Atheistic existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 01:27:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://willtoexist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png Atheistic existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ 32 32 Jacques Derrida and Antonio Gramsci – poets who were never real poets https://willtoexist.com/jacques-derrida-and-antonio-gramsci-poets-who-were-never-real-poets/ Sun, 26 Dec 2021 04:45:54 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/jacques-derrida-and-antonio-gramsci-poets-who-were-never-real-poets/ “Everyone is born a poet – a person who discovers the way words sound and work, cares and delights in words. I just kept doing what everyone else is starting to do. The real question is: why did the others stop? writes the American poet William Stafford. I can now vaguely remember something that I […]]]>

“Everyone is born a poet – a person who discovers the way words sound and work, cares and delights in words. I just kept doing what everyone else is starting to do. The real question is: why did the others stop? writes the American poet William Stafford.

I can now vaguely remember something that I read some time ago that an ancient Arab poet said that every Arab child born is a poet. One of my teachers regretted that in his language the quantity of poet blatantly proliferates and he considers this to be a kind of disease. But I don’t. As the 35th President of the United States, John Kennedy, writes, “When power corrupts, poetry cleans.”

Lately, I came across a dubious and evasive quote from German philosopher Martin Heidegger, “to be intelligible is suicidal for philosophy”. To me this quote means that poetry is ubiquitous and ubiquitous. Even philosophers do not escape the net of unintelligibility that is the domain of poetry – this of course recalls what YB Yeats said: what can be explained is not poetry. Let us not forget the simplicity proposed by the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari. Harrari writes that in Israel a teacher inclined to hide behind professional jargon is seen as simply shocking. He writes that you need to be crystal clear and clear in terms while making your students understand something ambiguous and / or unintelligible in Heideggerian terms no matter what. I think that being intelligible is more suicidal for poetry than for philosophy. Nevertheless, the recurring unintelligibility in any domain claims by default the predominance of poetry.

Likewise, I have come across many lines from bold and fearless thinkers that have been written as by poets of great stature. For example, Jacque Derrida the great post-structuralist whose pioneering work on deconstruction has invariably beaten the centuries-old and taken for granted narratives written in one of his essays – perhaps memories of the blind – “the tears and not sight is the essence of the eyes. “What is it if not a piece of poetry? Besides, I bet that this line is poetry in all words but written by a philosopher. Therefore, the language that poetry implies is intrinsically a language beyond language and not a language within language Therefore, it is most often asserted that the language of poetry is quite different.

Besides Derrida, another courageous and robust thinker, the linguist and journalist Antonio Gramsci had a poetic flavor very much induced by the intellect. Gramsci was an Italian communist thinker who, in his prison notebooks composed during his imprisonment until his death, rather philosophically analyzes how powerful sections and the bourgeoisie of a society through cultural hegemony deploy institutions. to dispel a common sense of docility across society. He captured and then brought to light those intricacies and intricacies of the complex of economy, society, and state that inform our enslavement that were elusive even to Marx, so to speak.

He was arrested on November 8, 1926 at the age of 35. In addition to notebooks of several thousand pages, Gramsci writes nearly 500 letters to Julka his Russian wife, Delio his son and his mother. Christian Spurrier writes in The Guardian that his letters, numbering over 500, tell the story behind this work. And they are a remarkable tale of imprisonment. He was grossly disturbed by the shady environment of the prion, but he was nonetheless optimistic and full of intellectual vigor and animation. During this period, he wrote to his mother: “I felt like I was living in a fantastic novel.

Likewise, he insisted that his wife write about him constantly. Gramsci wanted his wife and son to write “nothing but trivia.” He asked them to keep him posted on the current height and weight of his two sons. His wife in one of his letters expressed her willingness to visit him soon in Italy. This auspicious news enveloped Gramsci in joy and happiness to such an extent that it invoked the most poetic passage Gramsci had ever written. He wrote this passage when he was transferred to a prison hospital. Gramsci writes: “What a terrible feeling I had, after six years of looking at only the same roofs, the same walls, the same grim faces, when I saw from the train that all the time the wide world had kept on. exist, with its meadows, its woods, its ordinary people, its bands of little boys, certain trees and certain gardens. After so many years of a life shrouded in shadows and miserable miseries, after all this, it would do me good to be able to talk to you friend to friend. If I say this, you must not feel that a terrible responsibility weighs on you; all I can think of is regular conversation, the kind you normally have with friends.

I was deeply touched by this passage. This portrays what the pinnacle of Persian literature Hafiz wrote in one of his Gazals: Hama Shab umeed waram k Nasim i sohb gahe. Ba payam i Aashna hi zi Nawaz a aashna ra. These lines say more or less that I still have a lot of hope that at nightfall the morning breeze will bring a friend’s message. What am I getting to? The point is that no one escapes the realm of poetry. You are a man of taste and that prompts you to express your innermost self in poetry – form, gender and meter don’t matter.

Marx in the precocity was a poet and even published a collection of poems. Nietzsche, the pioneer of atheistic existentialism, was a poet and wrote poems. His particular talent for writing aphorisms was a subtle and mysterious manifestation of a rudimentary poet residing in his soul.

That being said, when Julka stops writing Gramsci for months on end, here is what tumbles from Gramsci, “I am so isolated that your letters are like bread to the hungry.” He then complains quite plaintively, “So why are you measuring the ration so artfully?” I am amazed at the veneers of these lines informed by the deep sensibility of a poet.

Additionally, throughout his life Gramsci was overwhelmed and inundated with disease and different types of biological disorders. Once he wrote to Tania, Gramsci’s sister-in-law who administered to Gramsci and kept most of what he wrote in prison, “I have rarely known anything other than the more brutal sides of the story. life, but I always managed to get out of it. for better or for worse. “Gramsci’s enigmatic courage and resilience is inexplicable. As he was relentlessly besieged by tuberculosis, a recurring flu and a disease of his spine, he never joined. depression and wrote with a strange recklessness to his mother in 1931: “It is true that I cannot dance on one leg”, in the following the line, he is stunned by his own fearlessness, “but sometimes I am amazed at myself in my own powers of resistance. “

In one of his most powerfully unfathomable essays, Derrida Avoiding Definitions offers us an impressive definition of poetry, “it is a text that must be ‘learned by heart’. All these lines and texts capable of being learned by heart are more or less poems in generous terms. And the aforementioned lines, whether from Deridda or Gramsci, are easy to memorize and listen to friends like lines from Shakespeare’s plays – to be or not to be and many others. These are all my calculations and guesswork. Gramsci was a Marxist philosopher, journalist and politician and Derrida a French philosopher best known for deconstruction.

