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Tag Archives: Albert Camus
God didn’t prevent the Holocaust, but we would have. And God didn’t prevent the 2004 Christmas tsunami that killed over 100,000 people, but we would have. And Nature doesn’t care if death is the engine of evolution, but we do. … Continue reading
There’s a lot to ponder philosophically in this very short video of a dog, Sisyphus-like, having difficulty keeping a rock in place: . Albert Camus once wrote that we must imagine Sisyphus happy, and, indeed, the dog appears happy … Continue reading
. If you don’t know what planking is, it’s where you have somebody take a picture of you lying, typically face down, rigid as a board, in an unexpected place. You then post it on the Internet. In the above photo, for … Continue reading
R. Joseph Hoffmann, an atheist himself and the author or editor of numerous academic books—including Jesus in History and Myth (Prometheus Books 1986)—thinks so, writing at his blog recently the following: The mode of critique [by New Atheists] is lodged somewhere … Continue reading
Visually echoing Charles Darwin’s famous description of life as a great interconnected tree, below is the image of a trunk and branches in which an artist has carved animals. And beside it is a more traditional depiction of the Tree of Life, … Continue reading
After the gorilla’s existentialist period of Camus-like despair, I suppose that the next episode will be devoted to his religious conversion: a trainer comforts the gorilla by convincing him that he doesn’t really die—but nevertheless might go to hell if he … Continue reading
According to a new Pew Forum poll: 33%. And the above number really hasn’t changed all that much over the past 30 years. I read from this something important: fundamentalism, despite its clamoring presence in contemporary Republican politics, is not a … Continue reading
Contemporary post-9/11 New Atheists are so, well, sunny, aren’t they? Perhaps it’s a product of our contemporary advertising culture, but it’s hard to distinguish this American atheist bus ad from a Mentos breath mint commercial: Minty and refreshing? As an … Continue reading
Philosopher Thomas Nagel’s New Collection of Essays on Religion, Politics, and Humanity is Excellent
Thomas Nagel’s Secular Philosophy and the Religious Temperament: Essays 2002-2008 (Oxford 2010) is a breeze to read, and at just 168 pages can pretty much be read in a day. Nagel’s enormous strength (akin to Richard Rorty’s) is his calm explanatory clarity. He is … Continue reading
It’s hard to live in the world. Suffering happens. Then more suffering happens. Then you die. In the face of these facts, Albert Camus wrote that the first question of philosophy is suicide. But if you’re not going to do … Continue reading
Richard Dawkins has famously said that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has made him, not just an atheist, but “an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” In other words, by mixing a scientific theory with an ideology, Dawkins has found that his strict … Continue reading
One of Wilfred Owen’s great poems is titled “Futility” (1918). It begins with a commander of men at war directing a couple of his soldiers to move into the sun the body of a recently dead comrade: Move him into … Continue reading
Richard Dawkins has famously said, and on more than one occasion, that Darwin’s theory of evolution has made it possible for him to be, not just an atheist, but “an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” But what, exactly, does it mean to be … Continue reading
In 1930, physicist, mathematician, and astronomer James Jeans, wrote, in his book The Mysterious Universe, this: Standing on our microscopic fragment of a grain of sand, we attempt to discover the nature and purpose of the universe which surrounds our home … Continue reading
“No man is an island. Each is a part of the main.” This afternoon my wife, my three and five year old daughters, and I all went to the doctor to get our swine flu shots. We got our regular flu … Continue reading
Freddie, at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, is not a movement New Atheist. He’s just an atheist. And he likes it that way: [T]here is an elementary consonance between evangelist religion and evangelist antitheism that I find inarguable, that both insist … Continue reading
PZ Myers and Albert Camus: Two Very Different Kinds of Atheists Inhabiting Two Very Different Kinds of Atheism?
I think that atheism, especially at its most strident, is capable of choking its own life energies by nihilistically clearing the “ground of being” of any larger meaning, and then killing off the ontological mystery by not going to imaginative literature … Continue reading
I think it’s fair to say that “old school” atheists of previous generations, like Baron d’Holbach and Albert Camus, share a number of beliefs with the New Atheists of the 21st century. For example, “old school” atheists would agree with the … Continue reading
Documentary filmmaker, John Pilger, recommends Albert Camus’s The Plague as a good read ahead of our upcoming pandemic swine flu (H1N1) season: A novel which tells the tale of the devastating plague visited on the Algerian town of Oran, it … Continue reading