Is Oxytocin The "Morality Molecule"

That is Paul Zak’s theory. The video is fascinating: Now I just need to find 8 people to hug me everyday. (via Philosopher’s Haze, who you can read for a summary if you cannot watch the video for some reason). Patricia Churchland’s book Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality explores the role of Oxycotin in morality [Read More...]

You Are Not So Smart

The website You Are Not So Smart does an outstanding job of explaining all sorts of cognitive errors for a lay audience in an engaging way. Last week Dave McRaney, the site’s author, released a book version called You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly [Read More...]

Judging Yourself Truthfully

One of the most important mental disciplines is to assess yourself honestly. We are so naturally susceptible to judging ourselves according to both the flattery of our admirers and of our own ego, on the one hand, and the disdain of our detractors and our own irrational fears, on the other. It takes a lot [Read More...]

Don't Demonize Religious People's Motives, Focus On Their Objective Harms (Tip 6 of 10 For Reaching Out To Religious Believers)

1. Don’t Call Religious Believers Stupid. 2. Make Believers Stay on Topic During Debates. 3. Don’t Tell Religious Believers What They “Really Believe”. 4. Clarify What Kinds of Evidence Warrant What Kinds of Beliefs. 5. Help Break The Spell Of Religious Reverence.  6. Don’t Demonize Religious People’s Motives, Focus On Their Objective Harms Sometimes religion [Read More...]

How Evangelicals Can Be Very Hurtful Without Being Very Hateful

The weekend after George W. Bush’s reelection, I attended a MoveOn.org get together at my friends’ house. The idea of the event was that people would volunteer their homes to host nationally coordinated local strategy discussions. So, it was me, my two friends, and a whole bunch of hard-left Upper West Side Manhattanites all of [Read More...]

Memorializing Suicides Without Heroizing Suicide

Gay blogger Jim Burroway believes that Lady Gaga’s advocacy for the LGBT community is genuine and passionate but worries about a backfire effect of her decision to prominently dedicate a song to one of her young fans who took his life recently: as I watch this video of her performing “Hair” and dedicating it to Jamey Rodemeyer at [Read More...]

What Women Want…In Porn?

Susie Bright, in an interview with Salon explains an accidental discovery: There were about a dozen women in the ’80s who started making their own movies, magazines, images, and we fought against all the naysayers. Then, to everyone’s shock, the women’s erotica movement made significant sales. Into the middle of that mix, came along a [Read More...]

Moral Perfectionism, Moral Pragmatism, Free Love Ethics, and Adultery

Kelly: You are a moral absolutist, Jaime. Jaime: Nonsense. You are the one who wants to impose monogamy on everyone, whether they like it or not. Kelly: No, when we talked the other day, I conceded it was your right to have whatever kinds of open relationships you wanted. I only said that, given human [Read More...]

How Does Language Shape Our Color Experiences?

A fascinating video, via PZ, who also offers some analysis. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b71rT9fU-I&feature=player_embedded#! Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Internecine War At Freethought Blogs: Philosopher vs. "Redneck" Edition: Free Will And The Real World Smackdown

As far as I have noticed, there has not been a blog war between any of the Freethought Blogs (or, er, since we all moved here anyway) so I was a little trepidatious of going and picking apart the every word of a quick comment on one of my posts by my new favorite blogger, Hank [Read More...]