 1996. The APA in 96 to even acknowledge that there was a gap was a huge thing, considering its bias. Discoveries have ramped up in the last few years so I don't know why wikipedia is relying on sources from 94 & 96 considering the human genome mapping wasn't completed until 2003. Discoveries since then have been one after another.

It's no surprise wikipedia comes to the PC conclusion, but it suffers from problems. It acknowledges that the black-white test gap exists. Either it is genetic, or environmental. There has been decades of money, and time thrown at fixing the environment by rich billionaires like Gates, and others. Dozens upon dozens of education, nutrition, parent swapping (giving black babies to whites), and other experiments, and they all failed. There is not a single study in the world that can claim lasting gains in the IQ gap. This bit of evidence would point to a genetic basis right? That and the fact that twin studies (the only proper studies that can control for genes) shows intelligence, among other dispositions, are highly heritable. In that wikipedia page, they link to the actual numbers from the APA study: "A 1996 statement by the American Psychological Association gave about .45 for children and about .75 during and after adolescence."

Finally, does that statement even pass the laugh test? "Science" doesn't work by consensus, but if it did, wouldn't it be relevant to ask the actual scientists involved in intelligence research?

There are people with very high intelligence, very low IQ, and everyone between. Most people can recognize that height is highly heritable, but it isn't a guarantee, sometimes you are taller than your tallest parent, sometimes you are shorter than the shortest parents. Most times you regress towards the mean. The idea that the brain is a blank slate has been discredited by Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, and others. The brain comes with innate abilities, abilities that are partly inherited from your parents genes.

If you are actually concerned with finding the truth you can read Nicholas Wade, who writes for the NYTimes. The 10,000 Year Explosion. Or Gene Expression1. Or Gene Expression2. Rather than having your views filtered by whoever happens to be editing one of the many wikipedia pages.

u/vamessedup · 1 pointr/atheism

Yes, Muslims don't worship Christ, but they do recognize him as a prophet- though not as great as the prophet Mohammed. Similarly, Christians recognize Abraham, Isaac, Moses (and many others) as prophets even though they were Jews and are also considered prophets by Jews.

If you want to go by the almighty Wikipedia, check out this handy chart.

Also, some more reputable sources: here, here, here

While I don't believe in any religion, I do think it's interesting to learn about their origins and tenets. If you're interested in reading a very well-written book on the subject, I quite enjoyed Reza Aslan's No god but God

u/100dylan99 · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

None of these answers are good. The reason why light skinned people have succeeded more than to darker skinned people is because of geography. Before I start, it is face that the farther you get from the equator, the lighter skinned people get. Now, while I don't remember exactly what diseases, I do remember that the farther you get from the equator, the lighter skinned you generally become, and vice versa. That was a simple answer.


Now, people started farming around nine thousand years ago in many places around the same time, like in China, North America, and the Middle East. However, while farming was a big advancement and led to to things like villages, war, and diseases, which are very, very important for the development of humanity, there were two big factors to how successful a civilization got. The second was how many domesticated animals you had in your area. In the middle east, where humanities first big civilizations started, you had four domestic animals. They had sheep, cattle, pigs, and horses. In other places, you only had one dmosticated animal. For example, the Inca had one domesticated animal, which was the llama. The Middle Eastern's got lucky, because they had horses, and cattle, two very strong animals. This allopwed them to have a plow, which revolutionized farming and was used from prehistory all the way up to the industrial revolution. Not only that, but they could move faster on their horses, which allowed them to hunt and war better. About a thousan years after the middle easterns developed farming, they started migrating because their land was similar to the US's in the 30's. Some of them went west, to conquer Europe, and some East, to conquer China. I can elaborate further, but I am a mere freshman. If you want more information I reccomend:

Bill Nye's The Eyes of Nye, Episode 108, "Race"

Guns, Germs, And Steel. Also a documentary on Netflix.

Mankind, the Story of All of Us. A truly wonderful History Channel documentary that was released this year, covering all of humanities's achievements.



Also: This was all of the top of my head, so please tell me if something I said was inaccurate or wrong. And if you want me to elaborate more on something, ask.

u/quicksilversnail · 1 pointr/atheism

I would highly recommend Sam Harris. He can be quite verbose at times, but his logic is impeccable. You might want to try Letter to a Christian Nation to start. It's directed to a Christian audience and was a real eye opener for me. Plus, it's pretty short (144 pages).

