I did my first (well, first in a long, long time) GDay World Live show on uStream tonight and it was a lot of fun! Thanks to everyone who joined in. I talked for an hour and forty minutes! WTF!?
I talked about:
Why Christianity Is Dangerous
Why Capitalism Is Broken
The Israel – Palestine Conflict
You can watch the whole thing below or download it in FLV format.
I hereby declare December 25th to henceforth be celebrated as “Anaxagoras Day”.
Anaxagoras is the first recorded atheist; has been described as the first scientist; and was the first philosopher to take up at his abode at Athens. He was the father of the idea of atoms and the teacher of Pericles. Around 450BCE he wrote his treatise “On Nature” which declared (among other things but we don’t know much of it, as it’s been lost to history) that the sun was a red-hot stone (an idea borrowed from the ideas of Anaximenes) and that the moon was made of earth and derives it’s light from the sun. He was accused of being an atheist, sentenced to death, but seems to have escaped (probably with the help of Pericles) and been exiled from Athens.
As we atheists need something to celebrate on December 25th, I’m proposing that we remember the bravery, insight and diligence of the first recorded atheist in history by celebrating ANAXAGORAS DAY.
This year on December 25th I will be sending out Anaxagoras cards to friends and family, decorating my home with pictures remembering the story of Anaxagoras and composing hymns to the life of Anaxagoras. I hope you will join me.
If you want to join us in celebrating the life of Anaxagoras, just join the Facebook group. I just see it as a day to celebrate the fact that we CAN be atheists without fear of persecution. It’s a great day to think up a way to spread a little bit of rational thinking.
Rapper Greydon Square joins me again on the show to talk about his new album The CPT Theorem.
If you haven’t heard of 27 year-old Greydon before (or heard my first interview with him), his story is interesting: he grew up (as Eddie Collins) in a Group Home in Compton, California, got involved with a gang at a young age, was busted for a crime, and given the choice of prison or joining the US Army. He chose the latter and ended up in the US Army in 2001 and Iraq in 2004. During this time he was a committed Christian who studied the Bible. The more he studied the Bible the more questions he had about his religion which lead to his becoming an atheist, with many of the lyrics of his rap songs focus on atheism and the skeptic inquiry. He also is completing a physics major. His fans include Richard Dawkins, Penn Jillette… and yours truly.
This time, instead of focusing on his atheism, I wanted to talk to Greydon about how he writes his music. He’s a one man band – producer, composer, lyricist, performer, businessman. And, as you’ll here on the tracks I’ve laid into the interview, his shit is excellent.
You can buy his albums through iTunes or from the link on his MySpace.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
It’s about time people started to understand that atheism is NOT a belief. It is the ABSENCE of belief. It is the OPPOSITE of belief.
The root of atheism is, of course, theism:
belief in the existence of a god or gods ; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world
Now, the prefix “a” means not or against.
So, a-theism means AGAINST a belief in the existence of gods which is NOT the same as a belief that gods do not exist as christians (and some agnostics) like to claim.
Today is my 2nd last day in Seattle. I’ve had an awesome time. I’ll have to tell you about it sometime. There’s a few podcasts I’ve shot while I’m here that I’ll get out asap. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a couple of thoughts about fund raising.
Obviously the USA is crazy about their Presidential elections at the moment and most, if not all, of the people I’ve met in Seattle are rooting for Obama. When I ask them who is funding Obama they tell me the same thing – he’s raised his money over the Internet from ordinary Americans!! It’s amazing!! The triumph of the little people over the politics!!
When I ask them how they know this to be true, they give me a strange look at tell me OBAMA SAYS IT’S TRUE! Oh well, of course.
My next question is usually “so how much did you give him?” and they usually answer “ummm nothing”. So who are these people who are funding Obama?
According to Kenneth Timmerman, who writes for the ultra-right-wing site Newsmax, Obama doesn’t need to disclose the names of people who donate less than $200.
Campaigns are not required to disclose contributors who donate less than $200 â€” and Obamaâ€™s campaign refuses to release their names, addresses, and donation amounts. Obama has collected a staggering $603.2 million. Most of the money â€” $543.3 million â€” has come from individual contributors, half of it from â€œsmallâ€ donors Obama wonâ€™t disclose.
So who are these people? How do we know that they aren’t big corporations – or non-US governments – who are making millions of small donations via credit cards over the internet?
Timmerman claims there is some strangeness about Obama’s donations. since Oct 14, the following people have donated:
Timmerman’s source claims he made donations using several of these names and a disposable credit card. If Obama’s team aren’t picking up and rejecting fake names to ensure that 1) the person is real and 2) the person hasn’t donated more than the maximum amount of $2,300, then the system is open to fraud and manipulation.
Yet most Americans I talk to believe the Hollywood answer, that Obama is getting his funding from millions of small donations from believers.
Don’t get me wrong – I hope they are right and I am wrong. I hope I’m just being cynical. But there are questions here which the Obama campaign should be forced to answer.
The other great fund raising story I’ve heard lately is The Atheist Bus Campaign which launched Tuesday October 21 2008 in the UK. They hoped to raise Â£5,500 to run 30 buses across London for four weeks with the slogan: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” They overshot their goal. They have currently raised over Â£111,000!
For some months now I’ve been planning to move TPN over to a donation-based system. We’ll be asking out audience to contribute some funds to help cover our running costs. Wouldn’t you rather have media that doesn’t rely on corporate sponsorship or government funding? I guess we’ll see over the next few months how much people value TPN’s content.
Today I came across a relatively new blog called “Brand New Atheist” written by Rob Jones. In his first post, entitled “From believer to non-believer, how I got to here, 36 year-old Rob explains how he went from being a church-going Christian to an atheist over a period of about 10 months of personal introspection. Just another data point for people who say “you’ll never convert a Christian”. Perhaps *I* won’t convert one, but if there is enough information out there for them to consider for themselves why they believe what they believe, and if they are courageous enough to examine their own belief system honestly, then, like Rob Jone, they might convert themselves.