The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

2007 September

Phorum Phun Phor Pharyngula

September 21, 2007 | 148 Comments

Professor PZ Myers of Pharyngula submitted himself to a live text interview at the renegade Raving Atheists (with an “s”) Forums last night. I got in a few questions (here, here and here). I was somewhat surprised, from an empirical standpoint, at his response regarding what he considered to be the most dangerous religion. More feedback at the comments section of the Professor’s blog. Thanks to Eva and Professor Chaos for their organizing and moderating efforts.

Mad Men

September 7, 2007 | 10 Comments

“You’re born alone, and you die alone, and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts. But I never forget.” Such is the philosophy of Don Draper of AMC’s Mad Men, a “whore-child” raised during the Depression by an evangelical Christian stepmother who rises to power as an advertising executive at The Sterling Cooper Agency in 1960 New York. On last night’s episode he feigns piety with a lipstick magnate to clinch the account (“I’m not here to tell you about Jesus. You know about Jesus . . . either He lives in your heart or He doesn’t”) while being proselytized himself by one of the senior partners who has just rewarded him with a then-generous $2,500 bonus:

Cooper: Have you read her? Rand. Atlas Shrugged. That’s the one.

Draper: [Hesitantly] Yes . . . it is.

Cooper: See, I know you haven’t read it. When you hit 40, you realize you’ve met or seen every kind of person there is. And I know what kind you are, because I believe we are alike.

Draper: I assume that’s flattering.

Cooper: By that I mean you are a productive and reasonable man, and in the end, completely self-interested. It’s strength. We are different. Unsentimental about all the people who depend on our hard work. Take $1.99 out of that $2,500 and buy yourself a copy.

What’s apparently shaping up is a battle of the atheists. (The show seems to be sponsored in part by atheists, with the Cast and Crew page intermittently sporting an ad for The God Who Wasn’t There DVD). The factions seem to be Cooper’s cult of Ayn Rand, whose adherents believe that in the absence of God pure reason dictates an ethic of capitalistic selfishness, and Draper’s nihilism, which holds that godlessness implies nothing. Insofar as Draper has nonetheless adopted capitalist selfishness as his ethic, the battle may fizzle quickly — with little to fight over save his refusal to attend Objectivist seminars and his disinterest in discussing the necessity of his chosen ethic over martinis.

D.A.P.P.E.R.

September 4, 2007 | 8 Comments

Bradley Thomas Horton, Founder and President of D.A.P.P.E.R., a new advocacy for the differently abled, has given me permission to post the e-mail he sent me this morning:

Hello, I am Bradley and I am disabled. This is from the brain tumor I had at 13 years of age. I have been fighting my health problems, most of my life. I am about to have my 40th birthday. I am trying to speak out, like never before and get people to realize that god is a myth and we need to work to help each other, in real ways, now.

All of my readers, atheist, theist and in between, are encouraged to leave comments offering Mr. Horton their insights and advice regarding his mission.

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