Faith, the Root of All Evil

Spirituality, Science 2006-06-16 03:43

In our modern world of tolerance, it is sometimes said that that science and faith can coexist. Richard Dawkins boldly challenges that notion in two 45 minute video segments titled The Root of All Evil. His approach is even-handed but pulls no punches, as he claims that blind faith is dangerous in any form (not just Islam). I love part 1’s closing line:

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”

Atheism and Agnosticism are not Mutually Exclusive

Spirituality 2006-05-15 04:15

“Agnosticism (from the Greek - a (without) gnosis (knowledge)) is a claim concerning itself with knowledge, or more put more aptly, the lack of knowledge. […] Someone who claims that they are agnostic when it comes to God is simply stating that they don’t know. […] While agnosticism makes a claim regarding knowledge, atheism makes a claim regarding belief - namely, I don’t believe God exists.”

From Putting the Misconception to Bed: Why Atheism and Agnosticism are not Mutually Exclusive by varkam

Why God Won’t Go Away (or, The Surprising Connection between Religion and Sex)

Spirituality, Sexuality 2005-09-20 09:43

Why God Won’t Go Away by Andrew Newberg et al. brings the experimental method of science to bear on the slippery subject of spirituality. Based on brain imaging scans of devout spiritual practitioners such as Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns, they locate and describe the areas of the brain which are active during the spiritual (sometimes also called “mystical”) state.

I’ll skip past the neurological details and go straight to the central thesis which unfolds as the book progresses: that the mystical state is the same across all faiths, and that this state can be defined in its simplest form as the overlap of mental arousal and quietude.

Arousal is not just sexual arousal, although that is certainly one possibility. Rather it encompasses any time your mind is alert, focused, energized - in a word, up.

Quietude is a state of calm. When your mind is defocused, peaceful, relaxed - in a word, down.

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