When the Golden Rule Goes Wrong

In Dutch philosopher Floris Van Den Berg‘s new book Philosophy for a Better World (Prometheus Books, 2013), he “charges individuals to reimagine society from the position of one at the political and ethical control board.” In other words, it’s full of a lot of interesting thought experiments that involve you putting yourself in the shoes of others (including animals in a fascinating section on vegetarianism/veganism).

In the excerpt below, reprinted with permission of the publishers, Van Den Berg discusses “A New Golden Rule.” (Keep reading afterwards for your chance to win a copy of the book!)

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An Excerpt from Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics

Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann, who previously wrote the excellent book The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers (1997), have teamed up once again to write Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics (Prometheus Books, 2013).

It’s a book with a self-explanatory title, and you only need a high-school-level background in math to understand it.

The following are excerpts from the book, reprinted with permission of the publishers:

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Imagine if We Lived Under President Sarah Palin (An Excerpt from Christian Nation)

Frederic C. Rich had written a fascinating new novel in which he considers what would have happened if Barack Obama had lost the 2008 election, leaving our country in the hands of John McCain and, eventually, Sarah Palin. And then we suffer another terrorist attack (7/22)

As you might expect, there’s chaos everywhere, for a number of reasons.

The book is called Christian Nation: A Novel:

An excerpt from the book is below — and keep reading for your chance to win a copy of the book:

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Contest: What’s the Most Biblical Recipe You Know?

Reader Lauren found this recipe in a Presbyterian Church Cookbook owned by her mother-in-law:

Anyone else get a little freaked out by the Leviticus reference on the list…? Feel free to look up the ingredients yourself, but you’ll be happy to know no homosexuals were harmed in the making of this cake.

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Exclusive Excerpt from Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions

Fundamentalist faiths are bad for everyone, but women undoubtedly suffer more than the men do. Whether they’re evangelical Christian, Mormon, or Muslim, the message is clear: If you’re female, God has a special, shitty role for you.

But every now and then, the women break free. They escape the faith — or at least the more extreme version of it — and serve as inspirations for others.

Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions (Seal Press, 2013), edited by Cami Ostman and Susan Tive, compiles several stories by these women. They write about the “pain that comes from the rigid expectations and diminishment of women so often built into religious orthodoxy.”

It’s as frightening and powerful a book as you might imagine.

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