“When one gives up Christian belief one thereby deprives oneself of the right to Christian morality. For the latter is not self-evident… Christianity is a system.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche (Atheist Nihilist)
Recently a video clip of an interview with atheist comedian, writer, and activist Stephen Fry has been making the rounds on Facebook and, I assume, other social media. On Facebook alone on just one of the pages that shared it, the video has (as of now) 9.5 million views 173,374 shares, has 16 thousand comments, and 75 thousand “likes” in the 8 days since August 19th. Clearly, the interview struck a chord with many people. Why?
In the video, which is a clip from the show “The Meaning of Life” with Gay Byrne on Irish TV, Fry is posed the question of how he would react if he comes face to face with God when he dies. One might naturally expect the answer to such a question to be “Oops.” Or perhaps one might echo Bertrand Russell’s famous “Not enough evidence, God. Not enough evidence!”, which is how Richard Dawkins responded when asked that same question.
One day a square that felt it should be considered a triangle started complaining to its friends and campaigning the council of polygons to be allowed status as a triangle. Continue reading
The Baltimore – Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church recently mailed the Pre-Conference Booklet for the 2012 Annual Conference. The Pre – Conference Booklet contains, among other things, an agenda for the conference, reports from various groups and committees within the Conference, and copies of the recommendations and resolutions before the 2012 Annual Conference. I was dismayed to find a resolution titled “Resolution on Evolutionary Scientific Thinking” included in the list of resolutions before the conference this year. Continue reading
The easiest way to explain memes is that they are the bumper stickers (BS) of the Internet and, like bumper stickers, the sentiments they convey may be superficially appealing but are usually simplistic attempts to bypass critical thinking. This is often done by making an implicit argument rather than an explicit one in an attempt to manipulate the viewer’s feelings while making them believe they are thinking. Continue reading
This evening as my brother regaled me with the latest plot twists in the TV show “Fringe,” I began reflecting on just how many shows there are about paranormal or supernatural phenomenon, from “Fringe” to “Supernatural” to the menagerie of vampire-inspired shows such as “Vampire Diaries” and “True Blood” to shows like “Ghost Whisperer” and “Ghost Hunters.” Then, of course, come the movies obsessed with hauntings, epic battles between vampires and lycans, supernatural beings that inhabit the dream world, etc. Our culture’s hunger for the supernatural has never been higher – even twenty years ago such TV shows and movies would have been very much the “fringe,” but now they are mainstream. While some might attribute the growth of such programming to path-breaking shows such as “The X-Files,” there is really something much deeper going on. Continue reading