TIME magazine has a great writeup on how Americans perceive God: Authoritarian, Benevolent, Critical, and Distant. The Authoritarians were the most likely to believe abortion is always wrong, but least likely to believe that the government should do more to protect the environment. Interesting stuff.
Here’s a scary story from Newsweek about advertising and the brain.
For example, our brains tend to register frequently heard facts as true, even if they are patently false. As a result, our memories and beliefs are highly malleable and unreliable.
And since proselytizing is really just advertising, it’s no wonder it can be so effective.
Wired magazine published a great article on the almost-evangelical athiests, Battle of the New Atheism, asking whether they are a good thing for the atheist/agnostic/freethinker cause. The militant atheists can be quite off-putting, and it’s nice to see this topic get some light outside of the typical religious and philosophical resources.
Also, Reason Magazine has some nice commentary and discussion of the article.
Sam Harris has a new essay up on what should we rely upon to make good decisions about doing the right thing. And he closes with this bit of wisdom:
Wherever the issue of “moral values” surfaces in our national conversation in the coming weeks, ask yourself which approach to morality is operating. Are we talking about how to best alleviate human suffering? Or are we talking about the whims of an invisible God?
Head over to the link listed above, as he actually makes some very good points about how we decide right and wrong.
The Guardian reports that:
A missing notebook clutched by a Shropshire lad who circumnavigated the globe, returned to Britain, and demolished the Victorian hubris that humans stood alone as the pinnacle of creation, is published for the first time today.
The notebook, along with all of Darwin’s works, are now available free for online browsing and free download, including other notebooks, diaries, and previously unpublished manuscripts.