But before you go – what do you think of these lines? Are these lines taken from a prose poem by Derrida or one of his essays? “But psychoanalysis has taught that the dead – a dead relative, for example – can be more alive for us, more powerful, more frightening, than the living. This is the question of ghosts. – Jacques Derrida

The writer is a student, based in Turbat. He tweets @ shahabakram6 and can be contacted at shahabakram0852@gmail.com



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Boo to the Boo-Hurrahs: How four Oxford women transformed philosophy https://willtoexist.com/boo-to-the-boo-hurrahs-how-four-oxford-women-transformed-philosophy/ https://willtoexist.com/boo-to-the-boo-hurrahs-how-four-oxford-women-transformed-philosophy/#respond Tue, 02 Nov 2021 11:40:12 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/boo-to-the-boo-hurrahs-how-four-oxford-women-transformed-philosophy/ Revised here Women are up to something: How Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch revolutionized ethics through Benjamin JB Lipscomb Oxford Buy on Bookshop.org Prospect receives a commission when you purchase a book using this page. Thanks for supporting us. In April 1945, a newsreel entitled German atrocities appeared in UK cinemas. […]]]>

Revised here

Women are up to something: How Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch revolutionized ethics

through Benjamin JB Lipscomb

Oxford

Buy on Bookshop.org

Prospect receives a commission when you purchase a book using this page. Thanks for supporting us.

In April 1945, a newsreel entitled German atrocities appeared in UK cinemas. Having been spared graphic imagery for most of the war, this was, for most British civilians, their first encounter with the horrors of concentration camps. After viewing images of emaciated bodies and piled up corpses, Philippa Foot, 24, told her mentor, philosopher Donald MacKinnon: “Nothing will ever be the same again. These were acts, according to Foot, that were undeniably bad, and if philosophy was unable to identify them as such, then there was a major problem with philosophy.

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How Albert Camus changed his mind https://willtoexist.com/how-albert-camus-changed-his-mind/ https://willtoexist.com/how-albert-camus-changed-his-mind/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/how-albert-camus-changed-his-mind/ One of my favorite authors is the philosopher Dallas Willard. He once said that “meaning is one of the greatest needs of human life, one of the deepest hunger pangs, and perhaps in the final analysis, the most basic need in the realm of human experience “. Human beings are driven by a deep sense […]]]>
One of my favorite authors is the philosopher Dallas Willard. He once said that “meaning is one of the greatest needs of human life, one of the deepest hunger pangs, and perhaps in the final analysis, the most basic need in the realm of human experience “.


Human beings are driven by a deep sense of meaning and belonging. The early Greek philosophers taught that all human beings are telic creatures. “Telic” comes from the Greek word “telos” Where “telikos, ”which means“ goal. ”They believed that we are all purposeful, meaning-seeking creatures.

In my last book, Reflections on the Existence of God, there is a fascinating essay on the life of Albert Camus, one of the most famous atheists of the twentieth century. I tell how he changed his mind about atheism. People have told me how shocked they were to learn of this. I’m sure a lot of his fans were shocked as well. Camus could not live with his atheistic worldview which believed that life is ultimately empty and meaningless.

Below is the essay of the book.

*****

I remember my first year at university, in the 1970s, in an introductory course in philosophy, one of the obligatory books to read was that of Albert Camus. The foreigner. I recently listened to a sermon by Tim Keller, and he said that when he was a student in the 1960s he took a course where Camus’s book The myth of Sisyphus was required reading. Author and scholar Nancy Pearcey studied in Germany in the 1970s. She said existentialism was very popular among university students in Europe. She said that all of her classmates were avid readers of Albert Camus. Obviously, he was a fairly popular author on college campuses during these turbulent times, and his philosophy has filtered and shaped the lives of many of these young people.

Albert Camus was a French philosopher, author and journalist.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, but not for a particular work, as the prize is based on the author’s entire work. He was truly a celebrity, with huge audiences on college campuses where he often went to lecture.

Camus is considered by many to be an existential philosopher because most of his philosophy focused on existential questions. His atheistic worldview led him to explore what he called “the absurdity of life”. He considered life absurd because it was meaningless, and it is meaningless because there is no God to make it meaningful. He also argued that human life loses all meaning because of death, which prevents anyone from making sense of their earthly existence.

Camus believed that there was no God, no meaning, and therefore we create our own meaning by throwing ourselves into life and questioning the futility of our earthly existence. It seems that Camus was never able to shake the question of meaning, which he realized was the most fundamental question in life.

A change of heart

What most people don’t know is that Albert Camus changed his mind the year before he died in a car accident.

Howard Mumma was a Methodist pastor in the United States. For several years, he spent the summer in Paris preaching in an English-speaking church. One Sunday morning, he noticed that the famous philosopher Albert Camus was sitting on one of the benches. They met and became friends. Camus was clearly looking for answers, and he now seemed to realize that meaning and purpose must be endowed by God.

The conversation below is from Howard Mumma’s book Albert Camus and the Minister. It starts with mom talking to Camus:

MOM : You have told me many times that you are not happy with the whole philosophy of existentialism and that you are looking in private for something that you do not have.

CAMUS: Yeah, you’re absolutely right, Howard. The reason I come to church is because I am looking for. I’m almost on a pilgrimage – looking for something to fill the void I live in – and no one else knows. Certainly, the public and the readers of my novels, if they see this void, do not find the answers in what they read. But deep down, you’re right, I’m looking for something that the world won’t give me.

