James MacMillan, one of the conductors of the BBC Philharmonic orchestra, claimed in a speech last night that the "ignorance-fuelled" hostility to faith shown by "metropolitan arts, cultural and media elites" risks making society bland and uniform.Well, I don't know why anyone should be surprised. MacMillan, a Scottish composer, was commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Sandford St Martin Trust, a charity that furthers radio and television programs on religion, in a lecture at the Royal Institute of British Architects.
He also accused pop culture of inhibiting musical curiosity in the young and leading to greater conformity.
MacMillan, regarded as the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation, added that embracing spirituality is now one of the most radical and counter-cultural moves a musician can make.
Of the "new atheist" project, MacMillan said
The campaigning atheists, as opposed to the live-and-let-live variety, are raising their voices because they recognise that they are losing; the project to establish a narrow secular orthodoxy is failing.Yes, exactly. Human beings are spiritual by nature. The "new atheist man" could be a Nobelist, but he is much more likely to be a bewildered soul in rehab somewhere who "don't believe in nothing" and doesn't have the least idea how he should live, in consequence.
Also, fun posts just up at The Mindful Hack - the blog that supports my book, The Spiritual Brain:
Altruism: Can mathematics, with a dash of faith, explain altruism?
Artificial intelligence: Conversing with computers? ... or with their programmers?
Spirituality: Is this a trend? Guy tries Judaism "on spec" - discovers 7-day no-refund policy, ends as famous pulpit rabbi
Neuroscience: Getting past the "You are a computer made of meat" phase
Psychology: Picture yourself deciding you actually like the way you look!
Social psychology: "Only the lonely"? Yes, abstract concepts can generate physical sensations - for better or worse
Near death experiences: Large project to study up to 1500 cases - possible new insights into relation between mind and brain
Evolutionary psychology: Do people see faces in cars?
Spirituality: A conventional sad tale does not transform into a spiritual memoir just because God is hat tipped
The difference between the mind and the brain ... in under one minute
Ici un entretien a blog paranormal re Du cerveau à Dieu - plaidoyer d’un neuroscientifique pour l’existence de l’âme