Not too long ago Diana Nyad, the Olympic swimmer, was being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and happened to mention she was an atheist.  Oprah made the comment that she didn’t see how atheists could possibly have that sense of awe that people who believed in god had.  Now don’t get me wrong, I do not dislike Oprah, but how fucking arrogant is that?  I feel a sense of awe every morning when I go out and gaze up at the starts and see the big dipper.  I couldn’t see it last night, so I know that this rock we live on is orbiting around while at the same time hurdling several thousand MPH as it orbits the sun.  We are part of a solar system that is moving, again several thousand MPH, which is also part of a galaxy that is hurdling along at an even greater rate to who know where.  And if I were a religious person I would look at my Dad in awe.  He is a man who devoted his whole life to his god.  He ministered the sick, and shut-ins.  He volunteered for hospice.  He took communion to people who were too sick or frail to get to church.  Now as I’m sitting in his living room looking at him, his brain is pretty much mush from Alzheimer’s and suffering from the pain of shingles.  I would look up at the god he served his entire life with the awe of “You ungrateful son of a bitch.  How can you do this to one of your most devoted followers?”  Ya see, not all awe is good Oprah, and you can kiss my saggy old ass you judgmental self righteous bitch.

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Comment by Ed on December 18, 2013 at 8:54am

Ken,

I did see the Big Dipper last nite from my geographical location!  It would take an obtuse individual to gaze up at the stars on a clear nite and not be overwhelmed at the insignificance of our little planet in the overall scope of the vastness of the universe.

"Ya see, not all awe is good Oprah, and you can kiss my saggy old ass you judgmental self righteous bitch."   - Amen.....

Comment by James Cox on December 18, 2013 at 1:41pm

I expect that the only thing speeking is Oprah's bank account. It is tempting to suggest that the more knowledge one has about the world, the greater could be one's 'awe'. Sadly while this is tempting, it seems to be just one more example of 'selfie' delusion. I see no reason to think that an 'ignorant' African tribesman would be less in awe than a 'deeply educated' scientist, or a 'backward' southern theist. If one finds no 'awe' in their lives, I expect that they are either dead, or work in some gray basement cubical, slaves to a clock, and confining corporate culture. 

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on December 18, 2013 at 4:24pm

I'm not sure that I desire any sense of 'awe'.  When I see a great mountainscape, rather than swirling in thoughts about how magnificant it is, how lucky I am to be there, or how powerful is this thing nature - I prefer to be silent in thought as I just enjoy what is.

Comment by _Robert_ on December 18, 2013 at 7:34pm

Oprah worships at the temple of her own narcissism.

Comment by Beth on December 18, 2013 at 8:50pm

I think it's even more awe-inspiring to appreciate the beauty of the world for what it is, a natural phenomena that took millions of years to develop, and not because it was put there by some creator (boring!). I feel awe for the world almost every day -- I'm a sucker for those pretty Midwestern sunrises.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on December 19, 2013 at 2:24am

Well, I can tell you this, if a majority of Americans were atheist, Oprah would find a way to express her approval of their suddenly existant 'awe' and then tailor her network and magazine to appeal to them. If she interviewed one of those crazy theists before her great atheist audience in her largely atheist culture, she would probably tell them she just doesn't see how theists find that awe that atheists, who don't lived in a musty, predictable world of received knowledge, can find by engaging with reality. She'd be a regular skeptic. 

Comment by James Cox on December 19, 2013 at 12:39pm

The blowing winds of demographics and maket share, 'AWE!'...

Comment by Randy Rose on December 19, 2013 at 3:40pm

I know the pain you describe from watching my grandmother, a very devoted christian, go through dementia and Alzheimer's. I am less in awe of a god who could or would allow such a thing to happen and more in awe of my grandfather, aunt, and mother, who have witnessed the entire thing and cared for my grandmother, but continue to go to church and worship. It blows my mind.

Also, f*ck Oprah.

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