I’ve been hit with the accursed virus that’s going around — not a computer bug; the sniffly, rhinovirus sort. Meanwhile, I’m working my way through Don Knuth’s “Structured Programming with go to Statements”; the Code Reads for that should be up within a day or two.
In the political world, I keep returning to the condescending fuss the GOP made before the election about Nancy Pelosi having already begun to choose her new drapes. President Bush followed up with more in his “we took a thumpin'” press conference.
And all I can think is, drapes? This election was all about pulling back drapes. Bush’s Washington has been a place of closed curtains and shut doors — from the Cheney energy panel to the secret rendition of prisoners to the zipped-up treatment of the press. Pelosi could mint some appropriate symbolism by simply leaving her windows uncovered. Whether she does so or not, let’s hope for a little more sunshine on the workings of government now that we’re no longer a one-party state.
If politics is too mundane and Iraq too depressing, go read Gary Wolf‘s wonderful Wired essay on atheism. It’s a great tour of the subject with stops at the doors of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. Wolf concludes that, although atheism is the logical and philosophically sound stance for a scientific person, there’s something off-puttingly evangelical about its most fervent advocates, and that’s why the great bulk of us non-believers tend to identify as agnostics instead.
[tags]atheism, nancy pelosi, gary wolf[/tags]
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Actually, I think you can’t prove that God doesn’t exist. So while I think that having ‘one true’ (monotheist) religion (where many many developed in different geographical areas in world history) is absurd, I wouldn’t say I’m atheist, nor agnostic.
There might well be some deity (or where does the universe come from? where does anything come from?), but refuse to believe in a homophobic bearded old guy that influences our daily life and frowns upon unmarried relationships. ;-)
JRC has a great column in yesterday’s Chron re: atheism. Worth a read for sure. Sure Dawkins and the “New Atheists” (I like that term) have a point, but I think JRC has a way better outlook on Atheism. Religion isn’t all bad. I challenge anyone to look at St. Peter’s Basilica, or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and spout Dawkins. Religion, like all other human endeavours, is a full of evil and hypocrisy, but then you look at people like Desmond Tutu, or the Aga Khan, or even less famous religious people that do good work, you have to believe that good things are done for the sake of something that, while unprovable is an undeniable force in human affairs. Just because I think it’s a bunch of mystic hooey doesn’t make it irrelevant.
Go read JRC’s column online: