PDA

View Full Version : God's Debris: first discussion.



KevinBrowning
June 29th, 2005, 09:24 PM
I read the book today, and it certainly fulfills its design to "make your brain spin around inside your skull." I am looking forward to re-reading and discussing the different chapters with those here who are participating in the club's latest selection. Before starting, I would like to make sure that at least 2 or 3 other people have already read at least some of the book. So if anyone has, please say so in this thread.

Mr. Hyde
June 29th, 2005, 09:27 PM
I'm abotu 38 pages into it. The REALLY short chapter "God's Free Will" had an interesting little bit on that if God really does know EVERYTHING he'd know what he was about to do before he did it, so he wouldn't have free will. Sort of made me go, "Woah." And the thoughts on the package/man delivery was cool too.

KevinBrowning
June 29th, 2005, 09:51 PM
I'm abotu 38 pages into it. The REALLY short chapter "God's Free Will" had an interesting little bit on that if God really does know EVERYTHING he'd know what he was about to do before he did it, so he wouldn't have free will. Sort of made me go, "Woah." And the thoughts on the package/man delivery was cool too.

"God's Free Will" was interesting, even though it is very short. I think the author did that intentionally, because he basically elaborates on that line of thought in a chapter soon after called "God's Motivation." My theory to the question of God's free will is that He knows the future, but that it does not invalidate His free will, because the future would be different if He had acted differently, and He has the freedom to act however He wishes. But then I suppose that leads to the question of "Is God bound to only choose perfect actions, or is He free to do something imperfect? Further, is that really a freedom?" Tell me when you have read "God's Motivation," because I think the question "What could possibly be a challenge for an omnipotent God?" adds a more interesting angle to the question of His free will.

The package part in "The Old Man" was also very interesting. The question "Did he deliver the package or did it deliver him?" sounds phony and over-analytical at first, but it poses a good question about the effect our environment has on us and vice versa. This part becomes more significant after he actually finds out what is in the package in "Going Home."

KevinBrowning
June 30th, 2005, 02:02 PM
So, has anyone else read any of it, or even gotten the book yet?

Jamie
June 30th, 2005, 06:42 PM
I got my copy today and am about to start reading it so I will be ready to discuss tomorrow or later this evening if I am not too tired. :-) From what I have read from ya'll I am very excited to start reading!!!

Trendem
July 2nd, 2005, 07:24 AM
Gah, I'm hearing so many interesting things about it, but all the libraries and bookstores I've visited don't have it. :(

Jamie
July 2nd, 2005, 07:49 AM
Trendem if you go to amazon.com they have an online copy you can purchase for under $5.00

KevinBrowning
July 2nd, 2005, 06:46 PM
I got my copy today and am about to start reading it so I will be ready to discuss tomorrow or later this evening if I am not too tired. :-) From what I have read from ya'll I am very excited to start reading!!!

Have you read any yet? Hyde, have you read any more? Just trying to get this discussion moving, since I did used to lead this club after all, and NE hasn't addressed it in a while. Trend, you can get it as an e-book for pretty cheap, if you have and are willing to use a credit card.

Supaiku
July 2nd, 2005, 07:06 PM
I will see if I can find it, sounds intresting.

Jamie
July 2nd, 2005, 08:06 PM
Yes I finished the book, and read it three times already, lol. I would like to start discussing it but do not want to spoil the book for those who are wanting to read but haven't yet. Unless there are others who are ready?

Mr. Hyde
July 2nd, 2005, 09:25 PM
Hyde, have you read any more?
I haven't read any today. But I did finish that part where he talks about God killing himself and how that created everything. Which seems pretty faulty considering, if God does indeed know EVERYTHING as the old man asserts, then wouldn't God know what everything(if anything) would be like without it? Wouldn't it see beyond its own demise and see everything?

KevinBrowning
July 2nd, 2005, 10:11 PM
I haven't read any today. But I did finish that part where he talks about God killing himself and how that created everything. Which seems pretty faulty considering, if God does indeed know EVERYTHING as the old man asserts, then wouldn't God know what everything(if anything) would be like without it? Wouldn't it see beyond its own demise and see everything?

