Tag Archives: Albert Camus

Pretty Good Reasons Not to Believe in God Watch: Guilt Free Atheism?

There are definitely problems with the following argument, but it nevertheless seems (for a lot of people) a rather strong utilitarian reason for becoming an atheist: Guilt free sensual and intellectual indulgence. Most theistic religions are, to put it politely, … Continue reading

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Swine Flu (H1N1), Atheists, Agnostics and the Problem of Justification

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I post things on swine flu (H1N1) at this blog. Perhaps you’ve also noticed that I’m an agnostic. But if there is no God, why help others in a time of pandemic? Why not just look out … Continue reading

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Atheist Sam Harris, Evangelical Francis Collins, and the Soft Bigotry of Strict Naturalism

In a recent piece for the New York Times, atheist Sam Harris has told us that he isn’t comfy with Francis Collins being appointed by President Barack Obama as the new director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH): Francis Collins is an … Continue reading

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What is a Faitheist?

By an ironic turn, atheist biologist Jerry Coyne’s blog contest to find a one word moniker for atheists and agnostics who are “accomodationist” towards religion has landed on a “winning term” that actually describes Jerry Coyne himself—and his enhusiastic followers—far better … Continue reading

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I Am an Empatheist

Atheist biologist Jerry Coyne asked his blog readers today to coin one word that could be used for atheists who are accomodating—rather than combative—in their attitudes toward religion. Here was my response: Since you’re obviously talking about people like me, maybe … Continue reading

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Quiet Diginity and Grace: A Model for Living with the Absurdity of Our Existential Condition and Our Flungness into the World?

Rational atheist Stoicism for our time:

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Notes from Underground

Who will speak from the insistent vantage of the ontological mystery? Against the best efforts of our contemporary advocates of scientism, positivism, and reductionism, below is a succinct explanation for why religion, poetry, Dostoevsky’s “underground man,” and Camus’s “Sisyphian hero” cannot just cede the … Continue reading

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Sisyphus Pushing v. Buddha Sitting

Someone recently said to me that to conclude that the universe is without purpose needn’t lead to pessimism and Albert Camus-like rebellion (as I have been suggesting lately). Nihilism might just as well mean “the loss of misery and despair as well. … Continue reading

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Iran’s Protesters and Two of Albert Camus’s Protagonists: Meursault and Dr. Rieux

I see characteristics of the brave Iranian protesters in two characters in Albert Camus’s novels. Meursault (the protagonist of The Stranger ) and Dr. Rieux (the protagonist of The Plague ) are both possessed of admirable heroic qualities. Rieux is … Continue reading

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Albert Camus on Negation and Absurdity

This quote is from Albert Camus’s essay, “Pessimism and Tyranny.” It appeared in COMBAT, September 1945: No, everything is not summed up in negation and absurdity. We know this. But we must first posit negation and absurdity because they are what … Continue reading

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Are Things as Bad as They Appear?

In Robert Wright’s interview with Salon.com today, he was asked about the end of his recent book, The Evolution of God : At the end of your book, you say the great divide in modern thinking is between people who … Continue reading

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Louis Mackey on Human Laziness and Fear

The brief excerpt below is from the stylized philosophy documentary, Waking Life. Speaking is the philosopher Louis Mackey. If his voice is familiar, it’s because he was tapped to play the anarchist in the film Slackers :  Mackey: “[W]hat are these … Continue reading

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Albert Camus’s Concept of the Absurd

As explained by Professor Robert Solomon:

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Some Things to Think About if You are an Evangelical Atheist

Are you an atheist, and are you evangelical about it? In other words, do you want other people to become atheists too? I’m an agnostic myself, but I’m not sure whether I can really recommend it. It seems like a … Continue reading

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Albert Camus: The Absurd, Rebellion, Freedom, Passion, and Solidarity

Here’s Albert Camus from the “Myth of Sisyphus”: “I derive from the absurd three consequences: my revolt, my freedom, and my passion. By the sheer activity of consciousness, I transform in a rule of life what was an invitation to … Continue reading

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Atheism is an Invitation to an Honest Encounter with Death?

Based on thinking about Albert Camus’s atheism, I think I’ve arrived at the perfect atheist/agnostic bus ad: “Atheism is an invitation to an honest encounter with death.” How’s that for something on the side of a bus that would get … Continue reading

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Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here? Happy-Face Atheist Marketing v. Albert Camus’s Pessimistic Atheism

In contrast with happy face atheist marketing, Albert Camus tried to ground atheism honestly. Here’s what Camus said that we know (if we are going to see the world in atheist terms): Death is certain. The day of our death … Continue reading

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How Dangerous is This New Strain of Swine Flu? Researchers Should Have a Clearer Idea by May 10, 2009

Today is May 1, 2009, and here’s what the AP is saying about H1N1 (the new strain of swine flu): Researchers will get a better idea of how dangerous this virus is over the next week to 10 days, said … Continue reading

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Swine Flu Quote of the Day

Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization emphasizes the dangers of virulent swine flu mutations and the need for ongoing vigilance: “For the first time in history we can track the evolution of a pandemic in real time. … Continue reading

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Face Masks v. Frequent Hand Washing: Which Is More Effective in Reducing Swine Flu Transmission?

According to the Los Angeles Times today, both face masks and frequent hand washing provide equal levels of protection: [N]o single action . . . will provide complete protection in areas with confirmed swine flu cases, health officials said. It … Continue reading

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