Exploring the philosophical, ethical, spiritual, existential, social, and personal implications of a godless universe, and supporting their study at Middle Tennessee State University & beyond.
The magic analogy makes my argument so succinctly I'm really pissed I didn't think of it myself. Hemant Mehta writes some great stuff and I need to make a note to visit his blog more often. And, yes, once the jig is up, it's no longer interesting—the magic disappears into thin air. Thank you Internet. Religion is taking an epistemological beating in the "Truth" and “truth” departments right now because shared information is a bitch. The Bronze Age had its privileges. Writing shit on a stone tablet and passing it around is pretty slow going even if you gotta kill a few non-believers to try and make it seem true. Things move a little more quickly these days. Sure, one can find out on the Internet what dresses the Kardashians are wearing to the Hideout on PCH in Santa Monica on Saturday night but, guess what, when someone's Sunday School teacher tells kids that a radical Jew rose from the dead and the earth is 6000 years old and you might burn in hell for eternity, well, there's a Google search for that too. That’s when the emotionally manipulated find out EVERYBODY'S got a scary magic story or two. So much for stone-mail. Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins and Dennett have done so much for modernity, I don't think their impact will be fully realized for several more years. Religion will eventually garner the same respect as Astrology and people will look back and say: “What happened?” And just like we discussed in class—we must stop letting organized religion hijack our most precious moments.
Great share, David. I have noticed that the internet has certainly allowed the discussion to open up more so than I've ever seen it in my life. I seem to find more insightful secular humanist views on Reddit and Stumbleupon as I do cute cat pictures. I know that they are just responding to my views personally, but still.... it's a lot of Atheism out there that is surprising to a reformed Southern Baptist from deep in Mississippi. I was just reading some of the passages out of the Portal Atheist, and the poem at the very beginning by the learned Omar Khayyam, and this line particularly seemed relevant to the article:"the unbeliever knows his Koran best."The more openly we share information, the weaker the religious' leg to stand on becomes. Religion has never favored freedom (thought, speech) unless it was the freedom to practice the religion, and nothing has ever been so easily utilized for the purpose of freedom as the internet. Whether it's the caloric and health value of foods, the harmfulness of fireplaces, or the contradictory paradoxical dogmas of religion, knowledge is liberating.
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I do believe that the internet is great for people to see and gain access to the atheist or agnostic views, but I fear that it also allows the religious follower another means of control of their followers and another target for them to go after. As our side, atheists and agnostics, as we gain ground with shared knowledge and ideas, the theist side embeds their followers further. Also, they now know more about what they are up against and will try to find passages that justify their believes. It is just the new ground that we carry on our conflict. I believe it is more that religion is losing it's purpose is society than the internet killing it.