I agree, if God is omniscient, then He wouldn't need to "kill" Himself (assuming He could) to know the outcome of such an action. I think it's meant more as a reflection of whether omnipotence entails necessary existence or if it includes the ability to cease existence. Also, it's the platform on which the whole "God's Debris" idea is based (Creation being bits of God after His self-destructive experiment, now reorganizing towards order and perfection). I still haven't quite figured out the author's intent, since as much sense as Avatar seemed to make at times, the preface clearly says the purpose is to try and find the mistake in his worldview. I'll give it another read through if this discussion takes off, and I hope it does. Jamie, just bring up whatever you want, this thread is for discussing the book, you're not going to ruin it for anyone. If you're still worried, just use spoiler tags: [spoiler]xxxxxx[ /spoiler] (without the space).

Mr. Hyde
July 4th, 2005, 12:16 AM
One of the greatest endings. Ever! I must've read that last bit two or three times. And the best part, I look at this book and remember reading the Da Vinci Code and thinking, "Wow, that was predictable. Good book, but predictable nonetheless." Whereas this, I figured from the beginning that he was going to become that hold man but I NEVER thought it would happen the way it did or end with ANOTHER delivery guy talking to him. That was a cool surprise.

FruitandNut
July 4th, 2005, 07:45 AM
Hydey - Blow your mind still further - If God knows all the consequences, in the case of 'free will', these consequences are the consequences of 'free will'. Knowing the future does not constrain His omnipotence, nor indeed His free will. He just already knows what he 'has' already decided to freely do. All of time is at the control of God, and of God.

If God could 'kill' Himself, then that would be the ultimate omega point. THE END.

Jamie
July 4th, 2005, 10:51 AM
What confuses me and I think I am going to read the book again is why the Avatar belives his level is more aware than all the others. Maybe his delusions are more so then say a level one. He portrayed himself as the end all be all. That there is only one Avatar, like there is only one Gd. That he is the only source of the truth of what really is going on. It is almost as if he put himself on the same playing field as gd. At the end of the book the narrator was talking about how he could see everything that was going on. The key going into the lock, and watching it physically turn. Hearing conversations in areas everyone else wouldn't possibly be able to hear. Knowing everything that is going on. Powers that one would think only gd could bestow, or at least powers I think Gd can only have.

Mr. Hyde
July 4th, 2005, 08:59 PM
What confuses me and I think I am going to read the book again is why the Avatar belives his level is more aware than all the others. Maybe his delusions are more so then say a level one.
Excellent point. He also says that the key to ascending levels is sort of like unlearning and removing delusions. So wouldn't he be at a point where he would say, "There may be another. I may not be the highest level."?

Jamie
July 4th, 2005, 10:21 PM
Excellent point. He also says that the key to ascending levels is sort of like unlearning and removing delusions. So wouldn't he be at a point where he would say, "There may be another. I may not be the highest level."?

You would think. It never goes into how he knows that he is the highest level in awareness and I wish it had, if it did I am not remembering and need to go look at the chapter again. Also when it was saying that awareness and intelligence were two different things I felt that he was inaccurate in the way he was defining the terms. Awareness=knowledge=intelligence. They do go hand in hand and he was trying to make them different when they aren't. He was saying well you didn't learn math or whatever other example he used, but that isn't the only forms of gaining intelligence. Very frustrating read at some points, at least for me. Also I didn't think delivery boy did a good job questioning what the Avatar had to say. It seems that if he presented his side he accepted it as fact, because it was an out of the box idea that made sense at that moment. He lacked critical thinking skills, imo.

Mr. Hyde
July 4th, 2005, 10:31 PM
Also I didn't think delivery boy did a good job questioning what the Avatar had to say. It seems that if he presented his side he accepted it as fact, because it was an out of the box idea that made sense at that moment. He lacked critical thinking skills, imo.
That happens in most stories that revolve on Dialogue. Like Ishmael for example, I got angry so many times because here was a groan man in the story saying, "I dunno" practically every other sentence while this gorilla tells him all this stuff that is easily questionable. I think the idea is that they want the higher intelligence message to get across while not making it overly one sided, though it always turns out that way.

