Saturday, May 19, 2007

Some quotations that have been making me think recently, commentary to follow:

Sam Harris, in a column that appeared a couple of months ago in our local paper, you can read it here : these are where I agree with him, disagreements to be discussed later--

"People of all faiths — and none — regularly change their lives for the better, for good and bad reasons. And yet such transformations are regularly put forward as evidence in support of a specific religious creed. President Bush has cited his own sobriety as suggestive of the divinity of Jesus. No doubt Christians do get sober from time to time — but Hindus (polytheists) and atheists do as well. How, therefore, can any thinking person imagine that his experience of sobriety lends credence to the idea that a supreme being is watching over our world and that Jesus is his son?"

Harris again, in the same column: "Compassion is deeper than religion. As is ecstasy. It is time that we acknowledge that human beings can be profoundly ethical — and even spiritual — without pretending to know things they do not know. "

E.J. Graff in a column that appeared in our local paper last Sunday, it looks like it was originally published in the Washington Post, about "The Mommy Wars" (the purported tension between working moms and stay-at-home moms) (which is not what interests me so much as the idea that you can manipulate women by inducing anxiety) :
"...middle- and upper-class women are a demographic that responds well to anxiety, says Caryl Rivers, author of "Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women." ... Tell women that working will damage their marriages, health and children and they will buy your magazine, click on your website, blog about your episode and write letters to the editor."

Giles Harvey, in a review (click here) of Christopher Hitchens' book God is Not Great:
"Although I am an unbeliever, this doesn't prevent me from recognizing that what led humans to create gods was not simply fear but a desire to harness and account for those sustaining moments when we receive our lives most abundantly. Iris Murdoch gives a far more persuasive and imaginatively generous account of religion when she writes, "God does not and cannot exist. But what led us to conceive of him does exist and is constantly pictured. That is, it is real as an Idea, and also incarnate in knowledge and work and love." "

more later

No comments:

Post a Comment