In recent years, we have witnessed a flood of books, aimed at the popular market, issuing robust challenges to theistic religious belief. A rather puzzling expression, “the New Atheism”, has been applied to this body of work, particularly the contributions of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. They, in turn, are sometimes referred to, apparently with affection, as “The Four Horsemen”.
In The Examined Life, Zizek argues that we need to embrace the whole world including our artificial, technological, created self and products. Pastoral romanticism and New Age mysticism are a form of ideological mystification and alienation.
Abstract: If God is morally perfect then He must perform the morally best actions, but creating humans is not the morally best action. If this line of reasoning can be maintained then the mere fact that humans exist contradicts the claim that God exists. This is the “anthropic argument.” The anthropic argument is related to, but distinct from, the traditional argument from evil. The anthropic argument forces us to consider the ‘creation question’: why did God not create other gods rather than humans? That is, if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect then why didn’t He create a world populated exclusively by beings that are perfect in the same way that He is—ontological equivalents—rather than choosing to create humans with finite natures and all the suffering that this entails?
Ratatouille is a fantasy, but a fantasy so close to reality that the fantastic bits almost go unnoticed. The moments where the film asks us to suspend our disbelief are so few and so minor that we forget the film is about a talking rat who can cook. Remy’s unbelievable intelligence is what creates the conflict for the whole story.
Peter Singer argues that we should not proceed to develop a hypothetical life-extension drug, based on a scenario where developing the drug would fail to achieve the greatest sum of universal happiness over time. But that’s the wrong test.
When asked in a recently concluded poll, where they would choose to live if they had to leave their current nation of residence, IEET readers made Europe their top choice, at 19%, but outer space was just behind, at 18%.
It is possible to both be a practical technoprogressive, working for safe, equitable consequences of emerging technologies today, and a visionary inspired by a future with immortal lives among the stars.
Cataloging stuff white people like before it was cool (02:30)
The hidden meaning of zombies (03:39)
The ever-changing apocalypse (04:29)
A puzzle about culture analysis (02:08)
Is science fiction gaining cultural market share? (03:09)
The posthuman in pop culture (10:36)
My family has the tradition (as do a lot of other families, I think) of watching The Muppet Christmas Carol at some point the week of Christmas. I got to overthinking things per the usual and now am worried about whether or not The Great Gonzo could cast a vote.
The human sex drive is complicated (duh). It is closely tied with mental processes, both biologically and by association within our culture, that we often forget how simple hormonal or physical “problems with the plumbing,” as it were, can mess things up.
Mark Walker thinks through the ethics of Americans being denied both the right to health care and the right to self-medicate, while Philippe Verdoux suggests that taking the transhumanist path to the future may only be the best of a lot of very bad options.
Dr. J. chats with Dominique Mainon (dominiquemainon.com), an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker living in Los Angeles. She is author of, among others, Cinema of Obsession: Erotic Fixation and Love Gone Wrong in the Movies, Femme Fatale: Cinema’s Most Unforgettable Lethal Ladies, and The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen. MP3
At a time when the Australian government has announced its decision to introduce a new regime to censor the Internet, it’s worth thinking again about the argument that exposure to certain kinds of speech and expression might be harmful to children. The problem is that it is difficult to find evidence as to what kinds of material are actually likely to produce that kind of harm.
The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.