While surfing the Atheoweb, I’ve found a few interesting tidbits of Atheoinfo on some Atheoblogs and Atheosites, no single one of which justifies a full blown post. So I thought I’d combine them all here in one post for your Atheoenjoyment.
1. Pat Condell was recently interviewed over at The Freethinker. A few choice morsels:
FT: What do you like about internet video as a medium?
PC: It’s open to anyone. We no longer have to ask someone else’s permission to communicate with a wider audience.
I’ve been criticising religion for years, but only in comedy clubs. Whenever I tried to do it in the mainstream media I was censored, especially by the BBC where jokes about the subject are always heavily edited, and it’s virtually impossible to say anything at all about Islam.
The internet allows all of us to bypass these self-appointed gatekeepers and communicate our ideas without interference.
FT: Christian evangelist Dinesh D’Sousa has accused you of being smug. How do you respond to this?
PC: People have called me a lot worse. I’d never heard of this guy until someone directed me to his blog. Since then I’ve read his book on Christianity, and I didn’t see anything in it to warrant respecting his opinion on anything, so he can call me whatever he likes.
Pat Condell is a British stand-up comedian who has recorded numerous YouTube video rants on religion, all of them extremely funny, and, as the British say, spot on.
2. Next up is the most recent iteration of the Humanist Symposium, #16, over at Glittering Muse, for which I’m a few days late. The host wrote a nice reflective post as a segue into the Symposium list, on the theme of “Facing the Void” inspired partially by a potential job loss.
As I glanced though the twelve articles submitted, I could weave a common idea through most of them; Being human means facing the void and dealing with it. Awareness of death and oblivion is the inspiration for both art and religion, for love of life and beauty, for any aspect of culture which goes beyond animal survival. But while religion clings to superstitious texts and beliefs, humanist culture is open to free thought, science, philosophy and art to help us grapple with facing the void.
Check it out.
3. Another post positing an incongruity that has always puzzled me is “Do People ACTUALLY believe in God?” at Spread Rationality. As the author points out, there is a certain disconnect between the way people behave, and what they say they believe. They believe in an afterlife, and usually one filled with bliss, but they act as if they don’t. WTF?
Do people actually believe in religion, despite everything their common sense tells them? They would tell you “yes,” but as any psychologist would tell you, do not trust verbal responses. Even if they themselves think they believe, their answers are suspect. It is much more informative to infer someone’s beliefs by observing their behavior. When people hold contradictory beliefs, such as “life is precious” and “there is a better life after this one,” this contradiction can lead to some very strange behaviors.
4. Of course, I found the following masterpiece entitled “Reality” apropos and amusing.
5. Last but not least, there’s this great new blog that hosts podcasts of certain blogging unbelievers who sit around and shoot the shit about topics of the day. You really should listen to it. It’s here, at Another Goddamned Podcast.
That’s it for now, until the Nonbelieving Literati make their next appearance.