Human rights and universal human interests

Much of liberal secular moral thought, including notions of human rights, seeks common ground between people who might have differing comprehensive moral or religious convictions. We want secular government, because we think that everyone's interests would be best served by a government that does not play favorites. We want human rights to be respected, because everyone has an interest in not being tortured, not being jailed for political or religious convictions, and so forth.I usually side … [Read more...]

Deriving morality

A student who took an internet quiz and got diagnosed as a "secular humanist" emailed me, asking me what I thought secular humanism was all about. Good question.I said that "'Secular humanist' is most often a label adopted by people who are skeptical of supernatural entities, and who identify with political and moral views deriving from the tradition of the European Enlightenment." I added that "Secular humanists are less interested in finding a unified functional substitute for religion," and … [Read more...]

The Vatican has an economist

Here's a nice lead paragraph to a story:Bankers are not the cause of the global economic crisis, according to the president of the Institute for the Works of Religion. Rather, the cause is ordinary people who do not "believe in the future" and have few or no children.We owe this insight to Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, a "Vatican economist."OK, I'll admit I'm already prejudiced against economists. Usually, what goes under the name of economics is a little too tangled with ideology for my liking, and my … [Read more...]

Minister who converted to Islam

It's easy to run into conversion and deconversion narratives: atheist becomes Christian, Christian loses faith, so on and so forth. Where nonbelief is involved, however, I'm probably too partisan. Maybe looking at conversions between different religions is a better way to get a handle on what is going on.Here's an interesting example: Jerald F. Dirks, a Minister of the United Methodist Church who converted to Islam. It seems he became very impressed with what he perceived as the moral integrity … [Read more...]

Cardiologists losing it

There is a very popular form of apologetic literature among Muslims, based on the notion that modern science and technology is congruent with, or even foreshadowed in, the sacred sources of Islam. It's bad enough that this species of pseudoscience has a large following among the general public. What is worse is that significant numbers of devout Muslim professionals, particularly in the applied sciences, believe and promote this dreck. (See An Illusion of Harmony.)One consequence of this, … [Read more...]

The Real Adam and Eve story

A reader pointed me to this video. (Thanks!) It was fun, so here it is: … [Read more...]

Is the Universe Rational?

Is the Universe Rational? … [Read more...]

New Age bullshit

Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman are a pair of names I'm running across more frequently on the New Age bullshit circuit. They're a couple of seriously ignorant people. Here, for example, is an example from an interview on a "progressive" political site. (Leftish politics has a soft spot for New Age religion.)In the current vision of scientific materialism, belief in matter is primary. The Newtonian belief that the universe is a physical machine takes our attention away from the invisible realm. … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X