Penn Jillette On Magic, Atheism, And Libertarianism

A really enjoyable video, especially for his remarks on magic, other magicians, and why magic on TV isn’t real magic.

And I really appreciated his stress on the importance of having “out” atheists to identify with. In his case he discusses being joyed, inspired, loved, and comforted by having famous atheists like Martin Mull, Randy Newman, and Frank Zappa to look up to.

It’s really important that we speak up and that we encourage each other to speak up for precisely this sort of reason. We atheists matter and we need support just like any one else and by the nature of Western religion. And by virtue of our atheism, we are excluded from one of humanity’s primary sources of institutional identity formation and support (religion), and we are actively maligned and mistrusted by the leaders of religious institutions, politicians, and, quite often, members of our own families.

Here’s a Randy Newman classic for Penn and all the other atheists out there who could use some support:

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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