[Turing 2013] Atheist Entry #4

This is the fourth 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 morality of all relationships can be reduced to three notions: kindness, fairness and consent. When relationships exit morality, they violate these virtues: infidelity disrupts informed consent; abuse epitomizes the violation of kindness; control, by nature, eliminates equity. As such, the m … [Read more...]

[Turing 2013] Atheist Entry #3

This is the third 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 is no good reason to oppose polygamy. None whatsoever. Most media coverage of polygamy these days concerns sensational cases with arranged marriage, patriarchy, misogyny, incest, and paedophilia, but that does not mean that polygamy necessarily entails any of those crimes and abuses. The p … [Read more...]

[Turing 2013] Atheist Entry #2

This is the second 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 admit, when I heard that polyamory was going to be one of the topics of this year's ideological Turing test, this wasn't how I was hoping the question would be framed. The “sacramental” side is awkward to answer as an atheist, and I'm not quite sure what to say about the policy question. But then, … [Read more...]

[Turing 2013] Atheist Entry #1

This is the first 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 It seems to me that the purpose of civil marriage is not to tell people who they should be in a relationship with, but rather to grant legal recognition and rights to the people who are in fact in relationships. As such, the question is not “should more than two people be allowed to form a marriage?” … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (8/9/13)

--- 1 --- A few weeks ago, I was visiting DC, and gosh darn it if this video for the a Game of Thrones-styled tour of DC landmarks doesn't make me feel homesick all over again:--- 2 --- Meanwhile, very far from both Berkeley and DC: Two more of not-a-planet Pluto's moons have been named. On Tuesday the International Astronomical Union announced names for two of these moons, the fourth and fifth to be discovered. Moon No. 4 is now Kerberos, after the many-headed dog that guarded the e … [Read more...]

One-Sided Turing Tests and Privilege

Next week, the second half of this year's Ideological Turing Test opens, and, in the meantime, PEG has come up with an interesting connection between Ideological Turing Tests and what I like calling 'reverse dog whistles' (someone please help me come up with a better name).In rhetoric, a dog whistle is a way to say something that seems innoucuous to most of your audience, but carries a message to a core group of supporters.  Think of businesses that include a small Jesus fish in their ads, o … [Read more...]

Come Pick a Useful Fight with me in NYC

This weekend, I'm in New York City for the alumni debate of my college group, and while I'm in town, I'll be giving a talk on productive ways to have arguments this Saturday (August 10th)  at an event cohosted by the NYC Less Wrong meetup group and Ergo (a rationalist group).Now, if by productive arguments, you mean quick and dirty ways to win, I think you may be a bit more interested in Words that Work or The Strategy of Conflict.  But when there's a difference of opinion, at least one of yo … [Read more...]


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