Atheism and culinary science

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A food science laboratory

See also: Atheism and food science

In terms of contemporary definitions of atheism, the Webster-Merriam Dictionary defines atheism in two ways: "1) a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods 2) a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods."[1] Oxford Dictionaries defines atheism as "Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods."[2] See: Definition of atheism

Culinary science is a blend of food science and culinary arts.[3]

Culinary scientists work in the field of research and development for the food industry (for example, a research chef). In addition to culinary arts, culinary science majors take classes in food chemistry, food safety and quality, food processing, nutrition, business and in some cases product development.[4]

Atheism and culinary science

See also: Atheism and food science and Atheism, culinary arts, inspiration, innovation and food science

Despite the efforts of culinary scientists and chefs in irreligious cultures to develop more flavorful food, there have been a significant amount of irreligious cultures with bland food that is not exciting from a culinary point of view (See: Atheism and food science).

Atheism, culinary art and art

See also: Atheist art and Atheism and musical–rhythmic intelligence and artistic intelligence

A People's Republic of China propaganda poster stating "Destroy the Old World & Forge the New World," with a worker smashing a crucifix, a Buddha murti, and a classical Chinese sacred text; 1967.

As noted above, culinary science is a blend of an art and science - namely food science and the culinary arts.

Despite atheism existing for thousands of years and predating Christianity, there is a small proportion of art compared to religious art. For example, Wikipedia, which was founded by an atheist and agnostic, has no article on "Atheist art", but Wikipedia does have an article on Christian art.

Most atheists and atheist groups do not use the limited amount of atheist art which is available. The atheist Austin Cline wrote: "Aesthetics almost never comes up in atheists' discussions about religion...there is little to no 'atheist art.'"[5]

The atheist and feminist Skepchick writer Any Roth wrote about the atheist population having apathy about atheist art: "Does art matter to atheism? This is actually an interesting question that I don’t think movement atheist thinks much about."[6]

Historically, religious institutions sponsored great works of art and architecture. Atheist groups do not have a tradition of sponsoring great works of art and architecture.

An atheist posted to atheist Sam Harris' discussion board: "This idea started when I googled “atheist art”. You see I was expecting to find art. Instead, what you get is a whole bunch of knockoffs of famous religious art that has been disfigured and mutilated. This made me slightly ashamed."[7]

The argument from beauty argues the existence of beauty in the natural world testifies to the existence of God who both designed natural beauty and who possesses a divine beauty. Objective beauty exists and beauty is not merely subjective in nature.[8]

Author John C. Wright wrote in his 2014 essay How We’ve Been Robbed of Beauty by the Left:

The strongest argument against the atheism so beloved of the Left is not an argument that can be put in words, for it is the argument of beauty. If you see a sunset clothed in scarlet like a king descending to his empurpled pyre, or wonder at the gleaming thunder of a waterfall, if you find yourself fascinated by the soft intricacy of a crimson rose or behold the cold virgin majesty of the morning star, much less see and enter a cathedral or a walled garden...or Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, if indeed you see real beauty and for a moment you forget yourself, then you are drawn out of yourself into something larger.

In that timeless moment of sublime rapture, the heart knows even if the head cannot put it into words that the dull and quotidian world of betrayal, pain, disappointment and sorrow is not the only world there is. Beauty points to a world beyond this world, a higher realm, a country of joy where there is no death. Beauty points to the divine.

The Left hates this argument, because – since it is not put into words – it cannot be refuted in words.[9]

For additional information, please see:

Atheism, open-mindedness and artistic inspiration

See also: Atheism and open-mindedness and Atheism and dogmatism and Atheism and intolerance and Atheism and groupthink and Atheism and inspiration

The artist Nick Cave declared: "An artist's duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration. You always have to be ready for that little artistic Epiphany."[10]

Open-mindedness is important when it comes to creativity. For example, the creativity involved in creating original and inspiring art.

Research indicates that atheists have less open-mindedness (see: Atheism and open-mindedness).

