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The Bible Is Not Great: The Truth About The Bible, Religion And God
The Bible Is Not Great: The Truth About The Bible, Religion And God
Price: $2.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 000 years ago which was the cause of the Great Flood Myth, December 22, 2014
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Carl Sagan stated that we need a religion based on the revelation of science. Soren picks up this theme and runs with it. After spending a few chapters explaining why that ole time religion has failed us and has to go due to blatant errors and logical inconsistencies, Soren wastes no time explaining why science is the key to humanity’s future spirituality.

His logic is certainly reasonable, but sometimes the analysis runs a bit thin, failing to delve into the biological conditions that caused the event. He mentions, for example, how the world had a new beginning at the end of the last ice age 11,000 years ago which was the cause of the Great Flood Myth, but actually the Pleistocene Epoch ended 1.8 million years ago and our current Holocene brought about by the onset of agriculture which was the onset of the new beginning. Mankind evolved from hunter/gatherer to farmer/herdsman and megacities developed. Private property and wealth appeared and along with them specialized labor and written records. A priest/scribe (today the latter are called lawyers) class developed and they’re with us to this day. Armies and cops protect land and wealth just was they did thousands of years ago. Sadly along with the transformation, monotheism came around, and the female, benevolent, compassionate fertility goddess metamorphosed into the three patriarchal Sky Gods, any of whom will send you to hell for the slightest disobedience. .

I’m still giving the "Bible Is Not Great" five stars because it’s a great place to start for a young skeptic. The analysis of Moses, Cain and Abel, The Flood, Adam and Eve are interesting and fun. After a detailed read, most readers will wonder how the heck so many people came to believe this stuff. And as Soren brings out many times, the stories aren’t even original.


The Reason Revolution: Atheism, Secular Humanism, and the Collapse of Religion
The Reason Revolution: Atheism, Secular Humanism, and the Collapse of Religion
Price: $0.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goscicki, atheist, humanism, reason revolution, July 20, 2014
It's amazing how a good writer tells you stuff you already know. I'm an openly strong atheist but I'd bet religious people could read Dan's book and say to themselves, "Hey, I knew that."

For instance, Dan does a superb job explaining how religion has encroached and intruded into our daily lives with its outrageous pleasure-negative, puritanical outlook. Does it make sense for an advanced society to have prostitution illegal? Or gambling, or euphoriants like marijuana, or alcohol, or euthanasia when the patient is living hopelessly in excruciating pain? Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini even outlawed music, chess and free speech.

Leaders of the major religions seem to think that suffering is pleasing to God, Just go into a Catholic church, soon as you walk in all around you see Christ on the cross with that pathetic look, "I died for your sins. I died for your sins." Born into a religious family, my first reaction was, "Gimme a break Lord, I'm just a kid."

Dan's ten reasons not to believe are spot-on. I also enjoyed his optimistic predictions for a future world when humanity is free of superstition. People will start living for this life instead of the next.

All it takes is for our political, educational and corporate leaders to come out of the closet and our teleological (the study of the purpose of life) zeitgeist will quickly metamorphose like a beauteous butterfly flying to the sky after an incubation period in a cocoon of darkness and ignorance. Politicians know which way the wind blows. I mean, the purpose of life will change when people realize that the universe is indifferent to us and our pale blue planet. In the grand scheme of things, humans are as ephemeral as mayflies. It makes no sense at all to waste our limited time praying and worshipping gods that never answer and just don't care.

These days a lot of pessimistic teenagers wear black tee-shirts inscribed: "Life's a grave, dig it." Followers of the major religions believe Christ or the Holy Prophet are coming back for Judgment Day, so what difference does it make how they abuse the planet. What do the kids expect?

It wouldn't be that way if their parents had some love and respect for the planet that gave rise to us. Gaia is the mother of life, not a plastic Holy Virgin Mother.


The Case Against Evangelical Christianity - 2nd Edition
The Case Against Evangelical Christianity - 2nd Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read For "Nones", June 29, 2013
As a militant atheist (that's right, I'm convinced the Battle of Armageddon will be a battle of religions) I believe faith in the supernatural will lead mankind to oblivion. So I was pleased to learn that the fastest growing religion on surveys and applications is listed as "None."

That being so, Dr. Herrick's "The Case Against Evangelical Christianity" is a God-sent (for lack of a better word.) With countless people dropping out of the religion game, the need for specific objective argumentation becomes conspicuously apparent. His step-by-step analytical mind methodically brings out the misconceptions and non sequitors of the Holy Scriptures, old and new.

