Atheists at the Movies: Up

pixar_up.jpg

By James Zimmerman

If we take the word Cinema at its root (from the Greek kinesis, meaning "movement"), then pure cinema has been dying since the advent of synchronized sound.  Too many movies are simply footage of people talking, or of a camera sitting idly by recording whatever happens to be going on in front of it.  In its purest form, perhaps film continued to exist only in the creations of those (such as Chaplin and Hitchcock) who first mastered their trade and came to prominence during film's silent era.

But Pixar does an admirable job of bringing audiences a delicacy for the eyes.  In a style first explored in Toy Story, expanded upon in Monsters, Inc., and brought to perfection in WALL·E, the animation studio succeeds in telling a tale via visuals with its latest offering: Up

In the first fifteen minutes of Up, we are treated to a narrative - told almost entirely without words - of love found, promises made, and decades lived in the lives of Carl and Ellie. It's a poignant story, and the promises made and dreams lost in the picture-perfect montage bring equal parts laughter and tears. 

Add a comment

Read more: Atheists at the Movies: Up

MN Atheists Member, PZ Myers, Wins Award

On Saturday, June 6 in Tuscon, AZ at the 68th Annual Conference of the American Humanist Association, Minnesota Atheists member, PZ Myers, author of the blog Pharyngula, and professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, received the Humanist of the Year Award.  PZ Myers has been a vocal advocate for science education in schools and a staunch critic of "Intelligent Design" Creationism.  Dr. Myers should serve as motivation for anyone who wonders what they can do to make the world a better place.
Add a comment

President's Column "Why Organize"

watland_gardens12.jpgBy Bjorn Watland

Americans who do not believe in any gods (we would call them atheists, although they may not) are a large part of the population.  Some polls would say that there are more atheists in America than Mormons and Jews combined, however, we are either underrepresented, or our politicians are lying about their religious beliefs. If nearly one in five of us are atheists, as some polls suggest, why are we treated as a much smaller minority?  Much of that has to do with numbers and organization.

Add a comment

Read more: President's Column "Why Organize"

Who Wrote the Bible?

mesmileyatpc.jpgBy Vic Tanner

Believe every word it says, or dismiss it all as bunk, there is no question that the Judeo-Christian Bible is one of the most controversial and perplexing books ever compiled. Conservative Christians commonly claim that all events in it are factual, yet any attempt to study the true historicity of the text is met with suspicion and cries of persecution by the True Believer. Their position is a truly unfortunate one, because critical analysis of the Bible is when it becomes truly interesting. It allows us to unravel the mystery of who the Hebrews were and what goals they were attempting to achieve when writing their scriptures. 

Add a comment

Read more: Who Wrote the Bible?

The Sunny Skeptic: Tiny (and not-so-tiny) Ways That YOU Can Advance Atheism

crystal_small.jpgBy Crystal Dervetski

When people think of activism, they can sometimes get overwhelmed.  A lot of work goes into volunteering for an organization and promoting a cause, but there are many things that you can do to help promote atheism!

First, be positive!  There's nothing worse than a negative atheist, mostly because that is exactly the atheist stereotype: doom and gloom, mean-spirited, angry with the world. So don't be! It is actually that easy. Being positive is a choice.  Now, I can already hear it; so if there's a medical cause for your orneriness, please go see a doctor.  (No hoo-doo vitamin therapy over here, unless it's used in conjunction with an MD.) But seriously, other than that, you just need to shake it off.  You will have a more enriched life if you are positive, and you will also help others have a better life just by giving them a smile every once in a while.  Being a positive person puts a nice perspective on exactly what an atheist is:  the world doesn't fall apart without any gods, so prove that to people!  (For those of you who haven't heard the story, my blood type is B+.  Awesome.)  If you fall into the negativity trap, be aware of it, and make a conscious effort to stop yourself and at least be neutral.  Watch how much better people respond to you.  A wise man once told me “You can't out-Hitchens Hitchens, so you might as well be nice.”  He also said that I sound like Mary Poppins, which I totally acknowledge.

Add a comment

Read more: The Sunny Skeptic: Tiny (and not-so-tiny) Ways That YOU Can Advance Atheism

Author Login