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First Published May 21, 2008

If there is one thing that can make religion unpopular in today’s pluralistic society, It is the idea of claiming access to exclusive truth.  On my mission I learned firsthand how the act of sending someone to your door is felt deeply offensive for so many people.  It is one reason religion is just something you are not supposed to talk about, in the interest of keeping peace.  Religion is simultaneously deeply personal and deeply divisive. 

     When you feel a strong spiritual bond of community, spirituality and faith, the proselyting of others is seen as an assault on everything you stand for.  At the same time, helping others see what you have and sharing it also becomes important the more invested you become and the more joy you find in your faith.  Calm assurance that you are “right” has been used to justify coercion, violence and even genocide against outsiders through history.  This in spite of the fact that such actions are almost always roundly condemned in the holy writings of all the faiths involved. Read the rest of this entry »

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And we’re back, time once again for a run down of the very best, most interesting, most educational, most inspiring, and most bizarre stuff I’ve been able to pick up here and there wandering the internet between actual work.    This time I have the anatomy of hope, the anatomy of gummi bears, heady philosophy from the likes of Descartes and Barth, the link between marshmallows and intelligence, sculpting shadows and lots more.  So have a seat and enjoy the very best of that my meanderings of the ethernet led to- Read the rest of this entry »

    As the presidential debates get revved up, I have been scrutinizing their health care plans.  Both candidates rightly insist that something must be done to cover the ballooning and exploding population of uninsured in this country.  For both, the solution will likely include a hit to the pocketbook of Joe Public, whether through taxes, or through private insurance companies that we are required to purchase coverage from.  This has the standard libertarian masses quite upset.  One thing I am hearing more and more about in the argument against universal Health care coverage is “those people.” Read the rest of this entry »

Well, another week gone by and as always, I’ve mined my favorite nuggets from the internet I have surfed across, especially for you, the reader.  So without further delay, I present the very best of the internet- Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome, welcome to another edition of the very best stuff to come to my attention online this week. There is something for everyone here, whether you want to laugh, cry, learn, or ponder life’s mysteries, have a seat and dig in. Read the rest of this entry »

C.S. Lewis once wrote that “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it  than the next man.” I think one glance a popular culture can give us an idea of how saturated we are with this. It’s everywhere.

     There is not a sport in existence where people don’t make lists of the “greatest players.” It goes beyond statistics as the greatest players are the ones with championships.  In other words, they are the ones playing on the greatest teams. This is somewhat confusing because the whole idea of a team is to be a single unit, greater than the sum of its parts.   It is difficult to even conceive of greatest in a manner that doesn’t mean beating everyone else? Read the rest of this entry »

 

If there is one thing that can make religion unpopular in today’s pluralistic society, It is the idea of claiming access to exclusive truth.  On my mission I learned firsthand how the act of sending someone to your door is felt deeply offensive for so many people.  It is one reason religion is just something you are not supposed to talk about, in the interest of keeping peace.  Religion is simultaneously deeply personal and deeply divisive. 

     When you feel a strong spiritual bond of community, spirituality and faith, the proselyting of others is seen as an assault on everything you stand for.  At the same time, helping others see what you have and sharing it also becomes important the more invested you become and the more joy you find in your faith.  Calm assurance that you are “right” has been used to justify coercion, violence and even genocide against outsiders through history.  This in spite of the fact that such actions are almost always roundly condemned in the holy writings of all the faiths involved. Read the rest of this entry »

The Internet is full these days of eager skeptics, debunkers, anti-crank, and anti-Quack websites. In the harsh, absolutist language full of insults, innuendo, and invented terms like crank, woo, pseudoscience, and quackery. This has in turn led to a proliferation of counter websites using pretty much the same tone. Whether it’s global warming, physics, autism, herbal remedies, homeopathy, acupuncture, or the oldest and most overdone argument of all, God. The insults fly, the adrenaline rushes and the dopamine rewards. What is shut off is logic, understanding, and trust. Welcome to wonderful world of the Internet.

The problem is, this approach doesn’t influence anyone except like minded individuals, who become more stubborn and radical. These skeptics are doing more harm to their cause than good. Most Americans, by a large majority, don’t believe in evolution and it’s not for a lack of loud voices proclaiming the evidence. I think some of this is a natural reaction. Call me crazy, but I don’t think people like being told they are stupid. Not only that, I don’t think people who refuse to take scientist’s word on an issue are stupid at all. Read the rest of this entry »

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