Almost All My Opinions Remain Disputable

In a previous post I discussed part of my thought process in leaving Christianity and then contrasted my experience in Christianity, spent desperately trying to rationalize what were apparent falsehoods, with my experience of thinking free of faith ever since: it took me (and is taking me) years to painstakingly develop my own constructive conception [Read More...]

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Philosophical Or Psychopathic?

This made me laugh: If you are able to rise to this challenge, if you are able to honestly examine the moral arguments in favor of slavery and genocide (along with the much stronger arguments against them), then you are likely to be either a psychopath or a philosopher. Snipped from Jonathan Haidt and Fredrik [Read More...]

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Angular Momentum

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Why Do Torture And Increased Police Authority Increasingly Appeal To Americans?

The Economist has a chart on views on torture which reports a disquietingly high amount of tolerance among Americans for the practice: OPINIONS on whether the use of torture should be prohibited appear to vary widely around the world. According to opinion polls conducted early in 2008 respondents in western European democracies such as Britain [Read More...]

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Differences In Power Correlated With Differences In Moral Judgment?

Interesting study: Those who were pre-programmed to think in terms of having power “had a stronger preference for the rule-based more considerations, compared to participants in the low-power condition, who had a stronger preference for the outcome-based moral considerations.” The researchers did find one exception to this pattern. In a final test, which was constructed [Read More...]

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New Research On Possible Sources Of Psychopathy Brain Abnormalities

Science Daily reports: Earlier studies had suggested that dysfunction of specific brain regions might underpin psychopathy. Such areas of the brain were identified as the amygdale, ie the area associated with emotions, fear and aggression, and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the region which deals with decision making. There is a white matter tract that connects [Read More...]

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What’s Wrong With Prejudice And Is It Prejudicial To Dislike Someone Over His Bad Thinking?

Over at Unreasonable Faith, guest contributor Custador thinks he is a bigoted atheist: The knowledge that my cousin is a creationist has actually made me dislike him. I wonder now if I’m any better than any other prejudiced person — a racist or a sexist or a homophobe — because I pre-judge a group of [Read More...]

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In What Sense Religious Scientists “Shouldn’t” Exist

Unqualified Offerings lives up to its moniker with this post: I often hear people explain that it is simply impossible to be a scientist and religious. They have eloquent arguments for why there shouldn’t be any people who are religious and also accomplished scientists. It’s a great, well-argued, self-consistent theory with impeccable logical foundations. There’s [Read More...]

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The Evolutionary Advantages And Present Disadvantages Of Our Conformist Minds

John Wilkins has a good post on the value of our minds’ readinesses to defer to authorities from an evolutionary standpoint: The evolutionary justification for this is, of course the following: if evolution were a designer, trying to ensure that thinking beings learned and knew what they had to to survive, a cheaper rule than [Read More...]

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