MOM : Albert, I congratulate you on that. I think I want to encourage you to keep looking for meaning and something that will fill the void and transform your life. Then you will come to living waters where you will find meaning and purpose.

CAMUS: Now, Howard, you have to agree that in a way we are all products of a mundane world, a world without a spirit. The world we live in and the lives we live in are decidedly empty.

MOM : It often seems so, I admit.

CAMUS: Since coming to church, I have thought a lot about the idea of ​​a transcendent, something that is other than this world. It’s something you don’t hear much about today, but I find it. I hear about it here, in Paris, in the compound of the American Church. After all, one of the basic lessons I learned from Sartre is that man is alone. We are solitary centers of the universe. Perhaps we are the only ones who have ever asked ourselves the big questions in life. Perhaps, since Nazism, we are also the ones who have loved and lost and who, therefore, are afraid of life. This is what led us to existentialism. And since I read the Bible, I feel that there is something – I don’t know if it’s personal or if it’s a big idea or a powerful influence – but there is something that can give a meaning in my life. I certainly don’t have it, but it is there. On Sunday morning, I hear the answer is God.

At the very end of the book, mom explains to Camus the forgiveness of God’s sins and the need to clean your slate in order to have a relationship with God. Mom then said:

“I don’t know what the French term would be for a surety or a charge, but the person who accepts the pardon now believes that there is no mortgage, no charge on you. The slate is clear, your conscience is clear. You are ready to move on and embark on a new life, a new spiritual pilgrimage. You seek the presence of God himself.

I was nervous and intense. Albert looked me straight in the eyes and with tears in his eyes, said:

“Howard, I’m ready. I want this. This is what I want to commit my life to. “

It was in the summer of 1959, just before Mom returned to the United States. Camus met the Minister at the airport, and while he was about to board the plane, they kissed and Camus said to mum: “My friend, my darling, thank you… I will continue to fight for the Faith.


Four months later, on January 4, 1960, Albert Camus died in a car accident. At the time, he was one of the most famous French alive. He had a huge following. However, most of them never knew, nor probably would believe, that he went from the absurdity of atheism to a life of purpose which is found in Christ.

Albert Camus reveled early in his life as a famous and famous atheist author and lecturer.

He had a large number of young people who fully embraced his teaching on “the absurdity of life”. Reading mom’s book, I was struck by the fact that Camus found his atheistic worldview unlivable. He couldn’t live with his belief that life is ultimately empty, meaningless and absurd. He recognized that he had this deep thirst for meaning, and had the courage and the humility to want to abandon the atheistic philosophy that made him famous and begin a search for the truth. His search led him to God.
To learn more about the proofs of God that exist, I invite you to read my book Reflections on the Existence of God. The book exposes, in short essays, much of the evidence available for the existence of God. We should seek to take the evidence offered and use it to draw reasonable conclusions. What you will find is that as the evidence accumulates, it allows us to come to sure conclusions about God. Who is he. And, that He really is.


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Why John Lennon’s ode to humanism still resonates https://willtoexist.com/why-john-lennons-ode-to-humanism-still-resonates/ https://willtoexist.com/why-john-lennons-ode-to-humanism-still-resonates/#respond Mon, 13 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/why-john-lennons-ode-to-humanism-still-resonates/ Fifty years ago, John Lennon released one of the most beautiful, inspiring and catchy pop anthems of the 20th century: “Imagine”. Sweet and yet more and more moving as the song progresses, “Imagine” is unabashedly utopian and deeply moral, calling people to live, as one humanity, in peace. He is also deliberately and powerfully irreligious. […]]]>

Fifty years ago, John Lennon released one of the most beautiful, inspiring and catchy pop anthems of the 20th century: “Imagine”.

Sweet and yet more and more moving as the song progresses, “Imagine” is unabashedly utopian and deeply moral, calling people to live, as one humanity, in peace. He is also deliberately and powerfully irreligious. From his opening words, “Imagine there is no Heaven,” to the chorus, “And no religion too,” Lennon sets out what is, for many, a clear atheist message.

While most pop songs are secular by default – in the sense that they are about the things of this world, with no mention of the divine or the spiritual – “Imagine” is explicitly secular. In Lennon’s story, religion is an obstacle to human development – something to be overcome, something to be transcended.

As a secular scholar and avid Beatles fan, I have always been fascinated by how “Imagine”, perhaps the first and only atheist hymn to be so successful, became so widely adopted in France. America. After all, the United States is a country that has – at least until recently – a much more religious population than other industrialized Western democracies.

Since its single release on October 11, 1971, “Imagine” has sold millions, becoming No. 1 in the US and UK charts. And its popularity has endured. Rolling Stone magazine named “Imagine” as the third greatest song of all time in 2003, and it consistently tops national polls in Canada, Australia and the UK.

Countless artists have covered it, and it remains one of the most played songs in the world.

But not everyone is in love with his message. Robert Barron, the auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, responded to the recent interpretation of Tokyo by lambasting “Imagine” as a “totalitarian hymn” and “an invitation to moral and political chaos”. His problem: atheistic words.

Many attempts have been made since the release of “Imagine” to reconcile Lennon’s hymn with religion. Scholars, believers and other musicians have argued that the lyrics are not really atheist, just an anti-organized religion. Others took the hammer approach and just changed the lyrics – CeeLo Green sang “And all religion’s true” in a televised performance on New Years Eve 2011.

In interviews, Lennon was at times ambiguous about his beliefs about religion and spirituality, but such ambiguity contradicts the clear message of “Imagine”. The irreligious ethics of the song is straightforward. The first verse says that there is “no heaven”, “no hell” – “Above us, only heaven”. In such clear and distilled words, Lennon captures the very core of secular orientation. To me, Lennon says we live in a purely physical universe that operates under strictly natural laws – there is nothing supernatural there, even beyond the stars.

It also expresses a distinct “here and now” at odds with many religions. Asking listeners “Imagine all the people, living for today,” Lennon is, to quote labor activist and atheist Joe Hill, suggesting that there will be “no pie in heaven when you die,” no more than an eternal fiery torture. waiting for you.

