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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Are Sex and Morality Merely “Evolutionary Tricks”?

Francis Collins trots out a familiar old argument against atheism.  The argument is that if there is no God then our morality is an illusion.  Collins’s presentation of this argument features an unusual and suspicious spin.  Collins knows that arguments can be made from evolutionary psychology that broadly moral thinking seems to have evolved in [Read More...]

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For God or Morality? On Those Who’d Hold Morality Hostage For Faith

In his recent critique of Francis Collins, the Christian Evangelical and geneticist recently appointed by Obama to head the National Institutes of Health, Sam Harris referenced the slides from one of Collins’s speeches.  I want to take two posts (but possibly more if there are comments or if I otherwise have extra relevant ideas on [Read More...]

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Coyne Vs. The Dogma That Religion Aids Moral Progress

As part of a 9 page critical review of Robert Wright’s The Evolution of God, Jerry Coyne levels more than a few incisive challenges countering Wright’s faith in religion as an indispensible aid to moral progress.  Here are just a few of Coyne’s key points. First he enlists David Hume to challenge Wright’s assumption that [Read More...]

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Call It Volitional Love Rather Than Unconditional Love

Earlier today I posted Brendan Palla’s reply to my posts on unconditional love and love in general.  In what follows, I have interspersed my replies to him within the stream of his argument. I want to open with a bit of a critique. I don’t think you’ve captured very well the notion of unconditional love [Read More...]

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A Challenge To My Critique Of Unconditional Love

A week ago I posted twice on the theme of love, spending the first post on what I saw to be conceptual problems for the ideal of unconditional love and then focusing the second post on a constructive attempt to characterize love and then locating unconditional love within that new framework. The next day, Brendan [Read More...]

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