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Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

This isn’t a new video, but I watched it for the first time today despite having heard about the book it’s based on (Religion for Atheists, 2011) when it first came out.

Alain proposes that, rather than dispose of religion altogether, atheists should put aside the doctrine but keep the ritualistic, social and moral elements that make religion such a comforting and helpful tool for so many people.

He argues that we should bring back the sermon as much more effective model of communication than the dry lecture, and that we can use ritual, art and social spaces to encourage reflection on the big truths or virtues of life – love, generosity, compassion, for example. For me Alain’s talk makes a lot of sense on so many levels. He asks us not to reject thousands of years worth of social innovation simply because we don’t believe in the ideas that are being conveyed by it anymore, but to keep the infrastructure and instead infuse it with what makes most sense to us now. As he says, there is no reason why the mystery and wonderment of modern science can’t provide the same sensation as that of a “spiritual” experience, which helps us put our own lives and problems into perspective.

I would love to hear other people’s responses – are you religious? What do you think about his ideas? If you’re an atheist, do his ideas reflect your feelings… are you an atheist 2.0? If there was one positive quality in religion that you’d like to keep what would it be, and how would you use it?

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I would ordinarily in this first paragraph be making some excuse for why it’s been so long since I posted anything on here, or remarking on how fast time flies, but I think I should probably just get over it and get on with the writing. I won’t make any promises about writing more often – I think it’s about time actions spoke louder than words.

So I just finished watching Fair Game, the 2011 film that depicted the true story of Valerie Plames, the CIA undercover operative whose cover was blown by her own government after her husband, Joe Wilson, accused the Bush administration of lying about WMDs in Iraq. I felt compelled to share Wilson’s great speech on democracy towards the end of film, which reminds us of our duties as citizens, subjects or whatever we are within a democratic state, to play an active role in our democracy – to hold those who claim authority over us to account in order to maintain a fair and uncorrupt system.

I think too often a democracy is assumed to be a healthy and self-sustaining system, that the fact that it is called “a democracy” is enough to ensure that it remains truly so. But what I feel around me is a distinct sense of mistrust and lack of control over our societal trajectory – it’s nothing new to say that our society is by comparison a politically apathetic one. Perhaps, because we’ve been allowed for too long to feel that the ways things are is stable and not in need of our time and effort to improve, and meanwhile the system has become too market driven to be easily affected by the will of its people, disempowering us further.

Listening to Wilson’s (Sean Penn’s) short speech reminded me in a nutshell about all the great reasons why it’s important to stay engaged, and not get swept up in media storms, which portray a politics more akin to Big Brother than a serious endeavour to responsibly govern our country/city/town/constituency. It reminds me most importantly why it’s worth risking the consequences to speak out for truth, and that it’s ok to believe that another way of being is possible.

 

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Came across this collaboration between Chris De Burgh and Iranian
pop band Aryan. Now, I’m not a pop-lover, and have never listened much
to Chris, but this video made me happy. It’s a rare fusion between an
established Western musician with an Iran-based group. Though western
influences have been used and fused with Iranian styles of music for
decades now, it is seldom the case that within Iran east and west come
together physically, and with such good quality as this.

I hope to see more collaborations like this on in the future!

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Fukitol

Pharmacology has a sense of humour, apparently!

This “wonder-drug” is in fact a lifestyle choice, cleverly packaged
into a drug parody that had me chuckling for some time! Check out http://www.fukitol.com for more details!

And as for the inspiration of this drug, though I’m not entirely
sure which one came first, check out this snippet from a Robin Williams
stand-up show:

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Cavutos?

Political humour – do US news channels ever say things their happy to admit to?

Question Marks on News Shows Are CNN and Fox just asking innocent questions?

<– END: Question Marks on News Shows –>

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