Thursday, January 18, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The nominations and winners are up for the Golden Globes (and have been for a bit, sorry for the lateness). The Academy Awards are often criticized for being dominated by politics and influence from the biggest (richest) studios. The People's Choice Awards are basically redundant when you could just look at Box Office Gross. By some accounts, that leaves the Golden Globes as the most informative awards of the season.
Leo DiCaprio was nominated twice in one category, and I think that's fair, since his performance in The Departed was pretty phenomenal. Clint Eastwood was also nominated twice in one category, which is also fair, since he directed one of the best movies of the year in another language. Grey's Anatomy beating out Heroes and Lost is a little disconcerting, but all the same, it's nice to see television get recognition in an era where the best television stands up against the best film.
Posted by Thomas B at 12:32 PM
Monday, January 15, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
In Sunday's (1/14) Kansas City Star, the entertainment section was focused on the upcoming film festival. One movie in particular stood out above the rest; I'll post the blurb in its entirety as it is relatively brief:
"Academy": Algorithmic technology has enabled R. Luke DuBois to intelligibly show an entire feature film in just 60 seconds. Here he compresses each movie that won the Oscar for best picture and shows all 75 films in 75 minutes, creating a mind-blowing survey of cinema history.
Is it possible to not want to see this film? It is after all, an entirely novel experience that only takes one hour fifteen minutes of one's life.
Posted by EP at 8:57 AM
Monday, January 08, 2007
This week's topic was whether or not Science and contemporary Christianity were strictly incompatible.
The minister, Rev. Hamilton, started the sermon saying Genesis 1 & 2 could not be taken as anything more than epic poetry, the world is obviously far more than 6,000 years old, and that evolution is a mechanism which explains how life changes over time.
Hamilton's Account of the Origin of New Atheism
The Reverand also sympathetically explained Dawkins's perspective: Dawkins sees fundamentalist Christians attacking science, even in our schools. Since Dawkins has been backed into a corner, he's naturally going to come out fighting, with what appears to be a crusade of atheism against all the faithful.
Ordinarily, I'd resent depictions of atheists as dogmatic crusaders, but here I think it's pretty explicative. Hamilton was basically admitting that Moderate Christians have been silent on Fundamentalist Christianity for far too long, and that explains a great deal of Harris's and Dawkins's ire over moderate Christianity.
Some Scientific Truths are Compatible with the Existence of God
After the intro, the Pastor explained how some scientific truths are compatible with the influence of a God. For example: Theists can look at the Big Bang and squeeze God in front of it. Theists can look at evolution as a guided process. Hamilton can look at the stars and understand their gaseous makeup, and yet marvel at Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Hamilton noted that someone with a theistic outlook will see the world as reaffirming God, someone with an atheistic outlook will not.
Some Scientists are Christians
Hamilton noted 6 successful scientist/theists.
That seals it. Even if this group of scientists is in the extreme minority, it proves his unambitious point for this first session: Science and Faith are not strictly incompatible.
(If he were using these scientists to suggest God exists, it would be a fallacious appeal to authority, but God's existence is not the topic for this week, so it's not as intellectually lazy at it might first appear.)
He adopted a very defensible (and somewhat unambitious) position (one which Harris rejects, and I have rejected before). But I now think he's right, and unequivocally so. There are people who have successfully compartmentalized their faith. That's just a fact about the world which happens to be true, though it has little to do with God's actual existence.
In other words, there are Christians who have built bridges, and their bridges have held.
Next week: Religious Wars and Violence
Posted by Thomas B at 5:38 PM
So I'm going to start another thread on faith and new atheism. Actually, a multi-part series.
I. But, dude, wtf!?
We've had some time to cool off from the last thread on this. Talking about it seems to irritate some people, but not discussing it might condemn me to an eternity in the lake of fire, so I think I have the right of way. If you are ever offended by these threads, I'd like to remind you of the option to avert your eyes, a luxury I won't have once doomed to eternal fiery torment.
II. Alright, but what else is there to talk about?
Well, the Church of the Resurrection (notable for being a megachurch!) has started a multipart series directed at the questions raised by New Atheism (Dennett + Dawkins + Harris). Some of us are attending these services, and those that haven't have wanted to know what we thought. This seems like an excellent place to have these discussions. I'll try to follow their theme of the week, to give us some structure.
This is just an intro thread, I'll start the next thread on this week's topic: "are Science and Faith strictly incompatible?"
Posted by Thomas B at 5:16 PM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
"America's homeless and panhandlers (who are often different people—some homeless don't panhandle and some panhandlers aren't homeless) are actually quite wealthy. Almost all own an asset—their United States citizenship—that is worth several hundred thousand dollars. The problem is that they are denied the right to sell that asset."
What do you make of that idea, that citizens be allowed to sell their citizenship on the condition they promise to leave the country?
(nod to EconLog)
Posted by Thomas B at 4:23 AM