Election Map 2016
Red State Nightmare
During a minor internet search, in which I was hoping to glean assorted information on the Piltdown Man, I encountered the following item. And I had to laugh, partly because I was ashamed for not ever having heard of it, and just for the sheer comic value:
The caption reads:
The Cardiff Giant was one of the most famous hoaxes in U.S. history. It was a 10-foot tall “petrified man” uncovered in October 1869 by workers digging a well in Cardiff, New York. The giant was actually the creation of a New Yorker named George Hull. Hull, an atheist, decided to create the giant after an argument about a Bible passage stating that there were giants who once lived on Earth (source).
Ahh…what a wonderful world we live in.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!
Throughout my blogosphere travels over the past few weeks, I have encountered a number of posts by newly professed Atheists who are lamenting the loss of community that religion once gave them.
I can understand this feeling, only partially. Actually, when I was a believer, I deplored church, but I believe myself to be something of a strange breed when it comes to certain kinds of gatherings, even apart from church. Nevertheless, a sense of community is, indeed, something to consider when establishing an outlook on life, especially as it is based on conclusions drawn from the inner-self. We humans are social creatures and we need each other to survive.
For my own experience in making the attempt to find community among the Atheist and Skeptical communities, what I found turned out to be a rather sordid affair. No one really greeted me; people were hogging conversations; a time limit on the gathering was not established and thus, I sat there for a while until I had to interrupt to find out if and when the meeting was going to end. The whole ordeal was rather unorganized and cumbersome, and I found myself not wanting to return.
However, when I look at the phenomenon from a scientific perspective, it’s easy to see how the Internet has been a driving factor in the acceptance and growth of Atheistic practices, wherever these may occur. And just how long has the Internet been among the human population? For myself, since 2006; but on a general level, I’m sure that thousands of years from now, the turn of the century will be marked as the advent of mass communication.
From this point, this would indicate that the correlation between Atheistic acceptance, the communities that follow in its wake, and the advent of the Internet has been in a seeming process from, say — let’s just mark it as the year 2000. The conclusion to be drawn from this speculation is that religious communal entities have about a 2,000 to 5,000 year lead in the practice in of community organization. I say give our sector a chance to grow.
Again, I can understand how this generation must feel as the world of reality continues in its fruition. Loneliness. Loss. Isolation. Polarization. But I think that because the phenomenon is so new and attendant upon us, that it will be some time before a true comfort stream can emit from the organizational prospects that the Atheist and Skeptical communities will ultimately have to confront. We already have groups like the Sunday Assembly (though I will admit, this sort of thing might not be my cup of tea); and the many organizations that stem from groups like the British Humanist Association seem innumerable. The Sunday Assembly itself does appear to work for many people, and I think that as time moves forward, a couple hundred years of working out the kinks will have future communities providing a more approachable venue for those non-believers who want a place to be among friends.
Now, if I could figure out a way, I’d invite everyone who follows my blog to a party, because that would be an exquisite experience. I would love to meet all of my fellow bloggers in person, but for now I guess we’ll all have to live ours lives as we’ve made it thus far. This, knowing that future generations may find matters a bit easier in which to thrive.
[Addendum] Here are a couple of videos about the advent of open Atheism.
Diana Nyad says she’s an Atheist and Oprah remarks, “But you’re into awe.” Oprah seems to be speaking on behalf of those who think that Atheists are automatons who are incapable of experiencing what the religious community has obviously come to own as the human condition. Ms. Nyad can only defend herself by adopting pantheism, but not before Oprah corners her with the “moment of death” question. Here, Oprah exerts her power as a TV icon, and posits with vigor that Nyad’s moment of death will be an “oh-wow one for you.” Ms. Nyad quickly concedes that she will end up in Hell if such is the case. She then explains that she has nothing to say about the beliefs of others, which is fine…though I can’t help but sense a hint of accomodationism.
The conversation then moves into whether or not an Atheist can be spiritual, and Ms. Nyad thinks that they can. She expresses wonder about oceans, plants, and civilizations that have gone before us, and she sees “energy” in all of this. (This part is odd as we get a window into Oprah’s life as she admits to talking to trees, but I digress.) Nyad defines the soul as a “love of humanity,” and she believes this soul lives on, though the body dies. In fact, she sees souls in everyone.
I don’t know, but this is one of the stranger explanations of Atheism I have ever come across. My interpretation of the exchange rest in my understanding of Oprah’s position as a television powerhouse. I don’t think Ms. Nyad is cowering in her presence, but Atheism seems to require a sugarcoat to make the concept palatable for Oprah’s show. On a deeper lever, it seems this is what Atheism faces in the mainstream of American matters. Of course we have a plethora of videos smothering the net with videos of Atheists who blatantly state: there are no god or spirits (the notion of spirits being correlative to “spirituality”), and religion is BS, but to state such points on an Oprah show would be blasphemy.
I suppose in some ways, Nyad’s way is crafty. If an Atheist must walk on pins and needles to get people to at least glance at the prospect that Atheism is here to stay, then let the freedom ring. The idea that it needs a kind of sophistry to function seems rather epistemologically neurotic, but if that’s what it takes for truth to arise from the mucky coat of religion layered over the world, I’m glad it worked for her, and I’m glad it was done on Oprah’s show. Thank you, Oprah.
Here is the rest of Lipka’s October 2013 article:
I am generally late to the hubbub that surrounds many movies because I don’t see them until they come out on RedBox. That being said, when I saw Aronofsky’s Noah (2014) in the new release section, I picked it up because hey, it’s only a dollar. And I figured it would give me a chance to visualize another perspective on the Christian paradigm, a chance to witness Hollywood bolster and boost the claims, to bring forth the realism necessary to make people think, “Wow, maybe I should be a Christian.”
“My word,” I muttered to myself as a preview of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) starring Megan Fox appeared. The standards and expectations for what was to follow had clearly been set, inscrutable as they were.
I had planned on writing an in-depth review, as many have done both positive and negative, but was deterred from doing so.
Is this some kind of a joke? This movie doesn’t need another review, though I believe a round of applause is due to Aronofsky for magnifying the fiction that is the Bible. (And his style of filmmaking is to be appreciated, especially for the time-lapse scenes that were pretty slick to take in as a viewer.)
At any rate, some comparative details about the ark for you:
I guess the thing that unravels me is that people in modern day positions of power are allowed to govern based on their belief in biblical material.