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Matrix: Reloaded Explained
The essay
Selected reader comments

Matrix: Revolutions Explained
The essay
Selected reader comments

Archive for January 2011

Hammurabi's Muse

23 Jan, 2011 | Brian |

Religion claims to be the source of morality. Without religion, they say, there is no reason to be good. From another perspective, they say that someone who puts no stake in religion is automatically bankrupt of morals, depraved, very probably hedonistic, and undeniably nihilistic. Note there is a difference between a person who belongs to a different religion and a person who is nonreligious. If you're in a different religion (or a different sect of the same religion), you're seen as basically sound but mistaken to some degree. Whereas the nonreligious person is completely, dangerously off the moral map.

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The Crone's Illusion

08 Jan, 2011 | Brian |

My reaction to Agora was highly charged, and I wanted to let myself cool down long enough to write something sane, something that wasn't a searing screed against book-burning fundamentalists. I finally got there, and lucky too, because what I ended up discovering in this film was enlightening for me.

I have a mighty respect for Roger Ebert, who has a keen critical mind, but when he calls Agora "a drama based on the ancient war between science and superstition" I must wonder whether he is being intentionally understated. That's kind of like saying World War II was based on the habit of nations to disagree about borders. It's true but is about as bland as you can get. I think I would prefer to say that Agora is the parable of the dark stepmother of religious belief.

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