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"Many of the foods banned under Islamic sharia law, and under Judaism, may have their roots in the fact that these teachings were there to stop people from getting ill by making the wrong food choices."
Doubtful, unless those ancient holymen understood the cause of poisoning was bad meat and reasoned the solution was a good throat slashing.
I think we can be rather more confident that it was their view of their livestock --not of food poisoning-- that informed their old testament rules about what meat to eat and not eat. Or they'd reason about a meatless diet, which they don't (must eat god's bounty).
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Transubstantiation, Halal and Kosher – How Food Becomes Magical
The world is now seeing, what always until now, was hidden. Jocks. Version 2.0
1 month, 3 weeks ago on The Rape Blame Game
I think it might be hair-splitting to try to argue that skeptics can cleanly criticise beliefs without disrespecting those who hold the belief that's being put on blast. To be skeptical of religious beliefs is to behave less-than-respectfully towards the religious.If there are no sacred cows then I think that's fine.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Respect for Superstition?
Something is fishy about using the word respect as per the OP. Respect means more than tolerance.
I'm not even sure skeptics have a cognitive choose about whether or not they will respect a belief they're skeptical of.
which is to say, morally inferior. And clearly recognisable as their church's earthly anti-christ with whom she struggles, resists, and hopes to defeat.
Uncomfortability seems to motivate moralizers. Morality has a lot to do with feeling tensions and seeking comfort.
Humanism might try to teach us that we ought to stop discriminating between humanity's morality and god's morality. That seems a difficult teaching to get across to holymen and the fans of godlessness. Humans have an intuition that moral teachings are moral dilemmas whereby the alternatives are either good or --ethically speaking-- wrong.
Personally I would preach that those alternative teachings are either good or --ethically speaking-- better.
Would that make my above preaching wrong? Teach me something better??
2 months ago on Expanding on the Definition of Humanism – Full Repost
Marti's case is strong; humanism isn't in fact selfish and species-ist. Such claims are mistaken. Or worse. Moralistic.
Steve's definitions remind us that historically humanism formed as a moral alternative to monotheism. Which for biblical moralists, much like paganism to early Christendom,
>>How does the electrochemical activity of neurons in the human brain produce subjective, first-person experience? Nobody knows.Nagel's argument is trivially true, yet profoundly false.Linguistically, chemistry doesn't explain psychology. Yet brain chemicals *do* explain that familiar feeling of "being in control" ...because that feeling can be so easily taken away from you by simply pumping your system full of drugs.
2 months ago on Teleology, Destiny and a Life of Purpose
I'd rather the OP took a skeptical look at Danny's arguments; why should he discriminate between multiculturalism & cultural diversity? why shouldn't he use scripture to defend his group's preference? why should he compromise with his anti-christ?
I'm tempted to think that we can't make sense of a christian moralizer like Danny in his own "conservatism = good" terms, so we're either overlaying liberal nuances to reframe his loyalism as "racism" to avoid debate, or worse: we're essentially just dismissing the preferences of these influential christian Right lobbiests out-of-hand.
He's principled-but-unreasonable approach is at risk of looking like a mirror skeptics: Danny is busy herding the like-minded, not doing the difficult-cum-impossible work of trying to change minds towards his way of thinking about the political world:
For example, this line of reason/unreason can easily divide even a skeptical audience who'll have their balony-detection on a hair-trigger as soon as the topic turns to religio-politics: "the fact that these attitudes are becoming more common  is a direct result of  a failure of the wishes of people to integrate, where we should be celebrating cultural diversity [uncomfortable moralizing, is-ought fallacy fallacy, comfortable apathy...] and of media [how do you feel about the rich?] and political infatuation with... [how to you feel about our leaders?]"
I can see that Danny is standing up for what he thinks is right. But I can't see the OP tackling the root that he is misinformed about 21st century ethics and/or in fact has (many times) been shown to advocate specific premises that's are now know to be historically incorrect.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Nalliah – Catching the Fires of Bigotry
@Celia Jane Yes I agree our culture is very gender focused (yes probably "too" focused for our own good) and that our laws ought to be a better mixture of "gender blind" (equal-rights feminism) and "male-female asymmetrical" (positive discrimination).
