Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Power of Suggestion...

Good day to all!  I felt I really should share this here, as it's really quite fascinating.

British mentalist and skeptic/atheist Derren Brown creates a synthetic and quite powerful religious experience for an atheist/scientist/skeptic using purely psychological and suggestive means.  This is truly quite an interesting bit of insight to how religion works...and how we can be manipulated into thinking artificial experiences to be truly supernatural.

Trust me when I tell you, it's worth the ~45 minutes of your time.  If you're like me and you're godless but fascinated by religion and its effects on people, you really must see this.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hidden in plain sight

Jennifer Hecht's poetic atheism finds traces of constructive doubt everywhere-in Hobbes, history, museums, literature, the Bible...
"When I wrote Doubt I was surprised to realize how many of the canonical texts of the history of atheism are already in the homes of all sorts of people, because Job and Ecclesiates are in the Hebrew Bible, the story of the Greek-loving secular Jews who fought the Maccabees is in the Apocrypha found in Catholic Bibles, to name a few. Another is the hunk of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, which is a stunning critique of all religion, especially Christianity. I would like people to know how much of the art they see in museums, and how much of poetry and great literature, are in part efforts of religious doubters and atheists to negotiate the existential challenges we all face. I would be very pleased to have Poetic Atheism, and indeed my books and talks, associated with the shift into more awareness of this presently hidden-in-plain-sight history."
Jennifer Michael Hecht Interview

Friday, August 2, 2013

Varieties of atheist experience

My RS colleague promises to introduce me to the UT researcher behind this taxonomy. We'll give him a pulpit in Murfreesboro next Spring if he wants one. That is, we'll invite him to speak to our Atheism & Philosophy class. I think he'll find that we come in more than six varieties.
An atheist is simply someone without a belief in any deities. But disbelief in gods doesn’t describe individual atheists any more than disbelief in the divinity of Muhammad, Krishna, and Zeus describes individual Christians. Everybody disbelieves in some gods; atheists just disbelieve in more gods than theists do...
Varieties of atheist experience