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Ideacity on DVD!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Fancy yourself an “ideas” person? Interested in the ideas and people that influence culture, business, technology and society as a whole? IdeaCity is an annual conference held in Toronto. It brings together a variety of thinkers and the public, for lectures, discussion and networking. If you've enjoyed TED talks, IdeaCity is probably right up your alley!

Sam Harris, Margaret Atwood, Ray Kurzweil, Andrew Nikiforuk, Richard Dawkins, Conrad Black and Ezra Levant are just some of the many notable speakers who have given talks over the last few years.

One doesn’t need to be a specialist in order to be intrigued by these lectures. The topics are highly interesting for a broad audience, and the speakers are accessible and engaging. Each lecture is about half an hour in length, so they’re just enough to get you really curious about a topic, without being overwhelming.

Calgary Public Library has IdeaCity on DVD! Check it out today!

A Lama Walks Among Us

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is coming to Calgary! No doubt you could pick this instantly recognizable gentleman out of a line-up, but how much do you know about him and the tradition which he’s inherited?

Who or what is a Lama? Where is he from, and what does he believe? What is the relationship between the Dalai Lama and China? For that matter, what is the relationship between the Dalai Lama and Richard Geere? Visit the library to explore and learn more!

Browse our catalogue for “Dalai Lama” or “Buddhism”.

Use our e-library to access encyclopedias such as Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism, and a huge range of popular and academic journal articles about Buddhism.

Join a library program about Buddhism!

Also, don’t miss out on the activities that are happening throughout the city, during His Holiness’s visit. For more information:

The Dalai Lama presented by the University of Calgary

Free public lecture: The Dalai Lamas: A Cultural Heritage of Embodied Compassion

Calgary Buddhist (Jodo Shinshu) Temple

The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Renowned philosopher, Peter Singer, is at it again. The Life You Can Save is a short but powerful book about world poverty, and the ways in which citizens of rich nations can combat its scourge.

If you were wearing $100 dollar shoes, and saw a child drowning in a nearby lake, surely you would ruin your shoes, in order to swoop in and save the child. Yet, why is it that you won’t donate $100 to an international charity, when that donation could help hundreds of needy individuals? Frankly, we do not feel the same compulsion to help those who are far away, as we do towards those who are close. It is precisely this way of thinking that Singer seeks to enlighten readers about, and ultimately, remedy.

Singer is an ethicist. He is concerned with what is right, what is good, what we are required to do for others, what we ought to do for others, and what duties apply to us.

If you’re interested in poverty, justice, ethics, and the timely and interesting nexus created by all three, check out The Life You Can Save today!

The Atheist Craze

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Atheism is enjoying a moment in the spotlight, thanks to a few very prominent atheists - Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris being chief among them.

However, atheism is no new concept, and this will not be its first or last moment to shine. It’s a belief as old as ancient Greece – likely very much older. As the forces of scientific discoveries and cultural revolutions have played their parts in history, the popularity of atheism has waxed and waned. Still, whether you’re a believer or not, reading about atheism is well worth your time. The authors mentioned above are razor-sharp, deadly serious, and stunningly articulate. Reading any one of them is food for the brain, and although their beliefs are parallel, each has a unique “take” on atheism.

Dawkins believes that raising children in a religious tradition – any one of them – is tantamount to child abuse. His writing is not for the faint of heart; he uses his astounding range of vocabulary as a weapon in the battle against false beliefs.

The much milder (though still emphatic) Dennett treats religion as a natural phenomenon (not unlike music), which isn’t diminished whatsoever by close study. He wants to see how it evolves, and what evolutionary advantage religion might bestow on those who "use" it.

Hitchens provides all sorts of examples that refute the idea of (g)od’s greatness, and argues that throughout our recent history, religion has been a destructive and dangerous force, rather than a redemptive one.

Harris is worried about faith in particular. He wonders why it is that in the post-modern, highly scientific world, we could consider faith (and the devaluing of scientific evidence implied therein) virtuous.

These men write with such passion that readers cannot finish these books unaffected. For something that will really stir you up, I wholeheartedly recommend reading any one of them!

The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins

Breaking the Spell, by Daniel C Dennett

God is not Great, by Christopher Hitchens

The End of Faith, by Sam Harris

Letter to A Christian Nation, by Sam Harris

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