A Study in Conflict Between Island Cultures

It doesn’t get much play in the publicly-available cultural anthropology literature, but there’s an island in the Pacific where an interesting conflict has played out over generations.The island, which has an untranslatable name – generally rendered in English as  “Ryeezahn” –  is occupied by two tribes, the Kritsi and the Syenz, which have been at war for generations, a war temporarily restrained in an uneasy peace.The root of the conflict, as visiting anthropologists have documented, is une … [Read more...]

Reason Rally Update

Reason Rally plane tickets in hand!I live about 8 hours drive time from DC, so I was going to drive down on March 23, but I have to work fairly late that day, so I decided to fly down on Saturday morning, March 24.Tentative plan is to meet up with a few other friends near the statue of Joseph Henry on the grassy quadrangle side of Smithsonian Castle (which is pretty close to the RR stage area), although I may end up getting there after the start of the Rally. Argh.Originally, the time of … [Read more...]

Short Stack #12

If your father has a stick in the closet that he's used in the past to beat you with, you have to wonder at someone who'd tell you "What are you getting all worked up about? He's not beating you with it NOW." Just so with organized religion and what it's done throughout history. As an atheist, I would rather empty out that closet.____________________________When a news story says someone "lost" a leg in an accident, I always hold out hope they'll eventually find it again and be better for … [Read more...]

Madison Avenue Jesus

Man, the ads we get here at FtB. My understanding is that the service that places these things gets progressively better at targeting them to the reader audience over time. I continue to hope that’s true. If the whole thing works on nothing but keywords, and if atheist bloggers frequently mention worship and God and Jesus – in the making of jokes if nothing else – then readers here will have to grin and bear a LOT of ads that should rightly be targeted at the goddy. We’re like a Jewish site that … [Read more...]

The Things Atheists Do

I picked up my very own Master of Christian Logic today at Unbelief as a Thought Experiment, and had a rousing set-to in comments  over weighty matters such as science and the supernatural. I probably didn't cover myself with glory — the thing seemed to end in that snippy back-and-forth stuff and I just got tired of it. I did beg him to Come to the Dark Side, offering the standard promise of freedom and joy, but he wasn't having any of it, intoning (can you intone in a blog comment?): … [Read more...]

Free Will … Maybe — Part 2.3

So: Most of you is not even you. It’s something else, something beastly. Beastly in physical nature, but also beastly in mind. Run by hormones, urges, biologically programmed mandates ... just as every other animal is.Where does that leave us in a quest for Free Will?Well, it leaves us still looking, doesn’t it? And not a lot of hope in the search. If we’re 99 percent animals — fucking and fighting, eating and shitting, birthing our befurred primate infants and suckling them on beastly milk-f … [Read more...]


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