Category: The Enchanted Ones

  • Parapsychology

    Rupert Sheldrake still believes in and writes about parapsychology. Mr. Sheldrake had an experience in the late 1970s and became convinced that he had recognized something important about the relationship between ideas and reality. At points, Sheldrake takes the posture of a pragmatist like William James. But where James was soft on conversion experiences and […]

  • Yummy

    The National Post has been publishing a series of articles titled “Beyond Belief”. A piece by Charles Lewis or Charlie Lewis (not the Charles Lewis of 60 Minutes and the Center for Public Integrity) titled “The Trouble with Mary”, featured at AL Daily, discussed the psychology and semantics of “belief” and “faith”. Lewis found a […]

  • Spinning the Golden Compass

    The Golden Compass has been criticized for its negative presentation of organized religion. Its principal critic its the American Catholic League, a conservative body that speaks for conservative and traditional elements in the Catholic Church in America. The League says that the movie, like the books, promotes atheism, but their grievance appears to me to […]

  • Consumer Religion

    “The Aquarians and the Evangelicals: How left-wing hippies and right-wing fundamentalists created a libertarian America” is an extract from Brink Lindsey’s book The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and Culture in Reason Online. Lindsey’s assessment of the social history of American through the second half of the 20th century seems to be […]

  • Dawkins talks nonsense

    Last Sunday, I drove to Ladysmith. I have had a cold, and I didn’t have the energy to ride, so I took a short trip up island. On the radio, Michael Enright and The Sunday Edition, with Enright interviewing Richard Dawkins. The interview is accessible as a Real Audio file – it runs to a […]

  • Brighting the Spell

    Daniel C. Dennett’s 2006 book Breaking the Spell, Religion as a Natural Phenomenon reached the bookstores a few months ahead of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.

  • Eco’s Christmas letter

    The Telegraph published a essay by Umberto Eco – God isn’t Big Enough for Some People. It starts with the observation that the Christmas holiday is a mystery in a secular society. If the holiday has significance outside of the Christian religion, what are we celebrating? This leads to a meditation on religion, science, ideology, […]

  • Bees

    Another reflection on the culture wars. In the Times of London, William Rees-Mogg comments, in A pope for our times: why Darwin is back on the agenda at the Vatican, on how the Catholic Church seems to be accepting scientific Darwinism. I have to say “seems” because the process is slow and tentative.

  • Blackadder strikes

    The Guardian reports, in a story called Lords defeat for religious hatred bill, that the House of Lords voted against the British government’s Religious and Racial Hatred Bill. The opposition to the Bill crossed party lines with many Labour peers joining Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in opposing the Bill. The government can still override the […]

  • Blackadder Speaks Up

    (This updates my entry on Behzti and Mr. Bean from last December, and other entries about religious freedom, freedom of conscience and free speech). Stories about a Bill before the British Parliament for a Racial and Religious Hatred Act were prominent in the feed from Butterflies and Wheels in my aggregator yesterday. A government Bill, […]