Beta Culture: Blowing in the Wind … Ordinary People.

dust bowl

I’m thinking all at once about government and royalty, churches and corporations, unions and cultures. And us.Some of what I try to do in attempting to understand the world around me is to take a distant look at what’s going on, rather than a close-up look, searching for broad patterns and underlying motivations. I sometimes even joke that I’m an alien just visiting here to study Earth humans, expecting that eventually my real people will show up and take me back home.I’ll tell you someth … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Story Behind the Stories

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Every culture has stories. I don't mean the entertaining fictions of story books or novels or other popular entertainment. I mean this other kind, something out in plain sight, but also sort of hidden.Stories about how things fit together. Stories about relationships, about the duties children owe to parents, and parents to children. Stories about how man and woman relate, and the ways to create family. Stories about the regard each person owes to neighbors. Stories about how to do everyday … [Read more...]

Reimagining the Conceptual Foundation of Atheism

The_Thinker

Inevitably, in any discussion with those critical of atheism, you'll hear "You can't prove there's no God, therefore atheism is not logically supportable."Here's the counter: There's this thought experiment we've been conducting for the past three centuries or so, the thought experiment of "What if everything works by completely natural laws and forces, with no capricious supernatural superbeings involved?"It doesn't matter whether or not the supernatural superbeings exist! We just … [Read more...]

Atheism at the Bedside of the Dying

_Dan Bright Sun 2

When I took my canine buddy Ranger the Valiant Warrior for that last trip to the vet, the doctor asked me to leave the room while he gave him the shot. I looked at him like he was crazy, told him flatly, "I'm not leaving." I also asked him to give Ranger a shot of painkiller before the real killer. As Ranger died, I was there talking to him, stroking him, holding him, "You were the best, buddy! I'll never forget you! I love you, handsome beast!"When Tito the Mighty Hunter died, I was right … [Read more...]

Diving Into the Question of Free Will

Free Will Diver

The subject of free will has cropped up in my life again. I think about it every so often, and there are some things that always come to mind when I do. So:If you define free will as "the ability to flout or ignore physical laws," the discussion ends almost before it starts. You can’t defy natural laws. The weird thing is, MOST of the people commenting or writing on the subject speak exclusively in this vein, concluding rightly there is no such thing as free will. Either there’s some sort of … [Read more...]

Goodness and Guilt on the Dark Edge of Life

Guilt

I’m thinking about guilt as a driving force of religion.If you treat somebody badly, and they later die before you have a chance to apologize or correct your action, you have no way to make it right with them. If you’re religious, though, you can regain balance both through the ceremonial forgiveness your religion offers and through the “knowledge” that you will either see them again and have the chance to make it right, or that they’re alive-after-death and able to see you, hear you, as you … [Read more...]


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