New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Suspending Disbelief

November 06, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Swanson

‘God Made Me an Atheist…’

by David Swanson

Peter Boghossian’s A Manual for Creating Atheists is a curious and ultimately very valuable book.

It’s curious because it doesn’t make much of a case — or at least not the sort of case I would have liked — for why we should create atheists.

It’s valuable because, if you believe we’d be better off with more atheists, this is a remarkable tool for accomplishing that goal.

I don’t view sloppy thinking as a great evil in itself.  It doesn’t offend me the way hunger and lack of medicine and Hellfire missiles offend me.  So, I look for the argument — which I think can be made — that sloppy thinking has serious results, or that belief in a god leads to a lack of responsibility, or that belief in eternal life diminishes efforts to improve real lives.  This book does not focus on those arguments.

Boghossian points to abstinence-only sex-ed, bans on same-sex marriage, teaching Creationism, corporal punishment in schools, and other offenses in the United States, as well as pointing to various more-severe abuses by the Taliban, as the undesirable results of theism.  But, with the possible exception of Creationism, these things could continue without theism or be ended while maintaining theism. (more…)

Living with Reverence

November 01, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Robert C. Koehler

Believing in Something More Sacred than Money

by Robert C. Koehler

“To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you’re wrong.”

Move over, We Buy Ugly Houses.com and Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa. Here was religious faith on a billboard, refuting non-belief in letters three feet high. I was visiting Los Angeles, driving with a friend along La Cienega Boulevard, when this king-size ad for religious certainty smacked us in the eye.

Turns out that Answers in Genesis, an evangelical organization with money to spend, took the God debate to billboards this month in New York and Los Angeles. They were pushing back against a group called the American Atheists, who at Christmas time last year sponsored a billboard featuring images of Jesus and Santa Claus with the words: “Keep the Merry, dump the myth.” (more…)

Pilgrimages

June 26, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Guest Author

Lessons Learned on Life’s Unfolding Journey

by Shinay Tredeau

A tourist can be spotted in a large crowd. Without saying a word, they boast loud cries of, “Look out world, I’m comin’!” A tourist travels with the intention to shop, eat, sleep late and see the world through a camera lens, or shielded behind dark sunglass shades.

A pilgrim comes humbly barefoot in search of answers to questions much bigger than their personal affairs. A pilgrim’s intention for travelling is to give back to the place that has birthed life, their own or the world’s. A pilgrim seeks refuge in the mundane: their heart is set on the other, not themselves. The pilgrim must lose everything before they can return “home.” A pilgrim is not swayed by the weather, the amount of money or food they have in their pockets; they maintain their journey because ultimately they understand that their journey is selfless. A pilgrim takes nothing in return for their efforts and offer continuous gestures of prayer and praise. (more…)