Living with Star TrekGene Roddenberry‘s Humanist Adventure!

A discussion with author Lincoln Geraghty on the many humanistic themes of the various Star Trek television series and films, what Star Trek had/has to say about American culture, and how Trekkies and Trekkers (and others) have been affected by Roddenberry’s utopian message.

Chris Hedges Doesn’t Believe in Atheists!

From the Publisher:

From the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and the NBCC finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes this timely and compelling work about the “new atheists”, those who attack religion to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects.

Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, has long been a courageous voice in a world where there are too few. He observes that there are two radical, polarized and dangerous sides to the debate on faith and religion in America: the fundamentalists who see religious faith as their prerogative, and the “new atheists” who brand all religious belief as irrational and dangerous. Both sides use faith to promote a radical agenda, while the religious majority, those with a commitment to tolerance and compassion as well as to their faith, are caught in the middle.

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With reading on the decline, scientific and historical illiteracy on the rise, and a mass media dedicated to the dumbing-down of our minds, it is crucial now more than ever to understand just how we got to this point and what we can do about it. This Sunday, Susan Jacoby will discuss her new book “The Age of American Unreason” to enlighten us on the aforementioned trends. Jacoby dissects a new cultural phenomenon at odds with our Enlightenment traditions that has at its core a disdain for logic and evidence, a triumphalist religious fundamentalism, a mediocre public education system (at best), and the triumph of infotainment. Jacoby’s analysis describes and points out this anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism for what it is and what it has cost us as a society.

The Age of American Unreason is Susan Jacoby’s eighth book. Jacoby’s “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism” (2004), was hailed in The New York Times as an “ardent and insightful work” that “seeks to rescue a proud tradition from the indifference of posterity.” Among her other books are “Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1984, and “Half-Jew: A Daughter’s Search for Her Family’s Buried Past.”

In “The Secular Conscience,” Austin Dacey argues that we who are non-religious should be every bit as engaged in public discussions as are our religious counterparts… discussions which involve reflecting upon individual behaviors and/or public policies, as being problematic or as supporting our society moving in a direction we want.

Austin feels that the public discussion of behavior and policies are presently dominated by religion, and that if secularists do not find a way to participate in that discussion it will be at our peril. This of course makes total sense, but what exactly can we bring to such a discussion that would constitute a unique and much needed contribution?

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