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Monthly Archive: May 2007

May 31 2007

How to talk to religious believers: A guide for atheists-5

In previous posts, I wrote about how to talk to the devout concerned believer, the devout offended believer, and the fundamentalist religious intellectual when you tell people you are an atheist. Today I continue with the last case (that of religious moderates) that was begun yesterday. People can be persuaded to relinquish, at least intellectually, …

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May 30 2007

How to talk to religious believers: A guide for atheists-4

In previous posts, I wrote about how to talk to the devout concerned believer, the devout offended believer, and the fundamentalist religious intellectual when you tell people you are an atheist. Today I will deal with the last case. The liberal or moderate believer: The hardest group for the atheist to deal might be, strangely …

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May 29 2007

How to talk to religious believers: A guide for atheists-3

In previous posts, I wrote about how to talk to the devout concerned believer and the devout offended believer when you tell people you are an atheist. Today, I will address the religious fundamentalist intellectual: These people are the most fun to deal with because there is usually no rancor or personal element involved in …

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May 25 2007

How to talk to religious believers: A guide for atheists-2

In the previous post, I discussed how to deal with the concerned devout believer. Today I deal with a more difficult case. The offended devout believer: Like the concerned believer, this reaction will come from someone who is devoutly and unquestioningly religious. But their reaction will be to take strong offense at the idea that …

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May 24 2007

How to talk to religious believers: A guide for atheists-1

One of the consequences of the outspokenness of the new atheists is that it enables people who are quasi-atheists to become more frank about their doubts about religion. Unlike closet atheists who are people who keep quiet about their atheism, ‘quasi-atheists’ those people who would not call themselves atheists but are already tugging at the …

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May 23 2007

The power pendulum

It has been some time since I wrote about John Rawl’s ideas in his book The Theory of Justice but the more I see how political developments are evolving both in the US and in the world, the greater the value of implementing his ideas. The key idea that he proposed was that when creating …

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May 22 2007

Asking the wrong questions about science history

In his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn points out that the kinds of questions we often ask about the history of science and that we think are simple and have been adequately answered (such as “who discovered oxygen and when?” “Who discovered X-rays and when?”) turn out on close examination to …

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May 21 2007

The nature of consciousness

In the model of Cartesian dualism, we think of the mind as a non-material entity that interacts somehow with the material brain/body in some way. Descartes thought that the locus of interaction existed within the pineal gland in the brain but that specific idea has long since been discarded. But that still leaves the more …

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May 18 2007

Does science destroy life’s mysteries?

One of the reasons that elite science and elite religion are now coming into conflict is that science is now addressing questions that once were considered purely philosophical. By ‘purely philosophical’ I mean questions that are serious and deep but for which answers are sought in terms of logic and reason and thought experiments, with …

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May 17 2007

Presidential candidates Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich

In the Republican and Democratic primaries, Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) are the only ones who opposed the Iraq war authorization act in 2002 and both have been calling for US troops to be withdrawn and closing of the bases. In the latest debate amongst the Republican presidential candidates on May 16, …

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