by Richard Dawkins 2006, Houghton Mifflin Co., 374 pgs.
Dawkins is a celebrated evolutionary biologist who, along with Sam Harris (The End of Faith), has emerged as one of the better known proponents of atheism in contemporary literature. Both books have been New York Times best sellers.
In my own work, New Pilgrim Chronicles, I have likewise argued for the critical need of the species to evolve from faith to reason:
“Faith, as the antithesis of reason, is a barbarous relic that must be discarded if civilization, much less any prospect for freedom, is to emerge.”— from Chapter 5
Dawkins’ main thesis is the natural world and even sentient beings such as ourselves are accounted for by natural explanations. Thus, God is not a requirement for and has a vanishingly small probability of existence.Continue reading →
Bill Maher: It seems, people, that this is the very spot … [Megiddo, Israel] … where a lot of Christians believe life on earth will end. The irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses, the world actually could come to an end.
Based on the trailers, I didn’t encounter anything too unexpected with Religulous: it’s a essentially a home movie about a man in the public eye, Bill Maher (comedian, political gadfly) who questions the standard Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedism (Islam)—not as a theologian or philosopher might, rather as a conscientious Joe Lunchbucket might. He starts out with his remaining family, simply sitting down in a room with his sister and mother. I believe his ancestors professed Judaism, but he was raised to believe in the Catholic religion. Continue reading →
Religion, terror, and the future of reason
by Sam Harris
Reviewed by Brian Wright
The End of Faith is the watershed book for uniting rational, spiritual—and yes, libertarian—humanists in an unprecedented worldwide exercise in the elevation of consciousness. Several books recently have taken up the cause of releasing our minds from specters of the past, particularly any sorts of deities that insist upon abandonment of natural reason for salvation.