05w05:4 Mumbo Jumbo

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 5 number 4 (mumbo jumbo)

——————————————————————— Atheism and children | Natalie Angier
“But seriously. I’m here to talk about why my husband and I are raising our daughter as an atheist. The short, snappy answer is, We don?t believe in god. The longer, self-exculpating answer that is the theme du noir is, We believe it is the right thing to do. […] I can understand the literary and metaphoric value of any number of characters from mythology and religion. […] Yet however legitimate it may be to view any of our religious books as we would the works of Shakespeare or Henry James , I don’t take them seriously as descriptions of how the universe came to be or how any of us will re-be in some posthumous setting, or what god is or wants or whines about. So I am an unalloyed atheist by the standards of the mainstream sects.”

Counting Sheep? | Seema Sirohi
“Are American Christian evangelists using the devastation wreaked by the tsunami to spread the word of God – their God? Disturbing stories from the region and fund-raising appeals from religious leaders in the US who want to ‘plant Christian principles as early as possible’ in the orphans of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India have raised profound questions about proselytisation of vulnerable people in times of tragedy. […] ‘This kind of proselytisation demeans the idea of religious conversion, for it uses helplessness to spread a religion,’ says Ashutosh Varshney, political science professor at Michigan University. ‘A genuine change in conviction remains the best basis for religious conversion and should not be stopped. Few people in abysmal distress can exercise sound judgement.'”

For Tsunami Survivors, A Touch of Scientology | Peter S. Goodman
“‘Volunteer Minister,’ Meyers’s yellow T-shirt proclaims. You do not know the sound that a tree makes when it falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it. You cannot imagine the sound of a wave big enough to clear coconut palms and smash houses into bits. But you now know the sound of a Scientology minister tending to survivors. ‘Feel my finger,’ Meyers says, as he touches the ankle of a man with back pain. ‘Feel my finger,’ he says again as he touches the opposite ankle. ‘Feel my finger,’ he says for hours unending as he probes points of which you were only vaguely aware.”

Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice… | Mark Federman
“What is actually revealed here is the willingness of so many people to accept at face value, the ‘truth claims’ we are exposed to each and every day, in almost every facet of our lives. Our education system teaches in a particular way, based on a particular syllabus, because, we are told, this is best for the children. Our business organizations are organized in a particular way because, we are told, it is most efficient, effective or provides the best service to our customers. Political decisions are made that affect hundreds of millions of people all around the world because, we are told, this is the way to emancipation, freedom, liberty, and prosperity for all. The operative phrase in all of these – and many more examples that I could suggest – is ‘we are told.’ “

Creative Psychology | Timothy Comeau
“We tell ourselves stories to explain our actions, but those actions are being processed beneath or above the threshold were the ‘PR person’ gets a hold of them. In Zorn’s case I would say that his musical facility means that a portion of his mind has great facility with music, and when it comes time to compose, this is brought to the awareness of the PR person and the part of his mind that directs writing and all that. However, the PR person is at a loss to understand just what is happening, because it doesn’t have the language to explain it. The only thing it has available for his ‘Coke story’ is to fall back on the mystical stories inherited from the time of Socrates.”

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emailed by Timothy on Sunday 06 February 2005 @ 2:27 PM

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