Archives for December 2011

So Long, You Magnificent Sonofabitch

Well, shit.Woke up at 5 a.m. with a 50-mph wind roaring outside my window. Rolled over and picked up my phone to check the weather, and was immediately assaulted with Facebook posts praising Hitch.Clicked over to a news page and saw it. Dead at 62. Damn.Many times during my younger life, I asked the people around me "If there was a pill you could take that would make it possible for you to live forever, would you take it?"And I've been amazed at the answers, which consisted of a large … [Read more...]

Tax the Pope? Hey, It Could Happen!

Bloody hell. The European Humanist Federation estimates that the tax advantages of the Catholic Churches costs the Italian government 6 billion euros a year — roughly $7.8 billion US.Could that change? Well ...Italian Catholic Church under pressure to start paying property tax … [Read more...]

Yeah? So What Else is New?

Religious Believers Don’t Trust Atheists, Says New StudyIn other news, the sea is wet, dogs bark, and bears poop in the woods.Love this bit: While atheists may see their disbelief as a private matter on a metaphysical issue, believers may consider atheists’ absence of belief as a public threat ... This following part strikes me as probably a little bit bullshit. If the data is correct, I'll bet they're misinterpreting it. Atheists also tend to trust religious people more than they trust oth … [Read more...]

Tough Questions for Believers

From an email: Dear Mr Hank Fox,To promote skepticism/critical thinking I wrote some questions for the Christian believer. Mefiante from South African Skeptics made a good translation. She is now working at the last part. The most sophisticated questions. Are you able to put the link to these questions at your blog?Thank you very much,Piet – Rotterdam – Netherlands … [Read more...]

How to Be Wrong — Part 3 of 4

Part 1 — Part 2 — Part 3 — Part 4An apology is a social act, an interpersonal transaction. It’s an attempt – in that space between us – to repair something that we’ve broken by some prior act.It can be as simple as a quick “Oops, sorry,” offered to the stranger you bump into in a store, or as complex as an elaborate healing ritual carried out to repair a serious breach between husband and wife.In its fullest form (it seems to me), an apology can be teased out into seven separate parts … [Read more...]

How to Be Wrong — Part 2 of 4

Part 1 — Part 2 — Part 3 — Part 4Okay, I know I promised Part 2 would be a look at the nature of an apology. But I’m thinking first I should make a point about WHY you apologize. Why you even admit to making a mistake at all. So:_________________________Modern-day Conservatives piss me off. For soooo many reasons.But one of the main reasons is that they’re so goddam SURE they’re right about everything. Given the history of conservatism, you’d think they’d have a few second thought … [Read more...]