Archive for the ‘Atheism’ Category

Forgiveness and Compassion

Forgiveness and Compassion“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Not Buddha

Despite my imperative to discover forgiveness and compassion by any means possible, I was reluctant to use this quote — simply because it is so abused by spiritual novitiates and pseudoscientists. It is most frequently attributed to Gautama Buddha, but I suspected the ascription might be incorrect, so I did a little digging. And I’m glad I did. Read On…

Gödel and the Proof of God

Gödel and the Proof of GodIn 1931, Kurt Gödel introduced his Incompleteness Theorem to the world, and established that any system cannot be proven to be true using only its own content as premises — that is to say, it must rely on at least one external component for its validity. Likewise, that external component also cannot be proven to be true, intrinsically. The theorem is, essentially, a mathematical expression of the famous liar’s paradox:

This sentence is false.

Regardless of the point of origin, the riddle cannot be solved. Read On…

The Dangers of Militant Atheism

The Danger of Militant AtheismI am a loyal fan of Richard Dawkins. As a Darwinian evolutionary biologist, his ideas are foremost among contemporary scholars in the discipline. In his 1976 masterpiece The Selfish Gene, he coined the word meme — which he used to represent the evolutionary spread of ideas and knowledge. Since then, the concept of the meme has gained universal adoption as a construct in human language and thought. Dawkins’ contributions to the growth of knowledge are immeasurable.

Dawkins also describes himself as an atheist, and can often be found debating and discussing in the company of other superb theological critics like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (a quick YouTube search show how viral Dawkins’s work has become). Yet as much as I admire Dr. Dawkins (and I have for over two decades), I am somewhat put off by his approach to the criticism of toxic religious ideas. To me, he squarely embodies the dangers of militant atheism. Read On…

The Disease of Dogmatism

The Disease of DogmatismRarely have I struggled the way I do when I am confronted by the disease of dogmatism. It is, I believe, the greatest impediment to the growth of human knowledge — and to the betterment of mankind. It is a conundrum that has become less complicated over the centuries, but the continued slow rate of its exodus from our collective ethos troubles me deeply. Read On…

Negotiating with the Reptile Brain: the Neurological Basis of Fear

Negotiating with the Reptile Brain: the Neurological Basis of FearI have a passionate fascination with the human brain, with good reason — it has been called by innumerable experts the most complex mechanism in our universe. And I am convinced this is true.*

If my descriptions and observations are a little inaccurate, I beg your forgiveness early; I am not a neurologist or a neuro-scientist of any sort. So I feel obligated as usual, to disclaim any interpretations of authority that derive from this article. My zealous curiosity has simply gotten the best of me… again. And, of course, I eagerly welcome any corrections.

I borrow this analogy: the human brain is like a house that has been continuously improved and expanded over time. Read On…

Pseudoscience is Dangerous and Destructive

Pseudoscience is Dangerous and DestructiveThere is nothing more perilous to human progress and the growth of knowledge than spiritual, philosophical, or religious principles that are packaged up and presented as “fact” — under the guise of science. The practice is most terrifying because its presentation is so often seductive and subtle. But make no mistake about it: pseudoscience is dangerous and destructive. In fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to compare it with pestilence, poverty, and even war — when considering its pernicious consequences. Read On…

Surrendering to the Indomitable Direction of the Universe

Surrendering to the Indomitable Direction of the Universe“The highest excellence is like (that of) water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Dao.” – Lao Tzu

Some people are surprised to discover I am an avid fan of traditional Taoist and Buddhist teachings. This bewilderment derives from the misconception that Taoism and Buddhism are necessarily organized religions. Read On…