The Religious Conservative’s False Choice: “Big Brother” Or “Heavenly Father”

In an e-mail to me, Caroline proposes thought provoking reasons for non-believers to encourage (or at least to not actively discourage) religious beliefs: It would also be nice if people would carry out actions in good conscience of just being decent human beings rather than in fear of reprisal in the afterlife, but as there [Read More...]

RSA Animate Of Stephen Pinker, “Language As A Window Into Human Nature”

Fantastic, insightful, and intuitively correct stuff about why we bother to use innuendos and other forms of indirect language where the literal meaning of what we are saying is undisguisedly clear: Thanks to Shane. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

“If You Believe In God, You Have To Believe In The Devil”

Last summer there was a cheesy ad for the latest Exorcist film, and the tagline epitomized and exploited a key twist of twisted religious logic.  The film’s tagline was “If you believe in God, you have to believe in the devil.”  What’s the idea behind this?   [Read more...]

Can You Really Love Religious People If You Hate Their Religion?

Atheists do not exactly claim to “love sinners but hate sins” (if for no other reason than that most, if not all, of us reject the category of “sin” as a meaningful or valuable way to talk about ethical failure). Also, atheists may be more realistic than to think that we really do, or feasibly [Read More...]

Why “Loving The Sinner But Hating The Sin” Is Not An Option When Dealing With Gay People

Many a homophobic religious person has infamously claimed that when it comes to gays he “loves the sinner but hates the sin” and many a defender of the full dignity and ethical lives of gay people has judged such a compromised offer of love inadequate (if not insincere). This cannot be because it is impossible [Read More...]

Jonathan Glover On The Consciences Of Sociopaths

The moral philosopher Jonathan Glover interviewed a number of anti-social people, including psychopaths, who have committed serious crimes and live in secure hospitals in order to investigate how they think about right and wrong and what sort of conscience they have.  He thinks they have a conscience, but one unlike others’. They have strong feelings [Read More...]

Sex And Apostasy

Drew Dyck has written a book called Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith. . .and How to Bring Them Back. I want to focus on just a few passages from his interesting five page article from last fall in last November’s Christianity Today. Unlike many Christians who, despite living in a culture [Read More...]

When It Comes To Looks, A “7″ Is Not Just A “7″

OKCupid’s ever-fascinating and invaluable Trends blog reasons about why the cute girl on the left gets far fewer messages than the cute girl on the right, despite having almost the same, and even a slightly higher, attractiveness rating from the men on the site.  (And, while they are at it, they speculate that I am not [Read More...]

James Fallon: Confessions of a Pro-Social Psychopath

Thanks to Dunc, here is a fascinating video of James Fallon, at the World Science Festival: Below the fold is more on the history of the development of the science of psychopathy, including a long segment on Fallon himself, from a much darker toned documentary on the BBC. In the second video below, Fallon explains [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X