And yeah, he DID lack some critical thinking skills. I think any one of us would've riddled that old man with questions until he died or gave up.

Mr. Hyde
July 4th, 2005, 10:32 PM
Another point that bothered me a little was evolution. He said two different species, an evolved and an unevolved couldn't breed. There's no proof of that idea. In fact, many Anthropologists believe that Cromagnon man bred with Neanderthal despite being two different species of upright hominid.

FruitandNut
July 4th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Hydey - If There was interbreeding, and indeed it is hypothesised that homo sapiens interbred with neanderthals, it is because we evolved from the same source and the gentetic 'stem' had not yet 'closed off'. Occasionally there are 'throwback' 'sports' that allow earlier traits to show themselves, as in some humans growing 'tails'.

HappyLady
July 8th, 2005, 06:53 PM
Where the heck have I been? I just noticed this thread today!? :?:

I'm still waiting for my book to get shipped to me! I better check on that...

Iluvatar
July 9th, 2005, 11:58 AM
Well, I've had it, and read it several times. Since it seems we have a bunch of topics here, I guess I'll take a stab at starting a thread based on an early section of the book. I'm going to resist the temptation to jump straight to the most debatable topics, and try to take it one debate at a time. Thus, I'm going to go start a thread on the package delivery concept.

Meng Bomin
July 11th, 2005, 10:40 PM
Wow, what a great book club leader I am. I finally got the book as an e-book this weekend. It had a good range of topics, mainly centered around human perception, but it seemed that many of the things that the old man said came back to bite him, though apparently the delivery man didn't notice. For instance, he talked about the arrogance of the skeptics (which we learn later are level 4 of awareness in the old man's book), and how that blinds them. However, I would think that he would be feeling those same feelings (as he believes he is the only one to have reached level 5 for an unknown reason), and he has absolutely no one to critique his opinions besides perhaps the occasional delivery man.

Also, his use of the word "Probability" was a bit fishy and a few of his statements concerning it were too. It seemed like sometimes he meant the actual probability of an event, but sometimes it seemed to mean a chain of events certain to happen because of probability (maybe this is just me misinterpretting it). As well, his idea that the exact conversation would have taken place no matter what seemed a bit silly, because of the Butterfly Effect: A small change in initial conditions can easily create an enormous change in results. If indeed time is quantized and everything moves according to probability, then the universe can go in multiple paths from a single point. Many of these paths would lead to small differences that would pile up over time. Thus, the conversation may or may not occur.

PerVirtuous
July 16th, 2005, 04:15 PM
Wow, what a great book club leader I am. I finally got the book as an e-book this weekend. It had a good range of topics, mainly centered around human perception, but it seemed that many of the things that the old man said came back to bite him, though apparently the delivery man didn't notice. For instance, he talked about the arrogance of the skeptics (which we learn later are level 4 of awareness in the old man's book), and how that blinds them. However, I would think that he would be feeling those same feelings (as he believes he is the only one to have reached level 5 for an unknown reason), and he has absolutely no one to critique his opinions besides perhaps the occasional delivery man.

Also, his use of the word "Probability" was a bit fishy and a few of his statements concerning it were too. It seemed like sometimes he meant the actual probability of an event, but sometimes it seemed to mean a chain of events certain to happen because of probability (maybe this is just me misinterpretting it). As well, his idea that the exact conversation would have taken place no matter what seemed a bit silly, because of the Butterfly Effect: A small change in initial conditions can easily create an enormous change in results. If indeed time is quantized and everything moves according to probability, then the universe can go in multiple paths from a single point. Many of these paths would lead to small differences that would pile up over time. Thus, the conversation may or may not occur.

Probability is an interesting phenomenon. Under the principles of the discussion, since all things were equal, the chain of events would HAVE to take the exact route they took before. The butterfly effect requires a change. Without that change everything would necessarily remain the same.

Let me give you another example. If you play pinball and then play another game they will not be the same. If, however, you could duplicate the conditions of the first game EXACTLY, then you would simply play that game over again. Keep in mind that to duplicate the conditions exactly you would need to be in the exact same timeline, therefore, things would necessarily be the same, you simply would not have any point of reference outside that timeline to verify with.

