Tuesday, July 2, 2013



14th June 2013

Title: Forbidden Conversations

Author: Eric Dietrich and Tara Fox Hall

Genre: A Fiction Book About Non-Fiction Issues

Publisher: Beau To Beau Books

Formats Available In: All eBook Formats and Print

Blurb: Forbidden Conversations is the record of a series of conversations over eight days between three friends on topics which Americans are actively prevented from discussing, except perhaps in private, behind closed doors. These "forbidden conversations" include suicide, gun control, euthanasia, and abortion, among others, with emphasis about how the prevention of these discussions is destructive both to American society and to the future of our democracy.
The conversations are rendered as dialogues. Dialogues resemble plays and are an ancient technique for exploring controversial or difficult subjects.

Though the topics of the conversations recorded are themselves quite controversial, the fact that they are now in readers' hands is due to something even more controversial: one of the participants of these conversations died in an effort to bring them to the reading public. Whether that death and its accompanying violence were worth it, we will leave to the reader to decide.

Excerpt: Raquel:  At what age is suicide okay?  I don't know.  But you need to be an adult, maybe even an old adult.  And you need to be already dying -- the doctors have to have done as much as they can, and you have to have lived a life that you are proud of, then maybe suicide is okay.

Shannon:  But that is too strict if that is the only condition under which suicide is allowed.  Don't you think living wills should also be honored? If we are giving the right to die to terminally sick older people, we should also give it to those who are healthy, but are anticipating the worst.

Raquel:  No.  Again, only if you are already going to die, then, perhaps you can morally commit suicide.  Actually, I'm not really sure even in this case.

Shannon:  But does it make sense that you have the right to choose death if you’re incapacitated and can't implement your decision, but you don't have that right if you’re even remotely healthy – talk about a catch-22!

Shannon:  Sophia, please join us. I think we’re safe here.  We would certainly value your insight.

Sophia:  I’m honored.  Shannon, I missed your side of the conversation about suicide. What do you think?

Shannon:  I think suicide is my right.  I find Raquel’s view that suicide is usually wrong and therefore not allowed an infringement on my rights.  Raquel, suicide's a freedom we should have just by virtue of being the conscious animals we are. We should all have the freedom to die, just like the other freedoms we enjoy.  In fact, in some sense, suicide is our first freedom.  This is because the individual is sacred.

Sophia:  You sound like the famous philosopher Ayn Rand, who said her philosophy was ". . . the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Shannon:  That evokes a nice sentiment, but I don't agree with it.  I would put it this way: All humans should strive to be heroic, their flourishing is the central purpose of their lives, but no one who is sane and rational can be happy when others around him are suffering, so the flourishing of all of life, our own included, is our noblest activity, and there are no absolutes.

Sophia:  Very nice, Shannon.

Raquel:   I see now why you are so pro-suicide.  There's nothing in that statement about respecting the dictates of God.

Shannon:  You don't respect the dictates of God, Raquel.  If I give you a gun will you go kill a homosexual for Him, just as He commanded in Leviticus 18:22, and 20:13?  I don't think so. Appeals to God and what God wants are so small-minded.  The Bible contains some very nasty stuff which I find both blatantly immoral and personally offensive.

Sophia:  I think we had better stop for the day.  Tempers are beginning to rise.  Let's adjourn and agree to return to thisforbidden conversation when we meet again.  Say tomorrow, at this location at this same time.

Raquel:  Agreed.

Shannon:  Tomorrow, then.

Eric Dietrich, Ph.D., is professor of philosophy at Binghamton University.  Before studying philosophy, he was a concert pianist and mountain climber.  He is the author of numerous papers, most recently focusing on how differently people view moral situations.  He's also worked in paraconsistent logic and true contradictions, metaphysics, and artificial intelligence.  He co-authored Sisyphus's Boulder: Consciousness and the Limits of the Knowable, a book on consciousness's resistance to scientific explanation.  And he is the editor of the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence.

Tara Fox Hall's writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, fantasy, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice. 


  1. Thanks for having us at your blog, Jenny! It was good to see you! :)

    1. You are welcome, Tara!! Thank you and it was great to see you too!!