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Showing posts from December, 2010

Fooling Ourselves and Critical Thinking

I've been devouring science lectures and audiobooks for weeks, and it doesn't seem to be letting up.  I've been re-watching/listening to Cosmos, I've started watching 'Wonders of the Solar System' with Prof. Brian Cox, and I'm currently listening to 'The Demon Haunted World' by Carl Sagan.
Why should this matter to anyone else?  It probably doesn't, though I certainly recommend all of the above to virtually anyone.  The idea that I want to get across, though, is one that Carl Sagan spent years arguing for - that we all are capable of thinking scientifically and skeptically; we can all be scientists.
If you watch a great deal of television, you tend to find more and more characters which are portrayed as complete morons.  Of course, we have all felt this way from time to time, but I think that all of us are perfectly capable of critical thinking skills.  In fact, I argue that everyone thinks skeptically at least some of the time, but most people se…

"Christians abolished slavery, therefore God is not a douche."

I can't even count how many times I have heard Christians use the argument 'Christians were responsible for the Abolition of slavery in the U.S.'  I have been contemplating this claim, and have several points that I want to touch on.

First, who do you think started slavery in the first place?  In order for a human being to bend another to his will in this way (and for the slave to accept it), one or both must accept the belief that some humans are superior to others, and also have the right to own another human.  Where do we see this belief echoed time and time again?  Religion, of course - the oldest holy books on this planet advocate slavery time and time again.

The Old Testament is ripe for the picking when it comes to this idea, but Christians are always very quick to reject anything from the Old Testament which they don't like, while keeping the bits they DO like - homosexuality is wrong, follow the 10 Commandments, alleged 'prophecies' for Jesus, etc.  In…

The Future of Seattle's 'Ask an Atheist'

Hey everyone, just wanted to help get the word out for my friends in Seattle at the 'Ask an Atheist' call-in show. They have been on public access television, but the broadcasting organization has lost it's funding, and they are moving to radio - KLAY 1180 AM to be specific.  The thing is, the move costs money - they are trying to raise the money through donations and through a benefit show.  More information and how you can help is found at http://askanatheist.tv/category/announcements/transition-2011/ .

Please do what you can to support this show - there are a precious few atheist voices out there as it is.