I am about halfway through the book. So far, it is a thesis on awareness and perception. How information is received and processed are discussed and the limitations of the human mind are considered. The concept of Omnipotence's only challenge being to no longer be omnipotent is interesting. DeviantNorm would like that one.

This book is an excellent choice and I look forward to discussing it.

Meng Bomin
July 17th, 2005, 02:42 PM
Probability is an interesting phenomenon. Under the principles of the discussion, since all things were equal, the chain of events would HAVE to take the exact route they took before. The butterfly effect requires a change. Without that change everything would necessarily remain the same. True, the butterfly effect requires change, but if the universe is not deterministic, but instead run on probability, changes would be almost necessary. If changes were actually 50-50 or 70-30, there would be changes.

PerVirtuous
July 18th, 2005, 07:25 PM
True, the butterfly effect requires change, but if the universe is not deterministic, but instead run on probability, changes would be almost necessary. If changes were actually 50-50 or 70-30, there would be changes.

Not really. Our understanding of probablity only describes the contributing factors we understand. When we flip a coin we know that over time it will be heads about half the time. What we do not know are what were the factors that made it come up heads on any given flip. If those conditions are duplicated exactly as in the past, the coin would ALWAYS have the same side come up. Probability predicts future events and allows for changes. Without these changes, it is no longer probability, it is certainty. The past is certain. We do not say that "probably I went to work yesterday", unless we had "dain bramage" of some sort. Due to the exact conditions the past happened in a certain way. Even with probability and free will if things were exactly the same they would have exactly the same result. Since conditions can never be duplicated exactly, it is a moot point, but still an interesting one.

Meng Bomin
July 19th, 2005, 11:28 PM
Our understanding of probablity only describes the contributing factors we understand.
True, but that is not how it was put forth in the book. In the book, God consists of the underlying substance of the universe and probability. Since the notion of probability only exists to the non-omniscient observer in a deterministic universe, probability would be relatively useless if the universe described in God's Debris was actually deterministic.

HappyLady
July 22nd, 2005, 11:45 AM
My copy FINALLY came in the mail. Amazon usually delivers promptly...there was a glitch or something. Anyway, I read the first few pages, and I know the author states there is no humor in the book, but...well...I am an avid fan of King of Queens starring Kevin James. His character, Doug Heffernan works for IPS (just like UPS or FedEx), so...all I can do is picture the character as him...and then it is funny!

I will be able to participate more in discussion in a couple days after I read the book. If the only contribution I make is that the main character reminds me of Kevin James, I think I should be kicked out of the Book Club.

HappyLady
July 22nd, 2005, 05:17 PM
I got through about 30 pages or so so far. I have learned something. He's a terrible writer. It seems like he was afraid to write a didactic work and tried to pretty it up with characters. He makes so many leaps, skipping BIG parts of how he arrives at different points. It's frustrating to read. That is how I felt about the Celestine Prophecy, too. It had some brilliant concepts...if you could grind your teeth through the terrible writing and flaws.

For example, on page 10, when Avatar is asking him who delivered who, it's like out of NOWHERE the delivery guy says, "The difference is intention." Like, where did that come from? And on 12 & 13, he writes:

(Avatar) "If God knows what the future holds, then all our choices are already made, aren't they? Free will must be an illusion." (Delivery Guy) He was clever, but I wasn't going to fall for that trap. "God let's us determine the future ourselves, using our free will," I explained....(Avatar)"So you agree that it would be impossible for God to know the future and grant humans free will?" (Delivery Guy) "I guess I hadn't thought about it before..."

He didn't think about it before?!...yet he very cleverly wanted to avoid the "trap". Obviously he thought about it before, or he wouldn't have been clever enough to try to avoid the trap. If he hadn't thought about it before, he wouldn't have seen the trap.

Oh well...those are just little pet peeves. I'm finding myself stopping every few sentences saying, "There are other explanations. There are other possibilities. There are other answers to those questions." Oh well...I guess I better finish reading it so this can get juicier.

Also, this part is another example of repeated flaws I am noticing...

