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Monthly Archive: August 2006

Aug 17 2006

The journey to atheism

(This week I will be on my long-anticipated drive across the country to San Francisco. During that time, I am reposting some of the very early items from this blog. Thanks to all those who gave me suggestions on what to see on the way. I now realize that I must have been crazy to …

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Aug 16 2006

Agnostic or atheist?

(This week I will be on my long-anticipated drive across the country to San Francisco. During that time, I am reposting some of the very early items from this blog. Thanks to all those who gave me suggestions on what to see on the way. I now realize that I must have been crazy to …

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Aug 15 2006

Shafars and brights arise!

(This week I will be on my long-anticipated drive across the country to San Francisco. During that time, I am reposting some of the very early items from this blog. Thanks to all those who gave me suggestions on what to see on the way. I now realize that I must have been crazy to …

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Aug 14 2006

“I know this is not politically correct but….”

(This week I will be on my long-anticipated drive across the country to San Francisco. During that time, I am reposting some of the very early items from this blog. Thanks to all those who gave me suggestions on what to see on the way. I now realize that I must have been crazy to …

Continue reading »

Aug 11 2006

Why we must learn to see ourselves as others see us-4

(Continued from yesterday.) Strong allegiance to a tribe, and the belief that one’s tribe is better and more virtuous than others may actually cause members of your own tribe to act in worse ways than they might otherwise do. First of all, people who have a high sense of self-righteousness and an inflated sense of …

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Aug 10 2006

Why we must learn to see ourselves as others see us-3

(Continued from yesterday) Learning to apply the same standards of judgment to actions, whether done by ‘them’ or ‘us’, is important if we are to get beyond tribal ways of thinking. Take the actions of Hezbollah. Since they are part of the ‘them’ group, their rocket attacks into Israel are portrayed as deliberate attempts to …

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Aug 09 2006

Why we must learn to see ourselves as others see us-2

(Continued from yesterday.) Examples of people’s willingness to believe the best about their own tribe and the worst about the tribe opposing them are not hard to find. For example, I remember when the Iranian airbus civilian plane was shot down by a US navy warship in the Persian Gulf in 1988. Some people in …

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Aug 08 2006

Why we must learn to see ourselves as others see us-1

(I have been thinking a lot about the violence that is engulfing the Middle East and the horrific loss of life and homes and other property that is taking place. What follows is a long essay that reflects my thoughts and feelings on it. I have serialized it into four parts and will post one …

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Aug 07 2006

Global warming-9: The demise of Easter Island

Easter Island tends to grip the imagination of people. But the things that people remember most about it (even perhaps the only thing) are the giant stone statues of faces that exist on the island. Jared Diamond tells the sad story of this island as a warning to us all in a chapter of his …

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Aug 04 2006

Global warming-8: The danger of complacency

The documentary An Inconvenient Truth provides a good introduction to the problem of global warming. The film has three interwoven threads: (1) a documentary showing a slide-show talk that former Vice-President Al Gore gives around the world on the facts of global warming, mixed with film footage of the impact of warming on the environment; …

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