What are your thoughts on the book ideas?

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What are your thoughts on the book ideas?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:52 pm

The Enlightened Worldview project includes two as-yet unpublished books. You can read the synopsis of the introductory version of Seeking a More Enlightened Worldview and the advanced version.

Having read one or both of these descriptions, what are your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Would you be interested in buying either one of these books if they were available? Want more info? Let me know.
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book?

Postby VA on Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:35 pm

I would read your book. But the reason would probably different than most readers, reading your book. I do believe in God and am a practicing Catholic. In the past, I would try to answer tough questions on why I believe what I believe. This ended up strenghtening up beliefs. I would use this book the same way. I would use it to answer tough questions that I never thought of asking myself. Basically, I would use your book to draw closer to God.

This is my work computer, so I'm not sure I'll be able to read your response.
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:52 pm

Thank you VA. I have talked to several people of faith who said that they are interested in a book such as the one that I am trying to publish. I have heard from some of them that they are interested in reading counterarguments to their beliefs in order to formulate an appropriate response and strengthen their beliefs. Hopefully I will be able to publish this book within a few months because I truly believe that this book has a unique approach to the ongoing religious debates that have become so heated in the last decade.

In my book you will likely find arguments against some of your beliefs, but you will also find that there are very strong (I hope) arguments in favor of some of your core beliefs. Here is a partial list:
1) all humans have a nonphysical essence, which we may call the soul.
2) There is an element of morality that ultimately derives from a soul's understanding of the sanctity of life and a respect for other people's freedom and well being.
3) The best explanation for the existence of the universe is that it was created by a higher power that can be called God.
4) There is an afterlife.

All of these are highly controversial among the more skeptical crowd. For anyone who reads this and wishes to dispute any of the above mentioned items PLEASE SEE THE APPROPRIATE TOPIC IN THIS FORUM. I have created several topics, one for each issue, and for most of them nobody has weighed in except me. I do have arguments in favor of each of these that I believe is based on actual evidence. This is not fringe science or anything like that, this is real evidence. But note that I consider inference to the best explanation, which is accepted as a form of logic, as evidence. So if I provide an explanation for something and nobody is able to find a simpler explanation that works with the evidence already known, then my hypothesis is considered the best. This is how I come to the conclusion about God and the afterlife. I'm not saying that for either of these that any credible first hand evidence exists. Perhaps for some people, but not for me personally so I don't rely on this to make my case.

Also VM, you should be able to access this message from any computer, though you will likely only get a notification from the one email address that you provided when you posted, if you did provide an email address.
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book?

Postby physicalist on Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:55 pm

I need some additional info on what you mean by evidence of existence of that which is beyond the material body. That seems dangerously close to getting into supernatural phenomena thus making it a book that is religion or supernatural based. I would have trouble buying such a book that is lacking physicalism. I wish you could clarify in your synopsis.
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:10 pm

physicalist wrote:I need some additional info on what you mean by evidence of existence of that which is beyond the material body. That seems dangerously close to getting into supernatural phenomena thus making it a book that is religion or supernatural based. I would have trouble buying such a book that is lacking physicalism. I wish you could clarify in your synopsis.

Thank you physicalist for your post. Yes, I will admit that intuitively, the best explanation is that nothing beyond the physical universe exists. I have come to the conclusion that the soul exists by first concluding that qualia is a real phenomenon. Qualia is defined as the personal experience that one has that cannot be reduced to anything physical. After reading David Chalmers' book "The Conscious Mind", I found that I agreed with him that there is an unmistakable element of personal experience that is nonphysical. From this I concluded that I could only be correct in making this judgment if it is, in fact, my soul that experiences qualia and that this causes my physical body to react, thought the content of this qualia is of course a function of what the body experiences.

Now, the reason why I didn't put this in my synopsis is because I didn't want to confuse the readers with details at that point. I was planning on discussing this issue here: http://enlightenedworldview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19.

Also, as for the supernatural, as a rule I look for a natural explanation for all phenomena and only if none can be found, I will accept a supernatural explanation. Actually though, what I have concluded about the soul and qualia and how the two interact follows natural laws as far as I can tell, so it is not supernatural. Natural is not exactly the same concept as physical. Something can be nonphysical and still natural, according to the definitions of the terms that seem to make the most sense.

Now, I have also concluded that I have free will, which would have to fall under the category of supernatural. I have only concluded this on the basis of personal experience however. If you would like to debate the issue of free will, follow this link: http://enlightenedworldview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=21.

