I'm curious... Who's writing a book?

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I'm curious... Who's writing a book?

I'm curious... Who's writing a book?

Something that could help the atheist/secular movement surge ahead even faster than its already going might be a few good books written by younger people for younger readers.  So who's writing one? It can't be me... I'm way to old.

Let's hear what you're about.  What are you writing or what would you write?

 

The time has come to say enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, its divisive and it's dangerous.
~ Richard Dawkins


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Funny you should ask, cuz I

Funny you should ask, cuz I just brainstormed a few book ideas a few days ago, that I think I could write. Here are the titles so far:

BLASPHEMY! (is a victimless crime) or, How to become an unapologetic atheist

APOSTASY! (is more common than you think) or, How people deconvert from religion and other ideologies to find freedom of thought

IDIOCY! (is being shoved down kids' throats) or, How to debate Intelligent Design Creationists

DOGMA! (is no match for critical thinking) or, How to spot dangerous beliefs and protect yourself from cults, religions, and other ideologies

FAITH! (is no reason) or, How to demolish faith-based religious beliefs with evidence-based scientific reasoning

The idea is to have the first word huge and dominating the whole front cover, with the part in parentheses relatively tiny, and the alternate title also non-obvious (like in a cursive font, or something) so you might get the feeling that it's a kind of crazy, reactionary, pro-religion book from afar, but on closer inspection it's a bit tongue-in-cheek and anti-religion. I would fight tooth and nail to get them categorized under 'religion', though, instead of 'philosophy' or something.

(If you have to explain the joke, it usually comes across as not funny.  Oh well, it's funny to me.   )

The dogma one could use a better title.

The most interesting one to me would be the first one on blasphemy. I think it's got potential, and I've got a lot of material for it already.

They would be fairly condensed/short, like less than 200 pages, and intended as motivational and tactical guides for people who are either atheist-leaning fence-sitters, or atheists itching to start speaking out but who need a confidence boost. (Perhaps some of them would be appropriate for doubting theists, esp. the apostasy one.) They would attempt to be kick-in-the-pants motivational, but more snarky rather than preachy. Like, "Hey, people, wake up it's time to get moving!" rather than "And so, as we can see by considering Nietzsche's blah blah blah, the immediacy of the situation blah blah blah, to 'get moving' as they say in modern slang."

Don't have the resources to start on them at this time, though.

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re: I'm curious...

Combating becoming a talking parrot is what I had in mind... Your "Dogma is no match..." is on a par I'd guess.

I'd like to get kids thinking critically.  I'd like to see a book that would open the door for a younger person to give himself permission to seek the best answers he can get.  And when I say young person I mean young person - like 12 and under.

Are you thinking along the same lines?  Would you try to target a reading audience of grade school kids?

----

I want to add that I'm not a writer.  I'm a self-appointed activist for atheism and the secular movement.  My aim here is to find an honest to goodness young writer with a similar interest and to "help" move his project along.  I'd like to assist at getting something suitable for grade school readers put onto the shelves of school libraries. 

Interested?

 

 

 

The time has come to say enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, its divisive and it's dangerous.
~ Richard Dawkins


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Well, I would consider

Well, I would consider myself to be a writer. However, right now, what I am writing is fanfic based in the universe of the 70's TV series “The Incredible Hulk”.

 

The fanfic community gives me awards for what I write and I would like to expand what I do to the novel form.

 

Would I do a book for atheism? Love to but I need to get my chops up before I take on that big of a project.

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Randall-Doc-Fleck

Randall-Doc-Fleck wrote:

Combating becoming a talking parrot is what I had in mind... Your "Dogma is no match..." is on a par I'd guess.

I'd like to get kids thinking critically.  I'd like to see a book that would open the door for a younger person to give himself permission to seek the best answers he can get.  And when I say young person I mean young person - like 12 and under.

Are you thinking along the same lines?  Would you try to target a reading audience of grade school kids?