I'm unsure changing the paradigm is as much of a live option as simply changing the laws. Hopefully changing legislation helps encourage these paradigm shifts, but changing unreasonable primate brains is something reasonable primate's find profoundly difficult ;)
3 months, 3 weeks ago on A Feminist Issue – Culture or Contract?
Yes very useful. Another great post, M.S.P.
I see at least 2 contexts where those labels frequently get thrown around; the personal & the religio-political.
On the left we can cope your 1950s beliefs if your don't block these Bills based on 21st century thinking.
But the right can see right through irreligious atheism because they've known since they were kids that it's in fact 1955.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Irreligion vs Atheism
@futilityfiles Lots of choice seems to be a reasonable way to organise a legal system. At least according to liberals.Wrt your nagging question, if my personal choices are --in fact-- significantly more influenced (by norms) than I currently imagine them to be, then it's likely just another fact of life I'll have to accept, not a personal problem left for me to "choose" to solve.
4 months ago on A Feminist Issue – Culture or Contract?
If feminism is about equal rights, then it seems difficult to substantiate a claim that the Knowles' exercising their American rights are significantly hindering (or reversing) the desired advance of womens' rights globally, or some specific legal jurisdiction.
It might be the prevailing wisdom out in the public square (though not inside the Australian Sex Party, I imagine) but until it's evidenced with some credible trend data, perhaps we ought to remain skeptical that nude popstars are undermining feminist activists... ?
@Shauns57 Sounds reasonable and is clearly written.Trust erodes as historians learn that bible stories aren't historically accurate.
Continuing to spread those fictions to children as if true seems ethically quite problematic.
Discredited explanations of the past will keep conflicting with modern academia.
Wikipedia is more deserving of trust than local clergymen when it comes to history and earthly matters. This includes ethics.
Christendom is so confused about what's a biblical fiction and what's a fact, that its moralizers are even worse than mistaken. They mislead christians into thinking that the biblical view of morality (salvation) ISN'T conflicting with academic ethicists.
Insisting jesus saves is as wrongheaded as insisting on Saddam's WMDs after the intelligence learnt that there's no such thing.
4 months, 1 week ago on Don’t Read This Rant on Religion
@markjoseph125 Also church-state separation is Jefferson's wall concept. The 1st amendment is limiting the government's powers to enact laws that hinder her citizens' right to religious freedom. The US constitution doesn't insist on Jefferson's wall.Imo, this is problematic for the US because to freely practise christendom includes teaching kids bible fictions about history.
Impeding human progress.
@postle_thirteen I had the same thought. But the objection to indoctrination isn't a question of "how many".
The indoctrinated live happy healthy lives. Those families support the religious leaders who're using politics (and wealth) to undermine the sciences. Teaching creationism in the state's science classes, convincing half the US that evolution ain't true, etc.
I'm skeptical. Hospitals aren't getting wealthy from this procedure. Those health problems aren't being traced back to foreskins or lack thereof. Without such evidence we can dismiss this reported "crime" of choosing wealth over health.
4 months, 1 week ago on Cognitive Dissonance and the Truth About Circumcision – By Maria Bangs
His first answer is spot on. LIKE.
5 months ago on VIDEO: “Oliver Sacks on Humans and Myth-making”
@The Vicar Not creepy because we're skeptical of "CPT Symmetry demands that the past and future have the same level of uncertainty". Is that the current consensus of physicists who specialise in QT?
If so, please show us that wikipedia article so some blogger can dig into its references and interview their (living) authors.
Prediction: the resulting youtube vid will go viral, and its advertising will more than cover the blogger's time to put it together.
5 months ago on Future Improbable
@DrBobMI is suggesting "the best way to overcome prejudice or bigotry is not to draw lines in the sand over trivial things like Christmas trees".
Yeah but @LaughPurgatory @martinspribble are drawing their (right/wrong) line in the sand over "anti-homosexual doctrine".
Any more nuanced view of that doctrine's "them" (who's adopted that doctrine) doesn't help with the tree-purchasing dilemma: it's now uncomfortable doing business with a scout.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Boy Scouts America: Anti Gay, Anti Atheist (BSA Blog Carnival)