29 October 2006

Not collecting stamps is my hobby

Atheism is making a comeback, but then maybe it never really went away. Dawkins' new book is out, and his videos are all over YouTube; Wired's recent issue takes up the atheism buzz and talks with Dawkins and Sam Harris (who, like Dawkins, also published a new book in September); Gene Expression discusses Harris's ideas in relation to the minority position that atheists must take; and finally, Pharyngula opens the boards for a discussion on an atheist logo (that's not a Darwin-fish). I like the *, but and ♮ are also nice even though finding them in a unicode chart is a bitch.

As an artist, I understand the power and mystery of symbols and ritual. Creativity is part skill and part fleeting evocation, so as much as the commenters in the above threads insist that they're atheists because they lack some trait that would allow them to understand myth: I have that trait yet I still get frustrated when others allow it to infringe on the sciences. Although Dawkins' book is getting lukewarm reviews on the basis that it states the obvious, there's an undeniable need for some obvious-stating. Of course religious belief doesn't hold up to rational thought: why then do we allow it to so often tread in that realm?

Maybe this is all part of a pendulum correction. That'd be nice--if only to get back to a more sane norm.

[ updated 10 Nov 2006 ]

More statements of the obvious where unfortunately they need to be stated. "Gotta have faith?" from A. C. Grayling in Comment is free....

[ posted by sstrader on 29 October 2006 at 3:53:23 PM in Culture & Society ]