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In which I Am Indirectly Wistful for the Days of Asimov and Vonnegut

"Like so many other prominent atheists (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, etc.), Maher never tied his atheism to any meaningful cause beyond rejection".

When I was younger, as an atheist, I used to be annoyed at being often associated with humanism. Now, I miss having people with a sense of compassion as the standard bearers of religious skepticism.

I don't hate religious people. I don't despise religion. Because humans are involved in religious culture, beautiful things have arisen from it, just as negative aspects have. That's going to happen no matter what, religion or no. One need only look to Bill Maher or Christopher Hitchens to see you can be an oppressive and complete asshole without religious belief.

Religious organizations facilitate useful social functions not readily met by other groups. Spiritual belief and experience fulfill needs many folks are hardwired with. Insisting society abandon these aspects of itself is cruel and irrational.

You don't have to believe any mumbo jumbo to see that.

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More Political Notes

-Rick Santorum seems a somewhat likeable guy who believes several crazy, distasteful things. It may not be helpful to say his ideas are nuts, but it still is less useful to fashion him an evil man because his discriminatory views don't jive with the left, centre, or centre-right in America.

-Calling a person a 'front runner' before votes are counted is just plain wrong.  Calling one a front-runner after some votes are counted is slightly misleading.  The race isn't about who the media thinks is ahead, and it is only indirectly about who gets the most votes.  What really matters is accruing the most delegates.  In the race for a major party's nomination for POTUS, the guy with the most delegates-who-will-actually-vote-for-him-at-their-national-convention is ahead. If no delegates have been awarded, there isn't really a front-runner, no matter what polls might say.

-I doubt the primary process will hurt the eventual Republican nominee for POTUS all that much.…

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.