Video! See My Speech at Syracuse
Last month, I was invited to Syracuse University by the local affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance, where I spoke on the topic of atheism and morality. I'm happy to announce that video of that talk is now available, in three parts, which I've embedded below. The talk is about 25 minutes long, with Q&A following.
I realize the video is from an odd angle - my apologies for that. It was being recorded by two cameras, and one of them didn't function as expected, so it was fortunate we had a backup. But even if you don't have a clear view of my devastatingly handsome features, I think the audio is clear enough.
Thanks again to everyone at Syracuse for inviting me! I'll soon be announcing additional speaking events for 2012 (including one especially exciting one!), so stay tuned to this blog for details.
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- What distinguishes humans is social learning — and teaching.
- Crucial to learning and teaching is the value of free expression.
- And we need political leaders who support environments of social peace and cooperation.
From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.
- While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
- We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
- Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
Tragedy in art, from Ancient Greece to Breaking Bad, resists all our efforts to tie reality up in a neat bow, to draw some edifying lesson from it. Instead it confronts us with our own limitations, leaving us scrabbling in the rubble of certainty to figure out what's next.
- Why democracy has been unpopular with philosophers
- Tragedy's reminder that the past isn't finished with us
- …and why we need art in the first place
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