Trigger and Spoiler Warning: This post will contain spoilers related to three rape scenes in Game of Thrones (the TV Show) up through the sixth episode of season five. I will also very generally compare the specific scenes and plot points of the A Song of Ice and Fire books related to those television scenes. I will spoil nothing else from the books. When “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones (Season 5, Episode 6), ended, I had one despairing… Read more

On this past Sunday, I was interviewed by Mike Haubrich of Minnesota Atheists for the show Atheists Talk. Mike was interested in how I would answer suggestions that Christianity was required for morality and that naturalistic morality was impossible. In response I explored problems with trying to base morality on the supposed prescriptions of the god of the Bible and then overviewed my account of the actual foundations of ethics. You can listen to the show here. To learn more about my concept of Empowerment Ethics (which I discuss in the show), read the links here. To learn more about my philosophy classes, go here. Read more

This is an interesting Kickstarter project. Chrystine Trooien is trying to provide a resource for secular parents to teach their children about Christianity in a way that both brings alive the myths and contextualizes them as myths. The project reminds me of Richard Dawkins’s The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True which teaches children about mythological approaches to nature next to properly distinguished scientific understandings of nature. This book looks to focus in more specifically on Christianity… Read more

Last fall, I posted my Top 10 Reasons I Write Long Blog Posts. Here are ten more. 11. I do my best thinking while writing. I often find that what I think will be just a quick 300 word post grows and grows until it’s 1,500, even 2,000 words, because I’m discovering all sorts of nuances in the process of explaining the idea. Usually there’s no point in even trying to present those distinct concepts apart from the cohesive whole that… Read more

I’m about to see the Book of Mormon on Broadway! Hasa Diga Eebowai! Your Thoughts? Read more

August 1995-Spring 1996: I got my first job, if you don’t count my previous work mowing my neighbors’ lawns, at the age of seventeen. I worked at the video store owned and managed by one of the couples that lived across the street from me when I was growing up. I had grown up not knowing them particularly well but knowing their mentally disabled son very well. Cognitively he connected best with young elementary school kids and so even though he was… Read more

On the reasons and limits of engaging with a bigot. One series of personal calculations and experiences. Read more

I just found a fun video about the life of grad students (specifically chemistry ones) set to a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. Bonus points: the video casually features lots of young women doing chemistry set to the music young girls listen to. So, it might be a fun thing to circulate around such young girls to plant stereotype busting ideas most inconspicuously. A while back I wrote a blog post to help miserable graduate students shake off… Read more

Pablo Stanley has a really great comic strip putting John Lennon’s “Imagine” into pictures. Below are just four panels from a much larger strip representing the whole song, click through for the whole thing! Your Thoughts? Read more

Learn more about the most übermensch man in the world reading the rest of the comic at Existential Comics and come discuss the comic with me here.   Read more

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