Edit: His YouTube videos are excellent as well.

u/Prayden · 2 pointsr/chemistry

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean is a really good book and covers a lot of chemistry. It is well written and engaging and has a lot of fun facts and accounts of scientists.

u/TroyMendo · 1 pointr/exjw

For anyone interested, this TED Talk is awesome. It talks about turning on genes in chickens to bring back some of their dinosaur traits.

EDIT: On an ever so slightly related note, I am currently reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and it's fascinating. It points out how what differentiates homo sapien from other species (there are around 15 in all) was the cognitive ability to use fiction in everyday lives.

Typical primates stay in groups of a few dozen or so, and they all know who they can and can trust. Any groups larger than that tend to have problems because there is no way to control the group.

The ability to create mythologies and stories (religion) allowed for far greater control of much larger groups of people because they collectively believe in the entity (whether good or bad) on a collective level where no one has proof of the story or myth, but everyone around you believes so it's all good.

u/limbodog · 1 pointr/AskReddit

http://www.amazon.com/Noahs-Flood-Scientific-Discoveries-Changed/dp/0684859203/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323376708&sr=8-1 Noah's Flood had some very interesting information brought about in part by the mapping of the sea floor in the black sea for the US Navy.

http://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Jesus-Story-Behind-Changed/dp/0060859512/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323376738&sr=1-1 This book was fantastic. If you ever wanted to know how the bibles (because there are many versions) came to be the way they are, this is where you start. The author truly gets into great detail about the documents on which we based our current bibles.

u/css4517 · 3 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Since it hasn't been mentioned, Cochran has a blog called "West Hunter", which I consider recommended reading -- although many posts are sadly a bit low effort, compared to e.g. SSC, Overcoming Bias, or other favourites among the rationalist crowd. Still definitely worth adding to your blog roll.

And his book with Henry Harpending, "The 10'000 Year Explosion", is required reading for anyone curious about the HBD debate, of course. :)

> (2:07:00) A few people bet on Trump winning after Greg wrote predicting the “shy Trump voter” would put him over the top despite the polls, and then tipped him for it.

Just to pat my own back here: I made about $4000, betting on Trump winning. Not because of Cochran, I hadn't read his post, but because I noticed there was a huge gap between the bookmakers and the exit polls reported at Nate Silver's 538. So betting big on Trump late on election day seemed like a no brainer. In particular so because exit polls usually underestimate the most controversial pick, due to social desirability bias.

Also, I've never seen such an edge at a bookmaker before, compared to an "expert opinion", and I bet professionally on sports for about a year (until I quit when it became too much effort to work around the bookmakers' restrictions on winning players). IIRC, bookmaker odds had Trump at about 16-17% of winning, late on election day, while the exit polls indicated about a 28% chance of winning.

By the Kelly criterion I should have bet way more on the outcome than I did, btw. Assuming the exit polls were right, I should have gone in for about 13% of my betting bankroll. Considering the known bias of exit polls, I should probably have pushed for more like ~25% of my bankroll. But I chickened out, for personal reasons. Being a father of 3 young kids combines badly with being a gambler, so I just played my scared money and bet the $600ish I happened to have sitting around in an online bookie account from old.

u/russilwvong · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

"The March of Folly" is a pretty easy read. A good place to start. The focus is primarily on the Vietnam War, though.

Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel argues that the origins of civilizations are closely tied to the invention and spread of agriculture. Also an easy read. Won the Pulitzer Prize.

I'd also recommend William McNeill's A World History for a broad overview of human history, starting with the ancient civilizations.

u/homegrownunknown · 3 pointsr/chemistry

I loved that book! I think the author has a few others - I remember liking the Violinist's Thumb as well by the same dude.

I also really liked the book Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History.

