"There is a chapter in The Varieties of Religious Experience titled "The Will to Believe." I have not read it for a long time, but I recall that James argues people believe various religious and other rationally questionable propositions…"
"People, theist and non theist alike, tend to confuse atheism with anti-theism. Anti-theism can take on some of the characteristics of religion if there is a sense of "mission" in protecting ones non theistic belief system and converting…"
"Reparations or restitution are intended to compensate the victim for harm done. Killing the killer does nothing for the first one killed, nor does it give anything back to those who lost a loved one. The ones who are most likely to suffer lasting…"
"I looked back in the thread and couldn't find anyone who had mentioned affirmative action, but since you brought it up -- affirmative action is appropriate as restorative justice. When individuals or classes are put at a disadvantage by the…"
"The first time I read about event horizons, I wondered if the fact that time stands still there would mean one could randomly come out at any point in time during the life of the black hole. Are there any cosmologists on this list who can answer…"
"Memory is not a reliable record of the past. Every time we recollect a past experience, we create a fresh narrative from whatever is stored in our brains and that becomes the new "memory." That is why eyewitness accounts change from one…"
"Everything has unintended consequences. Public execution as an abstraction has a satisfying ring to some, because we think certain people deserve it. But I would not allow any child for whom I am responsible to witness such a display. It brutalizes…"
"The Josephus passage is highly suspect as a forged addition. It comes a full 60 years after Jesus supposedly died;
A forged addition to what? That is when Josephus was writing! There was nothing to which to forge an addition until he wrote it."
"If, by fake, you mean that the evidence has been altered or tampered with, you are correct. But the references to Jesus in Josephus and Tacitus were most likely in the originals, though the exact wording and details have been altered by copyist…"
"I do what I think is right because I don't think living in a world where everyone acts out of immediate self-interest is pleasant. Doing the right thing makes me feel good. Other people doing the right thing makes me feel even better. If it…"
"But if their brains are malfunctioning, then they are sick, not criminally culpable. They still should be confined if they are dangerous, but not for punishment so much as for care and protection. Any experiments done on them should be designed, in…"
"I must confess I would not feel any compassion for the victims of 1,000 guilty men, women and pit bulls, if I were the one about to be executed unjustly. How can a dead victim receive justice or benefit in any way? The victim no longer exists, so…"
USC. It's not an official requirement written in stone or anything. It's more like - if you want to get decent evaluations and hence, keep your job, god has to get some kind of attention. For example, my evals one semester were super wretched with comments like 'she's an atheist and makes us feel stupid if we aren't." My first reaction: yeah, and? But then again, if I ignore Aquinas, Descartes, etc, entirely, not only do I omit a huge amount of historical material (all of which can be adequately refuted anyways), but I get this kind of slander and my job is threatened.