Lennon’s words also leave room for an implicit existentialism. Without gods and lifeless after death, only humanity – within and among ourselves – can decide how to live and choose what matters. We can choose to live free from violence, greed or hunger and – to quote “Imagine” – exist as a “brotherhood of men… sharing everyone”.

It is here that Lennon’s humanism – the belief that humans, without relying on anything supernatural, have the ability to create a better, more humane world – takes over. Nihilism is not the way, nor is discouragement, debauchery or destruction. On the contrary, Lennon’s “Imagine” implies a humanistic desire to see the end of suffering.

The spirit of empathy and compassion throughout the song is consistent with what scholarship has found to be strong traits commonly seen in secular men and women. Despite attempts to link Lennon and “Imagine” to bloodthirsty atheists like Stalin and Pol Pot, the overwhelming majority of atheists seek to lead ethical lives.

[3 media outlets, 1 religion newsletter. Get stories from The Conversation, AP and RNS.]

For example, studies have shown that when it comes to things like wanting to help refugees, seeking to establish affordable health care, fighting climate change and being sensitive to racism and homophobia, atheists stand out as particularly moral.

Indeed, secular people in general exhibit a distinctly tolerant, democratic and universalist orientation – values ​​that Lennon defends as ideals in “Imagine”.

Other studies show that the least religious democratic countries – those which have gone farthest in the path of “imagining no religion” – are the safest, the most humane, the greenest and the most ethical.

“Imagine” was not the first time Lennon sang of his secular humanism. A year earlier, in 1970, he had released “I Found Out”, declaring his lack of belief in Jesus or Krishna. Also in 1970, he extinguished the haunting and burning “God”. Beginning with a classic psychological explanation of theism – that humans construct the concept of God as a way to face and measure their pain – “God” goes on to list all the things Lennon decidedly doesn’t believe in: the Bible, Jesus. , Gita, Buddha, I-Ching, magic and so on. Ultimately, all he believes in is his own personal verifiable reality. Coming to such a place was, for the Liverpool Spectacled Walrus, truly ‘reborn’.

But neither “I Found Out” nor “God” achieved the massive success that “Imagine” enjoyed. No other atheist pop song has done it.



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Atheist politicians are still technically illegal in 7 states? Should we be worried? https://willtoexist.com/atheist-politicians-are-still-technically-illegal-in-7-states-should-we-be-worried/ https://willtoexist.com/atheist-politicians-are-still-technically-illegal-in-7-states-should-we-be-worried/#respond Sat, 03 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/atheist-politicians-are-still-technically-illegal-in-7-states-should-we-be-worried/ Illustration of the “In God We Trust” flag. (Marie, Adobe Stock) While laws remain in effect in a number of US states to guard against such old terrors as “blasphemy” and atheist politicians, apologists today view their existence as inconsequential because the Supreme Court of United States has long declared them unconstitutional. But the are […]]]>

Illustration of the “In God We Trust” flag. (Marie, Adobe Stock)

While laws remain in effect in a number of US states to guard against such old terrors as “blasphemy” and atheist politicians, apologists today view their existence as inconsequential because the Supreme Court of United States has long declared them unconstitutional.

But the are consequences, important, wrote Kristina M. Lee, a doctoral candidate in rhetoric (the arts of persuasion) at Colorado State University, in a thought-provoking essay reprinted this month by Religious News Service – “Why is it important that 7 states still have bans on atheists to hold office.

American politicians have shown little interest in changing any of these outdated laws in state constitutions, let alone removing them. Lee quotes Todd Stiefel, an atheist activist, who wrote:

“If it were written in the books that Jews could not hold public office, or that African Americans or women could not vote, it would be obvious. You would have politicians breaking down trying to get it repealed. Even if it was still unenforceable, it would still be shameful and would be removed. So why [atheists] different?”

Fair question.

Lee also bemoans what she calls “theistic normativity,” a term she uses to represent the idea of ​​”the normalization of belief in God as related to good and moral citizenship.” It is an alley of Christian privilege in America – Christian because it is still the dominant religion in the nation. Lee argues that,

“For many Americans, belief in God and Americanism have become synonymous. A 2015 survey found that 69% of those polled believed it was important to believe in God to be “truly American.” And Americans are supposed to adopt national slogans such as “In God we trust” and “a nation, under God”. Politicians are regularly invited to participate in public prayers to God before official meetings. And while they may ask otherwise, the default assumption is that Americans will take an oath to God when they take public office or testify in court.

“Although there is no ban on being an atheist in the United States, atheists have long been presented as non-Americans. When Democratic Representative Louis Rabaut proposed adding “under God” to the pledge of allegiance in 1954, he argued that an “American atheist” is a “contradiction in terms”.

This is the backstory of anti-atheism in America and some disturbing consequences, such as the normalization of God’s promoting signs in schools across the country, with the encouragement of the Supreme Court.

Other consequences, perhaps more mundane but still important, according to Lee, include the difficulty for political candidates to throw their hats in the ring of local and national elections, and a multitude of other cultural obstacles. Writes Lee:

This anti-atheism extends beyond politics. Atheists are discriminated against in the workplace and hiring practices. Parents who are religious often have an advantage in custody cases. Even though atheists are no more likely to commit crimes than theists, stereotypes surrounding atheist crime and unreliability persist. In court, atheist rape victims are less likely to be believed than Christian or religiously ambiguous victims.

Indeed, although public antipathy towards atheists has eased somewhat in recent years, polls indicate that, despite everything, only 60% of Americans today to consider vote for one. But it’s a little better than the most vilified subgroup, the “socialists,” for whom just under half of Americans would consider pulling a lever in the voting booth.

Lee reports that while “4% of Americans identify as atheists and about 23% identify themselves more broadly as non-religious,” research suggests that in fact “up to 1 in 4 Americans are atheists, but most are unwilling to reveal it, even anonymously. polls.”

Such is the social power of stigma, even in Congress, where publicly self-identified atheists are about as rare as hen’s teeth.