I have some more on my bookshelf, let me run up and check what I've got. I also found I like reading about non chemistry but still science things. I'm getting a Ph.D. in organic and sometimes it's nice to break out of chemistry. I tend to like reading about plagues, or anything by Oliver Sacks.

u/macmacma · 1 pointr/cars

This is an excellent novelization of the events leading to the development of the GT40: https://www.amazon.com/Go-Like-Hell-Ferrari-Battle/dp/0547336055/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503290284&sr=1-1&keywords=go+like+hell

However, my favorite book on the car is from an engineer, John Horsman, who worked with John Wyer at Aston Martin, and went on to help him develop, race, and build the GT40 and Mirage programs (AND Porsche 917 - this is the man who developed the K tail that made the car successful). https://www.amazon.com/Racing-Rain-Brilliant-Legendary-Dedicated/dp/1893618714/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503290404&sr=1-10&keywords=racing+in+the+rain

The wikipedia page has great information on the car's history and development, and most car websites have some summary story http://jalopnik.com/5976102/the-amazing-history-of-fords-greatest-supercar/

u/the-virgin-sangria · 7 pointsr/footballtactics

If you have the time, try to read Jonathan Wilson's Inverting the Pyramid. This is a really great read on football tactics, formations, why certain formations evolved and then fell out of style. Wilson does a much better job explaining all of this than a redditor could do in a post-comment.

Here is the Amazon link to his book:http://www.amazon.com/Inverting-The-Pyramid-History-Tactics/dp/1568587384

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Jonathan Wilson or the publishing company. I am just a coach with an interest in understanding the game better to explain things to my players, and this is a good book to read to understand a bit beyond the basics.

u/soybobomb · 5 pointsr/booksuggestions

I've never read "The Selfish Gene," so I'm not sure my suggestion will be any good, but I loved reading "The Disappearing Spoon" by Sam Keane.

It's basically a collection of narratives that have to do with various elements on the periodic table. Loved every minute of it.

u/bigger_than_jesus · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

> Daniel 9 is a big one... Christianity was written about within decades of the events.

Within decades? Most studies do not show this to be true. But even if your statement were true, aren't the gospels supposed to be written by those who lived with Jesus? This is clearly wrong even when reading the first few verses of Luke.

>Joseph Smith was tried and convicted of being a con man...

No doubt he was a con. But I'd venture to guess that even if you discovered Jesus was tried and convicted of being a con, or any of his apostles, your faith would still be in tact. The fact Joseph Smith was a con does not mean that God did not talk to him, right?

Whenever I read these justifications, it screams of an inadequate attempt to confirm your beliefs, not challenge them. Who taught you about Daniel 9? I can safely guess that you either found it on the internet or were taught by some other influence. You didn't read the book of Daniel and come up with this calculation yourself. You were looking for proof and someone gave it to you.

Why do you believe Jesus resurrected in April? Because it's Easter? Do you know the history of Easter? Did you know that pagans used to celebrate Spring with a god or goddess of fertility? And how is fertility represented--a bunny. Christians adopted these customs in order to convert pagans. Just like December 25. You do know that, don't you? If you do know that, then why would you even for a second pretend to know Jesus resurrected on "Easter Sunday."

I promise to read The Case for Christ, if you read Letter to a Christian Nation. It's only about 100 pages long.

Here's the point. You say "Daniel 9 is a big one." I can guarantee, if Daniel 9 proved to be false, your faith would still be in tact. You would rationalize some way to believe the entirety of Christianity. If I believe in UFOs, and I research all of the evidence with a hidden attempt to confirm my belief, I will ignore evidence to the contrary. But if I don't believe in UFOs, and keep an open mind to all possibilities, and rationally examine all the evidence presented before me, my conclusions can be more objective.

u/My_Toothbrush · 1 pointr/atheism

I upvoted because you're asking a(n at least sort-of) respectful question. I'm sure others could answer you better or more completely, but I'll take a stab.

I firmly believe that no one here wants to "destroy any reference" to Yahweh. Many of us enjoy the Greek pantheon, and a few of us like the Norse better.

The problem with Christianity is that it encourages faith, which is not only pretty much useless as a decision making paradigm, but also cripples us in regards to making sane, rational decisions. I'm sure I don't need to harp on the extensive list of atrocities committed that would have been impossible without faith.

You might be interested in reading Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation.

u/SKaigo · 1 pointr/soccer

Well listen to Carragher and Neville when you can.

