Entries from December 2007 ↓

“Perhaps this is where we have sinned, in always refusing to
think of our wars as wars of religion, in the illusion that we
would thus have greater liberty to compromise when it suited us.”

– Italo Calvino

“The most frequent complaint against this book is: Why don’t they make a run for it? Opening onto the larger: Why don’t we all?”

– Calvin Baker, on Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass

Ezra Pound

“Culture, which we put on like an overcoat, is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behaviors are acceptable.”

Terence McKenna

My concern with the use of the term “atheism” is both philosophical and strategic. I’m speaking from a somewhat unusual and perhaps paradoxical position because, while I am now one of the public voices of atheism, I never thought of myself as an atheist before being inducted to speak as one. I didn’t even use the term in The End of Faith, which remains my most substantial criticism of religion. And, as I argued briefly in Letter to a Christian Nation, I think that “atheist” is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don’t need a word for someone who rejects astrology. We simply do not call people “non-astrologers.” All we need are words like “reason” and “evidence” and “common sense” and “bullshit” to put astrologers in their place, and so it could be with religion.

– Sam Harris