An atheist’s defence of religion

Posted by on Dec 5, 2009 in Philosophy, Religion, Science


Controversial academic and author, Camille Paglia, was part of the ROM’s Director’s Signature Series entitled The Three New Commandments, coinciding with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. Paglia describes herself as an atheist who defends religion, explaining that an understanding of world religions and their symbols is essential to fully understanding human civilization and our place in the universe. She also devotes part of her lecture to Hollywood and how it has dealt with religious themes throughout its history, culminating with an entertaining critique of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments.

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  1. Akbar Lightning
    December 6, 2009

    i just want to meet her, her energy is astounding, and her paradoxical, magical ways of being ‘in truth’ as i see it, and a truth, a system of belief that goes against the same ironic smallness i see all around is fascinating. great vid find g-tron.


  2. globatron
    December 6, 2009

    I love how her brain works. I must admit the podcast was a bit hard to listen to. The video was easier seeing her hand movements and how it relates to her frantic energy.

    I was interested in how she talked about how West culture is in a state of decline culturally and how there is no “great” art coming out of the West anymore. I liked her theory of how there is no sense of antiquity that we can tie our heritage too. I find that something I think about often. About how my heritage is Burger King and Taco Bell. Super Wal-Mart maybe? Super Target is a wonderland though.

    One thing that I didn’t really agree with was that there is no great art coming out of the West anymore. I know we are possibly not as hip as some new markets such as China that has found a new freedom of expression that has been kept from them for sometime. I remember how Russian artists were very “hot” during the mid to late nineties.

    I think there are great artists living in the U.S. and there always will be. I could make an list of who and what I think is great but that would just be opinion based. I am no critic. I suppose she is better qualified to judge the greatness of our culture but I do disagree.

    She is described as an atheist, but after hearing her speak of her spirituality and belief system in the video I believe she’s actually agnostic. I enjoyed how she spoke of New Age and how it’s gotten a bad rap. I feel the New Age movement that she came out of is about where I live spiritually. I feel I’ve taken all religions and looked at them holistically and think of a universal consciousness often. I think of myself being part of the planet and the universe as if I am part of one living organism. Much like the native american religions that she also mentions.

    Atheists like Hitchens and Dawkins and the Secular Humanist movement would definitely not define her beliefs as atheists.
    As she said replace God with Nature and that is what she believes in. That’s definitely not believing in nothing.

    I also thought it was interesting how she spoke of what do we give our children if there is nothing to give them. That if we speak of atheism and the meaninglessness of life how are we to give them anything to believe in. I think our culture and the arts have suffered tremendously by this emptiness our culture has perpetuated. I like how she defends passing on ones family religion if just for traditions sake; in order to give your children a sense of belonging to something more, and something larger than our empty consumerism based culture.

    So Bravo Akbar. Great find. I found many parallels with her train of thought and many of the discussion we have had on Globatron in the past year.

    She has some very valid points I think. I agree that we are at the end of an empire and I plan on giving my children something glimmer of hope while it is falling if at all possible.


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