Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's better than texting while driving? Sexting while driving, of course!

Nothing much to say. It's one of those rare days where I actually spend a lot of time reading a book. I'm reading The End of Faith by Sam Harris still. I take forever to get through a book. I just don't feel like reading a lot of times. Apparently, checking my email and other internet bullshitz 1000 times a day is more important.

I guess I've been on a Sam Harris kick since I saw his TED talk about science informing morality the other day. I thought it was good. Did anyone else see it?


  1. I haven't seen that particular talk, but I just found it and look forward to watching it.
    If your interested in a counterpoint to The End of Faith, you might try David Bentley Hart's 'Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies'. I've just started reading it, and it's really enjoyable. The title of the book is terrible (it sounds like the kind of thing his publisher must have come up to sell more books), but it's well written and well argued. It's a lot like Harris's book insofar as it isn't really about the arguments for or against theism, but about the overwhelmingly positive effect that Christianity has had in the formation of western civilization, and how many of the post-enlightenment values held by the 'new atheists' are parasitic on Christianity. Like Harris', the book is very polemical, but that makes it a quick and fun read.

  2. could this post, be more inspired by my blog? get your own material jackass.

  3. Travis,
    That sounds like another book I recently read called "A friendly Letter to Skeptics & Atheists: Musings on why God is Good and Faith isn't Evil" which was quite good.
    I don't think anyone is trying to deny that a lot of good has been done by christians. Sam and the gang harp on the evil that they've done because, I think, they're pointing out the potential that that kind of irrational belief can have. Plus, I generally think that good people do good, religious or not. Most people are religious, so it stands to reason that most good is done by religious people. I don't believe that they do those things simply because they're religious, though I'm sure a lot of them would claim that.

    Curtis, I didn't know you had the patent on talking about books. My apologies, donkey nutz.

  4. Taylor,
    I understand that position. No one here is saying that all the good guys are on one team and all the bad guys are on another. Good and bad guys abound.
    The value of Harp's book is that he shows (I think convincingly) that Christianity as a philosophy transformed the pagan West from an irredeemably ugly place full of slavery, infanticide, barbarism, and hopelessness in such a way that it set the stage for human rights and modern science. It is, actually, the opposite thesis of Harris' book.
    Sam Harris' primary purpose in The End of Faith is to critique what he views to be a dangerous way of acquiring and sustaining beliefs. He views 'religious faith' ( he never defines precisely what he means by this) to be a peculiar kind of commitment against 'reason' and 'empirical evidence', and that that has naturally had disastrous consequences. Harp attempts to show that this picture of Christianity is a convenient mythology for purposes of modern secularists, but not at all accurate historically.
    Anyway, I recommend it.
    You are completely right that there are good and bad people who fit every category of 'religious' or 'irreligious belief'. Of course there are. The more interesting question will be whether or not some worldviews are better than others. The answer to that is, I think, obviously yes.

  5. hey taylor!

    i just tweeted you and leah about this because i don't have a really good method of contacting either of you.

    leah and i had "sister sites" way back in the day and i've been reading her website ever since (mine's been gone for years).

    i work at a deli (zingerman's) in ann arbor now, and they're hosting a video contest. i made a video ( which while legal for youtube is no good for the contest due to the music. i was wondering if QC would be willing to let me use part of a track.

    i don't expect any monetary gain (with the exception of possibly winning the contest... but technically, the prize is valued at $0)... and while I'm not sure how they would use the video ultimately, you can bet I'm happy to put your name in the credits.

    NO pressure either way! just thought i'd give it a shot!

    if you could get back to me ASAP, that'd be really, really awesome.
    (contest deadline is tomorrow, 3/31)

    my email is margot.miller {at}