Posts concerning religion

Tom Cruise: Scientologist

23:59 18 Jan 2008

Last night I got around to watching the recently-leaked Tom Cruise Scientology video. Probably old news to a lot of people, since it’s been doing the rounds online, but if you missed it, it’s worth a look.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , ]    

Pathetic Absurdities

23:58 16 Sep 2007. Updated: 01:19 17 Sep 2007

So a Swedish newspaper has gotten involved in a controversy over depictions of Muhammad, culminating in heated diplomatic exchanges, threats of boycotts, and bounties on the heads of the cartoonist and the editor. This is somewhat reminiscent of the Danish Jyllands-Posten uproar from late 2005, which led to death threats and fatal riots.

Permalink     3 Comments     [, , , , ]    

The Strangeness of Evil as a Force

23:52 26 Jul 2007. Updated: 02:24 27 Jul 2007

It struck me this evening that the concept of evil being a force external to human beings is very odd. The same goes for good, but it seems that evil is more frequently cited—perhaps because people tend to take at least some credit for their own good works, while being generally happy to claim that their bad acts were at least influenced, if not coerced, by some outside agency. The idea that evil is a force, or that evil non-human forces seek to encourage us to do evil, pushes one’s conception of the world to a very different place.

Permalink     4 Comments     [, , ]    

Harry Potter and the Incensed Zealots

21:44 24 Jul 2007. Updated: 11:05 25 Jul 2007

I’m not a Harry Potter fan, and so haven’t been caught up in the hype surrounding the movie or the release of the final book. I read the first one, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in 2000 and didn’t enjoy it. I felt it was lacking something, possibly depth. Yes, it was aimed at children, but so was the His Dark Materials trilogy, which displayed no such lack. That being said, I don’t have anything against the books per se, apart from occasional irritation at the hype (and the copyright-law heavy-handedness from the publishers). Apparently a significant number of groups feel rather differently.

Permalink     7 Comments     [, , , ]    

Craaaaazy People

17:44 28 May 2007

This video is truly something to behold. I got it via Tom Tomorrow’s This Modern World, and feel that it just has to be shared.

I’d love to be wrong, but unfortunately I don’t think it’s parody.

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

The Allure of End Times

23:56 18 Mar 2007. Updated: 03:08 19 Mar 2007

What is the allure of believing that we’re in the last days of the world? (For “world”, you can substitute “civilization as we know it”, “era”, “good times”, and so on.) The allure of thinking that our times are the end times is powerful indeed, and has been throughout history.

Permalink     7 Comments     [, , ]    

The God Delusion

21:02 04 Mar 2007

I finished reading Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion this morning. I found it clearly written and well-argued. I certainly haven’t seen anything from his critics that appears to refute his arguments, although I wonder how many of them have actually read his entire book.

Permalink     28 Comments     [, , , ]    

Belief and Rationality/Irrationality

22:50 03 Mar 2007

Do people have rational reasons for believing things that are irrational?

For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll define “irrational beliefs” as “belief in things that are demonstrably untrue”. For example, the belief that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. I regard this as demonstrably false because it’s either untrue, or almost everything we understand about the physical laws of the universe goes out the window.

Permalink     4 Comments     [, , , , , , , ]    

King-James-Only Discordianism

13:10 27 Jan 2007

In the beginning was The Speaking of The Word.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , ]    

‘Atheist Fundamentalism’

23:53 15 Dec 2006. Updated: 02:24 16 Dec 2006

I read a hostile review of The Root of All Evil, Richard Dawkins’ documentary, on the liberal website Alternet.org today.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , ]