Are we Addicted?

As an entrepreneur, a heroin pusher has a big advantage. His customers become addicts; they cannot do without the product he sells. Pushers have no problem with getting repeat customers.Heroin addiction is a terrible national problem, but it is far from the most widespread addiction. According to an article in today’s Houston Chronicle, “The Talking Dead” by Prof. James A. Roberts, Professor of Marketing at Baylor University, the typical (‼!) American checks his or her smartphone every 6 and … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 5A: Various Points

Some of Hinman's discussions about his five principles of historical investigation provide needed clarification of a principle, and some of his discussions fail to provide clarification of the relevant principle.  But even when Hinman fails to clarify one of his general principles of historical investigation, he often makes some significant or interesting points.  I will examine many of those specific points in this post.Hinman's discussion about (P1) fails to clarify what that principle m … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 5A: Five Principles

Joe Hinman's fifth argument for the existence of Jesus is presented in three sections:5A. Historical Methods5B. Big Web of Historicity5C. Jesus Myth Theory Cannot Account for the WebI will comment on, and raise objections to, points in each of these three sections, but this post will only cover part of the section on "Historical Methods".  Specifically, I will cover the five high-level principles of historical investigation proposed by Hinman in his discussion of "Historical … [Read more...]

Repost: Review of Idiot America by Charles P. Pierce

In honor of the apotheosis of idiocy that was the nomination of Donald Trump, I am reposting this review from five years ago. It is even more relevant now.Mike Judge is one of the most incisive commentators on the dumbing down of American culture.  He created the cartoon characters Beavis and Butthead, two dimwitted adolescents who sit around watching music videos and providing moronic commentary (e.g., “He said ‘butt.’  Heh, heh, heh”).  To many viewers, myself included, Beavis and Butthead … [Read more...]

Off-Topic: Must Watch Video: #Trump Attacks the Khan Family: A Closer Look

From "Late Night with Seth Meyers"I thought the GOP had always tried to position itself as THE party for veterans. In light of Trump's bizarre and shameful attacks on Captain Khan (and his grieving parents), I have to believe that long-time GOP loyalists are experiencing massive cognitive dissonance, as they deal with conflicting desires to honor our nation's veterans and to support their party's Presidential nominee. In fact, wasn't it the GOP who coined the concept of the "values … [Read more...]

Changing Ethics by Changing Brains

In his very enjoyable PBS series and the accompanying book, The Brain: The Story of You, neuroscientist David Eagleman writes about the famous “trolley dilemma.” Here is the scenario: A runaway trolley is barreling down the tracks towards a group of four workers. You see that they will all be killed unless you pull a lever diverting the trolley onto a side track where it will only kill one workman. What do you do? In this case almost everyone will pull the lever. You sacrifice one life to save fo … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 4

QUESTION 1: What is Hinman's Central Claim about Josephus?There are two famous passages in a book by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus that appear to refer to Jesus.  Joe Hinman wants to focus on the "brother passage", the passage in Antiquities that mentions a person named "James" and refers to him as "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ". (Antiquities 20,200).After a brief introductory paragraph, Hinman quotes the "brother passage"But the younger Ananus who, as we said, re … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Post on Part 4 Coming Soon

I have been working on understanding and evaluating Joe Hinman's fourth argument for the existence of Jesus, and I believe my post on this subject will be ready to publish later this week.  This argument is based on alleged references to Jesus found in a book by the Jewish historian Josephus, particularly the "brother passage", where a person named "James" is referred to as "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ". … [Read more...]


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