Actually, I've been planning that book for years now. Something that would have been available to me when I was 8-15, when I was having the hardest time finding 'my place', and coming to terms with the disdain-for-outspoken-atheism atmosphere I grew up in. I learned what 'atheist' meant at around 8 and immediately knew I was one. By 9, I was already speaking out about it to my classmates, but that quickly turned sour, and from then on I mostly shut up about it until Bush's re-election, which was the last straw, considering that apparently nobody learned their lesson from 9/11 and the Iraq war. If I had a book about atheism/freethought back when I was 8 or 9, I would have done things differently. Hence my desire to write such a book.

(You may also want to talk to KenO5, who has recently proposed a book similar to what you're talking about.)

The books I listed above are more along the lines of compiling a lot of my recent writings about atheism/activism, which have necessarily been more aimed at a mature-teen to adult audience. Like the kind of people who join RRS Smiling  I would use that as source material and re-work the points and arguments into a coherent book.

But yes, I eventually want to write for bright younger kids who could appreciate a fairly mature theme such as critical thinking or criticism of religion. My primary idea for the younger audience would be a science fiction or fantasy story whose theme and plot and characters would be oriented around the idea that faith and dogma are dangerous, and how it could be possible to overcome them with a strong philosophy based on critical thinking, freedom of thought, science and evidence, etc. Kind of like Pullman's Golden Compass, but without the punches pulled.

However, such a work would be quite complex and difficult to pull off. Still, that's my long-term goal, and has been for probably about 10 years now. (Hey, I'm working up to it! Eye-wink )

As for a project like you're speaking of, I believe I could do it, but as I say I'm lacking time and spare cash to do much else besides work and/or look for work. Most of my leisure time is spent doing what little I can on internet atheist activism; and a big reason for that is that it's basically free, and at least it helps me develop my ideas and build up some writing.

For the book you're looking for, I 100% agree that the most important thing is to impart critical thinking skills. I've often argued that we could literally start teaching kids far more critical thinking skills from a very young age. A simple example: If kids can learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division by age 8-9, then they can certainly learn basic symbolic logic of AND, OR, NOT, and a few logical axioms by that age; it is not really that hard, it's just that most people don't learn it until university (if they learn it at all!). Learning how to spot logical and informal fallacies (by examples) would be even easier, and IMO that's probably the first place to start. You can get a sense of how I would argue for critical thinking here. Obviously, it would be tailored to a younger audience.

My additional take on it would be to also try to impart a lifelong sense of wonder, and a desire to continue self-learning. Kind of like Carl Sagan's approach to the series Cosmos. (I don't pretend to be a Carl Sagan, but I do aspire to promote the same sense of wonder that he does.) You can get a sense of some of the philosophy of wonderism here and here.

As for the book itself, it should probably be short, between 100-200(max!) pages, and I think a good way to keep it short would be to point to internet or library resources for deeper exploration of specific topics.

It would include 'how to spot a fallacy', some basics on logic (not too much, but enough to be intriguing), some basic ideas about philosophy, why being skeptical makes sense, why people believe, say, and do weird things (cognitive dissonance, fear of being shown ignorant, etc.), why evidence and science is so important (and cool!), how to think like a scientist, some basics about evolution and how to spot misinformation about it, why it's okay to speak out and be critical, how to protect yourself from backlash, why people are religious, why it's considered taboo to criticize religion, why it's important to do so in spite of the taboo, etc. etc. I could go on forever. All I have to do is imagine all the lessons I've learned since age 8. The hard part will be keeping it short! Target age, probably 9-12.

Quote:
I want to add that I'm not a writer.  I'm a self-appointed activist for atheism and the secular movement.  My aim here is to find an honest to goodness young writer with a similar interest and to "help" move his project along.  I'd like to assist at getting something suitable for grade school readers put onto the shelves of school libraries. 

Interested? 

I'll send you an email (googled you). Have to run for an appointment right now!

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Randall-Doc-Fleck wrote:I'd

Randall-Doc-Fleck wrote:

I'd like to get kids thinking critically.

I'd like to get kids thinking at all, that would be a start.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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I'm curious... Who's writing a book?

