Baby Morality

Yale psychologist and author of How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like, Paul Bloom discusses the evidence that certain behaviors, dispositions, and feelings on which morality is built are innate in us and present already in babies: Relatedly, Alison Gopnik’s The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About [Read More...]

MRI's Show Internet Can Be Addictive Like Cocaine

Over LoggingGet More: SOUTHPARKmore… That full, brilliant South Park episode is here. Now the science: Internet addiction has for the first time been linked with changes in the brain similar to those seen in people addicted to alcohol, cocaine and cannabis. In a groundbreaking study, researchers used MRI scanners to reveal abnormalities in the brains [Read More...]

Pascal Boyer on Imaginary Friends and Supernatural Agents

Sorry for the hiccup as the site was down, but now that we’re back up, the blogathon goes on! Onward to 9:00am! Reading Pascal Boyer’s frequently illuminating Religion Explained last fall, the single most interesting part for me was his discussion of imaginary friends. According to my mom I had countless imaginary friends as a [Read More...]

How and Why Do We Deceive Ourselves?

Robert Trivers, author of the new book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life explores some of the stranger scientific studies of self-deception: Robert Trivers: Why Do We Deceive Ourselves? from The RSA on Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Emotions and Control

In November, a Christian gelato store owner temporarily put up a sign refusing to serve attendees of Skepticon IV because he had briefly visited the convention, witnessed a satire of Christian revivalists, and been offended. In response, there was an uproar on the internet against the gelato store owner which led to him apologizing. I [Read More...]

The Dangers of Religion Itself

Salvaging Religion In this post I am going to explore the dangers of religion. For some context, I have written often that I think that there are good things that go by the name religion that atheists should try to salvage from authoritarians, irrationalists and bigots. I am generally optimistic about the idea that we [Read More...]

The Emotions You SHOULDN’T Blame Anyone For Having

In the last several posts I’ve written about ethics, I have been talking in part about the various ways in which we are ethically responsible for our emotions and for reasoning through them. One thing worth to make explicit, which I simply assumed people would understand, is that I have been talking in those posts [Read More...]

Lou Marinoff Explains Philosophical Counseling

Lou Marinoff is the Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the City College of New York and the author of Plato, Not Prozac! He is a founder of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. He appeared on Massimo Pigliucci’s Rationally Speaking podcast two days ago to explain the concept of philosophical counseling. It’s a fascinating and [Read More...]

Atheists Perceived As Less Trustworthy Than Rapists??

I may have underestimated in the past just how bad misperceptions of us are: Consider one of the experiments. One hundred and five students read a brief vignette about a man who fails to take responsibility when he hits a parked van with his car, and then pockets money from a wallet he finds on [Read More...]