Austin City Limits Web Exclusive: Angel Olsen “Sister”

(audience applauding) (gentle guitar music) ♫ Saw it in her eyes ♫ But it wasn’t what she said ♫ She came together like a dream ♫ That I didn’t know I had ♫ From the sleeping life I lead ♫ All the colors I have seen ♫ I can’t help but recognize ♫ The brighter…

Why Socrates Hated Democracy

We are used to thinking very highly of democracy – and by extension, of Ancient Athens, the civilisation that gave rise to it. The Parthenon has become almost a byword for democratic values, which is why so many leaders of democracies like to be photographed there. It’s therefore very striking to discover that one of…

SOCIOLOGY – Auguste Comte

Though we tend to think of atheists as not only unbelieving but also hostile to religion, we should remember a tradition of atheistic thinkers who’ve tried to reconcile a suspicion of the supernatural side of religion with a deep sympathy for and interest in it’s ritualistic aspects. The most important and inspirational of these was…

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Religion

For most of history, religion has been a central focus of human concerns. But now in large parts of the developed world, it’s become a side show or even an irrelevance. Because its been declared untrue by the most powerful force of our age: Science But debating whether religion is true or not may not…

9 Crazy Religions You Have Probably Never Heard Of

9 Crazy Religions You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Today we’re going to learn about 9 crazy religions you’ve probably never heard of. I get that religion is a pretty fucked up topic, but come on, how weird can they possibly be? Trust me, some of this stuff is really “out there” if you know what…

PHILOSOPHY – Thomas Aquinas

It seems at first weird that we might learn from Thomas Aquinas. He was a medieval saint, who was reputed to have levitated and had visions of the Virgin Mary. He was much concerned with explaining how angels speak and move. And yet, he continues to matter because he helps us with the problem which…

Religion vs Philosophy in 3 Minutes

As a history teacher, I am often asked the question about what’s the difference between a philosophy and a religion. It’s always a difficult question to answer, because of course there is so much overlap between the two and many philosophies have religious aspects just as many religions are filled with philosophy. It’s also hard…

Why Religious Beliefs Aren’t Just Silly

From a distance, it can all seem very silly. These people have gone to Lourdes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, in the hope that the Virgin Mary might cure them of cancer and heart disease. These people have gone to Medjugorje in Bosnia Herzegovina to pray they might get a chance to talk to…

Astrophysics and Religion

You’d think, from a distance, that astrophysics and religion would have very little to say to each other. Astrophysicists care about the composition of planets, they tend to be fiercely rational, very uninterested in teaching us how to live and not ones to raise big moral questions. Religious types, for their part, are passionate about…