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Technical Difficulties With Automated Blog Posts

[20100131] The blog is still refusing mail from gmail. I've stopped the forwarders. When the mail server stops trying to deliver mail (probably by the 5th). I'll try another strategy.
I'm trying to find the equilibrium between Google News Alerts, Gmail and Blogger to permit automated posting of Google News Alerts to the blog so I can have them for reference and work on other things. My goal is not to focus on one news topic, but to have the varied topics in the news feeds automatically posted in the blog daily or weekly because I can capture more unique data that way.

Suicide Bomb News Feed

The Jihad News Feed

Witch News Feed

Ritual Abuse and Killing News Feed

Faith Heal News Feed

Female Genital Mutilation News

Exorcism News Feed

Child Bride or Marriage News Feed

Church Abuse News Feed

Animal Sacrifice News Feed

Religious Exemption News Feed

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Non-Atheistic Recommended Reading

As a contributor to DC, obviously, I am agnostic and, additionally, a former Bible study teacher and Born Again Evangelical Christian. I didn't get that way by reading content on sites like this. In fact, I didn't have any interest in anything atheists had to say until I stood alone with a lack of belief in a god that I acquired after a couple years of truth seeking. Not "God Truth", but "Practical Truth". The kind of truth you need to find before you purchase health products, or make decisions at work. When I applied that to my Christian beliefs, they didn't stand up very well...

At that point I wanted to see what 'the other side' had to say so I subscribed to the Infidel Guy and spent a year downloading and listening to debates and interviews. I also listened to a years worth of Robert Price's Bible Geek show. Then I listened to a Sam Harris Lecture promoting his book "The End of Faith" and got motivated to do something to help make the world a better place. A year ago I started a blog that was a last ditch effort to get God to participate in this relationship we were supposed to have and intervene. All I got was a madman posting a bunch of crap on it. Thats when I decided to Join DC and be part of a team and leave the moderation of loons up to someone else. My point in this increasingly blathering document is that applying the type of practical reasoning that people must necessarily use in every day life will in some cases weaken the perceived validity of the content of the Bible.

Along with the Atheistic books you see posted for sale on this blog, I recommend some books on the topic of reasoning and innoculation to persuasion. I am no teacher but I am a compulsive self-learner and I have read some text books that I want my children to read and I recommend to you. They are High School Senior level and above. I am sure there are better ones out there, and I have some of them unread on my shelf, but until I get to them, this is the best I can do. Maybe some of you out there are Educators and can suggest some others. In any case, reading these books will help you in other areas of your life such as dealing with the boss, coworkers, subordinates, your teens, tweens, kids, sales people and the news.

They fall into two categories; Reasoning and Persuasion. Some associated topics are Argumentation and Rhetoric, and while I am interested in both those topics, I won't recommend any of those books here because they fall outside the scope of this article. I include persuasion because people need to be aware of how people are 'hard-wired' to trust and believe things without much thought.

On the topic of Reasoning.
* Introduction to Reasoning by Stephen Toulmin, Richard Reike, Allan Janik
* How We Know What Isn't So by Thomas Gilgovich
* How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age by Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn
* Logical Self-defense by Ralph H. & J. Anthony Blair Johnson
* Informal Logic by Douglas Walton.
* Practical Reasoning by Douglas Walton.
* Abductive Reasoning by Douglas Walton.

A word about Douglas Walton. He is a philosophy professor and researcher that is heavily involved in research for artificial intelligence and is helping to derive algorithms for use in computers to simulate human reasoning.

On the topic of Persuasion.
* Influence. Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini.
* Persuasion by Daniel J. O'Keefe.
* The Art of Deception by Nicholas Capaldi

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