Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, January 18, 2013

Religion, Rationality, & Science

that's the name of the independent readings course I'm directing with David & Dean. Yesterday we met for the first time. We'll continue to meet on Thursdays at 4:30. Next week we'll discuss Stephen Jay Gould's NOMA. Then, Dan Dennett's debate with Alvin Plantinga. D&D say alums of last Spring's Atheism & Philosophy class are welcome to drop in and join us. We're in the Boulevard classroom.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Godless parenting

for over a year, I lied to my 3-yr old and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.

 One day he would know this, and he would not trust my judgment. He would know that I built an elaborate tale—not unlike the one we tell children about Santa—to explain the inconsistent and illogical legend of God.
And so I thought it was only right to be honest with my children. I am a non-believer, and for years I’ve been on the fringe in my community. As a blogger, though, I’ve found that there are many other parents out there like me. We are creating the next generation of kids, and there is a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower our nation’s religious fever.
 Here are a few of the reasons why I am raising my children without God...
Why I Raise My Children Without God - CNN iReport

Thanks for the link, Meghan!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Atheists in foxholes

"The secular community is fearful of seeming to proselytize. When giving talks on college campuses, I used to avoid personal discussions of my atheism. But over the years, I have changed my mind because such diffidence contributes to the false image of the atheist as someone whose convictions are removed from ordinary experience. It is vital to show that there are indeed atheists in foxholes, and wherever else human beings suffer and die.

Now when students ask how I came to believe what I believe, I tell them that I trace my atheism to my first encounter, at age 7, with the scourge of polio. In 1952, a 9-year-old friend was stricken by the disease and clinging to life in an iron lung. After visiting him in the hospital, I asked my mother, “Why would God do that to a little boy?” She sighed in a way that telegraphed her lack of conviction and said: “I don’t know. The priest would say God must have his reasons, but I don’t know what they could be...”"

Susan Jacoby, The Blessings of Atheism - NYTimes.com