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PZ seems to have made the migration to FTB well, without any changes to his format, so I'm confident that your move will go well too. I'm looking forward to the change. Oh, and kirkaug has an interesting idea.
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I must have missed this article on PZ's blog the first time around. I read the link before reading your rebuttal, and I was just flabbergasted by it. You hit all the points I was thinking in your rebuttal. What stood out to me was a) how much he relied on semantic differences for his argument and b) how his arguments weren't about clearing up misconceptions but rather taking a side in a debate.
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Another excellent article. I think this is just another example of the media getting really good at giving us what we instinctually want. We evolved to desire that which is "perfect", whether it's food or a mate, because those traits are beneficial for the continued survival of the species. Unfortunately, we have arrived at a point where we can "create" perfect, whether it's through artificially adding ingredients to food that we crave (i.e. salt, sugar, etc), or creating images via models putting themselves through hell and Photoshop. I would claim that this is a symptom of a greater problem...overindulgence due to us not having had sufficient time to evolve to our current lifestyles.
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I have so much respect for this guy! He has shown real courage in the face of hostility. I wish I had half as much courage when I was his age. I am so proud of the atheist community for giving him so much support too (I definitely donated). One would hope that this will help the population at large see that we really are moral, caring people, but we'll see.
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P.S. I really really wish I could go to the Rapture RAM (I live in the bay area too), but unfortunately some family members who are pretty religious are visiting this weekend and I doubt they would appreciate my bailing on them for an atheist meeting :).
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Very well said! I had a strange episode like that a few days ago as well. A sudden twinge of fear followed by "what if." The thought was very fleeting...so much so that I kinda did a "what the hell was that?" before realizing just what had run through my head. I laughed at myself afterwards cause I wouldn't have expected myself to do something like that, but it still kinda got to me that I would have had such a thought, however fleeting. As you said, though, it's just how we evolved. Thanks for sharing, it makes me feel a little better about having that same thought.
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It's interesting seeing how the different religious groups correlate with levels of guilt about sex. Catholicism falling in the middle kinda makes sense to me though. I grew up in Texas and so I knew more fundamentalist Christians than I would like to admit. (Fortunately I live in California now.) In the US specifically, Catholicism strikes me as one of the more liberal Christian denominations, even if their Roman counterparts are pretty fundamentalist. In Texas at least, the most fundamentalist Christians were almost always from protestant denominations, mainly Church of Christ and Baptist, not from Catholicism. This is reflected in the survey, I think, because the survey seems to be pretty US-centric (self-selection bias, etc). US Catholicism may be more overtly focus on guilt than others, but I think the more fundamentalist protestant denominations are better at actually instilling guilt about sex in it's followers because the followers themselves are more likely to be funadmentalist about their faith. Judaism really surprised me though. I would have expected guilt levels to be much higher. Maybe it's related to Judaism being a minority religion in the US?
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May 19, 2011