Should Atheists admire Monotheism, the same way Socialists love Capitalism?
When I first read Karl Marks’ The Communist Manifesto, I was very much surprised. I expected a demeaning rebuke of Capitalism, a scourge of fire scathing evil wealthy industrialists. But I found nothing of the sort. The Manifesto struck me as a paean for capitalism. It is full to the rim with the praise of capitalism. Marks and Angels are charmed with capitalism. There are a couple of (very big) issues which make capitalism the greatest peak of civilization (so far) in their eyes.
The first point is that capitalism has brought an age of limitless capability. From their perspective in the middle of the 19th century, it is more than understandable. As they rightly exclaim, humans can now cross vast oceans in mere weeks. Fertilized crop yield vast amounts of food. For the first time ever, the medical establishment is doing more good than harm. Medicine actually works(!). And on and on. The list is endless. Capitalism has unleashed an enormous power. This power can do much good, and it does. Continue reading →
Dan Dennett is a wonderful philosopher. And I don’t say that just because he always agrees with me (yes, this is a joke). I say so especially thanks to his ability to make things simple and eloquent – and that, I think, is the hall mark of a true philosopher. But that is stuff for another post.
Really, Dennett is great. go YouTube and run a search (bear in mind that some good lectures are under Dan Dennet). Go to Ted and see. In this lecture, given while Dennett received the “Richard Dawkins Award” at the AAI 07 conference in Washington, D.C., he makes some interesting claims regarding religious beliefs. I won’t get into detail (just go and hear the man) – but for this one thing that bugs me:
How do you, an atheist, approach a person who just had a divine revelation? What can you say to him?
Now let’s be specific about it. The following is a real story. I know these people. Here goes.