Read articles on Spielverlagerung when you can, they are written to increase interest much like Cox's are. If you understand German then read the German Spielverlagerung, which has more content and is updated more frequently as it doesn't have to be translated.

In my opinion that's where basic analyses that are found online stop being useful. Spielverlagerung is better than Zonalmarking for match analyses in my opinion, but neither are suitable replacements for tactical knowledge. There are lots of other match analysis sources online but the rest are usually just submitted by less-practiced amateurs.

Jonathan Wilson writes about general tactical trends and is very well known for his book Inverting the Pyramid. By all means check that book out, as it's considered a gateway book to developing your own tactical sense of the game.

So if you're just looking for match analyses then keep reading Zonal Marking or Spielverlagerung, but if you really want to increase your knowledge of the game then read up and develop your own views on tactics.

u/morrison0880 · 1 pointr/atheism

Letter to a Christian Nation
Sam Harris takes a firm but personal approach to explaining away religious faith. Use this as an introductory book to a much more straightforward and aggressive book like The God Delusion, or as a closing argument to a primer in rationalism that begins with a softer book by Sagan or the like. It depends on the approach you want to take, although I would suggest going the later route. Demon Haunted world was an excellent suggestion. Your parents will obviously agree with him when he dismisses ancient myths and beliefs, so when he shows their own beliefs to be on the same level, that skeptical thought process will start to catch hold of them and hopefully make them question those beliefs.

u/DrImpeccable76 · 1 pointr/HistoryWhatIf

http://www.viewsoftheworld.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/CroplandsMap_GriddedCartogram.jpg

Why exactly do you think that North America, Europe and Asia have so much more cropland than Africa and South America?
What do you think people do when they are more fertile land which requires fewer farmers to keep them alive? They become more educated, develop more advanced infrastructure, create technology at a much faster pace, etc. Just as an example, about 2% of the US population works in agriculture, 15% of Brazilians do the same.

And since you seem to like books so much (despite not even linking one that backs up your statments): https://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466407800&sr=8-1&keywords=guns+germs+and+steel

Anyway, I don't want to act like cultural factors don't make any difference in the economic development over long periods of time becaue they certainly do, but you should not ignore the fact that certain parts of the world (such as Europe and North America) have climates and natural resources that are much more conducive to economic development.

u/celeritas365 · 3 pointsr/changemyview

This is a really complex question that doesn't have a single answer. I do think it is a stretch to say that the exploitation didn't help at least a little bit. There are also other factors than economic policy, innovations, and social institutions. You should check out Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond if you are interested in this kind of stuff. I don't agree with all of it but it is pretty interesting. If you are more into documentaries PBS made some documentaries based off of the book that are also pretty well done. CGP grey also made a video summary of a small section of the book's argument.

u/ShavedRegressor · 1 pointr/atheism

I recommend The God Delusion if you like science. Dawkins does not pull punches. The book is full of good arguments and interesting information.

For friends and other people who could use a gentle introduction to the idea that atheists aren’t evil, I strongly recommend Letter to a Christian Nation. It’s the sort of book you might give your mom.

u/dizzyelk · 1 pointr/Christianity

So far the best book I've read has been Guns, Germs, and Steel. Right now I'm reading Botany of Desire, which is pretty interesting. And after I finish that I think something old-fashioned and cheesy would be nice. So I'm probably going to read Edgar Rice Burroughs's Venus series.

u/Dem0s · 1 pointr/atheism

I like them both and have strong points that compliment each other. I would suggest reading both and then moving on to The Greatest Show on Earth, The End Of Faith and Unweaving the Rainbow in no particular order, but all great books in their own right.

u/xyzerb · 5 pointsr/todayilearned

If you're interested in reading more about how the Bible changed over time, read Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.

It's a little on the dry side, but it's not a rant, and if you're unfamiliar with textual criticism, you may find it interesting on that point alone.

For example, while some stories sound very "Christ-like", the story of the good Samaritan doesn't appear in any of the earliest versions of the New Testament--it was added by monks hundreds of years afterwards.

Fascinating material if you have an open mind.

u/Reputedly · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Something like that! There's a lot more to be said on the topic, if you're interested. Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel talks about a lot of what I mentioned above in greater detail (there's also a pretty good PBS Documentary based on the book).