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Πέμπτη, 17 Μαΐου 2012

Daniel Dennett on How to Tell if You're an Atheist

Daniel Dennett at the 17. Göttinger Literaturh...
Daniel Dennett at the 17. Göttinger Literaturherbst, October 19th, 2008, in Göttingen, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philosopher Daniel Dennett was one of the stars of the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne and gave a brilliant and whimsical talk on defining the atheist. He is the uber-philospher of the mind and a great provocateur, though he was speaking to 4000 non believers at this convention.

He applies a scientific rigour to his investigation of religion and belief, or what he describes as “the belief in belief”. As he said in an earlier ABC interview ...”there’s a fundamental difference between religious attitudes and scientific attitudes...Science confesses to ignorance and incomprehension of all sorts of phenomena...and never celebrates incomprehension as a good thing”. Whereas with religious communities, the celebration of incomprehension is “ a standard trope”.

Outside of enraging some believers around the world, Dennett spends summers on his farm in Maine, harvests Blueberries, hay and timber and makes cider wine. He is also a sculptor.
Daniel Dennett is the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University in the US. He is the author of Breaking the SpellFreedom Evolves; and Darwin's Dangerous Idea.
For more on Dennett, you can access previous Radio National programs in which he features,hereand here.


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