June 14, 2012
In the future, debates between Sam Harris and Dinesh D’Souza will take the form of a rap battle.
The guy who plays Steve Jobs, Nice Peter, is a personal friend of mine. Yeah, I’m a name dropper.
These videos are more popular than Jesus.
I kid you not. I met some of young fans at a concert I shot, and they thank Nice Peter for giving them a reason to live.
I don’t get it either.
3:30 p.m. CST
This is post 18 of 35 in the SSAweek Le Café Witteveen Blogathon. You can still donate to the SSA by supporting other blogathoners, art contributors, personal fundraising pages or through a direct donation to the SSA. SSA Week lasts through June 17. Spread it!
March 30, 2012
I started listening to this lecture on Free Will last night lying in bed before falling asleep.
I made it about half way. The beast is worth a listen. Harris’ argument is compelling, and my mind was filling with ideas on how to integrate this with the “Ovarian Lottery.”
Worth a listen.
December 18, 2011
I loved this snippet from Sam Harris’ Eulogy on Christopher Hitchens.
I first met Hitch at a dinner at the end of April 2007, just before the release of his remarkable book god is not Great. After a long evening, my wife and I left him standing on the sidewalk in front of his hotel. His book tour was just beginning, and he was scheduled to debate on a panel the next morning. It was well after midnight, but it was evident from his demeanor that his clock had a few hours left to run. I had heard the stories about his ability to burn the candle at both ends, but staggering there alongside him in the glare of a street lamp, I made a mental note of what struck me as a fact of nature—tomorrow’s panel would be a disaster.
I rolled out of bed the following morning, feeling quite wrecked, to see Hitch holding forth on C-SPAN’s Book TV, dressed in the same suit he had been wearing the night before. Needless to say, he was effortlessly lucid and witty—and taking no prisoners. There should be a name for the peculiar cocktail of emotion I then enjoyed: one part astonishment, one part relief, two parts envy; stir. It would not be the last time I drank it in his honor.
November 21, 2011
According to le Café Witteveen’s blog stats, I’m getting incoming hits from Vox Day‘s blog. Here’s the post in question, but I can’t figure out who or what is linking to le Café. If you can figure it out, I would be much obliged.
But there have been 46 hits so far from Vox Day. And for this blog, it’s a noticeable amount.
If you don’t know who Vox Day is, join the club. I only know about him, because when I read The God Delusion, I wanted to read as much against the book as possible. Vox Day wrote and self published a free PDF book defending Christianity against Richard Dawkins’ oeuvre — but I cannot find it at the moment. Perhaps it was an early edition of this book called, “The Irrational Atheist,” which trollishly features cover art like Sam Harris’ book, “The End of Faith” (see above).
When I read Vox Day’s book, I was appalled by the sheer amount of grammatical errors. Not that I don’t have grammar errors here, but this was a published work. I edit my work, and admittedly have a tough time with it.
I have no room to talk, I guess.
Vox Day’s book was a long, meandering rant against Dawkins with little to no citation. And when he wrote Dawkins in the possessive, he typed out, “Dawkins’s.”
What a moron.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 14, 2011
It’s a busy, busy day today. I’m getting my ducks in a row, and then we’re shooting a model this afternoon.
I didn’t schedule as many posts today as I wanted yesterday, so I’m scrambling.
Here are some examples of what the kids are posting at reddit.com/r/atheism.
And be on the look out for Hipstamatics from the shoot this afternoon.
Image of a being talking to girl reads, “God. Do you really think a being that is intelligent enough tot create the entire universe would be so arrogant and petty that he would have people suffer for eternity if they won’t be his cheerleaders?”
Philosoraptor asks, “What if Satan’s master plan to deceive Christians was Christianity?”
Please no explanations inside the church.
Sam Harris says, “I know of no society in recorded history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.
Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.”
July 19, 2011
Image via Wikipedia
This is probably a futile post, but I want to recommend reading Skatje Myers’ (PZ’s daughter) review of Sam Harris’ book “The Moral Landscape. Click here.
She rips it and Harris a new one. And she lays pretty hard into atheists for our collective ignorance about philosophy and our unquestioned love and affection for one of the four hoursmen.
I LOVE IT!
From my ignorant rooftop, I enjoyed the good ass whipping.
July 18, 2011
Sam Harris wants to word battle with Dr. David Eagleman.
We should all encourage this word battle to happen.
Harris says on his blog:
The above talk was sent to me by a reader and is well worth watching. In it, the neuroscientist David Eagleman says many very reasonable things and says them well. Unfortunately, on the subject of religion he appears to make a conscious effort to play the good cop to the bad cop of “the new atheism.” This posture will win him many friends, but it is intellectually dishonest. When one reads between the lines—or even when one just reads the lines—it becomes clear that what Eagleman is saying is every bit as deflationary as anything Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens or I say about the cherished doctrines of the faithful.
I don’t know Eagleman, but I’ve invited him to discuss these and other issues with me on this blog. He also has a book out on the brain that looks very interesting and which I intend to read:
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
This is the kind of thing that pastors should do, but they don’t.
Let’s go Sam Harris and David Eagleman … bore us with your word fight!
July 1, 2011
About this video:
Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape, answers questions submitted by users on Reddit.com.
Hear Sam talk about everything from meditation to religion, and see if one of your questions got answered!
I started listening to this video yesterday, and I couldn’t help but be critical of it.
Sure, sure. Produce videos and put them out there. Let the young atheists listen and learn. It will be marketing for you.
But, here’s what sucks about the video. It’s boring and there’s something weird about the production.
Harris rambles. A lot. And I am a fan, so I’m probably a little forgiving. But I don’t agree that Harris spent enough time discovering answers the questions. Perhaps more time should have been taken to prepare for this production instead of fly by the seat and throw it up on the net!
Secondly, Harris’ appearance is off. I can’t figure out if he’s wearing makeup or not. The production company who produced it is “Mahalo” which is Hawaiian for thank you. Maybe they are shooting in Hawaii. Maybe Harris sunned a lot, and the appearance of tan is throwing me off. But it’s weird, and he doesn’t look right.
I know, petty right? I agree. I’m a fan of preparation and professionalism.
So tell me how I’m wrong!
May 10, 2011
I’d like to point out that lightning doesn’t strike Oxford one time during the taping of this session. And lightning didn’t strike me when I watched it. In fact, the sun came out. It got warmer. Birds landed on my window sills. Flowers bloomed, and eggs hatched.
Obviously it’s a sign that the universe smiles upon science.
April 30, 2011
I was catching up on twitter this morning in bed, and I saw this post from PZ Myers about William Lane Craig‘s brilliant take on the
immorality of the bible.
I feel like a prophet to have published “Pope Mohammed and the Quiz” a full day before PZ’s post was published.
I shall call myself Le Grand Prophète Witteveen.
In Craig’s own words (read ‘em here), he explains that killing babies is doing them a favor. It gets them to heaven faster! Sadly, he doesn’t discuss abortion, but he makes it sort of clear that Christians should support abortion.
Craig says we should feel badly for the poor soldiers who were instructed by god to murder unarmed women protecting their crying babies.
William Lane Craig is an asshole.
You should pay particular attention to Craig’s verbal aerobics. Or in Greta Christina’s words, he’s a verbal contortionist. The man is a genius for his cause, and if I were a follower of Christ, I’d place him on the pedestal he belongs on … in a murky waters of a backed-up toilet.
And this is why secular, humanistic, reality-based morality is clearly superior to religious, monster-in-the-sky, supernatural morality.
From where do I get morality? Thankfully not from people who think like William Lane Craig.