28 June 2009

Politics, Economics, and Social Issues

Skeptics are generally united when it comes to applying critical thinking to questions about physical reality. Ask a group of skeptics about ESP, dowsing, or chi, and you'll typically find that they all agree that there is no plausible scientific explanation, and no reasonable evidence, to support the claims made about these subjects. Even when it comes to religion, any dispute among skeptics stems mainly from whether or not science can be used to investigate claims about gods. When it comes to political, economic, and social issues, however, skeptics are all over the map.

17 June 2009

Morality, Ethics, and Religion

One of the common arguments in favor of religion is that people need religion to be moral; without it, "anything goes." Of course, this is rubbish. There have been studies that show that there is little correlation between religious belief and ethical behavior. And there is some research that shows that ethical behavior has an evolutionary origin, with "reciprocal altruism" being a survival characteristic.

14 June 2009

Why I Am Not An Atheist

When I was a kid, I never really thought much about the existence or non-existence of supernatural things: gods, ghosts, aliens, etc. I wasn't skeptical, but I wasn't exactly a believer, either. My family wasn't overly religious; after my parents were divorced, my mom would occasionally try to find a church that she was comfortable going to, and would drag us kids along. But she would eventually find something about the church she didn't like, and we'd go back to sleeping in on Sundays. When I was a senior in high school, and Mom was into churchgoing again, it finally sunk in that I just couldn't believe in a god.