Perversion of Religious Tolerance

Stefan Monsaureus -

In November 2008 the United Nations adopted a draft resolution calling for the adoption of laws prohibiting the “defamation of religion.” This resolution and its antecedents have been introduced by Islamic states seeking to legitimize and propagate proscriptions on blasphemy by curtailing the freedom of expression. Lou Dobbs addresses this on CNN, with input from […]

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Religion a la Carte

Stefan Monsaureus -

A recent survey conducted by the Barna Group (a Christian organization that conducts research pertaining to cultural change and the role of religion in society) shows, among other things, that a majority of American adults pick and choose their beliefs rather than conform to a specific denomination’s slate of theological and moral views. By a […]

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No Mo NOMA?

Stefan Monsaureus -

In his book Rocks of Ages, Stephen Jay Gould proposed that science and religion occupy non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), in which science covers the empirical realm of fact and theory, while religion addresses questions of morality and meaning. According to Gould, there should be no inherent conflict between science and religion due to their mutual exclusivity. […]

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Religion and Self-control

Stefan Monsaureus -

Religiousness has often been associated with a number of favorable behavioral and health outcomes, such as increased longevity, decreased affinity for risky behaviors, greater compliance with rules and regulations, and subjective well-being. In an article in the upcoming issue of the Psychological Bulletin, University of Miami researchers Michael E. McCullough and Brian L. B. Willoughby […]

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The Neuropsychology of Religious Belief

Stefan Monsaureus -

Anthropologist Pascal Boyer has an essay in the 23 October 2008 issue of Nature (Being human: Religion: Bound to believe?) in which he explores the cognitive traits that sustain religious identification and belief. We should not try to pinpoint the unique origin of religious belief, because there is no unique domain for religion in human minds. […]

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Religion in the Real World

Stefan Monsaureus -

As the accidental philosopher Yogi Berra once remarked, “in theory there is no difference between theory and practice; but, in practice, there is.” This is, after all, what makes experimental science so rewarding (and so frustrating), and why moving basic science “facts” into clinical practice is often elusive. When faced with negative results, a good […]

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Religulous: Trite and True

Stefan Monsaureus -

Comedians, at their best, point out the folly of our own lives, using humor to pry open our minds so that we can question our assumptions, beliefs, sacred rituals and mundane behaviors. George Carlin (may Pesci rest his soul) did this masterfully, crafting canonical criticisms of the sacred and the profane. In his newly released […]

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It’s the Faith, Stupid!

Stefan Monsaureus -

Many freethinkers, especially when congregating in small groups, burn a significant amount of mental oil pondering the improbable fact that millions of seemingly normal people reject mountains of scientific evidence in favor of blind faith. This is especially the case when it comes to the theory of biological evolution by natural selection, which is not […]

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