Saturday morning.  My wife sleeps in because she can and I don’t because my sleep-in gene wigged out about 10 squares back.  Feed the cats, check email, scope out what’s going on with Atheist Nexus and Car and Driver Backfires and it’s not even 7:30 yet.  Okay, time for breakfast, then.  A bowl of Rice Chex and a glass of OJ later and eight o’clock is still at least 15 minutes away.  A quick check on YouTube tells me that not a whole lot new is going on there, but, out of somewhere in my brain, comes the desire to check out some old favorites of mine produced by Seth Andrews and released on his Thinking Atheist channel.  So I watch his 2011 talk at the Oklahoma Freethought Convention, his terrific piece: “Get Them While They’re Young” from FreeOK 2013 and “It’s Ridiculous” from the Oklahoma State Secular Organization meeting of 2012.  It’s all stuff I’ve watched and enjoyed before and coming back to it is a good feeling.

But then comes the reason why I’m writing all of this.  I note a video of a Q&A session which apparently came after that last talk, which I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen, and it gets cued up.  Perhaps half-way through the piece, the conversation is about interactions between theists and atheists and what is needed when a woman brings the following to Seth’s attention … and I wanted to bring it to yours:

Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the cunning to spread the truth among such persons.
-- Bertolt Brecht, “Writing the Truth: Five Difficulties”

This is in very large portion what we as atheists are tasked with in being who we are and confronting the lie which is religion, and quite obviously why the woman brought that quote to Seth’s attention.  So I thought I would share it with you.

Please enjoy.

Views: 106

Tags: Bertolt Brecht, Seth Andrews, The Thinking Atheist, difficulties, truth

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Comment by Loren Miller on June 17, 2014 at 8:08am

Randall, as I told Daniel below, I'm just doing what I can here, and if you enjoy my stuff, terrific!

Comment by Randall Smith on June 17, 2014 at 7:24am

You realize, Loren, I try to keep up with you: follow your posts and comments, etc. I even printed and posted on my fridge your "Why I'm an Atheist" manifesto (if you will). I'm only just smart enough to stay out of most conversations. I know my limitations! Keep up the good work.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on June 16, 2014 at 2:00pm

Counterfactuals are sometimes fun.

People who wish to combat truth can say their lies are truths and found religions.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 16, 2014 at 6:08am

Very interesting, Craig.  Thank you!

Comment by Craigart14 on June 15, 2014 at 11:19pm

The original version is Englishman John Gay's Beggar's Opera of 1728.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 14, 2014 at 12:11pm

Daniel, we all do what we can and we don't do what we can't.  Judging from what I've seen on A|N, many of us manage to ADD to that first category, at least now and then, and that takes courage and keenness at the very least.

You're welcome, my friend.  Please don't sell yourself short.

Comment by Daniel W on June 14, 2014 at 11:54am

Loren,

I was up at 430, a little earlier than usual but not much.  You were more productive than I was.  I watered the deck plants.  Tired today.

For my High School German class I read Brecht's "ThreePenny Opera".  I  loved the original version of Mack the Knife.   Especially loved the version with the late Raúl Juliá as Macheath.  Listened on CD many times.

Didn't know this quote however.  I fall short.  I don't always have the courage, the keenness, the skill, the judgement, and certainly not the cunning.  I do the best I can with my limitations.

Thanks for an interesting topic.

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