Monthly Archives: June 2010

An Agnostic Manifesto

Judging by this entertaining new piece in Slate, I suspect that Ron Rosenbaum may have been spending a little too much time thinking about this whole God-or-not thing (a fruitless debate, if ever I saw one), and his idea of a … Continue reading

Posted in debate | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Belgium and the Vatican

Was there something a little theatrical about the raid by the Belgian police on church premises in that country? Perhaps, but the Vatican’s reaction is, to say the least, curious. First there was this (via the Daily Telegraph) from the … Continue reading

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Enforcing Orthodoxy

The idea of a state church does not necessarily fill me with horror. It rather depends on the state. And it rather depends on the church. Given the history both of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church, this story (via … Continue reading

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Free will and morality

In light of recent comments, I thought readers might find this discussion between Joshua Knobe & Roy Baumeister of interest. Please keep in mind that broad swaths of humanity, such as Calvinists and most Sunni Muslims, have nominally rejected free … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | Tagged | 9 Comments

The Joy Of Obnox

Mr. Hume:  I’m pretty much with you on all that. Casting around for book ideas a while ago, I thought of writing a nihilist’s handbook, with a title something like You’re A Smart Ape, There Is No God, And Your … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 10 Comments

The value of obnoxious

From the comments: As to the question of obnoxiousness, of course it’s obnoxious, which is to say nothing more than ‘polite society considers it obnoxious’, and for quite the same reason as it’s considered obnoxious to point out that life … Continue reading

Posted in culture, debate | 6 Comments

Caring About Strangers

Our affinities fade with distance.  Towards our immediate families, they are very strong; towards our extended families, less so; then outward ever more feebly to the broadest kinships (nation, race) and fictive kinships (religion, ideology, language, civilization).  The math must … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 26 Comments

Why not Congo?

John in The Corner: While the horrors in the Congo were going on (i.e., from 1998 to the present) I was a busy worker bee, mixing with Americans of all classes, races, and stations in life, certainly including a good … Continue reading

Posted in culture | Tagged | 7 Comments

Hugh Trevor-Roper, Secular Rightist?

One of us? Yes, he made his mistakes (not least that whole Hitler diaries thing), but so do we all. In any event, read this extract from a splendid review in the New Humanist of a collection of writings by … Continue reading

Posted in history | Tagged | 8 Comments

Israel’s Fundamentalist Problem (ctd.)

More on this topic, this time via the Jerusalem Post (June 7, 2010): Hundreds of haredim were involved in violent riots in Jaffa on Wednesday, in Rehov Louis Pasteur around the site of an archeological dig.  Fifteen haredim were arrested. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 10 Comments