Why it kinda sorta matters that early Christian leaders could have been frauds

I say the topic of my post only kinda sorta matters, because anyone’s obligated too much to worry about what exactly happened with the origins of Christianity. Anyone who knows their Biblical scholarship 101 should realize that the available evidence is extremely sketchy to the point that it’s obviously ludicrous to try, as some Christian [Read More...]

Information toxicity, or why I feel bad about my post on Elliot Rodger the other day

Earlier this week, a friend shared a rather amusing Guardian article on Facebook: If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t much care for mood-altering substances. But I’m not afraid of them either. With one exception. It’s perhaps the biggest threat to the nation’s mental wellbeing, yet it’s freely available on every street – for [Read More...]

Scattered thoughts on Elliot Roger, evolution, and gender

I have a theory on Elliot Roger that I haven’t seen anyone else mention yet. The theory comes from chapter 6 of Steven Pinker’s excellent book How The Mind Works. The chapter is entitled “Hotheads,” and begins as follows: On March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, carrying two [Read More...]

Why I changed my mind and took the Giving What We Can Pledge

It costs the Against Malaria Foundation $5 to distribute an anti-malarial bednet, and it’s been estimated that they manage to save one life for about every $2,000 they spend on malaria prevention. * The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative provides deworming treatments for pennies on the dollar. Given this, if you want to make the world a [Read More...]

I’m giving a talk on earning to give on June 8th

I’m giving a short talk on earning to give on June 8th, as part of a meetup that will include two other short talks relating to effective altruism. The event is taking place a 2pm at 1561 Cayuga Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112 (a private residence, but I have permission to post the address online). [Read More...]

PSA: This Easter, please remember to fact-check before sharing or retweeting

ishtar-easter

Hey everyone, see this image? The claims it makes are bullshit. As you could find out with literally a minute on Google or Wikipedia: The modern English term Easter, cognate with modern German Ostern, developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre.[nb 2] This is generally held to have originally referred to the name [Read More...]

I’ve read Draper’s paper, and I am puzzled

On Monday, Justin Schieber of Reasonable Doubts tweeted his endorsement of Paul Draper’s argument from moral agency for the existence of God: Draper, an agnostic philosopher, has given BY FAR THE STRONGEST argument for theism. Read a great summary here: http://t.co/SsItkfTa95 — Justin Schieber ofRD (@Justinsweh) April 7, 2014 If you think there are no [Read More...]

William Lane Craig rationalizes his lie about Ehrman

In the past, I’ve documented William Lane Craig’s repeated lies about Bart Ehrman—namely his attempts to cite Ehrman as a skeptical scholar who accepts the “facts” Craig uses in his argument for the resurrection of Jesus. For years, Craig has been quoting from a 2003 lecture Ehrman gave as if it represented his current views, [Read More...]

Why I’m cool with what happened to Brendan Eich

So: it came out that Brendan Eich, who had been CTO of the Mozilla Corporation (the folks behind the Firefox web browser) had donated $1,000 to support California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. This roughly coincided with Eich’s promotion to CEO, and provoked an outcry, with outsiders talking about a boycott [Read More...]


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