Iluvatar
July 22nd, 2005, 05:23 PM
Um, HL, the guy writes comic books, he's not a literary genius. Furthermore, i think he jsut wanted to get he ideas out, he wasn't trying to make this a realistic story, plot, dialogue, etc.

HappyLady
July 25th, 2005, 08:31 AM
Um, HL, the guy writes comic books, he's not a literary genius. Furthermore, i think he jsut wanted to get he ideas out, he wasn't trying to make this a realistic story, plot, dialogue, etc.

Yeah...I know. I'm being too hard on the guy. I read more over the weekend and the concepts are intriguing. It's that English degree I have that makes me so critical. It was what I was trained to do with the written arts, afterall.

PerVirtuous
July 31st, 2005, 05:03 AM
I got through about 30 pages or so so far. I have learned something. He's a terrible writer. It seems like he was afraid to write a didactic work and tried to pretty it up with characters. He makes so many leaps, skipping BIG parts of how he arrives at different points. It's frustrating to read. That is how I felt about the Celestine Prophecy, too. It had some brilliant concepts...if you could grind your teeth through the terrible writing and flaws.

For example, on page 10, when Avatar is asking him who delivered who, it's like out of NOWHERE the delivery guy says, "The difference is intention." Like, where did that come from? And on 12 & 13, he writes:

(Avatar) "If God knows what the future holds, then all our choices are already made, aren't they? Free will must be an illusion." (Delivery Guy) He was clever, but I wasn't going to fall for that trap. "God let's us determine the future ourselves, using our free will," I explained....(Avatar)"So you agree that it would be impossible for God to know the future and grant humans free will?" (Delivery Guy) "I guess I hadn't thought about it before..."

He didn't think about it before?!...yet he very cleverly wanted to avoid the "trap". Obviously he thought about it before, or he wouldn't have been clever enough to try to avoid the trap. If he hadn't thought about it before, he wouldn't have seen the trap.

Oh well...those are just little pet peeves. I'm finding myself stopping every few sentences saying, "There are other explanations. There are other possibilities. There are other answers to those questions." Oh well...I guess I better finish reading it so this can get juicier.

Also, this part is another example of repeated flaws I am noticing...

Holy crap! I'm afraid to see what you'd say about Homer, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, James Joyce, Henry Miller, etc. Wow! I was so hung-up on trying to understand the concepts that these "mistakes" simply flew right by. I am afraid to know how many I have missed in my reading over the years. Heh heh.

I have a problem with the Avatar concept itself. There is, and could be, no such thing. Having said that, the book proposed many ways of saying that everything is relative to perspective. I happen to agree with that.

If I look out at the sea I can usually see the tiny masts of distant sailboats in the harbor. If I pick up my binoculars I can see the sailboat much better, however, the tradeoff is that I cannot see the periphery at all. There are always trade-offs with each change of perspective. Yet, each perspective allows greater understanding of some phenomenon or other. The point to this is that there is not one perspective from which we can view the truth of everything. Moving from perspective to perspective, however, constantly obscures the truth of all of the periphery. Just like focusing on the sailboat with the binoculars rendered all the closer objects I saw before with the naked eye invisible.

This begs the question, "Are we to find the best single perspective we can find and 'KNOW" at least one perspective, or are we to 'believe' in no perspective at all and simply use the one that suits us best at the moment, abandoning all hope of ever having a sense of continuity? Is there a third and very tricky option? Where we have a perspective we return to for everyday life and then let it wander when pondering questions we cannot answer from our normal perspective? This would be a very interesting, but extremely difficult proposition I imagine. It would require having a normal point of perspective that you did not really value, yet held as if you did.

I am sure that there are those who believe that there is only one truth, and that we should be able to see that truth from a single perspective. This is true if you are satisfied knowing only what you can know. If you want to know more than you can know, you have to stop being you, repeatedly. This is the heart of the matter in 'God's Debris'. To understand the Avatar he needed to become the Avatar.