Soviet Union and bland food

Claude Lewis wrote in The Philadelphia Inquirer about the food is the former Soviet Union which had militant state atheism: "Many people in the Soviet Union have grown tired of institutionalized food in state-run cafeterias found at state-run cafeterias such as Stolovaya No. 22 and Stolovaya No. 23 where the menus seldom change and often lack variety. Most food in the Soviet Union is unimaginative, tasteless and bland."[11]

Irreligious Nordic countries and bland food

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[12]

Nordic food is often depicted as being bland.[13]

Nordic countries have high atheist/agnostic populations within them (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world and in secular Europe. The website adherents.com reported that in 2005 46 - 85% of Swedes were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[14] Sweden also has the 3rd highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[15] Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics.[16]

Denmark has the highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[17] In addition, in 2005 Denmark was ranked the third most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reported that in 2005 43 - 80% of Danes are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[18]

Finland was ranked the 7th most atheistic country in the world in 2005.[19] Finland has the 17th highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[20]

Iceland is one of the most irreligious countries in the world according to Gallup International.[21] A Gallup International poll conducted in 2012 reported that 57% of Icelanders considered themselves "a religious person", 31% considered themselves "a non religious person", while 10% defined themselves as "a convinced atheist", which places Iceland in the top 10 atheist populations in the world.[22]

Nordic food is often depicted as being bland.[23]

Irreligious Britain and bland food

A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[24]

See also: British atheism A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[25] See also: British atheism

International food authority Andrew Zimmern said of Britain's food: “Twenty years ago the food of the British Isles was universally considered to be among the world’s worst—boring, bland and boiled.”[26]

(In the last 20 years, Britain has seen a large influx of immigrants many of whom eat spicier food. No doubt that is why Zimmern said "twenty years ago".)

See also: Why Does British Food Get Such A Bad Rap? We Examine

Irreligious Germany and bland food

Germany is one of the most atheistic countries in the world and the website adherents.com reports that 41-49% of Germans are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[27]

Parlour Magazine reported about German food:

From a young age the German palate is adapted to enjoy the simple flavors of salt, wurst (sausage) and breadcrumbs, shunning anything too sweet, too spicy or too complex.

...I do occasionally enjoy a bit of spice and this is the dilemma. I grew up in a West Indian household led by my grandfather who was a chef, to say I was spoiled in terms of flavorful food would be an understatement. The pepper, the curry, the jerk – all flavors that fueled my youth and make me feel at home. How I survive in Germany, the land of bland, is a mystery to most who know me.[28]

Irreligion, Eastern Europe and flavorless food

Eastern Europe was under about 70 years of atheistic, Soviet communist rule (see also: Atheism and communism). For example, Albania was an atheist state from 1967 to 1991.

The Soviet Union after WWII

The Czech Republic, Estonia, and East Germany have some of the lowest levels of religious belief in secular Europe.

From a historical perspective, the Czechs have been characterised as "tolerant and even indifferent towards religion".[29] According to the 2011 census, 34.2% of the Czech population declared they had no religion, 10.3% was Roman Catholic and 10.2% followed other forms of religion both denominational and nondenominational. Furthermore, 45.2% of the population did not answer the question about religion.[30] From 1991 to 2001 and further to 2011 the adherence to Roman Catholicism decreased from 39.0% to 26.8% and then subsequently to 10.3%.[31]

Estonia is one of the least religious areas in the world. Merely 14% of the population declared religion an important part of their daily lives.[32]

The Guardian reported in 2012 about Eastern Germany:

A recent study called Beliefs About God Across Time and Countries found that 52.1% of people asked whether they believed in God identified themselves as atheists. This compared with only 10.3% in western Germany. Indeed, the survey was unable to find a single person under the age of 28 in eastern Germany who believed in God.[33]

The Maverick Traveler reports:

Eastern Europe isn’t known for its variety of exquisite dishes. Most of the dishes are a combination of three ingredients: bread, potatoes and meat. While it’s very hearty, it’s also very flavorless. If you’re there on a short trip or in the beginning of a more extended sojourn, you might find the food interesting and even exotic, but I can guarantee that you’ll quickly get tired of it.

Once you get tired of going out and eating bland local food, you’ll have two options: go to restaurants that serve international cuisine or cook your own food. The problem with the first option is that the international restaurant scene is rather limited in Eastern Europe.[34]

In recent years, Eastern/Central Europe have been experiencing desecularization (see: Central and Eastern Europe and desecularization).

