1. What on deB's view poses the greatest risk to our chances of flourishing?
2. Who are some of deB's secular saints?
3. What is the point of higher education, according to J.S. Mill?
4. Who pioneered walking meditation?
5. What are some questions posed by religion that should intrigue atheists?
6. Why don't atheists like the Marian cult?
- Does Mill's harm principle imply that "the foibles of citizens are placed beyond comment or criticism"? At what point does comment or criticism threaten to infringe personal liberty?
- Has "an abhorrence of crude moralism banished talk of morality from the public sphere" (except, maybe deB would amend, in American presidential politics)? Should it?
- Have you known any parents who did not "spontaneously favor moralistic intervention over neutrality" or hover intrusively over most aspects of their children's lives? How did that work out?
- Do you agree that your conduct is not simply your own business? 78 Are you gratified to be "nudged" by friends to be a better person?
- Do atheists have to believe that God wasn't always dead, in order to be "shaken" by Nietzsche's infamous slogan? 79 Do we, or did we ever, really have to "pretend that morality came from the heavens"? Have we evolved sufficiently to "recognize ourselves as the authors of our own moral commandments"? 80
- Do you find Original Sin charming or unifying? 82-3
- Is commercial advertizing more objectionable on libertarian (or other) grounds than the kind of homiletic reminders deB advocates? 89
- Do you esteem any secular saints? (Or role models?)
- How much of your higher education has reflected "the best that has been said and thought in the world"? 101 How well has it prepared you to value and continue pursuing such learning after graduation? Have you been disappointed by college, in its contribution to the development of your own emotional and ethical life skills? 105 Do you think educators still think about "the social value of the college-bred"?
- Is the modern university's mission contradictory? 106
- Can culture replace scripture in its "ability to guide, humanize, and console"? 106 Can literature "save our souls and heal the State"? 108 Do you agree that "the very qualities that the religious locate in their holy texts can often just as well be discovered in works of culture"? (See A.C. Grayling's Good Book...)
- "Why are atheists not able to draw on culture with the same spontaneity and rigour which the religious apply to their holy texts"? 109
- Do you have to believe in a dualistic eternal soul, to endorse soul-building and the inculcation of so-called godly virtues (faith, hope, charity, love)? 115
- Do secularists need parables?
- Why in the world should universities consider "doing away with fields like history and literature"? 121 What departments would you add or subtract to the university? How would you revise the curriculum? 161 Shouldn't philosophy and other presently-configured departments be capable of covering relationships, dying, self-knowledge (etc.)?
- Are university professors as lacking in the skills of sophistry, rhetoric, and charisma as deB says? Shall we try a little call-and-response in class? Or maybe you musicians can bring your instruments...
Senator Ted Cruz fired his communications director on Monday after the aide acknowledged spreading a false news story that purported to show his rival Senator Marco Rubio questioning the answers that the Bible provides...
Mr. Tyler was fired after he had posted a story on Facebook with a video of Mr. Rubio containing a subtitle claiming to show the Florida senator saying there are “not many answers” in the Bible. In fact, Mr. Rubio had said it has “all the answers.”
(continues... but what more do we really need to know about these guys?)