Meng Bomin
July 31st, 2005, 07:14 PM
I got through about 30 pages or so so far. I have learned something. He's a terrible writer. It seems like he was afraid to write a didactic work and tried to pretty it up with characters. He makes so many leaps, skipping BIG parts of how he arrives at different points. It's frustrating to read. That is how I felt about the Celestine Prophecy, too. It had some brilliant concepts...if you could grind your teeth through the terrible writing and flaws.
This was because he was trying to make the concepts more accessable by making the book more like a story. I've seen this technique before when dealing with ideas. Sure, it doesn't really make a great story, and not all the concepts given are necessarily well-thought-out, but the main concept is usually what counts, not the other concepts that are sometimes invented to help with the telling of the story. The main concept is the fallibility of the human mind and overcoming this by looking a step further. I suspect he drew the concept out over the hundred some pages with some detours to lessen the blow that it may make for some people.

HappyLady
August 15th, 2005, 12:23 PM
This was because he was trying to make the concepts more accessable by making the book more like a story. I've seen this technique before when dealing with ideas. Sure, it doesn't really make a great story, and not all the concepts given are necessarily well-thought-out, but the main concept is usually what counts, not the other concepts that are sometimes invented to help with the telling of the story. The main concept is the fallibility of the human mind and overcoming this by looking a step further. I suspect he drew the concept out over the hundred some pages with some detours to lessen the blow that it may make for some people.

Yeah..it reminded me of The Celestine Prophecy. Poorly written book, intriquing concepts. But I feel like had I written that crap as Adams wrote it, it never would have published because it was crappy writing. I guess it helps to be somebody. lol.

Overall, I agree a lot with Perv in that book was chiefly addressing our perceptions. I found it interesting to come to understand over time how certain perceptions limit us, and certain perceptions propel us forward. And you never can tell which one is "truth" and which one is a "lie" and the main point is that it just doesn't matter. I think this book chiefly addressed the need to suspend judgment, quiet the mind, and be open to information coming in even though he did not outwardly say it.

HappyLady
August 15th, 2005, 12:25 PM
Holy crap! I'm afraid to see what you'd say about Homer, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, James Joyce, Henry Miller, etc.

It's the English major in me. I can't help it. The writing sucked. It's hard to read the concepts when the writing sucks. Bad writing can impede the absorption of otherwise comprehendable concepts. I would like to see an eloquent writer...like maybe you...take Adam's book and rewrite it. It would pack a bigger punch and be more fully understandable.

PerVirtuous
August 15th, 2005, 03:53 PM
It's the English major in me. I can't help it. The writing sucked. It's hard to read the concepts when the writing sucks. Bad writing can impede the absorption of otherwise comprehendable concepts. I would like to see an eloquent writer...like maybe you...take Adam's book and rewrite it. It would pack a bigger punch and be more fully understandable.

OOhh! And that must be the sarcastic major in you coming out. I suppose I deserved that for calling you out on all those writers. You made me laugh, though.

Iluvatar
August 15th, 2005, 07:37 PM
It's hard to read the concepts when the writing sucks. Bad writing can impede the absorption of otherwise comprehendable concepts.
What writing? This was, in essence, a lecture. There was virtually no plot, little characterization, no story, etc. It was just the barest bones of a novel to support a concept discussion.

This is like a house on wheels, with a small motor. HappyLady comes along and critiques the bad gas-milage, the poor turning, lack of anti-lock brakes, and poor safety record. The point here is the house, not the vehicle. The point is the concept, not the story.

This is a concept with a story in it; not a story with concepts in it.

HappyLady
August 15th, 2005, 08:21 PM
This is a concept with a story in it; not a story with concepts in it.

To you maybe. This is the book club. That means you discuss the book, right? Since when does that mean we just discuss the concept? Whether he is just telling a concept or telling a story, he did an okay job at conveying the concept and a crappy job at conveying the story. I'm not saying we have to have 18 exchanges about the crappy writing. Just I think he could have gone much more in depth, been much more creative, and in general, it would have been a better book had it been written by someone with writing talent. It's a done deal. My educational background is a detriment to me when reading current novelists and such, because you just get so accustomed to the flawlessness of the masters and you just get so accustomed to criticizing those who don't even come close. I'll drop it now.

