unTapped Topic: Are Religious People Ignorant?

Our topic this week comes from Barb! Our discussion will take place at Shorts Brewery this Thursday at 7pm.

Are religious people ignorant? A new study shows that religious people are some of the most ignorant on matters of religion and faith. On the flip side, agnostics and atheists tend to be some of the most educated about faith.

Click Here To Read the CNN BeliefBlog Post

So, what do you think? Are non-believers more knowledgeable than believers? Why do you believe/not believe this? Have you ever met someone whose confidence in their faith exceeded their actual understanding of that faith? Have you ever met someone whose knowledge about a faith was the major factor in their rejection of that same faith?

Join us this Thursday at Shorts for a discussion of religious literacy (or the lack thereof).


unTapped Topic: Science and Belief

Our topic today comes from RevAndrew:

Was the universe designed to serve mankind? Hawking asks this questions because his study of physics has led him to believe that we are but a part of the greater cosmos, albeit the lords of our particular universe. Still, he cannot make any connection between creation and the existence of God.

Does the vastness of the cosmos and the propensity for untold numbers of other universe help justify or challenge your belief or lack thereof in the divine?

Here is the link to Hawking's Wall Street Journal article.

We hope you can join us this week at Short's Brewing for our conversation. We meet at 7pm. See you there!


unTapped Topic: Have You a Herd?

Of late, the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand has resurfaced as a major influence on politics and ethics in the United States. Ayn Rand was an effective apologists for Individualism (or Libertarianism), wherein the individual is seen as more important than a group. According to Rand, collective groups had to trample on the liberties of an individual to survive, and were thus immoral. Rand said that individual happiness was life's 'moral objective.'

Much of Ms. Rand's philosophy resonates with Americans , who typically value personal liberty and personal property, while distrusting governments. Americans are suspicious of collective politcal philosophies like Communism and tend toward a libertarian perspective. But, some of the recent economic hardship has been blamed on Ayn Rand's economic philosophy.

Collectivism is the philosophical antithesis to Ayn Rand's individualism. Collectivism considers an interconnected group as the highest ethical priority. Sometimes, according to collectivism, we as individuals have to make sacrifices for the good of the group.

What do you think?

A few years ago, a tourist's YouTube video of an African Safari went viral on the internet. The video (below) has now been seen over 55 million times and has received news coverage from major networks all over the world.

The video depicts a pride of lions attacking a few water buffalo and carrying away a calf to feast on. But, the powerful lions are interrupted, not once but twice. The first interruption comes from a hungry crocodile, looking to steal the lions' prey. Soon after that distraction is dealt with, the lions are then interrupted by ... water buffalo! A whole huge herd returns to rescue their calf from the predators. It is an amazing display of the strength of numbers, and the power of courageous loyalty.

Morally/ethically, who do you root for or identify with in this video?

This video brings up several interesting questions:
  • how does this video illustrate the power of individualism, collectivism?
  • who was the victim in this video?
  • how were the hungry lions overpowered by the lowly water buffalo?

Join us at Short's Brewing this Thursday for a conversation about Individualism and Water Buffaloes!


unTapped Topic: Who is in control?

This Saturday, we mark the anniversary of September 11th. Some very familiar questions arise: where was God? How much control does God have over tragic events like 9/11?

Some people see God as a giant puppet master. To them, God is in constant, and Immanent control over every aspect of the universe. Others, however, see God taking a more hands off approach, allowing human choices actions along with the consequences thereof.

Then, there is this video, which has made its rounds on the Net. It shows a giant puppet being intimately cared for by a team of marionettes. Here, the large transcendent figure is actually controlled by smaller subservients, which may be a good illustration of a skeptic's of faith and religion (the faithful control the deity). What I like about the video, is that the beauty is in the spectacle more than in concerns over who is in charge.


In order to live man must believe in that for which he lives.
- Huston Smith
unTapped is a conversation about faith and spirituality. There are many people frustrated by being forced to think of faith in the same old patterns, and would prefer to explore spirituality in different ways.

Anything goes here. No matter where you are or who you are, we want to hear from you. Feel free to join in the conversation!

You can also join us in person, every Thursday night at Short's Brewing Company in Downtown Bellaire, MI.