In a nut shell, my thoughts on a well made kids book on this subject (becoming a skeptic) would be one that's written as a story... a slice of life look at a young person's self-discovery as he/she makes a critical self-given rite-of-passage-decision to set his sights on being intellectually honest in every way.  Inviting grade school readers by employing a main character they could identify with and then entertaining those same readers to follow the book character's change over time could have a powerful impact.  I'm looking for a "Harry Potter" style hero.

As for taking direct aim at religion vs atheism, I don't see the necessity for it being a number one priority... Critical thinking applies to far more than just that.

How did you answer question seven?" she asked. "True or false?"

"I didn't," and in a belch that came to fast to think about and so strong that it couldn't have been stopped even if it meant saving the whole world from green aliens, he spouted, "My last year was filled by lies and I'm sick of it."

"Mine, too."

"Yours, Sally..?"

"Well, yeah.  We're both in the same school, you know.  We've had the same teachers and we read the same stuff... So yeah.  Mine too."

"Whoa. I didn't realize,"  he blanched a little pale, "but anyhow, its true, I am sick of it.  I've had it."

They went silent, thinking - both of them feeling hemmed in and to frustrated for words at the moment.

"So if you skipped question seven," Sally broke in, "what did you put down for question 20?  It was the same thing really..."

"I skipped it, too," he exploded. "I skipped them all.  I skipped the whole stupid test... the whole thing!"

Carl Sagan offered his "Bologna Detection Kit" as a method to combat ignorant conclusions.  A great little childrens book hero could do the same thing, kid style, and at a level that kids could easily follow.  A story line that pits its hero head-to-head against one BS touting enemy after another might set the stage for allowing the main character(s) to develop their own kid-friendly "Bologna Detection Kit".  Think of good vs evil where the good guys stand-up, with good reason, for reason.

 


 

   

The time has come to say enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, its divisive and it's dangerous.
~ Richard Dawkins


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Sent you an

Sent you an email.

Randall-Doc-Fleck wrote:

In a nut shell, my thoughts on a well made kids book on this subject (becoming a skeptic) would be one that's written as a story... a slice of life look at a young person's self-discovery as he/she makes a critical self-given rite-of-passage-decision to set his sights on being intellectually honest in every way. Inviting grade school readers by employing a main character they could identify with and then entertaining those same readers to follow the book character's change over time could have a powerful impact.

Hehe, I was recently telling my Dad about how I had decided I wanted to eventually write science fiction novels back when I was 12. I was totally frustrated at school, bored to death. I used to read fantasy novels during math class. I didn't even try to hide it. Class would be going on about me, and I was head down in the book, totally focused on the story (one of the Dragonlance novels, at the time). One time, the teacher, who really disliked me, wrote a question on the blackboard and called on me to answer, hoping to catch me up. I looked up, zipped through the question in my head, said "13", and dropped my head right back into the book, in about 3 seconds flat. But he sufficiently broke my concentration, so that I started to think about the writing of the story, rather than the story itself. And I thought, "Holy crap! This book is just like the last two books in this series. It's all the same friggin' formula story, over and over again! Why are these books so popular? I could write something more imaginative than this." Right then and there was when I decided to be a writer, and though I would also like to write some fantasy, I've since moved on to science fiction as my primary interest. Got side-tracked pursuing a paying day-job later on, but it's still my main goal.

After telling this to my Dad recently, he told me that he thought I should write about that frustrated kid, bored in school/life, and trying to figure out how to deal with an irrational world. So, yeah, I can completely empathize with the story/character you're proposing.

Quote:
As for taking direct aim at religion vs atheism, I don't see the necessity for it being a number one priority... Critical thinking applies to far more than just that.

Well, you did say in the OP you were looking for something to boost atheism/secularism, too. Sure, I agree that critical thinking applies to all facets of life. I would tend to think, however, that it would be a good idea to tap into the energy of the atheism issue. Look what it did for Philip Pullman and Sam Harris, two relative unknowns who just hit the right nerve. Although a plain critical thinking book would be good, I think the taboo/forbidden nature of the atheism/religion issue would increase the chance of a successful book. Don't want to over-do it, but I wouldn't be too shy about it either, IMHO. (Come to think of it, 'Forbidden' might be a good title for such a book. Can you imagine a curious kid trying to *resist* reading a book titled 'Forbidden'? They'd be all over that! (And the German translation would be Verboten! which for some reason seems to me like the quintessential German word.) Smiling )

Quote:
A story line that pits its hero head-to-head against one BS touting enemy after another might set the stage for allowing the main character(s) to develop their own kid-friendly "Bologna Detection Kit".  Think of good vs evil where the good guys stand-up, with good reason, for reason.

Exactly. There are so many possible angles you could take that would make that work. Straight-out fiction, humourous/absurd, magical realism, fantasy, science fiction, set in a school, set in a neighbourhood, set on an alien planet, a hero's journey, a personal struggle, real gods, imagined gods (typical theism), created gods, alien 'gods', etc.

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I've been wanting to write a

I've been wanting to write a novel since I was in high school.  It's been percolating in my brain ever since then and I think it's gonna be good.  See, I read a fair amount of gothic and classical literature (and by 'gothic' I don't mean black leather and spikey jewelry) and I want my writing to have that kind of feel to it, but it's in a modern setting.  It's about a young lady who can't seem to settle down.  She moves around a lot and is almost always in one relationship or another, but feels restless and often leaves suddenly without warning.  But when she decides to stop for a while in a small fishing town off the west coast she meets a group of activists and becomes involved in their cause.  Before she even realizes, she begins to feel calmer and more confident, especially when a local fireman saves her from falling off one of the docks...

 

Yeah.  There will be romance.  But not too much, trust me.  It's more about the endless search for control over one's life and learning not to run away every time there's a problem, et cetera.  Pretty much what I wish I could have read when  I was younger...


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I'm curious... Who's writing a book?

Interesting Gallowsbait (odd name?)

I'm looking more for something with a main character that might appeal to a much younger reader... Yours seems post High School at the least.

The time has come to say enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, its divisive and it's dangerous.
~ Richard Dawkins


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Nothing atheism-centered.

Nothing atheism-centered. Too many books have already gone unread by the unwashed masses, in my opinion.

I've got 82 pages (8.5" x 11" single spaced) of short stories centered around Friday. First person non-fiction, but I will change the names to protect the innocent and the guilty in order to call it fiction. It's almost scary that I don't have to invent/create any scenarios or characters. I've only missed out on a few interesting events by limiting myself to Friday occurrences.

With hope and effort, I will never be finished writing about weird/interesting/salacious events in my Friday life until I 'check out for good'. However, 1,000+ Fridays have already occurred since high school and as yet the outline contains only 25 'worthwhile/over-the-top' experiences.

Marketable? Doubt it. I'm not famous enough... yet.

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The apocalyptic downfall of

The apocalyptic downfall of civilization and the collapse of worldwide political, social and economic systems. Fueled by excessive debt, Islamic/Jewish terrorism, irrational Christian religious fervor, environmental degradation, overpopulation and and our broken political system. Then the reemergence of a new order that gears technological advances toward improving the health of our planet and the condition of human race.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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I'm curiuos... Who's writing a book?

About: "The apocalyptic downfall of civilization and..."

Um, what's your point?  Is that a title or a subject or what?  And, do you really think this could impact grade school kids?

-----------------

This thread is asking who's writing a book for school aged kids. (Read the initial post.)  I'm curious because I'd like to help sponsor the author's efforts.

 


 

The time has come to say enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, its divisive and it's dangerous.
~ Richard Dawkins


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Randall-Doc-Fleck

Randall-Doc-Fleck wrote:

About: "The apocalyptic downfall of civilization and..."

Um, what's your point?  Is that a title or a subject or what?  And, do you really think this could impact grade school kids?

-----------------

This thread is asking who's writing a book for school aged kids. (Read the initial post.)  I'm curious because I'd like to help sponsor the author's efforts.

 


 

Make them grow up faster. Enable them to reject religion and all the irrational social conditioning. Destroy any sense of morality they have, a kind of 'The Catcher in the Rye'(which had a lot of impact) for the 21st century. Help them survive the coming apocalypse. And help build the new world order. What could be better for them?

I know a tough sell, but worth a shot.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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I'm curious... Who's writing a book?