Meng Bomin
August 17th, 2005, 12:00 AM
Indeed, the story in and of itself sucked, which is probably why Iluvatar (and I) do not consider it to be the focus of the book. Of course, I think Adam's describes it best:

It is a 132-page thought experiment wrapped in a fictional story.
The concepts are key.

Trendem
July 29th, 2006, 07:53 AM
Yes I finished the book, and read it three times already, lol. I would like to start discussing it but do not want to spoil the book for those who are wanting to read but haven't yet. Unless there are others who are ready?
I must have redefined the term "better late than never". :lol: I realise I am one year late in getting hold of this book, but patience is rewarding. I got my hands at last on a free copy of the e-book: you can obtain it here (http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/godsdebris/) if you are interested.

I have just finished reading it, and it does procure many original and inspirational points for discussion. I am not so particularly interested in the concept of the Avatar - though from past discussions it seems like many people were absorbed with it. As for issues like free will and evolution, these have been debated ad nauseum and in greater depth on ODN, and it would be futile discussing it here.

There are a few issues raised which have piqued my interest:

1) The nature of God (assuming He exists). If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then He knows everything and can accomplish everything. So what motivates Him? Why would He bother creating the universe and its inhabitants if He knows the final outcome? And does He have emotions and wants?

2) Willpower. Is it possible that no one has inherently more willpower than others - we just have divergent and different levels of urges? Hence, a person who succumbs to overeating does not have any less willpower than us - he or she just suffers from greater urges to eat? Or is this all just semantics?

3) Relationships. Are the categories of "people-oriented people" and "idea-oriented people" accurate? Is it true that everyone is most interested in talking about himself? What about the theory that women value sacrifice while men value accomplishments?

These are just three of the more major issues I would like to discuss. Each of them probably warrant a thread on their own. Before I proceed further though, I'd better make sure that there *are* still people willing to discuss this book, one year later. :blush: Even better, perhaps those members (both new and old) who have not read the book can download the free version and contribute to the discussion as well. :yes:

fatuitous
July 29th, 2006, 03:54 PM
I've read up to the willpower part in the book and would be willing to discuss 1 and 2.

FruitandNut
August 10th, 2006, 09:36 PM
I got through about 30 pages or so so far. I have learned something. He's a terrible writer. It seems like he was afraid to write a didactic work and tried to pretty it up with characters. He makes so many leaps, skipping BIG parts of how he arrives at different points. It's frustrating to read. That is how I felt about the Celestine Prophecy, too. It had some brilliant concepts...if you could grind your teeth through the terrible writing and flaws.

For example, on page 10, when Avatar is asking him who delivered who, it's like out of NOWHERE the delivery guy says, "The difference is intention." Like, where did that come from? And on 12 & 13, he writes:

(Avatar) "If God knows what the future holds, then all our choices are already made, aren't they? Free will must be an illusion." (Delivery Guy) He was clever, but I wasn't going to fall for that trap. "God let's us determine the future ourselves, using our free will," I explained....(Avatar)"So you agree that it would be impossible for God to know the future and grant humans free will?" (Delivery Guy) "I guess I hadn't thought about it before..."

He didn't think about it before?!...yet he very cleverly wanted to avoid the "trap". Obviously he thought about it before, or he wouldn't have been clever enough to try to avoid the trap. If he hadn't thought about it before, he wouldn't have seen the trap.

Oh well...those are just little pet peeves. I'm finding myself stopping every few sentences saying, "There are other explanations. There are other possibilities. There are other answers to those questions." Oh well...I guess I better finish reading it so this can get juicier.

Also, this part is another example of repeated flaws I am noticing...

I listened to a discussion about 'God's Debris' on BBC Radio 4 'Book Club' back in January and there was much comment about the 'idiosyncratic' writing style. The author admitted that it was an 'awkward' read, since it ill fitted any particular genre.
It is now available as a free download:

(Author's comment:)
Why is it Free?

Frankly, this is the hardest book in the world to market. When it first came out in hardcover, booksellers couldnít decide if it was fiction or nonfiction. Was it philosophy or religion? Itís a religion/science book written by a cartoonist, using hypnosis techniques in the writing. Itís a thought experiment. Itís unlike anything youíve ever read. How do you sell something that canít be explained?
http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/godsdebris/