He’s the mayor of a conservative (mostly Muslim) suburb of Amsterdam: Ahmed Marcouch, 41, is on a self-appointed mission to end homophobia in Slotervaart, just a stones’ throw from the capital but light-years away from its anything-goes mentality. To make his point, Mayor Marcouch recently invited Amsterdam’s annual Gay Pride parade to pass through his constituency when it takes place in August. “It is necessary to confront this issue, to say that homosexuals are normal people like all of us… Read more

Even though I just wrote an article trying to characterize “modernity” (and defend it), I think that all the claims that we are post-modern and all the pining for the pre-modern make me feel like Alan Jacobs in this piece: So when people tell me that they want to recover the wisdom of the pre-modern, I just want to know what in particular they are talking about. At least tell me whether you’re talking economics, politics, moral philosophy, epistemology, theology,… Read more

New style parody of the Doors about Craigslist from “Weird Al”, released just 2 weeks ago online.  The new album slated for next year is called Internet Leaks and he’s leaking the tracks himself one at a time as he gets them done apparently. Embedding has unfortunately been disabled but you can click here to see the new video. Youtube has busted Al’s monopoly on cultural parody: As a parody songwriter, Yankovic has had some competition as sites like YouTube… Read more

Aaron writes this wonderfully thought provoking reply to my post about moral motivation apart from reference to God: I had an argument a few years back with someone over this. She thought I’d go to hell for not believing in Jesus, even thought she thought I was a great person. I found that troubling. It doesn’t matter to her why I am good person? To me, it’s morality that counts, not the source. And in my opinion, there are at… Read more

Ars technica considers an analysis of how our beliefs determine the information we allow ourselves to be exposed to: Analysis of the studies shows that people are almost two times more likely to select information that is congenial to their current beliefs and behaviors than they are to pick information that opposes them. That is to say, when offered material containing views that were contrary to their beliefs (either in article or broadcast form), people had only a one-in-three chance… Read more

Some day down the road, I hope to sift all my thoughts on empathy and “wise Latinas judges” in light of Nietzsche’s wealth of insights into perspectival knowledge as a more virile knowledge than the emasculation that comes through objectivity.  (Genealogy of Morals III:12)  But to hold us over in the meantime, here is Joseph Orosco employing the concept of equity from Plato and Aristotle to help support Sotomayor’s view of legal interpretation: As Plato and Aristotle understand it, equity… Read more

A really interesting article. The most recent issue of “X-Factor” ended with two male team members, Shatterstar and Rictor, making out. While we’ll have to wait till next month to find out whether they’re gay, bisexual, or it’s some sort of mind-control plot point, consider writer Peter David’s track record of supporting gay characters in comics — and the lesser-known fact that writers planned for the pair to hook up back in the mid-90s.There’s a good shot this is the… Read more

From Feministing, worth reading in full: But then the argument goes: surely for the women who choose to wear the burqa, the garment is a choice not a tool for suppression. This argument obscures the fact that there is a pervasive, sexist propaganda in many Muslim communities in favor of the burqa. Many women are vulnerable to this propaganda and so their so-called choice to wear a burqa may not be the result of independent, informed decision-making. Moreover, even an… Read more

I remember ten years ago this past June watching an hour long show on C-Span about the coming technological and economic Y2K meltdown which would change our lives forever and fantasizing about my coming life in a post-apocalyptic warzone performing great acts of heroism. My favorite part of this video is the random last thing the guy after Leonard Nimoy says. Thanks to “Everything Is Terrible” for the awesome find (as usual). Read more

Found this on PZ Myers. Overall good news that even though there are still some countries depressingly uninformed about Darwin— The results show that the majority of people polled have heard of Charles Darwin with the highest levels of awareness in Russia (93%), Mexico (91%), Great Britain (91%), and China (90%) whilst less than half of people polled in Egypt (38%) and South Africa (27%) saying they had not heard of him. —that nonetheless most countries with an awareness of… Read more

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