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Atheism

This tag is associated with 45 posts

Never Had It So Good

By the time you read this, something truly dreadful might have blighted the world. Pinker does not prophesy that this won’t happen; he simply reminds us why it should not and need not, as long as we don’t give up the notion of the emancipatory power of reason to help illuminate the way forward. If that is naive, even more naive is the belief that despair, fatalism or superstition supplies a credible alternative.

Why Christmas is for everyone

Disgruntled Christians would do better to seek common cause with anyone else, including thoughtful atheists, who wants Christmas to stand for more than just shopping and gorging. If they did so, they would see that a good atheist Christmas looks a lot like a good Christian one.

The vacuous religious vacuum theory

There is no religion-shaped space that needs to be filled. Rather, there are many spaces which religions have managed to occupy. The need for meaning, for example, is not religious, but it is a need religions attempt to fulfil. The same is true of the needs for values, community, the marking of life-stages.

Manchester attack: human compassion triumphs

The antidote to nihilism does not require any appeal to the transcendent or the divine. I’d take the values expressed by all those who opened their doors in Manchester purely out of human compassion over the futile search for a higher meaning any day.

Do Tim Farron’s views on homosexuality matter?

I want to know what kind of man Farron is and knowing he is an evangelical Christian does make me question his judgement and whether he is the best person to lead his party. However, democracy only works when despite this, people like me are willing to support people like him when we see we share the same political goals. Democracy requires broad coalitions of interests among people who differ.

How to win the argument

“I say to people in Québec: your kids are going to change you more than all these immigrants. I’m a grandfather now and I see what has happened over these two generations and it’s huge. We dropped the central religious identity of Québec in this time, nobody forced us from outside.”

The Myth of Self-Authorship

One thing many of us appear to believe today is that a quick Google search will answer any question. As I discovered when trying to find out what we believe today, you don’t even need to do the search. Just type in the first few words and see how the algorithms complete it for you. So it was that the phrase “believe in” was completed by – as I suspected – “yourself”.

Gifts and God

A curious modern ritual of the festive season is to lament the excess and commercialisation of Christmas while simultaneously partaking in it. Perhaps it is not only at family gatherings that Christmas has a tendency to bring to a head simmering tensions. It also seems to be a time when the dissonance between our simultaneous loving and loathing of capitalism becomes almost unbearable.

Hierarchy and Inequality in Nietzsche and Falsafa

In many ways medieval Islamic philosophy and the works of Friedrich Neitzsche couldn’t be more different. But as we see in this podcast, both provide interesting, rich challenges to modern western egalitarian ideals. Guests are Carlos Fraenkel (McGill University) and Mathias Risse (Harvard Kennedy School of Government). Produced in association with the Berggruen Institute’s Philosophy and Culture Centre.

Atheists don’t need faith

What we all need is not best described as faith. It is simply more than can be proven by logic and science. We need to believe in things that are not entirely justified by reason, but that does not require us to embrace creeds that reason tells against.

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