New Trick Podcast Episode #1 is up and running on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcV-Y5Zw9oU). This is my first time with type of production. We did the piece so late in the evening, I didn’t feel that it was my strongest performance in two and a half decades, but I admit that I am quite proud of all the art I am lucky enough to be a part of in this life. Add a new item to the résumé, podcast/radio show.
What a wacky few days. Haven’t felt much more rested despite a more regulated sleep schedule this week. Last night for example, I woke up at three, four, and finally sometime after five I gave up—I got up—and began reviewing the podcast. I also began thinking about yesterday.
It seems that not everyone was pleased with some of my posts and attitudes. I may have called Christianity gonorrhea. In this, I have been referred to as hateful. I may have also defended a post by God, the comedian, claiming that religious terrorists kill and atheist terrorists post science articles on Facebook. The accusation which came at me is that God’s post produced a cultural effect of division. Which I didn’t understand and so questioned. Easily guessed, the comments didn’t come from like minded people on the subject of theology, but they were people that seem to believe life should be lived around connection and being relaxed and groovy. So how do people who share philosophies disagree on something so simple?
I suppose a mind seeking negativity or conditioned to see criticism as inherently negative could manipulate my meanings to be negative. Not saying that is my conclusion, but I can see how that could happen. Maybe it is in my historyonics. It is no secret that I criticize religion openly and often. It is also no secret that my spirituality is rooted in neuroscience and secularism. Yet, a third fact that could never be hidden by me is that I do not hate anything. Not even a disease. As I had to explain, I feel it would be ridiculous to hate a section of RNA or any single-celled organism as they don’t even have intentions. They are chemically driven to be what they are, no more, no less. This is also why I don’t hate religion.
Religion, as subject to memetical standards, is also only what it is, no more and no less. As described best by Daniel Dennett, religions are a product of their own fitness and not defined by whether or not they are actually good for people. In other words, religions need hosts to thrive, and as they are purely informational. Now, don’t think for a second I am suggesting that religions themselves have intentionality. Information is incapable of such notions, and indeed, I have my doubts about intentionality being anything but an illusion of physics anyway. But rather, like an insect doing its thing, ideas which are best suited for their environments will propagate, spread, and eventually evolve. Human brains are a perfect place for ideas to do this at the highest rate in all of Earth’s history (to our knowledge thus far). So to hate religion would mean that I hate physics. This would be more than silly. Comparing an idea to a successful disease is many ways is a compliment from me. I hope my ideas are this powerful.
Bringing me to my closing statement. The fourth annual Hitchens Day event is coming on Tuesday. As was with last year’s event, the blog has seen such an increase in traffic and readers, I feel the need to explain what the day means to me and how I celebrate.
I spend all day posting and publishing science and philosophy articles to honor the life of Christopher Hitchens. He passed away on December 15th, 2011 from complications of advanced esophageal cancer leaving behind a legacy. This legacy is that of study, composition, and learning. I invite you all to celebrate the passing of the torch, using intellectual pursuits of your own. I will be writing and posting all that day, which isn’t that much different than my everyday, but on the 15th I‘ll have a very specific reason. Get ready, my Gentle Reader, the flood gates are opening.