The author makes a pretty huge claim in the title of his book, but by the time I finished reading it, I would agree that religion as we know it will p...moreThe author makes a pretty huge claim in the title of his book, but by the time I finished reading it, I would agree that religion as we know it will possibly fade away over the next hundred years. (I just hope religious fanatics won't kill more and more people in the process.)
Williams argues his claim by first describing the origins of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, which serves to remind us just how archaic and irrational these religions have been, and they in the long run hold back our greatest potential as human beings. With the emergence of science, and rational and critical thinking, these religions will not be able to withstand the forces of modernity. As Williams says in his book "Our gods have never appeared to us and never will. We have fooled ourselves into creating and believing in them. It is time to propose formally the next day of our spiritual[?] and cultural development."
Quite frankly in order for us to survive and persevere, humanity will have to move past outdated religious beliefs, and use the guiding principles of humanism to fashion a better world. In the second part of the book he explains evolution — i.e. the origins of life, and the origins of us Homo sapiens sapiens. His descriptions of religion and evolution are clear and easy to read. One of the necessary ways that we move away from a dependence upon religious myths is that we become more scientifically literate about the origins of life and the nature of the universe, and that we better understand our human psychology.
Future generations will increasingly see that the claims of religion have no evidence, and ultimately religious practices and institutions have not and will not solve most of the worlds problems. This is why the claims of this book point to the type of knowledge and confidence we need to ensure that our children and future generations are not shackled by religious dogma and confusion.
"Why Our Children Will Be Atheists" is fairly short, and most descriptive, but it's well the worth the read for getting a framework about how world is chaining without the need for gods and mythical beliefs. (less)
In this short guide, I provide step-by-step tutorials for learning Markdown syntax in under 30 minutes. I also provide links and resources to Markdown...moreIn this short guide, I provide step-by-step tutorials for learning Markdown syntax in under 30 minutes. I also provide links and resources to Markdown online, Mac, and PC Markdown applications. Markdown is easier to learn and use than HTML, and it makes your documents look professional. The guide is a free download.(less)
I've been reading several books this weekend about iBooks Author. This one is a good introduction, though unfortunately it's not written in the iBooks...moreI've been reading several books this weekend about iBooks Author. This one is a good introduction, though unfortunately it's not written in the iBooks format. Also think the author should have included more about preparing manuscripts in Pages and Word for export to Author. Nevertheless, good introduction with a useful complex page layout tutorial. (less)
While I have known about the history of coded racial appeals particularly in the political arena for quite some time, it is important that López provi...moreWhile I have known about the history of coded racial appeals particularly in the political arena for quite some time, it is important that López provides fresh analysis on this issue and how it should be addressed. The conservative right will continue to use race and other cultural wedge issues to push their agenda. With the ever-increasing class divide in this country, the conservative right has no interest in closing the gap when it comes to the economic inequality of politically marginalized groups in this country.
The conservative right’s agenda is to protect the privileges and power of the economically advantaged class in this country, including whatever is left of the white privilege and power that dominantes institutions in this country.
So López is correct that racism and coded racial appeals need to be vigorously called out on all fronts. This must be done not only by white liberals and progressives, but more importantly by racial minorities who are most marginalized by racism and economic inequality. The entire conservative ideology agenda must seriously be challenged because it undermines progress toward providing better education, healthcare, jobs, and other resources needed for all people to live a better quality of life.
López is also correct in recognizing that economic inequality and economic privilege are the underpinnings of much of the racism that still pervades this country. Privileged whites have a lot to protect, and that's why they use racism to maintain their privilege.
But inequality in this country and around the world deeply undermines real progress. López is a strong advocate of new deal liberalism, which he contends, "doesn't have to mean controlling people. It actually means to be a force for where it makes use of an collectivized resources to benefit everyone. It helps people get jobs; insures education and other services are available for everyone. It monitors, investigates, and regulates how resources are used."
However, I don't think new deal liberalism goes far enough. The wide economic gap in this country and around the world is inexcusable. Too much economic control is on the hands of a small class of individuals and families. No one, and no family, needs and deserves millions and billions of dollars personal wealth. This is the type of wealth gap that the conservative right safeguards and promotes. But it comes at the expense of poor and hard-working people in this country.
So while we must continue to call out racism, we must also equally callout the class divide and the capitalist economic system that supports it.(less)
I haven't read other books by Pinn, but each time I've heard him speak he had interesting and insightful analysis about religion and humanism. I also...moreI haven't read other books by Pinn, but each time I've heard him speak he had interesting and insightful analysis about religion and humanism. I also chosen book to be because I'm interested in what other African-American atheists, and non-theists have to say about their journey away from God belief.
God's Obituary is a pretty straightforward autobiography of Pinn’s journey from becoming a Methodist preacher at the age of 12, to denouncing his belief in God by the time he becomes a student at Harvard. He doesn't delve too deeply into his personal life, and parts of his story seems undeveloped. But he explains clearly why he came to the conclusion that religion simply does not address the realities of the modern world, and that there is no evidence of a god intervening to alleviate the suffering that many people experience.
In one part of the book he explains: “Theism produces sloppy ways of thinking because it doesn't necessarily respect reason, but instead favors fiction. At least this was my experience of it and as a minister I contributed to this problem. As an academic I’d make amends for this.”
He includes a list of recommended books at the end of his memoir, but I wish he had delved more into how those writers and books influenced his journey to non-belief. I also wanted to read his views on other African-American intellectuals like Cornell West who still hold and espouse theistic beliefs.
Nevertheless, God's Obituary makes for a good contribution to the much-needed stories by all of us who have chosen to stop believing in religious folk tales, mythologies, and dogma.(less)
If you have read other books about capitalism and its impact on the environment, much of what this author talks about is not new. But he is one of the...moreIf you have read other books about capitalism and its impact on the environment, much of what this author talks about is not new. But he is one of the few writers who actually names the system of capitalism, instead of just calling it the “free market”. The Capitalism Papers is a very cogent analysis of the impact of capitalism on the environment and the deep class divide the causes. The author provides adequate evidence for why capitalism is indeed an "obsolete system."
In the last chapter of the book, he devotes some recommendations for a mixed capitalist economy, but I think ultimately we need to name that system as well, because once you start nationalizing and privatizing the means of production, you are basically setting up a socialist economic system. And quite frankly there's nothing wrong with that. We need to study the mistakes of applied socialism and other countries, and explore how it could be done better as an alternative to capitalism.(less)