Three writers produced 20 intentionally outlandish academic papers and submitted them to the best peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as “cultural studies” or “identity studies” (for example, gender studies) or “critical theory.” Seven of the papers were accepted for publication and seven more were still under review when the authors elected to end the experiment. Their point would seem to be that scholarship in these fields is based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances. Just about anything can be published, so long as it falls within the moral orthodoxy and demonstrates an understanding of the existing literature. The authors summarize their methodology as follows. (I’ve inserted the material in brackets from elsewhere in the article, which you should look at in its entirety because there’s too much good stuff to summarize.) What if we write a paper saying we should train… Read more →
EppsNet Archive: Atheism
[David Hume] once fell into a swamp near the house he was building in Edinburgh. Owing to his reputation among the locals as an atheist, a woman refused to pull him out of it until he recited the Lord’s Prayer and the Belief, which, being practical-minded, he did. But not before he argued with her about whether Christians were obligated to help their enemies. — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan Read more →
I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I’m dead. — Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
While more than nine in 10 Americans would vote for a presidential candidate who is black, a woman, Catholic, Hispanic, or Jewish, significantly smaller percentages would vote for one who is an atheist (54%) or Muslim (58%). Americans’ willingness to vote for a Mormon (80%) or gay or lesbian (68%) candidate falls between these two extremes. — Atheists, Muslims See Most Bias as Presidential Candidates I fear that I won’t live to see a gay atheist in the Oval Office. In other findings, far more Americans are open to voting for a black presidential candidate (96%) than for a Mormon (80%). Blacks also poll higher than women (95%), Catholics (94%) and Jews (91%), although those percentages are within the margin of sampling error. Read more →
By the way I’m an atheist. I don’t claim to have a proof that God cannot exist. It’s just that I consider the state of the evidence on the God question to be similar to that on the werewolf question. — John McCarthy Read more →
Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion. — Atheists Outdo Some Believers in Survey on Religion – NYTimes.com The article describes a study in which researchers phoned up 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about religion. On average, respondents got half the questions wrong. Breaking down the results by faith (or lack thereof), the highest scores were registered by atheists and agnostics, closely followed by Jews and Mormons. Some of the knowledge gaps are amazing: Fifty-three percent of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the man who started the Protestant Reformation. Forty-five percent of Catholics did not know that their church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are not merely symbols, but actually become the body and blood of Christ. As Nietzsche used to say: If you want happiness and peace of mind, believe.… Read more →
RT @alaindebotton: What is most offensive about militant atheists is their seeming lack of sympathy 4 desperation. They seem so… un-needy. # Read more →