Monthly Archives: February 2009

March 2, 1972

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Barbara

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Can Agnostics and Atheists Use the Word SOUL?

Is the word “soul” forbidden among those of us who call ourselves agnostics or atheists? I say no.  I think that, as an agnostic, the “soul” can be seen as an EPIPHENOMENON of our materiality. Indeed, our souls seem to have emerged from the functioning … Continue reading

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The Mind’s True Liberation: What the Obama Era Feels Like to Me

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Mental Health Break

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The Pope Shakes Hands with Anti-Semitism

It’s carnival season in Germany, and Der Spiegal showed today this float depicting the pope shaking hands with the anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, Bishop Richard Williams. More carnival photos here.

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Set in Motion Typography

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Ghosts

Andrew Sullivan directs us to this stunning juxaposition of a corner in Leningrad, during WWII, and that same corner, in what is now St. Petersburg, today.

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A Supporter of Gay Marriage—and an Opponent of Gay Marriage—Write a Joint Piece in the NY Times Proposing a Federal Compromise on the Issue

This just might work. It seems sensible to me. Money quote: It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them … Continue reading

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“I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist”: Biologist Nicholas Gotelli Likens Creationism to Holocaust Denial and Other Forms of Pseudo-History and Pseudo-Science

Biologist Nicholas Gotelli, of the University of Vermont, likens creationism to Holocaust denial and other forms of pseudo-history and pseudo-science, and explains how creationists can acquire “street cred” in the scientific community: Academic debate on controversial topics is fine, but … Continue reading

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Wall Street Apocalypse Now?

I’m not sure what to make of this, but it appears that at least some “people-in-the-know” on Wall Street are getting spooked—survivalist-style spooked. I suppose that, without credit moving through the system, that supply lines of goods and services could … Continue reading

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Walt Whitman: “To be indeed a God!”

O to attract by more than attraction! How it is I know not—yet behold! the something which      obeys none of the rest, It is offensive, never defensive—yet how magnetic it draws.   O to struggle against great odds, to … Continue reading

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Descent into the Realm of Dream

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A Searing and Powerful Quote on Human Insignificance (from the recently deceased John Updike)

The non-scientist’s relation to modern science is basically craven: we look to its discoveries and technology to save us from disease, to give us a faster ride and a softer life, and at the same time we shrink from what … Continue reading

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Global Warming, Methane, and the Melting of Permafrost: See Here Methane Being Released from Permafrost by Dr. Katey Walter

Should the world’s permafrost fully melt, as it appears to be doing at a rapid clip, methane in the atmosphere will increase by ten times. The consequences of such a methane release are unclear, but scientists are growing increasingly alarmed. The Los … Continue reading

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Can An Atheist or Agnostic Support the Teaching of Some “Intelligent Design” Arguments in the Science Classroom?

Thomas Crowley, a professor of geosciences at the University of Edinburgh, in a recent piece in the Guardian, thinks maybe so. I’ve been an agnostic for many years, and I really can’t disagree with anything that Crowley says in the … Continue reading

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“It is the intellectual duty of the citizen to search for the warrant for his views, to raise opinions into beliefs by means of reasons”: Leon Wieseltier on Reason and Democratic Citizenship

Leon Wieseltier in the New Republic: Democracy is the most mentally arduous form of government. No other system stands or falls on the quality of the individual’s opinions. The pressures upon the formation of opinion are staggering, and they interfere … Continue reading

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Tell Me Your Troubles and Doubts, Giving Me EVERYTHING, Inside and Out

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Pit Stop with the Pet Shop

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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters: Creepy Little German Boy

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