For all the newly arrived "Nones" a careful study of Dr. Herrick's book will not only add a quiver-full of arrows for discussion with the faithful, but an arsenal of heavy artillery against the totally intractable and those absolutely convinced that opposing views are the words of the devil itself.

Science and the truth will win out, that's for sure. The only question is will it be soon enough, before the second coming of Christ or the return of the Holy Prophet. History is chock full of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Rich Goscicki
Author of Mirror Reversal


ALICE: the World of Shadow
ALICE: the World of Shadow
Price: $1.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What impudence! What insolence!, January 16, 2013
This is a book Lady Gaga might have written. But I must admit this whippersnapper Alice sure knows how to tell a story. She's sort of a modern-day, female Huckleberry Finn. The story flows with the same earthy freshness and frankness. Great fun. Five stars from page one.


Golden Rule or Greedy Rule
Golden Rule or Greedy Rule
by Heyward C Hawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Place To Start, February 12, 2012
It doesn't take much thinking to determine that the United States of America has deep and serious problems: inner-city street gangs, over two-million in prisons, kids dropping out of high school, unwed teenage mothers, self-alienated people with no connection to history, uncountable illegal aliens, unbearable traffic, road rage, semiliterate high school graduates, rampant venereal disease, hate crimes, indigenous species like beavers and buffalo driven to the brink of extinction, national parks neglected and vandalized, attention deficit disorder due to video games and television, and worst of all--perpetual war.

Not that "Golden Rule or Greedy Rule" enunciates and discusses all these national blights, but Mr. Hawkins gives a pretty convincing explanation of why it's happening. Of course, it's a deficiency of the nation's citizens and working people, as well as the leadership. But if the political and corporate leaders are greedy and corrupt, you have to be dismayed at the latter. They control the educational, judicial, and business environments. They're the puppeteers that pull the strings of the dancing marionette. The above national problems are the results of wrong decisions people in power have made. Like cankerous bedsores, the above troubles might be the result of a bad diet (sugar, factory-farmed meat and poultry, fast food), or even more repulsive and insidious: dirty sheets.

Hank Hawkins does a great job specifying and describing the dirty sheets. It's amazing that Golden Rule was written years before the Occupy Wall Street was even an idea, much less a national movement. It's as if people who read the book came together and said, "all right, we've had enough." Golden Rule could be made the bible of the movement and passed around from tent to tent on chilly lonely nights outside the space-age, aluminum office towers that loom over them so dispassionately and pitilessly. At least the protestors would know what they're fighting for.

The author describes how political and corporate leaders are putting their own comfort and welfare ahead of the needs their constituents--and the country is suffering because of it. Bribery, nepotism, corruption are everywhere and Hank tells it like it is. He even describes how the media is involved in the malefic practice of lobbying just like the politicians.

How about the perpetual Iraqi and Afghanistani wars? He devotes several chapters to how and why they came about. He describes how W. Bush lied and misinformed the American people with such nonsense as, "the terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers because they're jealous of our freedom," or, "You're either with us or with the terrorists." How the heck did they get away with it? He never once mentioned the word "oil."

My answer to these problems is, political corruption should be considered an act of treason--all forms of it, bribery, lobbying, nepotism, insider trading, vote rigging, pork barrel legislation, unachievable promises--the whole stinking witch's brew. Mr. Hawkins cites a beauty: "you vote for my bill and I'll vote for yours"

The subtitle of the "Golden Rule or Greedy Rule" is "High-Definition Awareness and Action Needed Now--Before Total Subservience." Awareness is certainly the first and most important step, and this book is a great place to start. Once we're alerted to what's going on, we can start to reform the system. Bush decried and denounced countless times the "Axis of Evil" that's out to get us. When it comes to evil, the tripartite branches of our government might not be far behind when we consider the incompetent President Bush, the military/industrial complex that feeds off war, and the rigged Supreme Court that counted the votes and ruled that W. Bush beat Al Gore, but couldn't account for the disappearance of thousands of votes. What could be more evil than the judge in N.J. last year who got kickbacks from a reform school that paid for every "referral" he placed behind bars? The black-robed, ruthless scoundrel ruined hundred of lives to become a millionaire and live in luxury.

