Watch my talk, “In Defense of Blasphemy”

If you don’t have the stomach to read the article “In Defense of Blasphemy”, you can watch my talk (with accompanying slide-show) here.

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2 thoughts on “Watch my talk, “In Defense of Blasphemy”

  1. Thank you for providing the text of this talk! I really appreciate it, especially as – like so many people in this country – I’m broadband challenged.

    I’m interested in your explanation of religious people’s reaction to criticism.

    On the few rare occasions when I have stated that I am not a believer the response has been at best a befuddled pause, at worst rage.

    Consequently I never make such statements unless I am confronted and I do not seek such confrontation. I NEVER criticise religion, not even a hint, unless I know that I am with like-minded people. This is the habit of a life time, so I suppose I have become part of the enabling rot.

    I have often wondered why religious people behave this way. You say that in the age of science and humanism “offense is used” as a last defensive weapon. But I don’t think it’s as conscious as that; the offence, indignation, rage that I have witnessed is genuine. Maybe the reason is that there is a consciousness that it’s all Wizard of Oz stuff, but, having invested so much in it: their world view, time, social circle, personal image etc they cannot afford to ditch it. So any criticism is a threat to this fragility: it may pop the precious bubble.

  2. When saying that it was a “last ditch”, I did not mean it was conscious effort. It is not. It is just what “is” – without forethought – the instance which arises, because they have nothing else to base it on. They can not allude to any form of evidence to back their claims, so they coat it in “feelings” and “respect” and all criticism dies when it touches. All criticism thinks that these electric-fences, powered by “politically correct” norms, surrounded people’s beliefs are the last hurdle before the beliefs themselves perish and become part of the cemetery of bad ideas we call “myth”.

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