In 2014, the American Humanist Association claimed that “24 members of Congress said privately that they did not believe in God but would deny him if they were unmasked,” Lee wrote.

In a 2021 survey of the religious identity of members of Congress, Lee reports that in the US Senate, only Senator Kyrsten Sinema (R-Arizona) identified himself as “without religious affiliation,” while 18 other members have refused to answer the question or responded “don’t know. In the US House, only Representative Jared Huffman (D-California) is the only openly non-theistic member of Congress (but describes himself as non-religious, not atheist) and 13 other members (including a Republican) refused to answer the question.

You can see how the elected officials are still loath to touch this third rail of American politics: the word “atheist”.

This is why it is of great concern that state laws and constitutions prohibit blasphemy and atheist political candidates, although the Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional long ago.

Their consequences, at least in theory (and if a strong theocratic movement emerges), remain viable. And the mere fact that they are there and that lawmakers routinely back down from anything that is not religious contributes to the so-called theistic normativity of atheistic demonization in society.

Americans must be disillusioned with these fraudulent notions that have been in vogue for years among conservatives and remain strong in the United States the times.

The point is that once these pernicious ideas are enshrined in law – as “under God” arbitrarily added to the oath of allegiance – they are hell to quash and become a familiar part of the political landscape.

This is exactly the intention of the promoters.


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Social sciences need a new lease of life https://willtoexist.com/social-sciences-need-a-new-lease-of-life/ https://willtoexist.com/social-sciences-need-a-new-lease-of-life/#respond Fri, 18 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/social-sciences-need-a-new-lease-of-life/ Social sciences like religion deal with human nature. It requires appropriate interpretations and a good understanding in time and space. Human nature, however, seems to be a category in philosophy; its manifestations are socially and politically rooted. The idea of ​​human nature and human possibilities are perpetually in transition. Since then, times have become a […]]]>

Social sciences like religion deal with human nature. It requires appropriate interpretations and a good understanding in time and space. Human nature, however, seems to be a category in philosophy; its manifestations are socially and politically rooted. The idea of ​​human nature and human possibilities are perpetually in transition. Since then, times have become a new normal, so disciplines must also be in tune with the new normal. COVID-19 has shaken the established contents of the social sciences.

The focal unity of the social sciences is based on human interaction. He must be face to face in a real realm. Sociology in particular is engaged in social interaction, which forms a network of social relations. Understand these relationships, which generate different forms of capital and its conversion from cultural form to symbolic form? It was the adventure of the social sciences to locate the dominant metaphors of age by localizing the historical notion of self and of society. Modernity has created a break with the past, in a sense, it has rejected supernatural notions of knowledge, its finality without empirical verification. René Descartes, known as the father of modern European philosophy, began to doubt everything and grasp the being of oneself, like the true, “I doubt therefore I exist”. With the presumed innate ideas, he established the rationalist current of philosophy. Contrary to this, Locke found the human mind to be clean and empty, “clean slate” on which the chalk of experience places its imprints of this world. This branch is known as empiricism. These founding philosophies, rationalism and empiricism, made the social sciences akin to the sciences, exploring knowledge and wisdom. This is the Modern project produced in the 17th and 18th centuries to let the world know that this world is by evolution and that its institutions could be perfected on Baconian knowledge and the Kantian axiom of “pure reason”. This has led us to believe that history is a total accumulation of knowledge and moves on the notion of progress, of linearity in its sense of change. This scholarly notion of history is known as positivism. Positivism is synonymous with modernity. All these philosophers, optimists and claiming to know the laws of history, except a few, would divide time into stages, one after the other. Marx including the wise step of the class struggle through work and exchange, Durkheim’s mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity and the Gemini tree from Tonneies to the Gesell tree are some illustrations to tell the story. Positivism gave us two main branches, functionalism which believed that the system is for balance and that the consequences of social action lead to balance in a society, while the conflict school emphasized the dialectic in the company and its resolution as the final agenda. One viewed the abnormality as a pathology of the system, while another viewed class conflict. But the common agenda was the notion of progress.

The collapse of European centrality and its promise of progress are rapidly exploding. In the aftermath of the Spanish Flu, the aftermath of the war, and the rise of the first wave of feminism, soon in the 1920s and beyond, atheistic existentialism is shaping literature and the social sciences to assert that no human nature exists and humans are in a vacuum. The decade of the 1960s saw the collapse of functionalism with the emergence of black movements, student movements and gender movements. The emergence of feminist and post-colonial literature finally brought about the bankruptcy of Marxism at the end of the previous century. It was a break from modernity and a collapse of the social science disciplines that had traveled since; from positivism to nihilism. The literature of absurdity, the emergence of existentialism in new forms, and the loss of meaning of religion and ideology have brought the world back to identity and genealogy with vendetta and pessimism. The social sciences through sociology have revoked Weber and the critical school to fill the void created by the collapse of positivism. Positivism has been countered by phenomenology which does not believe in universal theories. He emphasizes everyday events, which he believes have meaning to explore. Foucault understands the counter-position of the notion of innate humanity as presented by the structural analysis of Chomsky’s mind. This enrichment of linguistic structuralism was useful for symbolic interactionism, ethno methodology and theories of exchange, which brought a collaborative episteme and a bridge of philosophy, anthropology and hermeneutics to build the social science building. The deconstructionist methodology for bringing stories to life and unveiling the past has become a canon for understanding the present and its trajectories. The theories of social deconstruction before being legitimized are in unresolved debate with modern sociology on the unconscious movement of the structure and the rationality of human action. The new century has come with a question “if he is the other, who am I then” replacing the old binary “me and the other” of modernity. The deepening of the schism was brought about by the process of globalization and new social societies and which emerged with the electronic revolution and the technological networking of digital media of social and political consciousness. Slowly and slowly the social person was confined and at least given a private space to be a person, cared only about his chances of life and maximizing material comfort. Those who failed resorted to identity and religiosity, where the market through token capital helped find a global network to be a member of the group, known or unknown. The social sciences have turned to linguistics and digital cybernetics to understand the narrative of the oversight of power and domination. Lucan and Derrida brought new life to post-structuralism transgressing the doubt of Descartes and structuralism of Lévi-Strauss by posing the human intellect and consciousness to the play of language and its capacities to find “signifier and signified” fluid not fixed. It leads contemporary social sciences to understand the phenomenon as unreal and in motion.


