Saturday, July 26, 2008

Some Thoughts and Sites


I haven't posted in a long time. Guess it is because I haven't had any burning thoughts on God and truth. But I have found some cool web sites, so here are a couple:

Yesterday Randy Pausch, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, died of Pancreatic Cancer (see here). It is a tragic loss: he has a family with three young children, and is in the midst of making great contributions academically. He gave his "Last Lecture" last year. There is a quote I especially like from it: “I have experienced a deathbed conversion. I just bought a Macintosh.” Having heard numerous stories of death-bed conversions to faith during my growing up in a Christian environment, it is such a relief to see someone not clinging to religion and empty promises of salvation, even when he is confronting the end of his life.

The Japanese Zen monks have a long history of death-bed statements in the form of Haiku poems, which fairly often include self-deprecating humor. Hoffmann's book on Japanese Death Poems is a classic that I enjoy reading. Here's a one by Gaki (1927):

One spot, alone,
left glowing in the dark:
my snotty nose.



I went to an event called "Drinking Skeptically" the other evening -- and enjoyed meeting various similar minded people. There is a site with a calendar of local events (in Pittsburgh) called Steelcityskeptics.net

A site I wandered onto and enjoyed a lot is Atheist Girls. They have some good tales to tell on their experiences with and without religion.

Another site I enjoy perusing is: Atheist Ethicist when I feel like commentary on recent political or ethical debates.

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