The argument from beauty argues the existence of beauty in the natural world testifies to the existence of God who both designed natural beauty and who possesses a divine beauty. Objective beauty exists and beauty is not merely subjective in nature.[35]

Irreligion, smoking, altered taste buds and an impaired sense of taste

See: Irreligion, smoking, altered taste buds and an impaired sense of taste

Atheism, culinary arts, inspiration, innovation and science

See: Atheism, culinary arts, inspiration, innovation and science

Atheism is often called bland, boring, unimaginative and uninspiring

See: Atheism is often called bland, boring, unimaginative and uninspiring

Atheism, even by atheists, is often described with such terms as: bland, boring, stale, un-interesting, dull, unmotivating, soulless, shallow and other similar descriptions (see: Atheism and inspiration).

Atheism and French cuisine

See: Atheism and French cuisine

Atheism and Chinese cuisine

See: Atheism and Chinese cuisine

Irreligious countries with bland food and a religious past

Mexican chefs preparing a meal

See also: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and intelligence

Atheists have a reputation for arrogance (see: Atheism and arrogance). For example, many atheists have given themselves pretentious monikers such as freethinker, rationalist and "bright" (see: Atheists and pretentious monikers and Brights Movement). In addition, many atheists also engage in scientism and don't recognize the limitations of science.

Given how many atheists/"freethinkers" claim how "free" and how intelligent they are, the lack of more flavorful food in irreligious cultures certainly cannot be blamed on their religious ancestors - especially given all the progress made by food scientists and chefs in recent years when it comes to creating excellent culinary experiences. For example, while British atheists are settling for bland and unimaginative food, there are religious, Mexican chefs creating wonderful dining experiences.

Atheism, gender, chefs and irreligious countries with bland food

A majority atheists are men (see: Atheism and women). Most chefs in fine restaurants are men.[36] And yet, as can be seen above, there have been and are irreligious cultures with bland food.

Spices, health benefits and potential health benefits. Atheism and unscientific medical practices

Journal articles: Spices, health benefits and potential health benefits

Atheism and unscientific medical practices

See also: Atheism and medicine

Jesus and the healthy Mediterranean diet. The Mosaic Law and health

Atheism, evolutionism, Britain and food science

See also: Atheism, evolutionism, Britain and food science and Evolution

Notes

  1. Atheism, Webster-Merriam dictionary
  2. Atheism, Oxford online dictionary
  3. Culinary Science, collegeboard.org
  4. Culinary Science, collegeboard.org
  5. What is Aesthetics? Aesthetics is the Philosophy of Art, Beauty, Perception by Austin Cline
  6. Three reasons why art should matter to atheism by Amy Roth
  7. Atheist post at Sam Harris' discussion board
  8. Is Beauty Objective? by Keith E. Buhler, posted October 24, 2007
  9. How We’ve Been Robbed of Beauty by the Left
  10. Nick Cave - Brainy quote website
  11. Making A Beef About Soviet Food
  12. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  13. http://www.npr.org/2013/11/13/244600582/new-nordics-cool-but-old-scandinavian-food-holds-its-own
  14. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  15. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  16. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  17. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  18. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  19. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  20. "Iceland Ranks High on World Atheist List". Iceland Review. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
  21. "GLOBAL INDEX OF RELIGION AND ATHEISM" (PDF).
  22. http://www.npr.org/2013/11/13/244600582/new-nordics-cool-but-old-scandinavian-food-holds-its-own
  23. Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  24. Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  25. Five myths about British food
  26. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  27. Black in Berlin: Surviving Germany’s Food Culture, Parlour Magazine
  28. Richard Felix Staar, Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, Issue 269, p. 90
  29. Richard Felix Staar, Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, Issue 269, p. 90
  30. Population by denomination and sex: as measured by 1921, 1930, 1950, 1991 and 2001 censuses (Czech and English). Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved on 2010-03-09.
  31. Estonians least religious in the world. EU Observer (11 February 2009). Retrieved on 9 January 2014.
  32. Eastern Germany: the most godless place on Earth
  33. 13 Things They Don’t Tell You About Eastern Europe by James Maverick, Maverick Treveler
  34. Is Beauty Objective? by Keith E. Buhler, posted October 24, 2007
  35. Are Men Better at Cooking Than Women? The Answer May Surprise You