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Behind the Scenes Photos of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey https://willtoexist.com/behind-the-scenes-photos-of-stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey/ https://willtoexist.com/behind-the-scenes-photos-of-stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey/#respond Mon, 07 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/behind-the-scenes-photos-of-stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey/ 2001: A Space Odyssey, the 1968 pioneering science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. The screenplay, written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, was so advanced that a novel of the same name and written at the same time as the […]]]>

2001: A Space Odyssey, the 1968 pioneering science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. The screenplay, written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, was so advanced that a novel of the same name and written at the same time as the screenplay was released soon after the film’s release.

The film, which follows a journey to Jupiter, delves into topics such as human evolution, existentialism, technology and artificial intelligence, and the possibility of alien life. The film’s synopsis reads: “A towering black structure connects past and future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. When Dr Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly bizarre behavior, leading to a tense confrontation between the humans and the machine which results in an incredible journey through space and time.

After completing work on Dr Strangelove, Kubrick spent a lot of time pondering the possibility of alien life forms and vowed to himself that he would make “the right proverbial sci-fi movie.” Sure, he accomplished a lot more than he thought possible at the time, but that initial goal led him to enlist the help of accomplished sci-fi writer Clarke, even though Kubrick believed that he was “a nut that lives in a tree”.

Selected from Clarke’s 1951 short story The Sentinel as a starting point, Kubrick and Clarke formulated the script for the film together while Clarke also worked on a novelization of their collaboration. It is important to note that there are several differences between the novel and the film, as is often the case when masters of different mediums choose to tell the same story in their respective ways. Clarke’s text describes the motivations of extraterrestrial species, gives proper context to the iconic black monolith, and rationalizes cosmic nonsense.

Kubrick, on the other hand, constructs a vision that relies on the combination of pioneering images and a beautiful score composed of works like that of Richard Strauss. Also Sprach Zarathustra (allusion to Kubrick’s interpretation of Nietzschean philosophy) as well as that of Johann Strauss II The Blue Danube. “2001“Kubrick explained in an interview,” Is essentially a visual experience and not a verbal one. It avoids intellectual verbalization and reaches the viewer’s unconscious in an essentially poetic and philosophical way. The film thus becomes a subjective experience that strikes the viewer on an inner level of consciousness, just like music, or painting… I think that 2001, like music, succeeds in bypassing the rigid surface cultural blocks that bind our consciousness to narrowly limited areas of experience and is able to cut directly into areas of emotional understanding.

(Credit: MGM / Alamy)

The making of the film suffered multiple setbacks and delays as Kubrick maximized the budget for his obscenely ambitious project. He and Clarke went back and forth with drastic rewrites, and the film was finally released on April 2, 1968 at the Uptown Theater in Washington, DC, 2001: A Space Odyssey opinion shared at all levels. Famous columnist Pauline Kael is famous (and somewhat loosely) labeled 2001 as a “monumental unimaginative film” when others saw it as a very spiritual experience. It was so popular among students who used psychoactive substances before entering the theater that the marketing team decided to call it “the ultimate trip”.

However, grappling with bad reviews, Kubrick described them as “dogmatically atheist and materialistic and down to earth.” Arguably his work years ahead of his time, those mixed reviews will now all be converted to five stars. In 1991, the film was labeled “of cultural, historical or aesthetic significance” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Divided into four parts, Kubrick’s scope of vision is ambitious to put it lightly. From “The dawn of man”, 2001 shows us ephemeral vignettes of the primitive life of our hominid ancestors in the prehistoric African veldt. They lead relatively simple lives, remain loyal to their own clans, and survive on natural resources. Suddenly, Kubrick introduces us to the protagonist of his film: a giant black monolith with sharp edges that stands out like a surreal anachronism. This causes a kind of awakening in the monkeys that came before us, making them aware of their own abilities. The only caveat is that humanity’s capacity has a dangerous duality – the act of creation also holds the cynical potential for destruction. Yes Dr Strangelove was an allegorical satire on the precariousness of our future due to nuclear weapons, 2001 shows us the origin of the arms race. We see the first monkey in history arming (with a bone) and beating the others until they submit, feasting on the flesh of defeated animals and standing triumphantly over the corpse of ‘a defeated brother.

The filling of lists of “greatest movies of all time” across the world 50 years later and Kubrick’s sci-fi epic still influence modern cinema. Here in some behind-the-scenes footage you can see how he did it.

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Deconstruct Iqbal’s discourse of incarnation and ipseity https://willtoexist.com/deconstruct-iqbals-discourse-of-incarnation-and-ipseity/ Wed, 21 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/deconstruct-iqbals-discourse-of-incarnation-and-ipseity/ Existentialism began in the 19th century and became widespread in continental philosophy, so a few dominant themes and ways of thinking, particularly around the issue of embodiment and individuality, which permeate these existential philosophies must be seen. in juxtaposition with the deep ideas of Allama Iqbal. First, the rejection of the Cartesian duality of mind […]]]>

Existentialism began in the 19th century and became widespread in continental philosophy, so a few dominant themes and ways of thinking, particularly around the issue of embodiment and individuality, which permeate these existential philosophies must be seen. in juxtaposition with the deep ideas of Allama Iqbal.

First, the rejection of the Cartesian duality of mind and body is present not only in Iqbal’s thought but is shared both by atheistic existentialists like Merleau-Ponty and Sartre and ethico-religious existentialists like Kierkegaard and Marcel. Existentialists view the human individual as both a body and a mind. They do not however consider him to be the Cartesian res cogitans– a body and a mind – but rather as a dynamic unit. To exist is to be embodied and human existence is none other than this relationship between embodied consciousness and the world.

