So Paul Kurtz – not my favorite guy – has issued a Neo-Humanist statement. It’s typical Paul – rather verbose with lots of words that are difficult to pronounce. He is after all the guy that coined the term eupraxophy and expected everyone to embrace it and start using it in daily speech. But my overall gut reaction to his statement is that he must be pissed off about the success of the New Humanist movement as envisioned by Greg Epstein at Harvard.
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Humanist Thought of the Week: 3 30 2010
Controlling Your Emotions
Emotions are useful things.
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Biden v. Cheney – the F-Bomb debate
Ok – so on Tuesday Biden dropped on F-Bomb on Obama telling him that signing the health care reform act was a big effin deal. Which it is. When I heard about this though, I laughed. That’s so Joe. He is often off color and always says what’s on his mind. But then I realized that I did not like it at all when Cheney used the exact same word on the floor of Congress a few years ago. So… what’s the difference and does context really matter? Yes. Yes it does.
Continue reading “The F-Word in context”
Changing your Mind
It’s ok to change your mind. In fact, admitting you were wrong is a sign of intellectual maturity. It is something we Humanists pride ourselves on. We want our opinions to be educated opinions. What I don’t understand is why people, when faced with overwhelming evidence that they were wrong stick to their unfounded opinions. It doesn’t make any sense to me. What is even harder for me to understand is why people, when they find out they have been lied to don’t turn around and get mad at the people who lied to them. Especially when you find out a politician or political party you trusted lied to you.
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Humanist Thought of the Week: 3 23 2010
The most important question
Proper problem solving requires some degree of understanding the actual problem you are trying to solve.
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Hitchens on the 10 Commandments
We Humanists and liberals tend to have a love/hate relationship with Hitchens. I happen to love him (see my other article on him to understand why). His latest video from Vanity Fair is a classic example of why, despite how angry we get at him, we keep coming back. And it is why I love Hitchens. Enjoy
Humanist Thought of the Week: 3 16 2010
Talking about suicide
Humanism does not hold any prohibitions on committing suicide.
But that doesn’t mean we condone it.
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Learning about Evolution
Learning about Evolution is important. Not only because it is important to be scientifically literate, but also because Evolution is a unifying concept in science. Scientific disciplines with a historical component, such as astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology, cannot be taught without a clear understanding of Evolution. Further, nothing in biology makes sense without the context of Evolution and a clear understanding of Evolutionary biology is critical to our ability to fight diseases. As an added bonus viewing biology through the lens of Evolution is not only intellectually satisfying, it is downright inspiring.
If you want an update on exactly what the current state of science is on evolution, I recommend Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin. A friend of mine who teaches high school biology recommended this book to me. It is an excellent book. It is easy to read and really interesting. If you were in school anytime before 2000, this book will help bring you up to date on not only the evidence for evolution, but also what science is capable of now.
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Crist and the Atheists
Over the weekend Florida governor Charlie Crist had a negative encounter with an Atheist (read details here). I think this confrontation is important as we Floridians evaluate Crist as a potential Senator. The question we need an answer to, is why did he loose his cool with this guy. I have a hard time imagining Crist would loose his cool with anyone having met him years ago when he was still just a local representative. However, if he has become so intolerant of Atheists that he can’t contain his feelings in their presence anymore, then perhaps his religious views have been radicalized since he became Governor.
For the moment, let’s assume the atheist was a complete and total jerk to Crist. It does not appear that he was, but it is a common assumption being made to excuse Crist’s truly nasty response to one of his constituents. A jerk being obnoxious to the governor of one of the largest states in the union is not unusual. And it certainly shouldn’t be enough to cause a polished politician like Crist to loose his cool. He’s a professional politician! He encounters crazy people all the time. He has to deal with people who vehemently disagree with him ALL THE TIME! Angry voters approach him all the time. It’s part of his job description. So why did he loose his cool with this guy? And why did he only loose his cool AFTER this guy told him he was an atheist?
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Humanist Thought of the Week: 3 9 2010
Existential depressions aren’t fun.
One of the big questions people struggle with when they conclude that this existence is all there is – is….
What do they do now?
Continue reading “Why Not Live?”