Category: lit

Another New Book Project!

academicatheism:

Yes, you read that correctly. I’ll be writing, not one, but two new books in 2017. This book will be more philosophical, but won’t focus on atheism at all. I’m entering the somewhat murky waters of bioethics to contribute to the end of the abortion debate. Really, the abortion debate is unimportant and it’s high time to put an end to it. 

My goal is to write a concise book (about 150 or so pages). It will be clear that I am pro-choice. I will openly reject the so-called pro-life position and render it false due to its lack of practical application. We’ve literally tried their way; in some countries, we are still trying their way–and women are paying the price with their lives. Potentiality, whether a fetus is a person, and all the usual points to debate will probably receive little to no mention. The pro-life view is impractical and inapplicable to real world situations. Case closed!

Despite this, after knocking down the pro-lifer from their perch, I want to extend my hand to them, dust them off and help them to their feet, recognize that their concerns are sometimes genuine, and that what they’re concerned about isn’t always nonsensical. I want to show them common ground and ask them to occupy that ground with me. I want to recognize the drawbacks of abortion, which will be my primary reason for working to reduce the high rates of abortion in this country. Of course, the pro-lifer’s reason(s) for wanting to reduce abortion will differ from mine, but differences in our motivations shouldn’t blind us to similarities in our ends. We can work together to a common end despite our disparate motives and intents.

I strongly believe I can finish this book by the Spring of next year. It will most certainly be published before the book I announced earlier. Get excited! 

Yes, I did believe I could finish the book by Spring of 2017, but life happens. There have been some unexpected turns that I won’t gloss over. Some have been negative and others very positive. The constant is that I’m far busier and a lot less invested in blogging and writing. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to though that might have been true a couple of months ago. 

I took a long break from social media altogether. Given the political climate in the US and the state of the world in general, I dealt with a great deal of apathy. I just stopped caring about everything except the people I feel responsible for. I didn’t want to discuss religion, politics, or anything really. I even held to the belief that my voice simply didn’t matter. What’s the use in knowing facts, knowing how to debate, and knowing how to drive a point? People, especially in this country, put more value in opinions (certainly in their own) than they do in the facts – in the truth. 

But I couldn’t relegate myself to silence anymore. What I think to be my calling isn’t inherent in any of the career paths I’ve followed so far. It’s through my writing, through debating, through making a point, through conveying the facts, through guiding others to the truth, even the hard-to-swallow and ugly truths. It isn’t in punching numbers, entering data, cleaning apartments, or moving furniture. While I’m sure I’m servicing people via those paths, I don’t believe that I’m doing anything meaningful, impactful, or lasting.

So after staring at 36 pages of the book in question and then re-reading these pages, I’ve decided that it’s a worthwhile project that should be finished. I’ve also realized that it’s a more elaborate project than I initially thought; I was, in other words, naive to think I could finish this book in short order. So the status of completion isn’t known to me, especially in light of how busy my life is at the moment. I will, however, continue to steadily contribute to it, so that I can finish it as soon as possible and spread what I feel is a very important message.

I think women’s reproductive rights are extremely important and the fact that so many women around the world haven’t secured those rights is a problem worth addressing. I also think that the reasons women choose to have abortions are worth our attention. We have to do something about it, especially in countries where nothing has been done, where nothing is being done. Arguing in person or online will accomplish nothing in this case. The book will argue for what I believe is the most viable solution to this problem. Stay tuned!

Philosophical Atheism is On Sale!

Given that my new book, Ending the Abortion Debate: On the Issues That Truly Matter is imminent, I have permanently lowered the price of my first book Philosophical Atheism: Counter Apologetics and Arguments For Atheism. The print copy is now at $9.99 and the Kindle copy $7.99, and just in time for the holiday season. Get yourself a copy if you haven’t already or buy one for a friend! Happy reading!

Table of Contents For My New Book!

The book will be titled Ending the Abortion Debate: On the Issues That Truly Matter. The table of contents is as follows:

Introduction

Chapter 1: Notable Statistics on Abortion

Chapter 2: Elaborating on Reasons

Chapter 3: What Can Be Done

Chapter 4: Why the Debate is Irrelevant

Conclusion

Bonus Chapter!

The bonus chapter will elaborate on the reasons why I wouldn’t grant legal rights to fetuses and why I’m not pro-abortion. It will include statistics and elaboration on the adverse effects having an abortion can have on women.

