Global Web Round-Up

  (23 February 08)


This week I post some articles I found trawling the global web. It’s quite amazing what’s available to us if we know where to look. The pieces below are what I found interesting. Perhaps you will also.


If you come across material that you think others might find interesting, please send me ( the URLs and, if you wish to, an introductory paragraph. I’ll post

your contribution so that others are able to access it also.



Book review: Psyche and the Sacred by Lionel Corbett

“Can we talk about spirituality without using religious language? In his fine book Psyche and the Sacred: Spirituality beyond Religion, psychologist and scholar Lionel Corbett argues that, indeed,

we should understand the spiritual as not only separate from religion, but irreducible and



So writes Sean Patrick in his review of Corbett’s book on the CG Jung website. Some of us have difficulty separating the spiritual from the religious, spirituality from religion. This review explores the differences.


Do we agree?


Interview: The Death of the Mythic God

In this interview from What is Enlightenment? magazine/website, Jim Marion a former US

monk discusses the revolutions in spiritual thought that he believes is transforming religion and forever changing the face of God.


This is a three-page piece which requires you to click on 2 (at the bottom of page 1) then 3 to

 see these pages.


I subscribe to WIE getting a hard-copy magazine every couple of months but also weekly downloads of interviews. The WIE website itself opens up an amazing range of information

about matters spiritual.



Why The “A” Word Won’t Go Away

In this piece from the Council for Secular Humanism, Tom Flynn examines the arguments for/against the use of the “A” word. Sam Harris has been advocating that we (atheists) call ourselves something else, and Daniel Dennett has coined the term “brights” and started a website.


Personally I don’t like the term “bright”, but if you agree with Harris what do we call ourselves?



Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought

Recently biologists around the world celebrated Darwin’s Day, the birthday of the scientist who might well have made the most significant contribution to our worldview, so significant that we might we not even realize what the worldview of the C19 person was like.


In this piece from 1999 Ernst Mayr outlines Darwin’s influence on how we think about ourselves.


John Wilton, a Brisbane-based philosopher of biology will be a speaker at the SOFIA conference in September, and will address aspects of what Mayr writes about.



I don't think Daniel Dennett coined the name Bright - it was actually Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell, of Sacramento, California. See here :,12084,981412,00.html
It was essentially a Richard Dawkins idea to coin a new name and 'Brights' was decided on after much on line debate. Americans tend to love it - I hate it and find it unbelievably pretentious !

The word "Atheist' carries much stronger negative connotations ( and that's a gross understatement)in the US than it does here. I would never hesiste to decribe myself as an atheist here or in Europe, but not in the US, except amoungst friends. Admitting to being an 'atheist' in modern USA is as bad, if not worse, than admitting to being gay or a communist in the 60's and 70's. Guaranteed social death !!

Posted by Brian Wilder

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