Replies on Relationships (with Chaplains and others)

My two recent posts on relationships (with loved ones - God included, and with the Yale Chaplain's office) have both gotten responses I'd like to draw to your attention.  First off, JT fired back after I disputed the idea that Mass-goers were having time stolen from them by religion. Here's an excerpt: But that doesn’t respond to what I said. I bolded the important part. [If you’d rather be at home cuddling someone who means the world to you than sitting in a pew, then your religion has stolen a … [Read more...]

Is it Hard Out Here for a Humanist?

My alma mater is turning up in religious news stories this week.  It turns out that the Yale Humanists have asked to join the consortium at Yale Religious Ministries, and have been turned down [further discussion at Friendly Atheist].The organization in the ministry are "dedicated to the spiritual, ethical, intellectual, social, and physical welfare of students, faculty, and staff," which, for the most part, sounds like a decent match for the Humanists.  I can come up with a couple reasons th … [Read more...]

What All Relationships (religion included) Require

Well, I agreed with the majority of J.T. Eberhard's recent post "Joy for Joy's Sake."  I, too, like visiting RenFaires, and I enjoyed scrolling through the pictures of him and his fiancée frolicking amid the anachronisms.  But then I got up to this conclusion: Meaning is realizing we’re very lucky to have the time we have and not wasting a minute of it by letting others dictate how we spend these precious minutes.  If you’d rather be at home cuddling someone who means the world to you than sitti … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (10/4/13)

--- 1 --- This week's link theme is art, so I'd like to start by highlighting a fundraising drive being run by the branch of the Dominicans I knew in DC.  They're publishing a hymnal of the Gregorian chant they use when they pray the Liturgy of the Hours.  You can order one yourself or sponsor one (or more) for a friar.I've ordered one for myself, so now I'll need to bother the brothers next time I visit to explain to me how to read Gregorian chant notation.  Below, you can hear one of the p … [Read more...]

I get to high-five a baby today!

Because I got vaccinated against the flu yesterday!I also get to high-five the elderly, pregnant women, and people who are immunocompromised.  In fairness, I can't spot the last category by eye, so maybe I can look up the prevalence statistics and high-five the appropriate proportion of passersby.These are all categories of people who are at higher risk from the flu and may not be able to be inoculated themselves.  They depend on herd immunity, enough people like me and my fellow i … [Read more...]

Warfare “as obscene as cancer”

During the debate over the proper response to Syria's use of chemical weapons, I kept waiting for articles to quote Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" and, eventually, I decided to write one myself.  I'm over at The Huffington Post today talking about why we find chemical weapons uniquely horrifying, and whether more types of warfare should provoke that same kind of visceral revulsion. Death by IED or drone has perhaps not yet found its poet. How do we weigh the suffering of a victim … [Read more...]

Atheist Round Winners [Turing 2013]

You may want to keep this year’s answer key and list of entries in the atheist round handy while you read the results.Atheists earned their reputations as skeptics in this round, as their scores were much lower than the Christians gave in their round.  By the crudest metric -- percent of entries with more than a 50% pass (Very Likely Atheist + Likely Atheist) -- only six entries out of eleven hit the mark among the atheists.  For the Christians, only three entries didn't hit this benchmark.   … [Read more...]