Cool, good interview.
Thank you! It’s really gratifying to see these interviews popping up all over.
What a refreshing change the BBC is compared to American teevee:
I’ve said before, I’ll say it again: America is a 1st World Back Water
[quote author=“rab”]What a refreshing change the BBC is compared to American teevee:
INSIGHT????????????? :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
This is a good illustration why the BBC is better.
They both do a poorly reasoned job of arguing the issue of whether atheism or religion is more of a danger. Neither seems to make the point that it is not atheism that drove people like Stalin to persecute religion. Atheism is not a total philosophy…a disbelief in gods simply does not motivate anyone to anything in particular. Stalin simply saw religion as competition for the loyalty he demanded to his own political and sociopathic ideas. Communism and fascism simply couldn’t take the idea of divided loyalties. They certainly didn’t promote the value of critical thinking and tolerance. They demanded obedience and conformity, much like religion itself. They are jealous philosophies. Atheism demands no such loyalty to a cause of action.
An atheistic secular society unencumbered by these fanaticisms will naturally fall more into a Humanist type of philosophy if its leaders value reason and fairness.
A reasonable atheistic humanist is probably one of the more progressive and least dangerous people you will meet. An otherwise reasonable Christian can apparently be talked into Inquisitions as a matter of faith. You’re asking us to consider which one more reasonable?
Bottom line, it is not secular humanists who are causing strife in today’s world, and yet we are demonized every Sunday somewhere. Go figure.
Ah, an infusion of sanity. Would that all the faithful of the world could be this honest with themselves. I feel somewhat assured that secular ideals will be maintained in this country, in no small part due to the words of the founding Deists. I am calmed when I see them repeated. May they never be lost to us.
Might religion have something to do with a cliffhanger mentality? The masses crave a sense of order in their stories, and resist a teaser, unless it seems likely that the conflicts set up in the earliest chapters will eventually lead them to a satisfying conclusion. If they don’t get that, they’re left uncomfortable, even resentful of the author.
More reliably, people gravitate to stories that offer a clear beginning, a meaty middle with a fair amount of titillation, a solid ending, a summary of the lessons learned. . . and, of course, the promise of a dramatic sequel. They adore reoccurring characters—even reoccurring villains—and they absolutely seem to crave some heartbreak, injustice and outright tragedy, since misery loves company. They want all characters to state clearly their motives and intentions at some point during the plot, lest they feel foolish for being tricked. The author might provide great detail that all adds up consistently, or he might—whether intentionally or inadvertently—include inconsistencies that lead to gaping plotholes and confusion. . . . et voilà! we get the runaway besteseller, The Holy Bible.
However erratically and chillingly, the Bible offers people a story that satisfies their need for a personally involving drama. Even with all the plotholes (non-discerning readers rarely pick up on those, anyway), it seems to ease a kind of anxiety and yearning in them, to imagine that they are an important part of this story—the center of it, in fact!—and that the conclusion is within their control, including the almost unfathomably happy ‘perfect eternity’ option, with attendant soundtrack and sparkly flourishes, just like in the fairytales . . . even if it’s in fact a horror story, in this particular case, with requisite tortures thrown in.
But then there’s the Deist. . . content to let it all dangle, lacking in any hard data to do otherwise. I respect that very much. I respect that you can handle a cliffhanger, without succumbing to the temptation to make stuff up, just so you can say you have plotline all figured out.