Psychology Role of government War Women's rights

Was the Noble Savage noble? Or savage?

There has been a debate in the press recently about whether the state (nation) is fundamentally a source of exploitation and war, or whether it’s a civilizing influence on humans’ natural brutal nature. The debate has echoes of Jean-Jacque Rousseau versus Thomas Hobbes, as well as echos of FDR versus the Koch brothers. In short, […]

Life Psychology Religion

Seven World Views in brief

The Theist (Western) There is a compassionate God who cares about you. Happiness comes from love, service, and surrender to God. (But, according to many Christians, God is vengeful and jealous and may torture you if you disobey Him.) The Theist (Eastern) Your Higher Self (atman) is identical with God (Brahma). Purify yourself, meditate and […]

Economics Psychology Science and Industry

Can conservatives manage what baboons can do?

Robert Sapolsky — MacArthur fellow and professor of biology, neuroscience, and neurosurgery at Stanford University — pursued decades long research into baboon societies. He found that most baboon troops were dominated by aggressive alpha males who abused other members of the troop, had pick of the females, and enjoyed good health and low levels of […]

Philosophy Politics Psychology

Joshua Greene's Moral Tribes — Emotion, Reason, and the Gap between Us and Them

Joshua Greene’s Moral Tribes — Emotion, Reason, and the Gap between Us and Them is a mixture of political philosophy, evolutionary psychology, and ethics. The cool thing is that Greene is a clear thinker and superb writer, so the book is accessible to the educated layperson. The central question of the book is:  In a […]

Justice Philosophy Psychology Religion Torture

The Anti-Wisdom of Eckhart Tolle

Many spiritual teachers and pundits say things similar to what Eckhart Tolle said: “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but [always] your thoughts about it.”   In other words, suffering comes from yourself, not from your perceived enemies.  While it’s true that much suffering is self-made, it’s a gross and perverse exaggeration to […]

marriage Psychology Relationships Religion Sexuality

Making Marriage Last – Do Atheists Do It Better?

Conservative Christians think of themselves as the last line of defense for a time honored and holy tradition, marriage. In the conservative Christian view, marriage is a sacred union ordained by God. It binds one man and woman together so that the “two become one flesh” until they are parted by death. This view of […]

Politics Psychology Religion Science and Industry

Former Fundamentalist and Father of Eleven Now an Evangelist for Evolutionary Biology

An interview with former fundamentalist, Ed Suominen. Ed Suominen was raised in a small sect of Lutheran Christianity called Laestadianism. Of the 32,000 denominations into which Christianity has fractured, his is one of the more conservative. Members believe in the literal truth of the Bible, including the creation story. They eschew sins like drinking, dancing, […]