Come to Ottawa for a weekend gathering of scientists, philosophers, authors, academics, skeptics, rationalists, humanists, atheists, and freethinkers, where you can see presentations and join discussions on science, skepticism, gender issues, theocracy vs secularism, godless ethics, parenting beyond belief. Continue reading “I’m Speaking at Eschaton2012!”
This is a self-indulgent repost of an older piece, freshened by thoughts of my recent 60th birthday:
I stumbled across the title phrase some time back, and Googled it. I found several lists and scrolled through them.
One of them was all “Go watch the Masters golf tournament,” and “Sit ringside at Madison Square Gardens for a boxing match,” and “See the Tour de France in person,” and it just seemed like most of it was a lot of crap you’d do to impress other people, instead of having an adventure exclusively for your own self.
This is a little nothing, just a bit of me that bubbled up in my head this morning. Maybe it’s a birthday wish for myself.
There’s this bird.
Well, I should tell you about where and when I saw it, first, so you’ll know why it matters to me.
I lived, as some of you know, in the mountains in central California, the High Sierra. I was on the east slope, not far from where California and Nevada butt together, and about midway up the range, not far south of Yosemite National Park. Continue reading “Blue Collar Atheist: Non Sequitur”
But you don’t get to see them unless you click below the fold. The pictures are so awesome, so breathtaking, that I fear you will be awed and breath-taked to the point that you’ll pass out and fall onto a smaller, less massive bystander — possibly a child or a dog.
I’ve been planning to go on a whale-watching tour near Boston, but a surprising number of obstacles have fallen in my way. I still MIGHT get to do it, but I have to wake up at 5 a.m., rent a car and drive for about 4.5 hours to get there. After the whale tour (several hours, I imagine), I’ll most likely be driving for another 4.5 hours to get home and sleep in my own bed.
Argh. Pretty arduous 60th birthday. But still … whales!
When I get back, I have a lot more good stuff to post about Beta Culture. (And maybe some whale pictures.)
To explain why I actually had to decide that: I had a thing happen a few weeks back. Was at a dinner party and a close friend happened to mention the date of my birth right out in public. I was peeved at him for several minutes.
For years now, I haven’t liked people knowing my birthday.
The fatal flaw of atheism? Actually, it’s a challenge atheism shares with religion. The difference between the two is that religion has found a solution.
So let’s talk about religion:
The weedy form of religion, superstition, arises automatically in each mind all on its own, simply by virtue of our need to create private theories – often wildly personified due to our ability to detect “person-ness” in everything from smiley faces to wind in the trees – about how the world around us works. But the fully-developed form of religion, that complex mess represented by, for instance, the Catholic Church … Continue reading “First Person Revolutionary — Part 3”
Atheism (more broadly, freethought) isn’t new, of course. Just in this country alone, it’s as old as Thomas Paine (although Paine was a deist, he was widely accused of being an atheist, and I’m confident he would’ve been one of us if he lived in a society in which it was possible to actually think about such things), and has had its bright sparks all along the way, right up to Carl Sagan, who published The Demon Haunted World only 15 years ago. Continue reading “First Person Revolutionary — Part 2”