About: "Make them grow up faster."

Okay. Go for it.

------------

I'm more inclined toward helping kids grow the old fashioned way... teach them by using the things they already understand.

Does a dinosaur buy bull?  (http://commonsenseplus.blogspot.com/2010/02/do-dinosaurs-buy-bull.html)

The time has come to say enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, its divisive and it's dangerous.
~ Richard Dawkins


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I'm writing a series, though

I'm writing a series, though I'm approaching it from a different angle. Very few people enjoy reading non-fiction, so it's better to write a fiction and contain within it arguments from characters. That way even if someone disagrees with the character, they keep reading the book, and I still get paid.

 

Eventually....

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I'm curious... Who's writing a book?

To Vastet:  That's a good way to think about it.  Fiction can sometimes deliver a message better than non-fiction.  What's your series about and would it appeal to younger readers?

The time has come to say enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought, its divisive and it's dangerous.
~ Richard Dawkins


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There's really not much I

There's really not much I can say about it. Anything I did say would be either misleading or a major spoiler. I have either the first or the second chapter up here (I haven't decided whether it should be the first or not yet), so you can read it if you want. http://www.rationalresponders.com/awakening

 

I'll say that I'm keeping it as accurate to science as possible without overly limitting my artistic license. If something happens, there will be a logical reason for it (unless character driven, in which case I'll have emotions to play with too). But that's about all I can say.

 

This post was originally 5 times bigger. But I said too much. I'm still saying too much. > >

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I have recently completed my

I have recently completed my second book, titled "UnLearn Vanilla Marriage"... while the focus is on marriage and relationships, there are a lot of tie ins with people's perceptions  about how thier sexuality is to be judged in the afterlife... (among many other irrational precepts)...

 

As it stands, I am searching for a litterary agent, and/or a publisher... The "relationship" genre is wrought with ingnominious Jizzbuckets who make their living regurgitating warmed over platitudes disguised as expertise, and common sense presented as breaking news...If there are any agents or publishers on this site who have a set of balls and who want to make a shitload of money, by all means E-mail me... I am a big enough asshole to sell A LOT of books, if I could just get them on the shelf at Barnes & Nobles...


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Well, I will reserve my

Well, I will reserve my fiction writing for my film Noir version of the Incredible Hulk. Although I suppose that one could learn a bit about what the real implications of having extraordinary abilities might really be like.

 

That much being said, I might be interested in putting a book together that would not be a novel but would teach some real lessons, just not in the overly dry text book style. I would also be writing it for a slightly later age group than you had in mind. Off the top of my head:

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Anyone can do boring exercises out of a book, perhaps where you are given a diagram or two and a bunch of numbers and asked to come up with the correct answer. But let's face this head on. How many of us are ever going to need to measure the distance across some river? Far easier to look that up on wikipedia.

 

Even so, at some point, simply having a tape measure may be good enough to figure out how big a rug you need for your room. Yet there are going to be times when that may not be enough and here knowing the math will come in handy. Well, there is no way to really learn the math without doing it but let's try something a bit more interesting.

 

How tall is the flag pole in front of your school? Trust me, the principal knows this is for a lesson and he is not going to just tell you the answer. Your teacher has the tools that you will be using and you are going to go out into the parking lot in groups of three or four to do the work.

 

Here is the thing, it doesn't matter where in the parking lot you stand when you do the work (but remember that there are cars coming through. Safety first.). As long as you measure carefully and do the math the correct way, each group will get the same answer. Well, you will no doubt get slightly different answers but they should all be pretty close.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

After each group of students is done and all the measurements are compared, the lesson is that while the height of the flag pole is not the most important thing in the world, a little bit of basic geometry can be used to do all sorts of things that may really be practical.

 

Past that, once the height of the flag pole is known, we have the basis to go on and measure just how big the earth is. That is of course far less useful and easy enough to get from wikipedia. Still, it should be pretty cool to show how you can do that on your own with no real difficulty.

 

If I can hold the class' attention, we can measure the size of and distance to the Moon. And the Sun. All of that is only a couple of periods of class work.

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