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Posted inPhilosophy

Whitman, tumours, the neurotypical and moral responsibility

Reading Time: 7 minutes There was a famous case of a terrible shooting in 1966. Charles Whitman, an otherwise intelligent (138 IQ), ‘normal’ man, did a very abnormal thing. Charles Joseph Whitman (June 24, 1941 – August 1, 1966) was an American engineering student and former U.S. Marine, who killed seventeen people and wounded thirty-two others in a mass shooting rampage located in and around the Tower of the University of Texas in Austin on the afternoon of August 1, 1966.

Posted inUncategorized

Free Will and the Leap of Faith

Reading Time: 3 minutes I have been engaged in an ongoing discussion with several friends about the concept of human Free Will, a cornerstone of all Abrahamic religions. If humans do not have Free Will, the whole scheme of sin and salvation collapses.

Posted inGeneral, Secularism

Christmas Busybodies

Reading Time: 5 minutes Busybody: noun; a person who mixes into other people’s affairs; meddler; gossip

Every year at this time, as predictable as snow in Saskatchewan or icicles in Idaho, it happens. The bleating about the “oppression” of Christians starts anew. Usually, it is triggered by some evangelist group that wants to place a nativity crèche on a courthouse lawn or a public park.

Posted inEthics

Where I stand with Islam and violence now

Reading Time: 3 minutes I have been quite outspoken in recent times about what I believe to be a necessary and inescapable connection between Islam, as properly understood (yes, that notion is wrought with issue) and violence (and intolerance). I have even debated this publicly and given a public talk on the topic (at the University of Exeter).

Posted inScience

The Star of Bethlehem: Lecture by Aaron Adair at Merrimack College

Reading Time: < 1 minute I was lucky enough to edit Aaron Adair’s superb book The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View which looks at the claims within the Gospel of Matthew concerning the Star of Bethlehem. Over the many hundreds of years, various people have advanced theories to explain the apparent phenomenon, to triple conjunctions of planets and stars to comets, from hypernovae to UFOs. Yes, UFOs. Aaron has started getting on the speaking circuit to talk about his favoured subject, and may even be compiling a book looking into the Bible and astronomy