RSSCategory: Culture

What Christianity and alien abduction have in common

April 27, 2006 | By | 53 Replies More
What Christianity and alien abduction have in common

I just finished reading Michael Shermer’s book, “Why People Believe Weird Things.”  It’s very long-winded — the book could easily be 1/10th its size and still make the same points — but it did make me realize one thing.  The book discusses alien abduction as an example of a weird thing that many people believe, […]

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The voices you are

April 23, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
The voices you are

Many people think that they are motivated to act morally by reference to a set of external rules.  Not me.  Although rules direct our attention to various problem-solving strategies, there are so many rules (and so many interpretations of rules) that people can easily “justify” almost any behavior by reference to rules.  “Do not kill” unless, […]

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Balancing Moral Dilemmas on Top of Our Everyday STUFF

April 22, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
Balancing Moral Dilemmas on Top of Our Everyday STUFF

Interesting missive, that moral rules, dirty secret, thing.  Got me thinking.  I am one of those people with too much stuff.  I’m also one of those people who would just as soon give money or time to kids on the other side of the world as pay my own bills, but that’s a different problem […]

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Framing the abortion debate (part 1): What is the missing premise?

April 20, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
Framing the abortion debate (part 1):  What is the missing premise?

A logical argument, known as a syllogism, looks like this:      PREMISE 1:  All dogs have wet noses.      PREMISE 2:  Max is a dog.      CONCLUSION:  Max has a wet nose. Easy, right?  Now, let’s see what happens when we remove one of the premises:      PREMISE 1:  All dogs have wet noses.      […]

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No Faith? But that’s no good, either . . .

April 18, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
No Faith?  But that’s no good, either . . .

I love that there are people like Erich Vieth in the world, people who take the time to refute dangerous “fact” spouters like the Creationists who got themselves powered up to the top of the Google listings for vestigial organs.  I love that he researches so thoroughly and carefully points out the enormous flaws in what […]

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Would a deadline for troop withdrawal create fewer American dead?

April 16, 2006 | By | Reply More
Would a deadline for troop withdrawal create fewer American dead?

One of the Sunday morning pundits today (4/16/06) made an excellent point.  He observed that President Bush has refused to give a firm date for withdrawing US troops from Iraq, because, Bush says, such an action would embolden the terrorists to just wait us out.  However, Bush then ignored this principle when he mentioned that the […]

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Why does “irreducible complexity” sometimes demand a creator and sometimes not?

April 14, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
Why does “irreducible complexity” sometimes demand a creator and sometimes not?

So here’s my question:  creationists (a subset of Fundamentalist Christians) claim that life on earth is too “irreducibly complex” to have arisen spontaneously, without an “intelligent designer,” so how do they explain the existence of God, who is, presumably, infinitely more “complex” than any life on earth?  Was God designed by a yet more “intelligent” supernatural […]

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Which three books would most enhance Stone Age human survival?

April 8, 2006 | By | 6 Replies More
Which three books would most enhance Stone Age human survival?

In the movie version of the H.G. Wells story, “The Time Machine,” the story ends with the Time Traveler disappearing into earth’s distant future, where the human species is not only living a primitive Stone Age existence, but is engaged in a life-and-death struggle against a violent competing species.  However, unlike the book version (found […]

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Proposed Amended Ten Commandments

April 6, 2006 | By | 4 Replies More
Proposed Amended Ten Commandments

I hereby propose a new version of the Ten Commandments.    1    Choose and follow a version of the golden rule.  Note in your heart that golden rules have appeared in the writings of many cultures, including Jewish, Buddhist, Confucian and Ancient Egyptian.   2.   Never publicly advocate that one’s own version of a supernatural God is truer […]

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