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Philosophy Archive

Angry atheist, nice atheist

By Psyche | September 1, 2009 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 1 Comment

Door-to-door atheists Two stories here. The first features an angry atheist who knowingly targets a group of theists and annoys them. The second features a group of animal-loving atheists willing to look after Christian pets post- rapture. (Seriously.)

Angry atheist

We’ll start with John Safran. He’s an Australian filmmaker fed up with Mormons knocking on his door who  decided to do something about it: he flew to Utah to knock on doors in Salt Lake City and see how they liked it.

Apparently he made a thing of it, in an eight part “documentary” for Australian television in 2004 called “John Safran vs God“.

I spotted this five minute clip from episode five on Scott Michael Stenwick’s blog, Augoeides.

Titled “Door-to-Door Atheists Bother Mormons“, the first three minutes feature Safran, dressed in a black suit and seated in a red chair in front of a roaring fire, frothing and ranting about the indecency of Mormons knocking at his door early in the morning when he’d rather be resting, or really, doing anything other than being preached at.

Then we get into the good stuff, when Continue reading »

Review: On Being a Pagan, by Alain de Benoist

By Psyche | August 4, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 3 Comments

On Being a Pagan, by Alain de Benoist
Ultra, 0972029222, 240 pp. (incl. notes and index), 2004

Originally published in 1981 as Comment peut-on etre paien?, the book was translated into English by Jon Graham and republished in 2004 by Ultra as On Being a Pagan.

I can only imagine that new title and cheesy image of Odin on the cover are intended to lure neo-Pagans and newagers anticipating fanciful stories harking back to the good ol’ days of yore, yet the paganism of de Benoist is decidedly not a “return to the past”, nor an attempt to regain some “lost paradise”.  Instead this book offers something far more profound.  Continue reading »

Anarchy and information

By Psyche | July 4, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 5 Comments

Anarchy SymbolI first came across Siva Vaidhyanathan‘s excellent and wonderfully lucid book, The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control Is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System, via Wes Unruh‘s recommendation on

It looks at the way we interact with information with a focus on ownership and distribution, arguing that the way we structure this can be boiled down into two essential forms: anarchistic and oligarchic systems.

Vaidhyanathan avoids cartoonish portrayals of anarchy, sticking largely to anarchy’s core definition: the absence of recognized authority, rules imposed or enforced.  Oligarchic forms use the rule of the few, the elite who decide how and where information is distributed, if at all.  They set the the rules, and they hold all the cards. Continue reading »