Sunday, August 29, 2010

AAI 2010: James Randi - The Sleep of Reason

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In his new lecture James Randi examines the new monsters brought forth to victimize a credulous public, worldwide. In this hour-long talk, he discusses the major causes of modern irrationality, such as the rise of sensationalist journalism and the decline of responsible investigative reportage; the origins of "complimentary/alternative medicine" and the means by which it edges ever closer to acceptability; and how the outrageous claims of religions and their leaders encourage the public to accept the outrageous claims of secular hucksters.

These forces of irrationality mean to drag us into a new Dark Ages -- and to the extent that religious demagoguery, superstition, and magical thinking succeed in our world, The Enlightenment has failed. Only when we decide to reject belief in demons, gods, prophecy, eternal life and similar nonsense, can we fulfil our historic responsibility and ensure that The Enlightenment and its values endure.


  1. I was at this conference and Randi was fabulous.  Even did a few tricks for his adoring public during a coffee break before his talk!

  2. Guys, I hope you also link the A.C. Grayling talk at some point. I think that was talk of the event, and beautifully addressing atheist ethics.

  3. <span>Guys, I hope you also link the A.C. Grayling talk at some point. That was perhaps the best talk of the event, beautifully addressing atheist ethics.</span>

  4. Complementary ≠ complimentary. Though perhaps if the purveyors of medical pseudoscience were giving their "treatments" away instead of charging exorbitantly for them, it would slightly lessen the enormous harm they do to their fellow human beings, either knowingly or unwittingly.

    Thanks for posting these videos. Maybe AAI will be held in New York or Boston in the next few years. I'd love to attend.