As stated, this book will be shorter than my previous one. I’m looking at about 150 pages. The introduction and most of the first chapter are already done. I can’t promise a time table just yet, but I’m looking to be done by early next year at best. Stay tuned!

What Game of Thrones Taught Me About GodBy R.N. CarmonaBefore I…

What Game of Thrones Taught Me About God

By R.N. Carmona

Before I express my most current thoughts about the idea of god and where I now stand, it is important to go over exactly what relation the Game of Thrones character Bran Stark has to a common concept of god. Bran Stark, who is currently an entity known as the Three-Eyed Raven, has omniscience as it concerns people and events. It has been shown that he can be touched in the future (when the Night’s King grabbed his arm), manipulate the present (by employing his warg ability), and influence the past (as shown when he called out to a younger version of his father Ned and when young Hodor heard Meera in the present telling present-day Hodor to hold the door). Yet despite his omniscience, he is powerless to prevent the war between the living and the dead, the armies of men and the Night’s King and his army of White Walkers and wights.

In fact, many theories concerning Bran have been circulated. One theory says that Bran Stark is Bran the builder. Bran the builder, legend has it, built the Wall where Jon Snow completed his watch and also Winterfell. Another postulates that Bran is the Lord of Light, the god of the Red Priestesses who reveals future events in fires. According to such theories, Bran reincarnates and lives forever in a repeating loop or he’s ascended to the role of an all-knowing god. Game of Thrones could be a literal time loop in where Bran is trying to prevent a number of catastrophic events like the creation of White Walkers by the Children of the Forest, the Mad King’s holocaust of Westerosi citizens, and the events that have yet to transpire – which may include the deaths of Daenerys and Jon, not to mention every person in Westeros. 

Game of Thrones could literally be a story about an omniscient and all-powerful or nigh-all-powerful mystic or god being rendered powerless by chaos theory. In other words, per Littlefinger: “Chaos is a ladder” and only that ladder is real. All else is illusion. In trying to prevent the creation of the White Walkers or the Mad King’s holocaust, Bran unintentionally sets off other horrific events. The prevention of one bad outcome or consequence results in the emergence of a new bad outcome or consequence. Thinking about Bran’s predicament got me thinking about the idea of an omniscient being.

God’s predicament, should one exist, wouldn’t be any different. Preventing a murder on one side of the world only ensures the emergence of a new, unintended one on the other side of the world. If the flapping of a butterfly’s wings results in a derailed train that kills dozens, a god might reason to prevent the flapping of the wings, but in doing so, an unintended volcanic eruption wipes out dozens in a separate location. The idea of omniscience along with omnipotence would ensure that such a being is rendered powerless! Westeros may not work very much like our world; there is after all magic, undead, dragons, and voices speaking from fires. Chaos theory might not feature in Westeros, but it certainly features in our world. A being like the Three-Eyed Raven would have incredible power, but will resign himself to inactivity.

God, should one exist, might have realized this long ago and has thus resigned himself to inactivity and indifference. Omniscience entails foresight and omnipotence entails prevention of what one foresees, but the two powers together would inevitably result in voluntarily powerlessness. In a world of chaos, an order that prevents all evil and all suffering is simply not possible; it is unachievable. Should there be a god, Nietzsche might be best read literally. God is effectively dead. He is a celestial vegetable, eternally inactive upon realizing that he could never achieve a perfect world. I am firmly a post-theist in that I am beyond entertaining the ideas of religion and writing extensively and frequently about such topics. But should there be a god, I would approach it with compassion and pity because despite having all that power, it’s as though it has no power. 

A simply corollary might make things clearer. Humans are no doubt limited and finite in their power to prevent unappealing outcomes and consequences. They are equally limited in their capacity to formulate and execute contingency plans. Yet even when one succeeds at preventing one’s business from failure by taking out a sizable loan, there’s now the unintended consequence of realizing several months down the line that an extensive layoff is necessary to turn enough profit to pay off the debt and continue to operate the business. Preventing one bad outcome seems to ensure the emergence of another. Though some regard this study as debunked, the jury is still out on whether extensive gene editing results in hundreds of potentially harmful mutations. 

It could be that chaos requires a balancing of the scales and it is only in that balance that order is achieved. God might have done all he could to prevent the abusive childhood of one person only to ensure the emergence of another person’s abusive childhood. The Three-Eyed Raven’s predicament might not be any different from what a god’s would be if it existed. Joan Osborne’s song comes to mind in thinking that perhaps god is essentially one of us. The poor bastard has all that power and can do absolutely nothing with it.