A non-believer’s guide to biblical economics

I’ve studied economics and taught mathematics to students who became economists, but I’m not an economist. Still, I know enough to recognize that economists sometimes selectively focus on data that fit their liberal or conservative ideologies. At least both sides work with data and try to make convincing arguments for their models. Economists of all stripes recognize that their own models are by no means perfect. I should have known it would be only a matter of time before biblical economics tur … [Read more...]

More nonsense from Turkey

Today's my day for pointing out horrors from Turkey. (You know, the "secular," "democratic" country whose moderate Islam US policymakers would like to see as an inspiration to other Muslims.)I've just read about a Turkish cartoonist being prosecuted, with the state demanding one year's imprisonment for "insulting the religious values accepted by the people" in a cartoon.The speech balloon says "God, would it be okay if I skipped the last prayer? I have things to do. Thanks a lot, God! Good … [Read more...]

High weirdness on a Turkish philosophy exam

This is almost untranslatable, but I'll try. It's the answer to a Turkish high school exam in a philosophy course, which made it to the Turkish media, and was apparently originally praised by Islamists as an example of a brave Muslim student standing up to an atheist teacher.The question is: "Prove to me that this chair does not exist (100 points)"Answer (my translation is artificially coherent): "I swear that there is no such chair—let God accurse me and let the Quran strike me down if there is … [Read more...]

Dumb and Dumber

I notice that the recent posts on SO have taken a turn towards the political. Nothing wrong with that. These days religion and politics have been so thoroughly mixed that it is hard to talk about one without the other. This is especially so when candidates for high office loudly tout their religious affiliations and convictions and tout them precisely as qualifications for public office. They must think those Founders were barking up the wrong tree when they put in the Constitution (Article … [Read more...]

Mitt Romney: A reasonable man?

Here’s a hypothetical scene in which four presidential candidates are asked about their religious views. Candidate 1: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” He adds, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” Candidate 2: “As I understand the Christi … [Read more...]

Two Executions

This post is a follow-up on the "Pro Choice and Pro Life" posting of Herb Silverberg. Herb's thoughtful reflections have added to SO's offerings, and I am surprised that they have not drawn more comments. Yesterday there were two executions, one in Texas and one in Georgia. In Texas, Lawrence Brewer was executed. In 1997, Brewer and two associates kidnapped a man named James Byrd, who had been walking down a country road not far from Jasper, Texas. They beat Byrd savagely, urinated on him, … [Read more...]

The Non-religion and Secularity Research Network

I've occasionally complained about the lack of attention to secularity and nonbelief as an academic area of study.Fortunately, this appears to be changing. There are enough nonreligious people around to justify some social scientific interest. Enterprises such as The Non-religion and Secularity Research Network are up and running, and should produce some interesting stuff as the field matures. (I fully expect that there will be plenty of information coming out that will not flatter secular … [Read more...]

Pro-choice and pro life

I consider myself both pro-choice and pro-life, because I support a woman’s right to choose and I oppose capital punishment. I’ve heard reasoned and nuanced arguments from both sides on these controversial issues, and I appreciate people who make it a point to listen to those with whom they disagree. What I don’t appreciate are pandering politicians like Texas Governor Rick Perry, who take simple positions with bible-based answers, while ignoring any evidence-based, opposing points of view. You … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X