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photos by Lara Shipley

Entries from May 2009

“Islam Day”?

May 7th, 2009 · 9 Comments

AP reports: Hawaii’s state Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday to celebrate “Islam Day” _ over the objections of a few lawmakers who said they didn’t want to honor a religion connected to Sept. 11, 2001. The Senate’s two Republicans argued that a minority of Islamic extremists have killed many innocents in terrorist attacks. This […]

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Tags: Law · Religion · Stupid Shit

A “God-Shaped-Hole” Shaped Hole

May 7th, 2009 · 21 Comments

James Joyner flags the following from Andrew Stuttaford at Secular Right: Belief in a deity (or deities), and the desire to worship it or them, is an almost universal aspect of human nature. This not something that can be wished or indoctrinated away, and it’s pointless and maybe even destructive to try. It’s far better, surely, […]

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Tags: Religion · Science

Empathic Justice

May 6th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Ryan Sager picks an unfortunate example to make a valid point about the idea of “empathy” as a qualification for a seat on the Supreme Court: Now, I’m not necessarily arguing that it’s right [in the famous Trolley Problem] to push the fat man — or for the government to “push the fat man.” But […]

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Tags: Law · Moral Philosophy · Science

Just When I’d Unlearned the Superfluous “U”s…

May 6th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Given my recent dramatic increase in free time, the  fine folks at The Economist have invited me back to their (newly Webby award winning!) U.S. politics blog Democracy in America, which you really ought to be reading daily already anyway. This time around, I’m apt to steer clear of the sort of terse horse-racey posts […]

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Tags: Self Promotion

How Torture Helped the Allies in WWII

May 5th, 2009 · 66 Comments

A small historical irony about the recent weird effort to enlist the bombing of Hiroshima in defense of torture (torture begins with T, Truman begins with T—don’t you see it?): Whatever role the bombings played in hastening Japan’s unconditional surrender, it was probably enhanced by the testimony of captured Air Force First Lieutenant Marcus McDilda. […]

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Tags: War

Morality Isn’t Free

May 4th, 2009 · 22 Comments

I had a number of thoughts over the weekend about the ongoing torture debate—and in particular the historical turn it seems to have taken recently—but in lieu of one of my usual insanely bloated 3,000-word posts, perhaps it makes sense to spread them out over a few posts and focus on one or two main […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War

Falling Sales, Rising Prices

May 1st, 2009 · 5 Comments

James Boyce at HufflePuff: No one is dumber than a Newspaper Executive. Back in the day at Duke, I was an econ major, much to the amusement of many of my friends now. I learned a little something called “supply and demand.” Let me use small words. If someone really wants what you’re selling, you […]

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Tags: Economics · Journalism & the Media