A Defense of Game of Thrones’ Rape Depictions

Trigger and Spoiler Warning: This post will contain spoilers related to three rape scenes in Game of Thrones (the TV Show) up through the sixth episode of season five. I will also very generally compare the specific scenes and plot points of the A Song of Ice and Fire books related to those television scenes. [Read More...]

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Fifty Shades of Grey Related to the Ethics of Romanticizing Abusiveness for the Sake of Fantasy

According to Laci Green, the book Fifty Shades of Grey celebrates an abusive relationship rather than healthy BDSM practices. This raises many questions for me about the ethics of art that eroticizes literal abusiveness. Is it bad in itself to enjoy the idea of abusiveness? Is it bad only if it creates, contributes to, or reinforces unhealthy attitudes, whether in oneself or in one’s broader culture? Can we indulge our dark sides at all morally through roleplaying? Can we indulge them even more in art than even through roleplaying? I have lots of questions. I need Your Thoughts. [Read more...]

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Keeping Girls in Science By Promoting the Value of the Humanities for Tech Majors

  BetaBeat asked girls taking computer programming at Stuyvesant High School about their experiences and got some fantastic replies, like this insightful one from Izzi Clark: I’ve always thought of myself as kind of equally suspended between humanities and math/science, and I think that’s why I found computer science so appealing. Clearly, it involves math [Read More...]

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The Case Against Literature As Moral Education

The other day, Corey Robin, author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism From Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, eviscerated Christopher Hitchens over two morally dubious comments he made. Robin concluded from them that, contrary to his reputation, Hitchens was not at all an internationalist but rather “a narcissist, the most provincial spirit of all”. Robin ended his post quoting [Read More...]

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Atheistic Holidays

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. As Christianity came to dominate older pagan religions, it Christianized their holidays.  The holidays were not abandoned, they were modified.  And as Christianity fades away, the holidays are becoming de-Christianized.   The main Western religious holidays were pagan before Christianity and [Read More...]

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On Atheistic Religion

by Eric Steinhart We’re rational animals.  Which means that we’re rational.  And that we’re animals.  Many biological and neurological necessities are satisfied by religion.  Your neocortex has to live with your limbic system.  And as long as we humans have limbic systems in our brains, we’re going to be religious (more on that later). Atheists [Read More...]

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The Wiccan Deity

It’s Eric Steinhart here again. I’m going to begin my critical philosophical posts on Wicca by dealing with the Wiccan ultimate deity.  First, I’ll present some quotes from Wiccans describing this deity.  Next (in a separate post), I’ll do some analysis and compare and contrast this deity with some other deities in the Western religious [Read More...]

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Feministing Calvin

Sinfest: When I was a kid I was a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan and I adored Susie. I always thought she was clearly the one we were supposed to be sympathizing with in her exchanges with Calvin. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

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Jon Stewart Considers "In God We Trust" Debate Just A Waste of Time Distraction. Is It?

After watching that clip from The Daily Show, I think I can finally crystalize what I hear from the average secular progressive voting in Congress, writing for The Daily Show, or watching at home when a topic like whether we should have “In God We Trust” on our money or “Under God” in the pledge of [Read More...]

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