January 20, 2007

Around the Web

  • Apparently ethics books are the most stolen philosophy books. Why is this revelation creating severe cognitive dissonance in my brain?

  • Esquire asks, would a human clone have a soul? Okay, my cognitive dissonance has been replaced by sharp stabbing pains near my forehead.

  • Carleton University biologist Jeff Dawson is breeding a colony of 6,000 African migrating locusts in the basement beneath his lab. This guy should probably get together with the guy who is infecting macaque monkeys with the 1918 influenza virus. Oh, those wacky researchers -- what incredibly dangerous and irresponsible ideas will they think of next.

  • A recent study shows that most shootings and stabbings are accidental. Researchers can be so naive.

  • Notable quote from Peter Singer: "Forcing medical treatment on such a patient who does not want it is tantamount to assault. We may think that the patient is making the wrong decision, but we should respect his or her right to make it."

  • Read about the history of vegetarianism and its intellectual forebearers -- 'intellectual' being the key word here.

  • Daniel Dennett on the perils of overconfidence on 'listening to God.'

  • Steven Weinberg makes a great memetic observation: persistence of belief in a particular religion is aided if that religion teaches that God punishes disbelief.

  • Far-right provocateur Dinesh D'Souza says feminism and 'Will & Grace' caused 9/11. Oh, jeez.

  • CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere much faster than expected, raising fears that runaway global warming is in effect.

  • China will have 30 million more men of marriageable age than women by 2020. Yes, but how many of those 30 million men will be gay?

  • 'Creepy' paintings at the Ottawa Heart Institute were meant to brighten the lives of patients, but they seem to have caused alarm rather than solace. They've since been removed.
  • 5 comments:

    Giuseppe Regalzi said...

    "China will have 30 million more men of marriageable age than women by 2020. Yes, but how many of those 30 million men will be gay?"

    Yes, but how many of those women will be gay, too?

    George said...

    Damn, and there I thought I had found the answer to all of China's demographic problems.

    Gary said...

    Or rather, how many of those women will be promiscuous?

    I'm wondering how the surplus of men will affect a society that is becoming more affluent and metropolitan. Much like the modern United States, people may become "serial monogamists", going from one marriage/pairing to another.

    Pro-religion atheist said...

    Maybe the ethics book news is causing cognitive dissonance because you have trusted the very kind of "rational" or "Englightenment" ethics that these books put forward. But individuals humans are no more capable of behaving ethically based on our own reason than organisms are capable of growing without a genetic code.

    For real ethical behavior we need highly evolved morality -- namely, religion. But you are invested in the opposite view -- that ethics is something individuals can reason out on their own largely from scratch. Thus the cognitive dissonance when you see (a relatively quite minor but blatant) example of what this leads to.

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