May 20, 2019

“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.” – attributed to Oscar Wilde Discuss… Five centuries later, we remain embroiled in debates about the role of religion in society. As in Bosch’s days, the central theme is morality. Can we envision a world without God? Would this world be good? Don’t think for one moment that the current battle lines between biology and fundamentalist Christianity turn around evidence. One has to be pretty immune to data to… Read more

May 19, 2019

When we talk about the Catholic Church, we are usually referring to the Catholic religion, not a specific church. When we talk about freedom of religion, and the Free Exercise Clause in the Constitution, we mean the freedom to practice whatever faith we wish, or no faith at all. A church is not a religion. A church is a place where you can go to (get sales pitches) learn about and practice your religion. But you can also study and… Read more

May 17, 2019

This post was recently posted on Facebook by someone I know and I was added to the link. I want to deal with this here because it is not only something this other person does all the time, but it is a really common occurrence when arguing about morality and moral claims. I have talked about all the things I will talk about here very frequently, but I will try to draw them all together in several pieces (I will link… Read more

May 17, 2019

Let’s whet your appetite: how did abortions get banned faster than assault rifles — Tay☁️ (@taywildin) 15 May 2019 Birth control? BAN IT!! Abortion? BAN IT!! What about guns? Look, banning things never works. People will find ways to get them#AlabamaAbortionBan — Debbie Redd (@DREDD_48) 15 May 2019 Maybe if we start calling our body parts gun-sounding names like “revulva” or “shooterus” the GOP will stop trying to regulate them. — The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) 16 May 2019 I think… Read more

May 17, 2019

This is another nudge to you guys for birthday presents for any kids up to, say, 14/15 for you. You know you want to… A book that I have written with one of my ex-colleagues called The Curse of the Maya: A Truth-Seekers’ Story is now published and available to buy. Details from the Loom site are: Johnny Pearce and Andy Loneragan are embarking on a project for 9-year-olds through to 13-year-olds or so. In UK terms, this is Year 5… Read more

May 16, 2019

Wow, things have really taken a turn for the worse. You blink, and states in the US suddenly go nuts. Here is what happens when you concentrate with a one track mind on President Trump and forgets to keep an eye on everything else. Before I get into what has been happening, let me alert you to this recent piece of research: “Abortion rates go down when countries make it legal: report”: Abortion rates have fallen over the past 25… Read more

May 16, 2019

Of course, the problem here is in the question. What we mean by religion and what do we mean by cause and violence? The claim is certainly commonplace that religion causes violence to the point that even my own mother now often says it’s in light of news of religious violence around the world. But I think it’s a little more nuanced than that. One of my most widely-read pieces is the article “True Islam and violent extremism – redux” in its several incarnations,… Read more

May 14, 2019

Here is something well worth knowing. What many people do with America is take averages, say of income, earnings etc. However, this skews data. Because the US has the highest inequality, and the rich are super fricking rich, those super super rich raise the average considerably to make the average look okay, but, in reality, they are a tiny minority that disproportionately affect the figures. Here is an infographic which does a great job of explaining this (source for this now… Read more

May 14, 2019

I am baking a cake. A chocolate cake. I start the oven preheating, read the recipe, and gather the ingredients…sugar, flour, eggs, milk, vanilla, chocolate, baking powder, and mix them up in a bowl. Baking time is 45 minutes. When the batter is ready, I pour it into a cake pan, and open the oven door. Just then, the doorbell rings, and when I open the door, you are standing there. “Hi Clyde. C’mon in. I am baking a cake… Read more

May 14, 2019

Yesterday, I wrote a piece reporting on some research done by the Pew Research Center on the prayer behaviour of people from various countries around the world. I then commented and linked other research talking about religiosity and its connection to GDP and income inequality. I will continue this today. Not only is GDP and income and important variable to religiosity, but education plays a vital part. Indeed, as you may guess, education and GDP are inextricably linked. Countries with a greater welfare state and… Read more

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