James Garvey has some thoughts about an astute observation from Pascal: ‘Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them; no art can keep or acquire them.’ I tripped over that from Pascal after breakfast and had to think about it all morning.  There’s a lot written about moral luck — a philosophical industry owed to Williams and Nagel.  We think we should morally evaluate people only on the basis of what is within their control, but in fact we… Read more

Put simply, Henry Selick’s Coraline (out on DVD yesterday) was one of the greatest visual experiences I’ve ever had in a movie theater.  Not to mention that its story was thoroughly engaging and effectively creepy and suspenseful.  Selick’s film actually is the first which shows a real generational leap beyond the  stop motion animation achievements of The Nightmare Before Christmas which had until now, in my experience, onlybeen paralleled (in The Corpse Bride) but not by surpassed.  Coraline takes stop… Read more

A really interesting legal and ethical debate, I lean towards no. Authorities in South Carolina say that what went wrong was Gray’s care and feeding of her son, Alexander Draper. Gray, 49, of Travelers Rest, S.C., was arrested in June and charged with criminal neglect. “There’s a strong likelihood that this kid is going to school and could eat whatever he wanted to at school, because you’ve got friends who will help him buy food or will give him their… Read more

MSNBC Reports: The proposal is part of a Kremlin effort to teach young Russians morals in the wake of a turbulent period of uncertainty following the collapse of the officially atheist Soviet Union. Medvedev said preteen students at about 12,000 schools in 18 Russian regions would take the classes. They will be offered the choice of studying the dominant Russian Orthodox religion, Islam, Buddhism or Judaism, or of taking an overview of all four faiths, or a course in secular… Read more

Thanks to AtheisTube for the find. Your Thoughts? Read more

Jill at Feministe gives the basics: Oh this story is so easy to critique. The summary is this: NYU Law, my alma mater, invited National University of Singapore professor Dr. Li-ann Thio to teach as a visiting professor. Dr. Thio is slated to teach “Human Rights in Asia,” and is certainly an accomplished academic and politician. However, Dr. Thio also has some, uh, questionable views on homosexuality and gay rights — she compared anal sex to “shoving a straw up… Read more

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That Mitchell and Webb Look dramatizes another Bible sotry: Read more

Brand new Mr. Deity: Read more

Has this resulted from efforts to scale back sex education in schools during the Bush years as the social left claims?  Or is it because of increased sexual licentiousness throughout the culture as the social right claims? Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush’s evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US’s major public health body. In a report… Read more

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