As retired law professor, Mel Lipman, former President of the American Humanist Association puts it: "Golden Rule or Greedy Rule should be required reading for every high school student." The Axis of Evil has caused the symptoms listed above. It's dumbed down the entire nation. High-definition awareness as described by Hank Hawkins is the beginning to finding the antidote.

Richard Goscicki, author of "Mirror Reversal" (2007, Peppertree Press)


Man Made God: A Collection of Essays
Man Made God: A Collection of Essays
by D.M. Murdock
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
48 used & new from $12.91

99 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for Every Kid in Catholic High School, September 11, 2010
That's right. If I would have read Man Made God 50 years ago it would have changed my life. Now that I'm a senior, as I think back, only two books had a life-changing effect on me: "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding and "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins. Now I have a third.

Here's why. When I went to Catholic high school in the late '50s, I merely sat quietly and listened meekly to all the magical nonsense that was foisted on me on a daily basis. Believe what you want, was my attitude, just don't try to sell me any of this supernatural boogety-boo. Symbolic cannibalistic rituals were all right with me--just as long as I can sit in the back of the auditorium with my own little teenage daydreams.

If I would have read Barbara's book back then, I would never have put up with it. "Hey, Brother, is it true the Church killed and tortured millions of people for over five hundred years? After the Council of Nicea, Europe was awash in blood and learning was ground to a standstill. The Dark Ages were imminent. Books were burned, libraries destroyed and the peasantry kept illiterate. All I got from your religion classes was the Apostle's creed."

How come you never mentioned the genocide caused by your religion? After the bloodbath had subsided in the 1800s, a century later Cardinal Angelo Sodano would apologize and call this insane sadistic mayhem, "a sad episode in church history." Is he crazy? What has the church done to human progress?

How can church officials live with themselves? How come there's no priests listed on the National Sex Offender list? What's going on?

In short, I didn't become a militant atheist until 40 years later. I was always an atheist but I was close-mouthed about religion and tolerant of it. This very year there will be hundreds of people, mostly children, tortured and killed in Africa because of witchcraft, just as Barbara describes it. She even gives the line from the Gospels, Christ's own words, that centuries later the Inquisitioners would use to rationalize burning heretics at the stake by the millions. One town in Germany, states Ms. Walker with accurate annotation, burned as many as 1000 pathetic victims in one year. Outrageous--that's three per day! Watching public immolation must have been a national pass-time, like going to the movies or the Friday-night fights.

Good job, Barbara, it's the scholarship that makes Man Made God so powerful. I hope your book goes down in history as one of the most important anti-religion statements of the modern age. All I can say to any Holy Ghost/heaven-hell/Eve-came-from-Adam's-rib/Noah's Ark believers is: read it and deal with it.

Richard Goscicki, author of Mirror Reversal, Peppertree Press, 2007

Mirror Reversal
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2014 1:23 PM PST


Classism For Dimwits
Classism For Dimwits
by Jacqueline S Homan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.99
3 used & new from $17.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone has an equal chance to succeed--yea, right., August 20, 2009
This review is from: Classism For Dimwits (Paperback)
"Classism For Dimwits" is an important book. It should be part of every sociology class across the nation. The fact is the poor are underrepresented. They make up a significant part of the population but rarely a word is heard on their behalf. In the Healthcare Debate, for instance, where are the uninsured expounding their case? I hear only the haves telling us how expensive and socialistic caring for the poor will be.

Sure, "The Jungle" described what it's like as a poor immigrant from Lithuania in the Chicago packing houses. "The Grapes of Wrath" did a rousing job of portraying the adversities facing the dust bowl Oakies. The greatest of all, "The Complete Works of Charles Dickens," showed what it's like to be born poor in Industrial Revolution London.

There are many more examples of works explaining what it's like to be poor, but Sarah S. Homan gets down to the sociological nitty-gritty of why these despicable conditions exist. Ms. Homan describes how the rich cheated, connived and broke the rules to create intolerable prejudices against the poor. Dress codes, looksism, sexism, racism and other devious discriminations are the "haves" weapons against the "have-nots." The fact is that the playing field is in no way level. The playing field of who gets the money perpetually favors the rich.

Sarah gives unabashed and objective cases of how she was discriminated against time after time. Most of us would be ashamed to even admit we're poor, such are the social prejudices and mores. She tells the story of how a teacher brought her up in front of the class to humiliate her for not being able to afford a required $89 kit. She tells the story of gas station attendants unwilling to sell her gas because her jalopy pick-up truck wasn't appropriate in that side of town. She tells the story of being dismissed from jobs because she didn't "look right."

