Archive for the 'Agnosticism' Category

A priceless message from Santa Claus [funny]

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I have nothing more that I can add to this:

An atheist argument for teaching religion in school

This video is of a short but fantastic lecture given at the famous TED lectures in California by Dan Dennett.   The lecture makes a compelling case why we atheists should support the teaching of religion in schools (with Dennett’s caveat, of course, that ALL religions are taught and that instruction be factually-based).

As a product of Ontario’s publicly-run Catholic education school system from kindergarten up until my first year of university, I do have to say that while I hated catechism class and found it terribly brainwashing, Dennett does make a very strong case.

Looking back, I can see that the one religion class of my entire pre-university schooling which I actually enjoyed was the one which was taught without bias and which was geared towards exactly what Dennett is talking about — all world religions.  This class helped lay the foundations for me to understand the ability of religion to manipulate society and opened my eyes to many issues and topics which still continue to influence my research.  And that was just one short class.

Maybe we athiests have been going about it all the wrong way?  Maybe we shouldn’t be trying to ban religion from the classroom, but should try instead merely to get away from the parochial cuius regio, eius religio by presenting a complete anthropological account of religion stripped of its dogma?

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For Dan Dennett’s TED lecture, click here.

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For the TED website with links to other very interesting lectures on Technology, Entertainment and/or Design, click here

Richard Dawkins answers a question

In keeping with the deliciously heathen & atheistic track I’ve been on as of late, I’ve been getting my daily dose of Richard Dawkins when I came across this video clip.

How much would it suck to be the student who asked this question?

For those interested, the other installments of heathens-‘r’-us, are:

Is organized religion still good for society?

Geology makes baby Jesus cry…

In defense of Atheism (with the complete, 2-part BBC documentary of Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion)

Proof that organized religion stops critical thinking

Creationism is Bullshit! & The Bible is Bullshit! (with complete episodes of Penn & Teller’s television program Bullshit!)

Creationism is Bullshit! & The Bible is Bullshit!

For your viewing pleasure, here are two episodes of Penn & Teller’s TV show “Bullshit!”. The first episode is “Creationism is Bullshit!”. The second is “The Bible is Bullshit!”

Now, I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of Penn & Teller’s brand of Libertarianism, however their irreligiousness and their magic shows, I can definitely get behind.

In terms of the first video on Creationism, I think the episode was great, but could have been so much better had they interviewed Elliott Sober.

If you want to read the absolutely definitive work on why Intelligent Design is neither a scientific theory nor a viable alternative to evolution, I strongly recommend you read his chapter in the book Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Religion (edited by William Edward Mann).

Sober’s piece uses pure logic and mathematics to prove that the arguments of Intelligent Design theorists like Michael Behe (who does a lot of work on so-called ‘irreducible complexity’) are exemplars of a poverty of thought.

If you don’t have time to read Sober’s article (lazy bastards! lol), I’ll relay my favourite part of the chapter.

Basically, he proves, using Beye’s Theorem, that the argument for God’s existence based on Irreducible Complexity (or arguments based on other observed phenomenon such as ‘cosmic design’) are tautological, circular and useless.

For you math people in the crowd, basically it goes like this:

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Now if you didn’t follow that, don’t worry, I probably wouldn’t have either. But read the chapter and then you can impress your friends by throwing that out there.

Anyway, without further adieu, I give you the glorious sacrilege:

Penn & Teller: Creationism is Bullshit!

Penn & Teller: The Bible is Bullshit!

 


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