Monday, 7 July 2014

The Return of the Happy Atheist

As the sureness of confidence crumpled, so did the conviction of unbelief. Today's atheist world not at all like the snug universe of Enlightenment irreligion, secured by a neighborly and kind Nature is seen as a dim chasm of unceasing disarray, with no significance or heading, no structure or signposts to demonstrate the way. Subsequently talked Zarathustra. Following the time when Nietzsche broadcasted the passing of God a hundred years back, there have been no more joyful skeptics. The world in which individuals depended on their own forces and viewed themselves as unconstrained lawmakers on inquiries of great and underhandedness, the world where, liberated finally from the chains of awesome servitude, they could would like to recoup their lost pride that world was changed into a position of perpetual uneasiness and enduring. The nonappearance of God turned into a for all time rotting wound in the European soul, regardless of the fact that it could be overlooked with the support of fake painkillers. Think about the pagan universe of Diderot, Helvetius and Feuerbach with the heathen universe of Kafka, Camus and Sartre. The breakdown of Christianity so anxiously anticipated along these lines happily welcomed by the Enlightenment turned out to the degree that it truly struck be very nearly synchronous with the breakdown of the Enlightenment. The new, brilliant human centric request that was to emerge and supplant God once He had been ousted never showed up.

There are distortions, obviously, yet I think the trajectory portrayed is exact enough. Also I don't think there's any address that something huge has changed in that trajectory between Kolakowski's time and this one, delivering a recovery of Diderotian good faith among noticeable skeptics, and a covering of the "Holding up For Godot" style apprehension that he depicted in those days. The Hitchens/Dawkins sorts, with their "ecrasez l'infame" acting, are the most clear detailed analysis, however the wonder is more extensive than that: Among polemicists and rationalists much the same, there's what feels like a restored certainty that the greater part of the issues moral, political, existential that made the passing of God would appear that a sort of "wound" to such a variety of twentieth century essayists have some way or another been flawlessly wrapped up and determined and can now be securely set aside. This trust doesn't simply appear in the affront throwing attacks of figures like Jerry Coyne its normal for more watchful worldly arguers too who may nod to conceivable issues with their erudite amalgamation, however for whom the show of potential challenges never appears to signify a solitary nervousness or uncertainty.

Friday, 15 February 2013

What’s New about the New Atheism?

The New Atheism is the name that was attached, often pejoratively, to the series of six best-selling books by five authors including myself that appeared in the period 2004-2008. Since then many have joined the movement, with an upsurge in books, freethinker organizations and an exponential expansion on the blogosphere, spreading the word on atheism to thousands. The message of New Atheism is that it is time to take a far less accommodating attitude toward religion, including moderate religion, than has been exhibited in previous years by atheist authors and, in particular, by non-believing scientists.

In the United States science is locked in a battle with conservative Christians over the teaching of evolution and creationism in schools. So far, a series of court decisions going back to the mid-eighties has prevented attempts by some states to insinuate ‘creation science’ and its later version ‘intelligent design’ into the science curriculum of public schools as an alternative theory to Darwinian evolution. These decisions were all based on trial testimony that the proposals for inclusion were motivated by religion and thus in violation of the Establishment Clause of the US constitution, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. Shaping up as the next stage of the battle is the attempt to permit the teaching of creationism in science classes as a matter of ‘academic freedom’.

While 87% of scientists accept evolution by unguided, purely natural processes, only 32% of the public does. Belief in unguided evolution among mainline Protestants and Catholics is about the same as among the general public, while only 10% of Evangelicals and 19% of fundamentalist Protestants acknowledge it. To maintain as much public support for science as they can, many science advocacy organizations, such as the National Center for Science Education, the National Academy of Sciences, and most professional scientific societies, have maintained a kid-gloves approach in their dealing with religion. Several have issued statements to the effect that no contradictions exist between science and religion and, in particular, that evolution and Christianity are compatible.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Various research groups, including Positive psychology, endeavor to apply the scientific method to answer questions about what "happiness" is, and how we might attain it.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics. Happiness economics suggests that measures of public happiness should be used to supplement more traditional economic measures when evaluating the success of public policy.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Yellow-breasted Chat

The Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) is a large songbird, formerly considered the most atypical member of the New World warbler family, though the long-standing suspicion is that it does not actually belong there. Its placement is not definitely resolved. It is the only member of the genus Icteria.

Found throughout North America, from southern-plains Canada to central Mexico during the summer, these birds mainly migrate to Mexico and Central America, although some of their number may overwinter in coastal areas. Yellow-breasted Chats are noticeably larger than all other warblers, reaching a length of 7.5 in (19 cm) and a wingspan of 9.75 in (24.8 cm). These birds have olive upperparts with white bellies and yellow throats and breasts; they also have long tails, thick heavy bills, large white eye-rings, and dark legs.

The breeding habitats of this species are dense, brushy areas and hedgerows. The nests of these birds are cup-shaped, and are placed in thick shrubs. These birds eat insects and berries, and will forage in dense vegetation, occasionally gripping food with their feet. The song of this bird is an odd, variable mixture of cackles, clucks, whistles and hoots.

Their calls are harsh chak's. Unlike most warblers, this species has been known to mimic the calls of other birds. This bird is somewhat secretive, but will usually sing from exposed locations. Yellow-breasted Chats are declining in eastern North America due to habitat loss, which is caused primarily from deforestation and urban development. This species is particularly vulnerable to brood parasitism from Brown-headed Cowbirds that have taken advantage of the fragmentation of Eastern forests to expand their range in the last century.