Here’s a question you may or may not have ever considered, depending primarily on whether you have children or are around children very often:
Why do we teach babies to make animal sounds as some of their first “words?”
My wife and I, and we’ve noticed, all of our friends with toddlers, spend a lot of […]
As reports trickled out of northern Iraq last week about the living hell that ISIS had brought to earth for hundreds of thousands of Christians and Yazidis, one detail kept coming up in the stories that haunted my social media feeds: They’re beheading children.
If it was true, it was a damning detail worthy of […]
What is responsible for the rise of atheism in history? According to Nick Spencer the answer lies in politics, not science. And it’s politics, he thinks, that explains why only 2% of American report being atheists, and why those atheists continue to be regarded more negatively than religious believers.
Spencer’s general argument rests on […]
How do we recognize the hand of providence? All historians have to confront this question in some form. Considered in literary terms providence is a trope, one emplotment of structured explanation amongst many. In the attempt to understand and explain the past historians offer scholarly stories in which evidence is intentionally collected, critically evaluated, and […]
Has triumphalism been defeated? That’s a purposefully ambiguous and potentially self-contradictory question. It may be safe to say that it has been seriously challenged, but you don’t have to listen to the news very long before you hear narratives of political, cultural, or religious triumph aired from New Delhi to New York.
In his magnum […]
Since Sources of the Self Charles Taylor has contended that ours is a fractured world. The world in question is that of the North Atlantic, including Europe and North America. The world in question is also a worldview in that Taylor has examined what he takes to be the trajectory of the moral and mental […]
The first song I learned by heart was Harry Chapin’s “Mr. Tanner,” (embedded below) a crushingly sad tune about a laundromat owner from Dayton, Ohio, who loves to sing. Here’s the first verse:
“Mr. Tanner was a cleaner from a town in the Midwest
And of all the cleaning shops around, he’d made his the best
William James wrote things that can still ring true. Consider a quote from the The Varieties of Religious Experience: “This inferiority of the rationalistic level in founding belief is just as manifest when rationalism argues for religion as when it argues against it.” I say “ring true” because James attempts to describe the varieties of […]
Here’s a fun Friday thought exercise. What are the pro’s and con’s of Twitter implementing a Pay-Per-Tweet system. And just to be clear, I haven’t heard speak of such a thing, I’m just imagining.
Brief background: this morning I composed a tweet in which I mused that I wished my Twitter followers had a way […]
My brother-in-law pointed out this article over at Slate wherein staff writer Jamelle Bouie interprets data from a recent MTV-sponsored poll (yes, really) on Millennials’ attitudes toward race and bias. Here’s Bouie’s summary of the findings:
Overall, MTV confirms the general view of millennials: Compared with previous generations, they’re more tolerant and diverse and […]
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