Recent Articles

The Semantics of Secular Labels

The Semantics of Secular Labels

| March 3, 2007 | 71 Replies

Ever since I started doubting the existence of God, I have frequently encountered confusion between the numerous labels used to describe non-theistic belief systems. This is most commonly seen between the words “atheist” and “agnostic,” both of which signify the absence of definitive belief in a deity. At first glance, the distinction may seem obvious: […]

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Stock Market and the IRS: Insult to Injury

Stock Market and the IRS: Insult to Injury

| March 3, 2007 | 2 Replies

I received a letter from the IRS this week. Apparently last spring (when my father died, my mother had a few operations, and other distractions abounded in my life) I forgot to fill out my Schedule D. This is the form that shows how much money I lose in the stock market each year. Because […]

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Ignorance is bliss-or is it?

Ignorance is bliss-or is it?

| March 2, 2007 | 5 Replies

Sometimes I wish I believed in prayer.  I wish that I could plead, I wish that I could sacrifice, I wish that I could count beads or light a flame and a great omnipotent being would be coerced or convinced to grant my desire.  Some people think that you can pray for anything and that […]

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Freddie Mac announces the end of Greed

Freddie Mac announces the end of Greed

| March 2, 2007 | 1 Reply

Financial news is hot right now, what with the stock market plummeting, or ‘correcting itself’ as the more bold would proclaim.  You may have heard that Freddie Mac has decided they will not purchase certain subprime mortgages.  They have a proper position paper, the normal “we’re doing this to look after you,” B.S.,  but more honest […]

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The Road to Riches

The Road to Riches

| March 2, 2007 | 2 Replies

“Payday” lending has been big in the news lately.  Payday lending is where you go to a licensed loan shark to borrow money at interest rates in the hundreds (450% is not unusual), generally give the shark a post dated check, and 2 weeks later, end up having to renew the loan so the shark doesn’t […]

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Christians put on their Skeptic Hats to deal with the “Tomb of Jesus”

Christians put on their Skeptic Hats to deal with the “Tomb of Jesus”

| March 2, 2007 | 1 Reply

Such good irony. I can’t help but shake my head at the many Christians who are temporarily putting on their Skeptic Hats to deal with a bold claim by a Discovery Channel documentary.  That documentary is claiming that a tomb discovered in Israel in 1980 held the bones of Jesus.   If true, the documentary’s claim would conflict […]

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Should we teach philosophy to little kids?

Should we teach philosophy to little kids?

| March 2, 2007 | 2 Replies

One of Diane Rehm’s recent shows featured Marietta McCarty, who advocates teaching philosophy to children to develop critical thinking skills and to deepen their sense of empathy for others.  Here’s the interview.  McCarty, who has taught at both the elementary school and community college level, has written a book titled Little Big Minds. According to […]

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Interested in really living simply?

Interested in really living simply?

| March 1, 2007 | 1 Reply

Check out the Simple Living Network, a non-profit website (absolutely no commercials) that provides lots of information on how to pare down your material excesses.  The site is run entirely by volunteers, who sincerely try to practice what they preach.  Here’s the basic approach, as indicated on the home page: [I]f you believe the world […]

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The Great Afterlife Debate: Michael Shermer v. Deepak Chopra

The Great Afterlife Debate: Michael Shermer v. Deepak Chopra

| February 28, 2007 | 1 Reply

Shermer and Chopra traded articles at Skeptic Magazine, but they really didn’t communicate.  Shermer got me on board with comments like this: Here is the reality. It has been estimated that in the last 50,000 years about 106 billion humans were born. Of the 100 billion people born before the six billion living today, every […]

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