Na-ked [ney-kid]

1. plain; simple; unadorned: the naked realities of the matter.
2. not accompanied or supplemented by anything else: a naked outline of the facts.
3. exposed to view or plainly revealed
4. plain-spoken; blunt: the naked truth.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

AC Grayling Rocks!

I came across this video on one of the blogs I am currently subscribed to. I love the way AC Grayling addresses some of the major issues facing our societies today. I loved the "what if?" discussions about what impact our changing priorities could have on the way we live, and the way our countries are governed, etc. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Be sure to watch both parts of the video.


  1. Not exactly what I expected...I don't think this really paints a picture of religion being in its "death throes". I think it makes a valid point about the fact that the world is changing and, at least at first glance, the religions of the world seem to be becoming outdated. I do, however disagree with the idea that these religions are ill-equipped to remain relevant in a modern world. I speak only from what I know of Christianity in saying this, but the societal changes that Christianity has endured from the time of Christ until now are arguably much larger than the ones professor Grayling is discussing here, namely increased life expectancy and the potential for late-life child birth. I believe what he is really saying is that these changes might seem easier to handle without religions, since a majority of ethical debates facing us even today find their opposition is various religious belief systems. What he seems to be describing here is a system that puts the future of our societal conduct in the hands of the academics without opposition (just as he argued the debate over climate change should not be equally voiced , essentially eliminating the opinions of skeptics). I say this from a purely intellectual standpoint rather than a religious one, but I believe society needs opposing viewpoints to prevent us from swaying to any extremes.

  2. I agree with you, in that it wasn't what I expected from the title. I thought he was going to try and argue that religion was dying (which it clearly isn't). Rather, it was merely a question that the interviewer posed, and he disagreed with it. I think there was some truth in what he said about the supposed "revolution" being one that stems from the fact that the atheist movement does seem to be a growing one...or perhaps just a more outspoken group than they were in the past. I agreed with what he said about the fact that he DOESN'T think that religion will die out any time soon. This is where Rob and I differ in opinion. He'd be happy if there were NO religion. I, on the other hand, would have no issues with it, if all Christians (or religious people in general), were like you. It seems that I lack the faith gene. I tried for years to ignore the parts that were hard to swallow. I've tried not to be biased in my approach to learning. I try to read up on both sides. It's easy to believe one side of the story, when you're only GETTING one side of the story. I feel like I've done my homework...and I always seem to come out on the same side. I don't feel like it's a choice, or that I have to have "faith" in order to "believe" what I believe (as is the argument of many Christians I've talked to).

    Anyway...I'm straying from the point of this particular thread. I think he offered up some good points, on a strictly intellectual standpoint, as you put it. I don't agree with what he said about not wanting to hear the opposing arguments. That's really not conducive to learning and growing. Everyone should be allowed to hear both sides and make their own decisions based on the arguments presented. I did enjoy the way he spoke. It was intellectual (mostly), but still understandable. He didn't dumb it down, but it mostly made sense to me, or at the very least, posed some interesting points to ponder.

    That is all. :P

  3. Agreed...

    I have long thought that a big part of the reason for the decline (and least in North America and parts of europe) had much to do with the failures of the christian church poisoning peoples mind to the idea of religion all together. I came across this survey from Britain and found it quite telling.

    The correlation between those who claim no religion and those who claim the be christians is almost directly proportionate while the numbers for those claiming all other religions remains mostly unchanged. I find that incredibly interesting. I think this has to do with the churches failure to remain relevant to a world that is changing, which is what was discussed in the video. I think that can change but either way I found that poll really interesting.

  4. That IS interesting...and you raise a good point. I agree with you that many of the issues that non-believers (and I suppose many believers as well), is the lack of relevance to our times. How do we relate to ideas that are thousands of years old? Obviously there are some things that haven't changed. Human nature, I would argue, is still fundamentally the same. I suppose this goes back to your comment about reading the Bible contextually. It's more about what you take from the story, than literally relating to the story itself. I have nothing in common with a turtle, or a rabbit, and yet I am able to gain valuable lessons from The Tortoise and the Hare.

    I do think that religion is terribly flawed, and needs to change in order to positively benefit it's followers. I think the Catholic church has made a bad name for Christians across the globe. I find myself having to explain to many atheists that growing up in a Baptist family is really nothing like growing up in a traditional Catholic family. Maybe I'm biased, but our immediate family doesn't seem to fit the typical Christian mold, as far as atheists are concerned. We've never been a terribly judgemental or intollerant family. We drink, we dance, we sometimes swear. We've never been intollerant of homosexuality, or judged someone for having a drug problem. I think this is why I get frustrated with Rob sometimes, when he gets on his anti-religion rants...because I know first-hand that those arguments are not ALWAYS the case.

    Anyway, as far as the decline of Christianity or religion is concerned...I don't think it's as simple as either side makes it out to seem. I don't think the decline could be attributed to just one fault, on either side. I'll definitely have to bookmark that link. Thanks!


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