Happy Labor Day!

Sorry for my absence, I've been traveling for work and family, being dramatically killed as my arc as a big bad NPC came to an end, and then being ill.  Regular posts resume tomorrow, with Turing Test results coming soon, once I do one more email blast to up the N.  In the meantime, I don't have the day off, but whether you do or not, I hope you enjoy songs from my favorite Union musical:   … [Read more...]

“I Must Not Tell Lies”

Over at Strange Notions, I joined Deacon Jim Russell (a Catholic radio speaker)and James Croft (who blogs in the Patheos Atheist channel) for a symposium on the ethics of lying.  Deacon Jim kicked off the conversation with "Lying and Truth-Telling: A Question for Catholics and Atheists."  He explained that Catholics disagreed about whether a lie is only sinful if the target has a right to the truth.  Then, in James Croft's "The Ethics of Lying: One Humanist's View," he took a pragmatic approach t … [Read more...]

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Atonement?

Eve Tushnet visited “Atonement: Stories About Confession, Redemption and Making Amends” (a night of true stories told/performed in preparation for the High Holy Days) and she found that the stories touched on regret and error, but rarely on atonement and penance. I wonder if atonement is especially hard to talk about–harder than sin, rationalization, or realization of wrongdoing. I’m doing this series on portrayals of penitence and it’s easier to find examples of artworks which should include pe … [Read more...]

[Turing 2013] Atheist Entry #11

This is the eleventh and final entry in the Atheist round of the 2013 Ideological Turing Test.  This year, atheists and Christians responded to questions about sex, death, and literature.    Polyamory I feel that polyamorous dating is perfectly ethical; there's nothing wrong with honest, respectful, and loving relationships, and I have seen no evidence that polyamorous relationships are any less likely to be honest, respectful, and loving. Nevertheless, I think that polygamous m … [Read more...]

[Turing 2013] Atheist Entry #10

This is the tenth entry in the Atheist round of the 2013 Ideological Turing Test.  This year, atheists and Christians responded to questions about sex, death, and literature.    Polyamory The actual question on civil marriage is if it should exist at all.Regardless of the answers we come up with, the need to debate which romantic and sexual arrangements should get the government stamp of approval is already a bad sign. Practically speaking, spousal benefits would be way less r … [Read more...]

[Turing 2013] Atheist Entry #9

This is the ninth entry in the Atheist round of the 2013 Ideological Turing Test.  This year, atheists and Christians responded to questions about sex, death, and literature.    Polyamory There are purely practical reasons why any scheme to recognise and give legal impact to polyamorous relationships should be considered very carefully. There are however no moral arguments against it with a general and secular force. As in my view any religion’s sacrament of marriage is entirely their … [Read more...]

[Turing 2013] Atheist Entry #8

This is the eighth entry in the Atheist round of the 2013 Ideological Turing Test.  This year, atheists and Christians responded to questions about sex, death, and literature.    Polyamory This is an interesting prospect, and it appears to be a largely cultural phenomenon. For centuries, the basic familial unit has been bi-parental. This applies primarily in the West, however. Other cultures, such as Islam or certain sects of Hindu, practice polygyny or polyandry. Often it is one p … [Read more...]


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