Go here for the explanations of each of the 10 basic “psych 101” points and also to find further articles on the topic.  I found point 6 most interesting and so included it in full below: 1. Groups can arise from almost nothing 2. Initiation rites improve group evaluations 3. Groups breed conformity 4. Learn the ropes or be ostracised 5. You become your job 6. Leaders gain trust by conforming A high-profile, high-status role in any group is that… Read more

Julia Sweeney, of It’s Pat! from Saturday Night Live fame, has a film in which she describes her journey out of religion. Here is a trailer for the film: Here is a performance of the first 15 minutes of her stage show: Greta Christina recommends it as highly as possible: Sweeney is more than just a good, funny storyteller. She has an intellectual courage that is enviable: a willingness to rigorously investigate her ideas and beliefs… and to change them… Read more

His article is long, here are just a few key pieces: In Britain, everyone has health insurance. In the U.S., some 45 million do not, and nor are they entitled to any health care at all, unless they can get themselves to an emergency room. Hospitals are prohibited from turning away anyone who will be endangered by being refused treatment. But even in emergency rooms, people without health insurance may receive less health care than those with insurance. Joseph Doyle,… Read more

Portions of the book Experimental Philosophy including “An Experimental Philosophy Manifesto” by Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols can be read here, and Josh May and Jonathan Ichikawa discuss the manifesto here. Your Thoughts? Read more

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 that help the poor. They believe in taxing people to an extreme, and then spending the money in a bureaucratic fashion. But the message is… Read more

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 causes about which I was passionate.  And similarly I would still be responsive to my conscience. In reply, Chris wrote me.  Chris and I were… Read more

From the always terrific Everything Is Terrible via Jerry Coyne. Read more

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 are our existential conditions and which we share with the rest of the animal kingdom and with our fellow humans as the practices by which… Read more

A new documentary Silent Partner profiles gay partners of military personnel who have to go back into the closet to protect their partners’ careers in the military: Ben Cartwright has been a passionate advocate for gay rights for 12 years. He is a regular at gay pride marches, has a pod-cast and writes for a gay newspaper in San Diego. The last thing he expected was to have to put a part of himself back into the closet. But if… Read more

Discovered this guy only today, start with this video and keep watching, he’s hilarious: Read more

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