Atheism and religion in the news.
I have decided to try a different direction for a while with my blog posts.
Instead of several individual posts, I'll be collecting them into a single, daily post.
If anyone has any comments, plz let me know. I appreciate feedback.
Okay, lets start
Christopher Hitchens interview with Sally Quinn on video regarding "divine impulses'.
This is an interesting analysis of the role religion plays in American politics, its not all cut and dried and some would think.
Even so, Green points out, the conventional categories do have predictive power. The popular press was quick to credit fundamentalists with President Bush's 2004 reelection, and there is some truth to the claim. After all, evangelical Protestants, spurred on by opposition to gay-marriage initiatives and constituting almost 22 percent of the total vote, supported Bush over John Kerry by 78 percent to 21 percent. In contrast, 86 percent of black Protestants chose Kerry, but they constituted only 8 percent of the total vote.
But what if we were to be more precise about the religious categories we employ? What if we also factored in, for instance, regularity of church attendance? When Green adds factors of religious "behaving" to those of religious "belonging," new contours emerge. For the total voting population, if you attended a religious service in the previous week, there was a 61 percent chance that you cast a vote in favor of Bush. If you were an evangelical Protestant and attended church weekly, there was an 82 percent chance that you supported Bush. On the other hand, if you were a churchgoing black Protestant who didn't attend church regularly, there was only an 8 percent chance that you voted for Bush.
Some of you who went to high school in the 70s and 80s might remember talk about the coming population explosion, the work has been updated and expanded by the author to reflect modern times.
"Somehow we've got to change from a growth-oriented, exploitative system to one focused on stability and conservation. Our entire system of orienting to nature must undergo a revolution. And that revolution is going to be extremely difficult to pull off, since the attitudes of Western culture toward nature are deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition. Unlike people in many other cultures, we see man's basic role as that of dominating nature, rather than as living in harmony with it. This entire problem has been elegantly discussed by Professor Lynn White, Jr., in Science magazine. He points out, for instance, that before the Christian era trees, springs, hills, streams, and other objects of nature had guardian spirits. These spirits had to be approached and placated before one could safely invade their territory. As White says, "By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects... Both our present science and our present technology are so tinctured with orthodox Christian arrogance toward nature that no solution for our ecological crisis can be expected from them alone. Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not."
Please note, hes not calling for a new religion with a new god, but rather enviromentalism or social activism to take its place. The link below only take you to the page this quote is taken from, the rest of the story can be found via links on that page.
I have noticed that most Americans rarely get news from outside of america. In an effort to show how other nations view american politics and religion, I present this opinion from asia.
So, when it comes to religion and politics, here's the most critical question: Should we turn the political arena into a stage to dramatize our quest for moral certainty? The simple answer is no - for lots of reasons.
For starters, it's a direct threat to democracy. The essence of our system is that we, the people, get to choose our values. We don't discover them inscribed in the cosmos. So everything must be open to question, to debate, and therefore to change. In a democracy, there should be no fixed truth except that everyone has the right to offer a new view - and to change his or her mind. It's a process whose outcome should never be predictable, a process without end. A claim to absolute truth - any absolute truth - stops that process.
Anoter great list of atheist quotes, this time with pictures.
This article takes a good look at the differences between how people debate religion and science.
Many Christians seem to think that it's easy to come up with "killer" objections to secular, scientific atheism. When offering such objections, though, they frequently demonstrate a serious lack of understanding about both science and atheism. Their arguments look almost as if they were simply copied out of some apologetics text without regard for accuracy or reasonableness.
I always find these stories interesting, a youtube video describing how a young woman went from being an evangelical to an atheist.
I just ran across this podcast, its by a group of humanists. So far I have found it interesting, you might as well.
Well, thats one days worth of stories I have found that I thought others might find interesting, let me know