While this is not true in all cases, I have found that atheists often have a sense of pride in the idea that they have managed to eschew religion. Worse yet, sometimes people exhibit sheer hatred for religions in general. A quick search for “atheism religion” on Amazon.com shows how much vitriol surrounds the discussion of religion in regards to views by atheists. Yet, in many cases, atheists are indeed religious. While this seems like a contradiction, this seeming contradiction is the result of a weak understanding of religion and the concept of atheism.« Continue »
Shortly after the May 23rd shooting, at the University of California Santa Barbara people started blaming it on misogyny. However, the cause was far more complicated and misogyny, while involved, was not the root cause, but rather was a result of other circumstances. Some may ask why it matters whether or not misogyny was the root cause; indeed people have asked me this when confronting the oversimplified view of the shooting.
There are two answers to this question. The first is that, unless we know the root cause, we cannot know how to best prevent a similar event from occurring again. The second is that, in understanding that misogyny was not the root cause, but was a product of other conditions, we can see that misogyny is going to be far more difficult to combat than other societal ills.
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In Death from a Distance and the Birth of a Humane Universe: Human Evolution, Behavior, History, and Your Future, Paul M. Bingham and Joanne Souza discuss how the ability to kill individuals of the same species from a distance is the reason why humans act in a relatively peaceful fashion. However there are alternative explanations to this relative peace. Specifically, our ability to communicate in a complex fashion could be the explanation.« Continue »
After a discussion on the topic of cults, I started wondering, how closely is the two party system in America related to cult behavior? It turns out that almost every attribute of a cult can be found within the two party system. A lot of this can be attributed to the nature of the American education system. Now, it’s true that not every member displays all the characteristics, but a large number display most of them.« Continue »
From the earliest civilizations, we more or less have had government. So of course it’s a reasonable assumption to make that government is somehow necessary to human survival and therefore should be sustained. However are we jumping to conclusions? In any society, there are people to whom others will defer. In small societies these are usually the village elders and the deference is simply do to the experience gained from a long life. Over time, if enough people begin deferring to a small group of people, a full scale government will form. This does not mean that the government necessarily is beneficial.« Continue »