And I'm sure you are thinking that this is all hocus-pocus, but there are thought experiments that can be used to make a good case for each of these. Probably the best one involves finding a solid basis for morality. Certainly one can point to human instincts and social norms, but this does not seem to allow for one to have a solid basis for moral advocacy. If one wishes for others to take their moral advocacy seriously, then for these morals to be understood as true, regardless of anyone's point of view, their must be an element of this that cannot be reduced to the physical universe. If all things are physical, then there is no good or bad, there is simply the way that things are. If you wish to discuss the foundation of morality, please follow this link: http://enlightenedworldview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18

I am writing to people who feel strongly about morality and wish things in the world were better and want to find a way to change things. If this does not describe you, then you might not be in my target audience.

Thanks again physicalist and I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book?

Postby Rontx on Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:45 pm

I like it very much. I believe I may put more creedence on evidence than you, but I like what I've read in general.
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:41 pm

Rontx wrote:I like it very much. I believe I may put more creedence on evidence than you, but I like what I've read in general.

Thanks for the interest and for the encouragement Rontx. I am wondering if you could explain further why you say you may put more credence on evidence than me. I try to only believe things on the basis of evidence, as opposed to blind faith. Now, I am aware that there are differing opinions about what constitutes evidence. Some people will argue that inference to the best explanation is not evidence, and I rely on this for some important beliefs, such as my belief in a higher power that can be called God. Do you have a different idea of what constitutes evidence?
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book?

Postby Rontx on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:40 am

there is solid evidence that there is an aspect to their own existence that is beyond their material body and that a more enlightened worldview can be constructed from this realization.
I think that after reading again your synopsis of the book, it seems more accurate of me to say that you may put a similar emphasis on "evidence" as I do - I am suspecting now that all that is needed is a crisp definition of your use of the word "evidence".
So for now, I withdraw my original comment, and am anxious to learn more about the "solid evidence" mentioned above. Of course now I see I will have to read the book to more fully understand your personal use of key words like "evidence".
I'll pop over now to perhaps comment on others of your very interesting and compelling comments, questions, and post exchanges. Look forward to engaging further. You have, in my opinion, a very fertile and interesting mind.
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book ideas?

Postby KrishnaDragon on Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:12 pm

Having read one or both of these descriptions, what are your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Would you be interested in buying either one of these books if they were available? Want more info? Let me know.


I think this book idea sounds very very interesting. I love it. I would buy it and read it. Especially theology being one of my areas of interest. I would buy the one for most people and then when I get more intelligent I would by the Advanced Academic one. You should send an idea thesis to a book publisher. has any one attempted that so far? Can't see why they wouldn't turn you down. To great of a book idea.
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Re: What are your thoughts on the book ideas?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:02 am

KrishnaDragon wrote:I think this book idea sounds very very interesting. I love it. I would buy it and read it. Especially theology being one of my areas of interest. I would buy the one for most people and then when I get more intelligent I would by the Advanced Academic one. You should send an idea thesis to a book publisher. has any one attempted that so far? Can't see why they wouldn't turn you down. To great of a book idea.

Hi KrishnaDragon, thanks for your post and for your interest in my work. I think when you said "Can't see why they wouldn't turn you down" that you meant to say something like "Can't see why they would turn you down" or "Can't see why they wouldn't accept your work".

I have actually sent many letters to literary agents explaining my project. You see, publishers generally don't bother talking to authors unless they are represented by an agent. So I tried to get an agent to help me submit this book idea to publishers. I sent out over 100 letters in fact. I wrote the letters quite carefully. I even bought a book on how to write letters to get these people interested in your book project. I talked to some people who know the publishing industry and they gave me advice and helped me.

I received something close to 50 rejection letters from the agents that I contacted and the other 50 didn't respond at all. The people in the publishing industry who I know said that I need either platform or credentials in order to have a chance at success otherwise those agents and publishers are going to think it is a waste of time to work with me. What they call "platform" is a large group of people who are already interested in my work. One guy said I need a few thousand at least. Another thing is credentials, which means that I would have to be considered an expert in this area by some university. So I am trying actually to get some portions of my book published in an academic journal. I know that what I have is not ready for publication so I am spending my time doing more research and a lot of editing and expanding my existing writings.

The road to publication is tough but I'm working on it.
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