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Monthly Archives: April 2011
At Slate, Christopher Hitchens sums up the royal wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William perfectly. He sees it as a form of sadomasochistic theatre in which a human victim, in this case Prince William’s bride, has been added to an altar … Continue reading
It appears that Werner Herzog has produced a once-in-a-lifetime/not-to-be-missed film that, to be fully appreciated, must be experienced in a large movie house. It’s a 3-D documentary titled Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Its subject is Chauvet Cave in France, which Andrew O’Hehir … Continue reading
It’s sometimes asserted that atheism admits of no ultimate or absolute truths, but in the “D Girl” episode of the Sopranos (Season 2) is a rather nice exchange between Tony Soprano and his therapist, Dr. Jennifer Malfi, that suggests otherwise. The exchange concerns … Continue reading
If a recent projection is to be believed, China and the United States will be at gross domestic product parity sometime around 2016 (each country with a GDP in the 18-20 trillion dollar range). And because China’s growth is likely … Continue reading
A fascinating clip:
In his most recent TruthDig column, former New York Times war correspondent, Chris Hedges, observes that reform in America via personality-based electoral politics has “become a form of magical thinking.” He is, of course, alluding to the hope that accompanied Barack … Continue reading
I don’t think much of the pedophile shielding (and enabling) Pope Benedict, but in his Easter homily this year he laid out the atheist v. theist divide with succinct eloquence: If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the … Continue reading
Dearborn Free Speech Watch: ACLU Supports Pastor Terry Jones’s Right to Free Speech Outside of an Islamic Center
Great news! The ACLU filed a friend of the court brief in favor of Pastor Terry Jones’s right to speak outside of an Islamic Center in Dearborn, Michigan. The following was in the Detroit News on Friday: The ACLU’s brief … Continue reading
I thought that what Pastor Terry Jones did in Florida recently (burn a Quran) was within his rights, but a tactically stupid move. On matters of religion and culture, you don’t needlessly provoke war-torn, illiterate, and impoverished people thousands of miles … Continue reading
Not if you believe Matthew 27:51-53. Have you ever noticed what it says? Immediately after Jesus’s death, Matthew has this very, very strange Night of the Living Dead story that he includes in his gospel. Matthew says that there was, immediately … Continue reading
Notice in this 60 Minutes segment that Indian geniuses are not flocking to oil-rich Arab countries where a conformist religion like Islam dominates the culture. Instead, they come to Enlightenment-based secular California, to Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is a mind well … Continue reading
This recent 60 Minutes segment is very dispiriting. Notice how easy it is for large banks to shift responsibility (and so avoid criminal prosecution). It’s yet another example of mortgage lenders engaging in buck passing and (im)plausible deniability: speak no evil, see … Continue reading
Critical Thinking Tip #7: Try Using Aristotle’s Method of Definition to Get a Handle on What You’re Pondering
Critical thinking gets turbo-charged wherever terms are clearly defined. And it was Aristotle who first noticed that, if a definition is to be any good, it should say something general and something specific. Aristotle designated these two components the genus and diaphora … Continue reading
Imagine yourself a teen or young adult church member in America, but you have doubts. What happens when you express them? At Christianity Today, Drew Dyke, the author of Generation Ex-Christian (Moody), shares his disturbing interview discoveries: Almost to a person, … Continue reading
Living within an hour’s driving distance of Hollywood, Ca., it wasn’t difficult locating a nearby theatre to have a looksie at Atlas Shrugged the movie, Part 1. I did that this weekend. I’d love to say, like Sam in Sam … Continue reading
In the United States, has “that government of the people, by the people, and for the people” perished from the Earth?
When my four and seven year-old daughters reach the age where they can understand, what should I tell them is the kind of government that we live under? In the United States, has “that government of the people, by the … Continue reading
Blogging a Great Debate: Sam Harris vs. William Lane Craig at Notre Dame (Accompanied by the Ghost of Nietzsche)
Sam Harris recently debated William Lane Craig at Notre Dame, and here it is. The first eight minutes are devoted to the moderator’s introduction, then Craig goes first. The topic is moral reasoning: __________ Here are the highlights that I took … Continue reading
The birth pangs of a new Egypt: a Hitler-like religious fanatic (living in London!) argues with an Enlightenment influenced liberal over the future of Egypt: Hat tip: Concerned Christian.