Fighting the Normalization of Post-Truth Politics

_____________________________________ Donald Trump’s rally speech in Phoenix on August 22 was full of falsehoods. The lack of outrage over his deceptive statements points to the normalization of post-truth politics, when appeals to personal beliefs and emotions wins out over objective facts. To avoid this normalization, we need to borrow the successful tactics of the environmental movement in dealing with the pollution of our environment. During this speech, according to highly credible fact-checking organizations such as Factcheck.org and Politifact, Trump misled… Read more

Trump’s Transgender Gaslighting

__________________________________________________________________ President Donald Trump signed a directive on Friday August 25 following up on his earlier tweets that he “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Whatever you think about the decree, the spin from the Trump administration about it amounts to gaslighting of the transgender community. Consider the terms of this order. It prevents any new openly transgender recruits from joining the armed forces. It also order the military to… Read more

The One Thing Trump Got Right on Charlottesville

Caption: Photo of car involved in car ramming attack (Wikimedia commons) _______________________________________ Both Democratic and Republican leaders roundly denounced President Donald Trump’s statement putting “blame on both sides” about the violence at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, NC on August 12. However, while I personally find reprehensible various forms of white nationalism, racism, and neo-Nazism, Trump’s words that both sides deserve a degree of blame have some validity. A broader context provides more clarity on where Trump is… Read more

What Would Gandhi Do About Trump? High-Time for a Science of Wisdom

Caption: Mahatma Gandhi, close-up portrait (image credit) Written by Charles Cassidy MPhys, Director of Evidence-based Wisdom   ______________________________________   It was 3:30 AM, and my wife and I were crumpled in stunned silence in the back of a taxi, racing through the deserted streets of South London. Our all-night US election party on November 8, 2016 had taken an unexpected turn from a celebration to a tragedy. Black comedy was fast becoming a dark reality. In defiance of all expectations,… Read more

Rumors About Me in the Secular Community

  Caption: Meme saying “I don’t always engage with rumors about me, but when I do, I pull out all the stops” (From imgflip.com)   ____________________________________________________________________________   As I wrote earlier, rumors abound in the secular community, ranging from true to half-true to mostly false to completely false, and I have been the target of some myself.   The situation is so problematic that in 2013, the Secular Coalition for America published an Open Letter signed by a host of major… Read more

Advice That Works for Anyone

Guest post by Max Harms   ______________________________________________________-   When was the last time you got bad advice from someone? How did it feel to be the target of advice that you knew just won’t work for you, even if you might not have been able to say why? Or maybe you didn’t realize the advice was bad until you tried it, and had it backfire! Of course, the person had good intentions, but does it really matter when you suffer… Read more

Is Spirituality Irrational?

Guest post by Ron Garret   ____________________________________________     Spirituality and rationality seem completely opposed. But are they really? To get at this question, let’s start with a little thought experiment. Consider the following two questions: 1. If you were given a choice between reading a physical book (or an e-book) or listening to an audiobook, which would you prefer? 2. If you were given a choice between listening to music, or looking at the grooves of a phonograph record… Read more

How To Avoid Giving Regret

I want to share my story to help you avoid the kind of regret I experienced as a deep churning in my stomach when I found out what bad decisions I made by giving to my favorite charity for many years. Make-A-Wish Foundation helps kids with terminal diseases achieve a grand wish. For example, it could take the child and her family to Disneyland. It then shares the stories of these kids through their marketing materials. These stories are truly heartwarming…. Read more

How To Advance Rational Thinking In Your Community

Why don’t they teach this in high school?!? Or even college, for that matter. That’s the reaction that my wife and I had after attending Columbus Rationality meetings. This subgroup of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio, an affiliate of the American Humanist Association, hosts a wide variety of events devoted to advancing rational thinking strategies. My wife and I aren’t alone in our reactions – many attendees report having similar experiences. After an event focused on effective decision-making, one… Read more

Political Precommitment without Evidence: How Worldview Undermines Reason

Guest blog by Joel Lehman   _____________________   “And so castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually.” -Jimi Hendrix   Can you recall a romantic relationship gone wrong, and notice in hindsight the clear signs of the impending breakup, even when during the actual unraveling itself you didn’t notice these signs? Maybe there’s a political belief you once embraced that you’ve now let go. Perhaps you thought Ayn Rand was the most important thinker ever, or that Communism… Read more

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