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Monthly Archives: October 2010
I find philosopher Joel Marks’s recent flat-out rejection of morality disarming in its honesty. Here’s Joel Marks: The long and the short of it is that I became convinced that atheism implies amorality; and since I am an atheist, I must … Continue reading
Atheist philosopher, and former Kantian, Joel Marks has given up on grounding morality absent God. So what now? Here’s Joel Marks’s default idea: base your choices—perhaps compassion today, perhaps hedonism tomorrow—on desire. He calls his position desirism. At the Catholic First Things … Continue reading
And she spoke two languages: suburban 1950s house mom and superfly 1970s jive. Here she is in her mid-60s in the 1980 film, Airplane:
Some male devotees accompany their chain-wielding goddess: Below are some fit lines from Euripides’ Bakkhai (from scene 1) describing Korybantes—ecstatic drumming and pipe-playing young men devoted to the Phrygian mother-goddess Kybele: Triple-crested Korybantes Devised for me The circle of stretched hide! In … Continue reading
In a recent Washington Post review of a couple of UFO books that have just come out, there’s a sentence that I think nicely summarizes Carl Jung’s thesis on UFOs: [P]sychologist Carl Jung proposed that UFOs symbolized a wish that … Continue reading
I remembered a math joke this morning that I haven’t thought of in a long time. Two mathematicians, both 30 years old, married to one another, are talking over coffee. The husband says to his wife: When I’m 60, I’m trading … Continue reading
R. Gordon Wasson has been a long time advocate of a seductive hypothesis: that entheogens (psychedelic mushrooms, etc) have played a significant role in the evolution of many religions, from Hinduism in the East to Persephone devotion in the West … Continue reading
A great Jack Kerouac quote on the hollowness of pursuing fame: I can just see the shabby literary man carrying a “bulging briefcase” rushing from one campus to another, one lecture club to another, nodding confirmation with his hosts that … Continue reading
An English professor colleague (and friend) sent me a gorgeous image that he took this afternoon from the Members’ Lounge of the Tate Modern. He’s teaching a semester in London: . The English professor’s name is Charles Hood and he … Continue reading
In a recent TruthDig essay, Chris Hedges (I think accurately) sizes up the Herderian Tea Party movement in America, and where it is moving us: There is a yearning by tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement, … Continue reading
Question: If you are a Baptist, how do you ensure God’s election of you into his eternal love and heaven? Answer: Baptists tend to think that you have to say a sincere, and I would say magical, prayer with the … Continue reading
On the theory that maybe we should strike up conversations with our Muslim neighbors and not matches for burning their Qurans, Jonathan Elliot in New Zealand found a Muslim to have lunch with this past month, and recounts how he did … Continue reading
Three near death experiences (NDEs) from a BBC documentary on the subject: Oops. It doesn’t embed. You have to watch it on YouTube. It’s worth clicking over. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsV2oWL0bK0
When it comes right down to it, what are atheists confident about and what are theists confident about? It occurs to me that, to be an atheist, your life ultimately rests on just two rather naked confidences: God does not … Continue reading
This at The Smoking Gun this past weekend: A Florida man arrested Wednesday on drug charges told cops that a bag of cocaine found hidden inside his buttocks did not belong to him. I can see how that could happen. … Continue reading