Scholar connects atheism to cultural shifts

first_imgNoted British literary theorist Terry Eagleton explored the relationship between the postmodern movement, religion, atheism and fundamentalism in his lecture “The Death of God and the War on Terror” on Wednesday at the Eck Visitors Center auditorium. The English department sponsored the event.“Religion has played, traditionally, such a vital role in legitimating political regimes that our rulers could hardly look upon the disappearance of God with any degree of equanimity,” Eagleton said. “Religion is an exceedingly hard act to follow. Indeed it has been proved to be by far the most universal symbolic system humanity has ever known.”  Emmet Farnan | The Observer According to Eagleton, the “death of God” and the shift towards atheism was due largely to evolving ideas of market and capitalist mentality, as well as the influence of postmodernism in Western culture. Eagleton said capitalism and utilitarian market systems, as ideas that do not necessarily involve metaphysical or moral concepts, create a tension with morally-based systems such as democracy.“It was the inherently rationalist, utilitarian, pragmatic, mental logic of the marketplace which has rendered such high-sounding and edifying metaphysical notions as implausible,” Eagleton said.Eagleton said notions of cultural relativism and the importance humans put on the anthropological aspect of culture influence our beliefs.“Culture is as precious as it is because it was seen to offer in a hopelessly divided society a ground of fundamental reconciliation,” he said. “Only religion has been able, I think, on a widespread scale, to link up these two aspects of culture.”According to Eagleton, religion connects the two definitions of culture, an anthropological version and a high art concept, that are key to the human experience. Eagleton said the shift away from God as a central focus of culture has created a new relationship between government and culture and changed the role that relationship plays in understanding humanity.“There is a kind of complicity between cultural customs that becomes deeply involved in political questions,” Eagleton said. “What that means is that culture has become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution”.Eagleton said religious fundamentalism arose as a response to the rapid social movement away from religion as Western civilization developed. He cited events such as the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and other instances of religious fundamentalism as responses to western capitalism.“Religious fundamentalism is a momentous, historic shift in western civilization,” Eagleton said. “Fundamentalism has its source not so much in hatred as in anxiety. It’s the pathological mind set of those who feel ‘washed up’ by the brave new world of capitalism.”Tags: atheism, capitalism, culture, fundamentalism, religion, Terry Eagletonlast_img read more

Gerrard considering new Anfield contract

first_imgThe details of the new offer are unknown but Rodgers says the player is mulling it over. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Steven Gerrard has been offered a new contract.The skipper’s current deal runs out at the end of the season and there has been some criticism of the 34-year-old’s performances during this campaign.Reports this morning suggest that Gerrard, who didn’t start against Stoke at the weekend, could go to an MLS club if the offer is not to his satisfaction.last_img read more

United Dreamliners to resume flights

first_imgUnited Airlines has announced it will reintroduce its Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights this month, despite US airline and passenger safety groups demanding the government limit flights on the new jet.The aircraft was grounded in January this year due to battery faults, however, less than a month after completing successful test flights with a redesigned pack, United says its ready for it is 787s to resume domestic and international services.Refitting two of six of its Dreamliner fleet with new US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved batteries, United has scheduled the two aircraft to resume flights on 20 May on routes from Houston to other domestic hubs as well as its Denver-Tokyo routes from 10 June.  “The Dreamliner is poised to fly the missions we planned and provide our customers with the features and reliability they want on their long-haul flights,” United chief operations officer Pete McDonald said.Although United and All Nippon Airways stand by the aircraft’s safety, FlyersRights.org and the Aviation Consumer Action Project are petitioning the FAA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) implement a two hour limit on how far the plane can fly from the nearest airport.According to the groups, limiting the 787 to flights within two hours of the nearest airport would ban 787 trans-Pacific flights, flights over the North Pole, while flights between the U.S. and Europe over the north Atlantic and flights over land would not be affected by a two-hour limit.”Our proposed actions are both urgent and necessary,” leader of both organisations, Paul Hudson explained.”The 787 lithium ion batteries have a long history of overheating, catching fire, even exploding. “This could easily bring down an airliner, especially if it was not within easy reach of an airport for an emergency landing.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ United confident customers will welcome the aircraft back. Image: United Airlineslast_img read more