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Showing posts from December, 2015

Once Upon a Time: Re-Thinking the Fight Against Extremists | Tina Dupuy | eSkeptic

What does it mean to be radicalized? In a rare Oval Office address in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre, President Barack Obama described the killers as having “gone down the dark path of radicalization.” It used to be extremists. We were fighting extremists in the equally nebulous War on Terror. Then someone found a thesaurus and now we’re battling radicalization. “[It] is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization,” urged Obama. What are these ideas exactly?

Every group of radicals nee extremists—from ISIS to the Klan to the House GOP’s Freedom Caucus—all have the same lure: Today is chaotic, unpredictable and worse than it was, so we must return to a time when things were better. A well-proven formula for radicalization is to take the disorientated, disenfranchised and disappointed; add a universal yarn about the Good Ol’ Days and stir.

Let’s examine some backward reasoning about the past: “Back to basics,” you’ll…

The Contemplation Hour Podcast 2

One of my high school chums just started a podcast, and I was honored to be one of his first guests on The Contemplation Hour. In this episode Sean and I discussed my music, my band, In Autumn, my influences, my progression from religion to atheism, my philosophy, my activism, and my work for the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign.

You can download this episode straight from the site, and it will soon be available on itunes. Please make sure you follow the The Contemplation Hour Podcast and subscribe. Enjoy!



The Cold Swift Blow of Logic & The Shadow of Sensationalized Terror - Why We Should Not Live In Fear

My heart quickens to fear lately. The terror of radical Islam has felt a little too near after the massacre in Paris, but San Bernardino literally hit too close to home. It seems more frequent than ever. While driving home from a wonderful birthday celebration with friends, I was shocked when my wife received a message from her father that read that he was shopping at Tyler Mall in Riverside, and there was a mass shooting occurring, and everyone was in a state of panic. False alarm. It was just an armed robbery, but still, you can't blame anyone for feeling jumpy. In fact, a coworker of  mine told me that she was considering getting a gun, and I can't say that I blame her. But, should we really live in terror? This is a serious crisis, but do we truly need to worry?

No. When it comes to terrorism, the cold, swift blow of logic reveals to us that you are SIXTEEN times more likely to die from the flu. Furthermore, you are three times as likely to kill yourself than you are to die…

Consilience and Consensus - Or why climate skeptics are wrong | Michael Shermer | Scientific American

At some point in the history of all scientific theories, only a minority of scientists—or even just one—supported them, before evidence accumulated to the point of general acceptance. The Copernican model, germ theory, the vaccination principle, evolutionary theory, plate tectonics and the big bang theory were all once heretical ideas that became consensus science. How did this happen?

An answer may be found in what 19th-century philosopher of science William Whewell called a “consilience of inductions.” For a theory to be accepted, Whewell argued, it must be based on more than one induction—or a single generalization drawn from specific facts. It must have multiple inductions that converge on one another, independently but in conjunction. “Accordingly the cases in which inductions from classes of facts altogether different have thus jumped together,” he wrote in his 1840 book The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, “belong only to the best established theories which the history …