Can You Have A Heart Without Having “The Heart of God”?

In reply to my post on whether we need God to care about the poor around the world, Marianne offers this challenge: I have observed that atheists discuss and analyze poverty, but do very little about it. Most of the charities in the world are christian in foundation. You will find very few atheist charities [Read More...]

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Is God Needed For Us To Care About Starving Kids A World Away?

A few weeks ago now, I wrote a post, Commitment To Value Without God, in which I discussed how even when I was a Christian, I realized that I did not need to make reference to God in order to either psychologically recognize the value of sumptuous food or good friendship or any of various [Read More...]

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A Materialist View Of Transcendence

Greta Christina specifically addresses the meaning of sex from within a materialist’s mindset but her points can extend to more aspects of our experience as well, I think.  The transcendent aspect of sex and of numerous other aspects of our experience can be derived from our meditative realization that we are participating in processes that [Read More...]

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Is Karma Incompatible With Atheism?

An excellent question posed by a Scot, a reader at The Friendly Atheist. While Richard gives a fine answer supposing belief in a supernatural version of Karma, I find several of the comments interesting and more akin to the way I’ve used the term. Gary says: Actually, the word “karma” is sanskrit and simply means [Read More...]

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Further Towards A “Non-Moral” Standard Of Ethical Evaluation

In reply to a recent post, Tyler writes: Your definition of ethics and morality is well taken and allows for further interesting debate on culture and moral systems but it still requires assumption of benefit. Defining phrases like “fully flourishing life” and “most excellent characters we can develop” require a standard of evaluation which I [Read More...]

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Why Do People Behave Honestly?

A new study by Joshua Greene and Joseph Paxton investigates the mental processes behind honest behavior: They recruited 35 people and asked them to predict the result of computerised coin-flips while sitting in an fMRI scanner. They were paid in proportion to their accuracy. In some ‘No-Opportunity trials’, they had to make their predictions beforehand, [Read More...]

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Kantian Reasons To Lie To The Murderer At The Door?

Michael Cholbi thinks he has some: First, the lie is not meant to advance the happiness either of the liar or of the potential murder victim, but to thwart the abuse of the victim’s autonomy that her murder would represent. Hence, if lying to the murderer is manipulation at all, it is manipulation in the [Read More...]

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Making It Illegal To Create Centaurs, Mermaids, and Spider-Man

Dammit. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) — an ardent anti-abortion activist — is worried that the Obama administration’s loosening of restrictions on stem cell research will result in the creation of a new race of bio-engineered “human-animal” hybrid freaks. Or beautiful mermaids. The bill — modeled on an inexplicably overlooked effort by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal [Read More...]

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“Should You Try To Cure Gays?”

Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

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