Woo! I Met Nica Lalli!

Nica

I got to meet Nica, the author of Nothing: Something to Believe In at a book signing tonight. There was a nice sized crowd there, too, which was fun to see.

It was bigger than the crowd at my most recent book signing…

(*Hemant shakes fists at you*)

By the way, Nica also recently took part in Book Expo America, where she was part of a panel on the “rise of atheism as a religious subcategory in publishing.” Christopher Hitchens and Victor Stenger were also panelists.

She writes about the experience here.

The best part is this line, which got a nice round of laughter from the audience:

I was commenting on the atheist books out there today, and said that some of them weren’t even very — pause and glance at Hitchens — nice. The savvy literati crowd burst into laughter — and Hitchens joined them. For a bunch of grumpy men raging against the machine, I brought them together.

It’s quite the accomplishment making Hitchens laugh, considering that (as Nica mentions in her article) he thinks women aren’t funny.


[tags]atheist, atheism, Nica Lalli, Nothing: Something to Believe In, Christopher Hitchens, Victor Stenger, Book Expo America[/tags]

  • http://acosmopolitan.blogspot.com Anatoly

    You in a photo with Nica Lalli? That is just too cool.

  • Mriana

    Wow! That must be nice. :D

  • Brendon Lake

    The title of this book just illustrates why Atheism repells me. I can’t think of anything more negative than nothing, that’s just depressing.
    While I’m at it, since when has science disproved the existence of God. Science by it’s very nature can have no real say about spritual things as much as you can’t scientifically quantify what makes a pleasing piece of art enjoyable.

  • HappyNat

    The title of this book just illustrates why Atheism repells me. I can’t think of anything more negative than nothing, that’s just depressing.

    Really? Baby rape, suicide bombings, dog fighting, Bette Midler, decapitation, IEDs, slavery, Paris Hilton, etc. I’d rather have nothing over all of these.

    While I’m at it, since when has science disproved the existence of God. Science by it’s very nature can have no real say about spritual things as much as you can’t scientifically quantify what makes a pleasing piece of art enjoyable

    I agree that science can’t disprove god, although I didn’t see it in this post. Science also can’t quantify what it is about the physical piece of art that makes it pleasing, but science can look at the reactions in the brain when a person finds a piece of art pleasing. Science can also identify the reactions of the brain when people have religious experiences and the factors (chanting, song, etc.) that can lead to these experiences.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Okay, Brendon, you don’t like the title of a book.

    You know what they say about judging them by their covers.

  • Miko

    While I’m at it, since when has science disproved the existence of God. Science by it’s very nature can have no real say about spritual things as much as you can’t scientifically quantify what makes a pleasing piece of art enjoyable.

    No, but science could prove whether or not the piece of art existed.

  • Brendon Lake

    To clarify, I clicked on the link where Nica talks about the signing, and there it says how Christopher Hitchens was talking about how science has ‘proven’ that God does not exist.

    My main point about the piece of art is that there’s so much to life that we’ll never quite understand no matter how hard we try or how smart we get, like human relationships. I believe God has given us these things as a sign, I mean who really thinks the way we relate to each other can just be broken down into a bunch of chemicals and neural impulses?

    Take God out of the equation, ‘believe in nothing’ and we’re all just a bunch of biological robots doing our time ’till we expire. If that is’nt negativity I don’t know what is.

  • Karen

    Take God out of the equation, ‘believe in nothing’ and we’re all just a bunch of biological robots doing our time ’till we expire.

    Your erroneous assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Taking god and an afterlife out of the equation means we must make the most of the time we have here – this is the only life that counts. If makes live MORE valuable, not less.

    Atheists, humanists, freethinkers – we all believe in lots of things: The love and loyalty of our families, the wonder of the universe, the value of reason. We just don’t believe in the unfounded supernatural claims of religion.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Take God out of the equation, ‘believe in nothing’ and we’re all just a bunch of biological robots doing our time ’till we expire.

    I suggest you ask us what we value, what inspires and motivates us daily, rather than telling us that our lives have no worth.

  • Mriana

    I agree with Karen 100%.

  • Brendon Lake

    Taking god and an afterlife out of the equation means we must make the most of the time we have here – this is the only life that counts. If makes live MORE valuable, not less.

    As Christians, we believe this life on earth is the only chance we have to do good for God, and we believe God will reward us for the good we have done in this life, so it counts to us too.

    I suggest you ask us what we value, what inspires and motivates us daily, rather than telling us that our lives have no worth.

    I didnt say your lives have no value, I’m just pointing out what I believe makes Atheism so negative. There is nothing more valuable on this earth than a human life.

  • Karen

    I didnt say your lives have no value, I’m just pointing out what I believe makes Atheism so negative.

    Brendon, I hope you’ll spend some time here and get a different perspective on atheism through the experience of actually communicating with atheists. I’m glad you’re here and willing to talk with us.

  • Brendon Lake

    Its a pleasure Karen.

    I’m happy to chat with anyone who isn’t letting their differences in opinion get in the way with just having a good discussion and trying to find some common ground.

  • Brendon Lake

    This is a really good site if anyone is interested on an educated christian viewpoint of popular culture.

  • Nica Lalli

    I love the photo. Chicago was a blast!

    Just one note to Mr. Lake – the title of my book is meant to be ironic. There are a great number of things I believe in. There are a huge number of things that are meaningful and important to me. Gods are not among those things. Hence, my religious identity is “nothing”.

    Having the word nothing as an identity is freeing, challenging and keeps me thinking…I am a biological being and all I have is my time here – so rather than be robotic, I try to feel and live think through my life – my life HERE on this planet.

    Also – Hicth wasn’t the one on the panel who said science disproves God, I believe it was Professor Stenger who stated that fact.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.missheretic.com/ Becky Robinson

    I had the pleasure of meeting Nica Lalli and hearing her speak this weekend. She is amazing. I could listen to her tell stories all day and cannot wait to have time to read her book.

    It’s refreshing to hear her voice among some of the other, louder ones out there. Not that I disagree with Dawkins, Harris, etc., just that it nice to have some balance.

  • Paul

    Dear Nica,

    I was very interested to read your article, about your first book, on the Internet today. It is a truly difficult situation for parents with no religion to know how to bring up their children concerning God or their acceptable way of life. I have a brother-in-law in a similar situation with three kids all grown up and married now. We have five kids and only one practises any form of religion now. To say that you are non-religious does not of itself mean that you are an atheist. Believing in God is not of itself a religion. A religion is “a way of life towards God”. The different faiths are the different ways to God. Many people believe in God without following a faith, or religion. The only harm we have seen in our nephew and nieces is that they were never given any basis. Your basis of ‘there is no God’ (atheism), or ‘I do not know if there is a God’ (agnosticism), is not very helpful. How would it be if you had no mathematical knowledge (could not calculate your bank balance) and you were trying to educate your children in math? There are many forms of math, and not everyone has agreed on all of them (see fuzzy math for example). Letting a child develop according to his or her worldly experiences and letting it choose their way of life can lead to drugs, gangs, murder, sexual abuse… Most parents find that a moral code as a basis is necessary, and many choose religion (a formalized one). It is very helpful.

    By the way – if you do not think that it is right to follow a god without question, it is because you do not know God. However, we do question what religions teach because that is not always exactly what God has asked or told us.

    Happy searchings,

    Paul.


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