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Month: June 2016

blaming lovelessness on atheism?

I’ve purchased a book called “all about love” by bell hooks (the lowercase in intentional by the author). I was mostly enjoying it up until the chapter on spirituality where she seems to basically blame the lack of love and emotional fulfillment in modern society on “secular individualism” and “materialism.” I think she says some things that make sense here about the need to step away from consumerism as a means of fulfilling our emotional needs. But it also seems like she is saying all “true” spirituality is love, and the opposite is secularism/consumerism/atheism/nihilism. And that chafes on me very badly. It makes me not to read this book any more. 🙁 Example quotes: “A culture that is dead to love can only be resurrected by spiritual awakening. On the surface it appears that our nation has gone too so far down the road of secular individualism, worshiping the twin gods of money and power, that there seems to be no place for spiritual life… The crisis of American life does not seem to be generated by a lack of interest in spirituality. However, this interest is constantly co-opted by the powerful forces of materialism and hedonistic consumerism.” “Organized religion has failed to satisfy spiritual hunger because it has accommodated secular demands, interpreting spiritual life in ways that uphold the values of a production-centered commodity culture.” I don’t think she actually...

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Moral Lessons from the Bible: God as the Perfect Father?

I’ve heard at times from non-fundamentalist friends and family that the stories of the Bible are not to be taken literally but that they provide moral lessons. Sometimes I have to wonder what moral lessons and truths they are talking about. For instance, there is one story in the Bible in particular that honestly and seriously confused me about how a loving father should act. God is presented in the tradition of Christianity I was raised in as the perfect Father, and we were taught that this story happened literally. It is the story of Genesis 3, usually titled “The Fall” or something like that. It’s a bit long and I don’t want to reproduce it here, but if you want to read it you can find it on BibleGateway.com. The gist of it is that God had told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Well, in the KJV “the tree in the midst of the garden”) or else they would die. To made a fairly short story even shorter, Eve is persuaded by the cunning talking snake into taking a bite, and then getting Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. It’s what happens next — and the explanations and rationalizations I was taught — that confused me. Do Adam and Eve die? Well, not right...

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Brief Reason Rally Thoughts

The walk to the Rally from our hotel was long, but fun. Ed and I were wearing our “LouAville Atheists and Freethinkers” shirts which got a lot of notice and comments and also signaled to all the other rally people to where we were going. We had some good company and interesting scenery on the way, including a pass right by the Washington Monument. I’d seen it from a distance before, but never so close up. We arrived at the Rally at about 10:30am, about 1/2 hour after the official start time. Once we got there, we found a nice...

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