In the Gulshan-i-Raz-i-Jadid (New Garden of Mysteries), writes Iqbal,

Tan-o Jan Ra Do Ta Guftan Kalamast

Tan-o Jan Ra Do Ta Deedan Haramast

To speak of the body and the soul as two distinct entities is hardly true,

To see them as two things is a sin.

Existentialists generally reject as unintelligible any ontological notion of a consciousness separate from the body or which takes the body as its object. Marcel warns that any reference to our body should not be interpreted as a relation of possession. Because my body is not an object; it’s not something other than me the way the outside world is.

The body is in fact the frame of reference around which the world is organized and which allows consciousness to pursue its concrete possibilities in relation to its projects and movements. The body is lived and experienced as the context and the support for all human endeavors. Echoing this sentiment, Iqbal thinks that the mind or naf is the pure act while the body is only the act that has become visible. He quotes the following from Rumi:

Bade az my mast shod, na ma azu

Qaleb az ma hast shod, na ma azu

It is not we who get drunk with wine; rather the wine that gets drunk through us.

It is not we who live by the body; the body receives life through us.

For the humanist existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, the body is experienced as a mode of becoming. In Being and Nothingness he wonders if consciousness has a distinct ontological status outside the body. He concludes that the body is coextensive with personal identity (it is a “perspective” that we experience). Expressing a point of view similar to that of Iqbal, Sartre states that consciousness “exist” his body.

Moreover, for Iqbal, the Self is not a concept or a thing, but rather a dynamic process by which the soul becomes embodied. In the Javed Namah he points out that the dualistic image of soul and body is only an illusion created by language:

You say that the body is the receptacle of the soul.

Do not be dumb ; consider the secret of the soul; does not get tangled with the body.

It is not a receptacle; it’s a state of mind

Calling him his vehicle is a confusion of terms.

So the body, for Iqbal, is a mode of Reality and as such is necessary. The matter is in the spirit of truth, only in spatio-temporal reference. He writes in the Reconstruction that “The unit called man is body when we look at it as acting in relation to what we call the outside world; it is the spirit or the soul when you see it as acting in relation to the ultimate goal and ideal of such an act. And of Zabur-i-Ajam we see Iqbal point out:

Be jan pushide ramz-e qa’inat ast

Badan hale z ehval-e hayat ast

The secret of the universe is hidden in the soul,

The body is only one of its modes of expression.

For Kierkegaard “the lack of enthusiasm is the misfortune of man”. This stagnation of the mind is the real cause of despair and of what he calls “sickness to death”. Likewise, Iqbal also believed that “in the life of the spirit there is no stillness”

The project of existentialism is to achieve authentic existence, to recognize forms of “bad faith” and to foster personal authenticity. Religious existentialism assumes that it is a true relationship with God which makes the individual into an existing being, since reality itself is spiritual and Life and Self cannot be divided on the basis of Cartesian plane. Kierkegaard, for example, defines the ego as a synthesis of the temporal and the eternal; we are not only finite psychic beings, but also spiritual beings who become fully ourselves by relating to the God who created us. Melancholy, despair, anguish and boredom are all manifestations of alienation from God. In all forms of despair, the individual is alienated from his true self and this Self can only be reached when it relates to its creator. In Armaghan-e-Hijaz (Gift of the Hejaz), Iqbal writes:

To ham misl-e man az khud dar hijabi

Khank roze ke khud ra baz yabi

You too, like me, are hidden from yourself. Luck will be the day you find yourself.

For existentialists, estrangement from oneself ultimately results from a loss of will and vitality and its result is inaction. For Iqbal, however, the main purpose of the Qur’an is “to awaken in man the higher consciousness of his multiple relationships with God and the universe.” It is therefore essential that man rediscover his true spiritual self and therefore his freedom and creativity.

In one major point, however, atheistic existentialism differs from Iqbal’s thinking on the question of the origin of the Self. For Sartre, “man finds himself thrown into existence” while human life itself is absurd. And how could it be otherwise, without belief in God? Life and freedom are also aimless, and the world and our existence are without justification. This lack of meaning why, for Sartre, the human condition is plunged into anguish. But Iqbal draws his inspiration from the Quran, which states,

“We didn’t create the heavens and the earth and everything that goes into sport: we didn’t create them but for a serious end: but most of them don’t understand it.” (44:38)

For Kierkegaard, boredom and melancholy are universal conditions of existence and in fact spiritual evils. In the end, there is only a way out by faith. Iqbal believes that life has a purpose and has specific ends to accomplish. It elaborates in the Reconstruction that “To live is to shape and change ends and objectives and to be governed by them.” Mental life is teleological in the sense that although there is no distant goal towards which we are heading, there is a progressive formation of new ends, goals and ideal value scales as we go along. as the process of life grows and expands.

Likewise, Kierkegaard insisted on constant effort. He claims that the dynamic character of existence manifests itself in the unique individual who strives to exist as a genuine person. Existence therefore truly belongs to the one who strives for it. For Kierkegaard “the lack of enthusiasm is the misfortune of man”. This stagnation of the mind is the real cause of despair and of what he calls “sickness to death”. Likewise, Iqbal also believed that “in the life of the spirit there is no stopping”. In Payam-e-Machrek (Message from the East) he proclaims,

Zindagi-e rahravaan dar tag o taz ast o low

Qafela-e moj ra jade o manzel koja ast?

Life is constantly on the move, struggling and walking in its path, and that’s it.

Can you imagine a destination or a goal for the Ocean Waves Caravan?

And still in Bal-e-Jibreel he assures :

Har ek muqam se aage muqam hai tera

Hiyat zauq-e safar ke siva kuch aur nahin

Your destination is beyond any destination;

Life is nothing but a desire for an endless journey.

For Kierkegaard, getting lost in the mindlessness is “the most terrible thing of all”. Iqbal warns against this state of “conscious inertia” and ghaflat. Ultimately, for Iqbal, spiritlessness equates to non-existence – an existential condition that he greatly lamented, as we conclude with these verses:

Tan-e Bey Rooh Say Bezar Hai Haq

Khuda-e Zinda Zidoon Ka Khuda Hai.

