Culture wars. Clash of civilzations. Family drama. These areas of conflict inspire a host of social commentaries, ideological debates and calls for immediate dining-room meetings. At the heart of each is concern over just what values should be of focal interest. Not only of interest, but precisely how they are to be manifested in societal relationships. It is all well and good to speak of valuing life or equality, but speak to a conservative or liberal, neither of whom deny the…
While rising costs in healthcare are becoming a serious burden to European governments who pick up the bill for their citizens health, the fear of electoral suicide prevents them from considering any form of private sector involvement. The provision of healthcare, free at the point of…
The development of complex languages, around 200,000 years ago, that can describe and pass on abstract thinking (like religious thought) has been likely the biggest force behind our cultural evolution, which has taken off exponentially since the first sentences were formed.
This use of language to describe complex and abstract notions sparked our cultural or cognitive evolution which recording in writing and now vocal/video/software has pushed along this exponential growth curve,…
The greatest question to me at this moment is "what am I?"
Not just as it pertains to my social label of Humanist, atheist, agnostic, irreligious, skeptical, etc., but in relation to my mere existence. This fuzzy feeling I get when crawling around in the darkness of existentialism seems too real. I keep finding new ideas and experiences and when I press their "on" buttons to see what they do, it changes my perception of reality. It's more than just being objective when playing with…
My heyday came and went years ago. It was a time when people were in the streets protesting the fat cats, the Vietnam War, and politicians. We were empowered to scare the shit out my father's generation that wanted everything to go back to the "Good Old Days." It didn't, at least temporarily. Now many of those that dodged the draft because of rich families have become the fat cats, the war mongers and politicians. Perhaps, that is merely the way of the world as the dregs always seem to make… Continue
Human language is much older than 5000 years old. For all we know, religion is about as old as old as human language. We can all agree that religion has had a very long time to influence the evolution of human language. I say it is about time non-religious humans take control over the evolution of the human language.
I will give you just one example of what religion has done to our human language: Think about the definition of love. When I say the word love, what am I talking…
I absolutely admire this young brave lady and her boyfriend for standing up against tyranny. In a country that has Islamic fervor, these brave young individuals have sent a statement to those who value freedom to not be afraid of speaking up for your values. And what are those values? FREEDOM. Deciding what to do with your life and how to express yourself. I stand with these brave young souls for 110% - and this is coming from an…
I’ve read Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation and own both versions (hardback and paperback) as well as a paperback copy of The End of Faith long recommended to me by my second roommate. While I don’t share his enthusiasm or background in philosophy and neuroscience, I can agree in principle with the thoughts he espouses in this article,… Continue
As the BBC reports Belgium passes a law banning burqas.
Belgium's lower house of parliament has voted for a law that would ban women from wearing the full Islamic face veil in public. The law would ban any clothing that obscures the identity of the wearer in places like parks and on the street. No-one voted against it. The law now goes to the Senate, where it may face challenges over its wording, which may delay…
I must say it is not easy for me to form a decision here. Contrary to some people in the discussion i think that people running a PRIVATE business should be entitled to their prejudice including racism.
The only requirement I would have is that this… Continue
This morning I came across a profoundly disturbing report about one
school for disabled and/or disturbed children with severe behavior problems – sometimes self-mutilating, often seriously difficult to… Continue
I grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It's no teeming metropolis, mostly suburban but it's far from a rural community.My schools were always at least 50% African-American (in junior high it was 90%). I must say that I think I was lucky. I was an intelligent white boy in the poverty-stricken inner city...well as much as you can call Spartanburg a city, that is. I never in 12 years saw 2 people fight or not get along because of their race. Asian, whites, blacks, latinos-all had their friends… Continue
Actor Alan Alda (image source: Wikipedia) hosts a new series about human origins
Last night, I was looking at the TV listings and saw that there was a show called "The Human Spark" on. It turns out it's a three-part series about human origins and why modern humans have the special,… Continue
Added by IAmTheBlog on January 7, 2010 at 4:00pm —
Occasionally I run across something that is poignant or simply well put. I especially like quotes that speak to the essence of what it is to be "human". I just ran across this, and to make certain it belonged to the author who originally posted it, I ran an entire sentence of it through the Google search. If a quote belongs to someone else and it is online, that search will find it. I have searched many times for whole sentences, often discovering that I have misquoted it for… Continue
1. - Why is Atheism such a bad thing? Atheists: never burned others at the stake, never started/engaged in a Crusade and just want to be left alone for the most part. However with the threat of FORCED CONVERSION, anyone would be pissed and come out swinging. Likewise, do you think we would just allow you to publicly deface our belief and ESPECIALLY with such non-sense as you, Kirk Cameron, have presented as "fact"? Why do Extremists think Atheism is such a threat to their… Continue
This blog post stems from another discussion (elsewhere) that segued into the topic of mind versus brain. In order to illustrate that the mind is more than just the brain, I described the following scenario . . . What would it be like if you were born completely paralyzed, with a normal brain but without a sensory nervous system to deliver stimuli to your brain from your sensory organs? Would it be possible to think or to have memories? In what ways could you be considered… Continue