What better way to get back one's oppressors than writing a book like "Classism?" What beautiful writing and analyses directed to those who called "slow" and "ineducable" because she was dyslectic. No violence, no vengeance, no animosity, just a book that describes what's right and wrong, a book that presents statistics and university studies that prove the system isn't fair.

The author of the "Jungle," Upton Sinclair, went on to be become a socialist candidate many times over but the rich made sure those any threat to their extreme wealth was oppressed.

I wonder how many judges would dole out harsh sentences in the penitentiary, if they did some hard time. I wonder how many prosecutors would be so uptight and law abiding, if they did lived in welfare for a while. I wonder how many rich people would be so intolerant of the poor, if they were raised in the ghetto.

"Classism For Dimwits" will change your worldview and open your understanding of all society. It urges and advocates the one ingredient society needs the most: compassion.


Soul Identity
Soul Identity
by Dennis Batchelder
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
52 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced Entertainment, May 24, 2008
This review is from: Soul Identity (Paperback)
Dennis Batchelder has mastered the craft of the modern, top-selling thriller. Quick sentences, short paragraphing, and fast-paced dialogue that electrify the story with tense action, curious milieus and exotic foreign lands. The result: you can't wait to peel another layer off the onion called Soul Identity to find out what's at the heart of it, how it came to be, and will it survive an onslaught of corporate intrigue and corruption. There's no florid verbosity here. (This review notwithstanding.)

Billions of people believe in the soul. So why are there so few novels exploring the possibilities of its existence? What if the soul inhabits future body and lives on? The concept of reincarnation has been around a long time. It sure would be wonderful if we could merit -- both spiritually and financially -- from previous lives. Hence Soul Identity Corp.

The founder of SI is an ancient Greek scientist and contemporary of Aristole named Thales. The business has been in existence ever since. He discovered that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. Why not keep records and make a little money along the way?

When valuable information leaks from the corporate database, security analyst Scott Waverly gets called in like a hired gun in the old west. He gets paid around the clock so the action never wearies. Car chases, gun fights, escapades in India and Venice.

It's all here, even a little romance with a beautiful Russian cohort who also knows a little about breaches in security -- both personal and computerized.

Mirror Reversal


The Meme Machine (Popular Science)
The Meme Machine (Popular Science)
by Susan J. Blackmore
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.87
145 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enlightening Book, March 13, 2008
It should be brought to attention that "The Meme Machine" was one of the earliest works espousing Dr. Dawkins' original theory. Mr. Anastasoff and other critics should bare this in mind. At that point in time, I'd conjecture that Prof. Blackmore's purpose was to EXPLAIN memetic concepts and terms, rather than prove them. She did a wonderful job.

Many scientific concepts lie outside the realm of the scientific method. So what? Does that mean we can't speculate or theorize as to their existence? According to the limitations posed by these critics, there would be no books about religion, psychoanalysis, string theory, or even ideas. How does one define "idea," and more difficult yet, how does one set up experiments to prove ideas exist? These are the restrictions that the critics require and I believe stifle inquiry and the furtherance of knowledge.

I especially enjoyed her supposition that meme complexes shaped human history for the furtherance of their individual agendas. In the 1440s, Johannes Gutenberg invented a machine, not to further human learning in science, literature or art; he was driven by a very strong Bible meme. His aim was to get more Bibles replicated; all human history changed because of it. I see a church or synagogue on practically every few blocks in the country. I see parochial schools, yeshivas and madrassahs all over the world--institutions with one basic purpose: the proselytism of vulnerable youth and the propagation of the selfish memplex. I see symbols and badges of the memplexes everywhere--from crosses around people's necks, to skullcaps, to compasses that point perpetually to Mecca.

What force or motivation can drive a person to enter a hovel on a mountaintop to pass away his life in seclusion with nothing more to occupy his mind and time than a Bible and a prayer stool? The more history I study, the more I'm convinced that memetics is an important science. How would the critics on this board explain the spate of suicide bombings in recent years and throughout history? Strange phenomena indeed. To my mind, it is because some memplexes are endotoxic. They care no more for the host than a tapeworm--only their own replication.

For those who love selfish gene theory and memetics as I do, "Mirror Reversal" is a thriller/suspense novel devoted to the subject. It's a way to learn about memetics and have a lot of fun. But look out, "Mirror Reversal" is also a meta-meme, a meme about memetics. You might get hooked.

Mirror Reversal


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