Hitch, Sagan, and Awe

I’m packing for my trip to Arizona tonight so I don’t have the chance to write the post I want.  And for the next week and a half so I’ll be on vacation and might not post as often as I’d like.

First, let me say Merry Christmakwanukkastivus to all of you, and I hope you have a glorious winter solstice with your friends and family.

And secondly, I thought I’d post this video of Christopher Hitchens discussing how the atheistic worldview is even more full of awe and amazement than the religious one.  Often, as atheists, we are accused of being arrogant or having no sense of wonder because we don’t accept the magical thinking required to believe in a deity.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Here’s how Hitch (who died 2 years ago this week) put it.

Carl Sagan – astronomer best known for the Cosmos series in the 70’s – also believed in the sense of awe that scientific exploration could inspire.  In 1990 the Voyager 1 probe was on its way out of the solar system when it turned around and took a photograph of Earth from the most distant vantage point ever before seen.  Sagan saw this photo, and wrote  in his book, The Pale Blue Dot, about Earth’s place in the universe, and how insignificant our entire history is to the vastness of the universe.

So there’s a little awe and grandeur for you to ruminate on this season as you celebrate with your loved ones.  Best wishes to you all.


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