God is fed up with the body without a spirit

He is the living God and is the God of the living.


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There is a teapot orbiting the sun. You do not believe it ? Prove it. https://willtoexist.com/there-is-a-teapot-orbiting-the-sun-you-do-not-believe-it-prove-it/ https://willtoexist.com/there-is-a-teapot-orbiting-the-sun-you-do-not-believe-it-prove-it/#respond Mon, 12 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/there-is-a-teapot-orbiting-the-sun-you-do-not-believe-it-prove-it/ This cartoon below is taken from the ‘teapot analogy’ of the English philosopher and Nobel laureate for literature Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), who argues that the philosophical burden of proof falls appropriately on anyone who claims arbitrarily and forgery-proof – that invisible deities exist, for example – rather than on skeptics for refute such unverifiable propositions. […]]]>

This cartoon below is taken from the ‘teapot analogy’ of the English philosopher and Nobel laureate for literature Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), who argues that the philosophical burden of proof falls appropriately on anyone who claims arbitrarily and forgery-proof – that invisible deities exist, for example – rather than on skeptics for refute such unverifiable propositions.

Here is Russell’s famous analogy, written for an article commissioned in 1952 that was never published:

“Many Orthodox speak as if it is up to skeptics to refute accepted dogmas rather than dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between Earth and Mars there is a porcelain teapot revolving around the sun in an elliptical orbit, no one could refute my claim provided I took care to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that since my assertion cannot be refuted it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, one would rightly think that I am talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot was affirmed in ancient books, taught as sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled in the minds of children at school, reluctance to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and would entitle the skeptic to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened era or of the Inquisitor in an earlier era.

Believers in the United States, still mostly Christians, do not appreciate being held responsible for obvious factual errors in the doctrines of faith they espouse, sniffing that opponents have never been able to irrefutably refute that the God they worship, who was never realized in reality, actually exists.

This is exactly Russell’s point: that the onus is on hypotheses to prove what is patently unbelievable, not on skeptics to refute.

The website russellsteapot.net affirms:

“Russell clearly refers to religion [in his analogy]. He compares the transmission of belief in the teapot to the transmission of religious beliefs, which, like the teapot, cannot be justified. The existence of the deity is not proven, just like the teapot is not. … Religion must claim absolute certainty; He does not have a choice. You may not fully believe if there are any doubts about the proposition in the first place. This means that religion does not meet the conditions to be called science, that is, to be falsifiable. Already. And this is where science and religion separate. Religion has no place in science; science is based on factual evidence, not on what a person believes to be true. Likewise, religion is never scientific; you can never get the amount of evidence required to achieve the “absolute” level of confidence.

Despite a long career of massively influential academic and popular writing in philosophy and mathematics, and more widely accessible subjects including atheism, Russell is probably best known to most who have heard of him for his ” analogy with the teapot “laconic and a brief public lecture. in 1927 entitled “Why I am not a Christian”, that the Encyclopedia Britannica says “has become a classic locus of atheistic rationalism.

Apparently, Russell’s much-vaunted rationalism, however, caused him to fail in series in his personal life. He got married four times. (It’s not that love is rational, of course.)


Buy either book on Amazon, here (paperback or ebook editions)


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Agnes of God, by John Pielmeier https://willtoexist.com/agnes-of-god-by-john-pielmeier/ https://willtoexist.com/agnes-of-god-by-john-pielmeier/#respond Thu, 03 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/agnes-of-god-by-john-pielmeier/ Live theater is making a comeback. In early December, Dr Christian Colombo and Dr Tyrone Grima will present a John Pielmeier classic, the play “Agnes of God”, starring actresses Isabel Warrington, Simone Ellul and Kyra Lautier. “Agnes of God” is directed by Tyrone Grima and tells the story of a cloistered novice (Kyra Lautier) who […]]]>

Live theater is making a comeback. In early December, Dr Christian Colombo and Dr Tyrone Grima will present a John Pielmeier classic, the play “Agnes of God”, starring actresses Isabel Warrington, Simone Ellul and Kyra Lautier.

“Agnes of God” is directed by Tyrone Grima and tells the story of a cloistered novice (Kyra Lautier) who gives birth to a baby and is accused of having shot it. A psychiatrist (Simone Ellul) is appointed to diagnose the nun’s mental health. Agnes is naive and knows nothing about the facts of life, but the same cannot be said of Mother Superior (Isabel Warrington) who seems to hide darker secrets. It’s a gripping and fast-paced thriller that tells the story of a woman who explores her humanity, surrounded by a strange sense of mysticism. It raises the fundamental questions surrounding existentialism, religion and faith without providing clear and straightforward answers and solutions.

It is this element that prompted Tyrone and Christian to produce this specific piece together. The play opens up a number of questions and dilemmas and provokes thought without imposing an opinion on the audience. The two producers take a different approach to religion and faith, and while Tyrone’s interest in the subject is fueled by his belief in religion, Christian is the president of the Malta Humanist Association which espouses a worldview. atheist. Following the live performances of “Agnès de Dieu”, a webinar will be organized on December 8 and 10 at 6:00 pm in order to deepen this subject. Speakers include Gail Debono, Dr Pauline Dimech, Professor Vicky Ann Cremona and Reverend Dr Carlo Calleja.

In a year that has proven to be very trying for the arts, especially live performances, producers Tyrone and Christian have taken the plunge, but not without taking all the necessary precautions in accordance with the measures currently in place. The play will be performed at the Valletta Campus Theater in Valletta, in front of a very limited audience per performance. The measures implemented include a system of ventilation of fresh air in the theater, cleaning and disinfection of seats and toilets, staggered entrances and exits, compulsory use of masks, social distancing between spectators and spectators. actors and contact research.

Agnes of God will be performed on December 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Valletta Campus Theater, Valletta. Following the performances, a webinar focusing on psychology, ethics and religion will be held from December 8 to 10 at 6:00 p.m. “Agnes of God” is performed by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com. Supported by the University of Malta, School of Performing Arts. For more information or to reserve your place contact Tyrone Grima at [email protected]


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