10 quotes that prove humanity is absurd

We live in contradiction. How we confront that fact matters.

  • Absurdism is the philosophical school that recognizes the tension between meaning and a meaningless universe.
  • Camus and Kierkegaard wrote extensively on the topic, though modern thinkers continue to contribute to the literature of the Absurd.
  • In a politically divided time, the Absurd has come to the forefront of national discussion.
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Protect the religious rights of Muslims. They are your rights, too.

We should care about constitutional rights for all, says lawyer and religious freedom scholar Asma T. Uddin. If they are denied for some, history demonstrates how they may be at risk for us all.

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Islam is being challenged as a religion in America today. Opponents claim it is not a religion, but a dangerous political ideology.
  • Lawyer and religious freedom scholar Asma T. Uddin challenges that view and explains why it is a threat to the religious liberty of all Americans, not just Muslims.
  • In U.S. history, Catholics, Jews, and Mormons have all been "denationalized" as Americans and persecuted for their beliefs. This destructive precedent is a threat to all Americans, across all belief systems.
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There are 2 types of god. Only one is within the boundary of science.

Does God exist? The answer rests outside the "normal" boundaries of science.

  • Science is about natural law, while religion is about ethics. As long as you keep these two separate, Kaku says, there's no problem at all. Problems arise, however, when the natural sciences begin to "pontificate upon ethics" and when religious people begin to pontificate about natural law.
  • Albert Einstein believed in the "god of Spinoza" — not a personal god, but one who has set order and harmony in the fabric of the universe. "You can put the laws of physics as we know them on a simple sheet of paper — amazing! It didn't have to be that way," says Kaku.
  • The existence of God is not testable because such a review is not reproducible or falsifiable, as most scientific investigations are. In this sense, Kaku says the question and answer whether God exists rests outside the "normal" boundaries of science.
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God is not a man with a beard on a throne in the clouds

Symbols are often used to help people get an idea of higher, often ineffable, truths.

  • A good story has the ability to transform its readers — it speaks to our psyche, and, in doing so, has the ability to change how we perceive the world.
  • When trying to understand the adherents of the world's major religions, Joseph Campbell advises to try to look at mystical experiences through the lens of the founders. In doing so, we can better understand the context of their messaging.
  • When we talk about God as an old man on a throne in the clouds, when seen as a metaphor, the imagery helps us understand the divine — the beard expresses great age, the throne symbolizes its supremacy, and the clouds signify that it presides over all of us.

The origins of Satanism: A humanist history?

From religious wars to French poison conspiracies to the counterculture, we look at the origins of Satanism.

Still from D.W. Griffith's 1926 film "The Sorrows of Satan."
  • Pop culture has painted our perceptions of Satanism more than historical facts.
  • For most of its history, the term Satanism was an epithet used against religious enemies, not a movement bound by a shared set of beliefs.
  • Today, the Satanists philosophy has more in common with empiricism or atheism than faith-based religions.
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