Shine's Blog (14)

Hi, I'm a cherry-picker.

Warning: the following is a giant rant about Christians in a community college philosophy class in central Texas. If you are not in the mood to be mired in a massive pile of negativity, you may want to click your browser's back button.



I just got back from Ethics class, where the question of the day was, "Should same-sex marriage be allowed?" I wrote… Continue

Added by Shine on March 4, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

The Death Penalty: A Case for Abolition

The death penalty is a brutal hangover from primitive legal systems and has no place in modern society. The United States stands alone among the world’s democracies in its use of capital punishment. This form of punishment has no place in a nation founded upon reason, justice, and liberty. Reason dictates that the death penalty can only further incite violence in this culture as legal authority condones retributive killing. Justice sees nothing valuable in a punishment… Continue

Added by Shine on March 1, 2010 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Is abortion murder?

Before answering this question, it is imperative to truly define murder. To me, “murder” is an intentional, malicious act which serves to terminate the biological functioning of an innocent individual. Of course, this definition then begs the question of what exactly constitutes an individual. Surely plants are not considered individuals, yet a coma patient is. I think that the easiest way to define an “individual person” is both the possession of an advanced central nervous system… Continue

Added by Shine on February 18, 2010 at 3:31pm — No Comments

Sam Harris: The Web is among world's most 'destructive' technologies

From CNN SciTech Blog

In the face of constant news about how the Internet connects people and empowers them, Sam Harris provided an interesting and contrarian perspective here at the brainy TED Conference in Long Beach, California.

The eternal skeptic and…

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Added by Shine on February 12, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Concession



I really hate to admit when I am wrong, especially about ideas that I have cherished or lines of reasoning that I have ardently defended. Perhaps it just feels like such a waste of mental effort and time to intellectually retrace my steps, yet I find this to be a necessary move as I am hopelessly entangled in convoluted thinking. In particular, my mind has been coddled by a romantic notion of epistemology as I touted an ethereal stance of agnosticism. Now, I face recanting all of… Continue

Added by Shine on February 6, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

'Skeptics' article stirs up condemnation from skeptics, praise from holistic thinkers

















Oh wow, this is two days in a row that my inbox has had a treat waiting for me! Mike Adams, author of yesterday's comedic gem from the webzine Natural News, has just penned a biting retort to the resultant fury of those pesky skeptics.



As to my criticism yesterday regarding Adams' utter disregard for providing hyperlinks to support his statements, he seems to have amended this journalistic oversight as this new article… Continue

Added by Shine on January 25, 2010 at 7:30am — No Comments

What 'skeptics' really believe about vaccines, medicine, consciousness and the universe

I am on the mailing list of many, err, "interesting" websites; the crazier the site, the more likely that I am to sign up for email updates. How could anyone turn down a daily dose of hilarity delivered right to their inbox? This morning, I discovered a comedic gem lurking in my unread mail.



Why do I find today's offering to be particularly funny? Because it is an article lambasting the supposed views of some ambiguous group of skeptics with no citations, references, or… Continue

Added by Shine on January 24, 2010 at 9:30am — No Comments

Coffee Talk in a Republican Breakroom

First, I should mention that I am not a very political person; I am not posting this to promote or chastise either major political party. (I just don't have enough time to research and investigate current affairs to my own satisfaction; I never feel informed enough to take a decided stance on most policy matters.) Anyways, this amused me the other day.









The scene: three women conversing over cups of coffee in the office break room. (I have changed the names… Continue

Added by Shine on December 17, 2009 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Happy Vennsday!

Ok, terrible pun. But I was brainstorming for an essay that I am writing and came up with this, and it just happened to be Wednesday, and I just happened to find terrible puns completely irresistible... Anyways, does it seem logically sound? Any of the terminology inappropriate?

Added by Shine on December 16, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Homophobia

I really cannot understand it. Every day here in Texangelical Hell, I am surrounded by a constant and persistent undercurrent of homophobia. Often the gay-bashing is quite blatant as derogatory slurs and obscene references are casually tossed into conversation; these comments are usually fueled by a touted “disgust” for homosexual practices. This is irritating, but largely dismissive as I find that it only brands the speaker as childish and incapable of rational adult… Continue

Added by Shine on December 5, 2009 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Magical Onions

Today, I received a lengthy forwarded email touting the amazing medicinal properties of the presence of onions. No, not an examination of the vitamin and mineral profile of the tear-jerking vegetable, but a fantastical telling of the curative function of onion slices placed near a sick person. (It would have been entirely appropriate for the email to have commenced with “Once upon a time…”) The purpose of the email, as far as I could gather, was to aid the reader in combatting this… Continue

Added by Shine on November 4, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Car Wash

Normally, I wash my car on Saturday mornings when I venture out for quarters. As I rely on the laundry room at my apartment complex , I blow through a pile of coins every weekend to rid my clothes of the week’s grime. The closest change machine happens to be at a self-serve car wash a few blocks away. With just a few minutes and six quarters, I gain a bright shiny black car.





However, I am anticipating a Saturday too busy to include leisurely domestic duties. The dirty… Continue

Added by Shine on October 30, 2009 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Social Incentives of Sin

Discover magazine just published an excellent article about brain activity and the seven deadly sins. Using MRIs and other scans, neuroscientists observed the “biology behind bad intentions.” Subjects were placed in situations designed to elicit feelings of lust, hunger, envy, and other… Continue

Added by Shine on October 16, 2009 at 12:08am — No Comments

Movie Discussion: The Invention of Lying (Spoiler Alert)

I braved a torrential Texas downpour on Saturday night to see this movie. Fortunately, it was well worth the drenched clothing and sodden sneakers.



This movie is brilliant in its dual criticism of both blind faith and strict realism. While the satire of religious belief is rather blatant, the film employs a subtler condemnation toward strict adherence to a singular reality. Prior to Mark telling the first lie, the world was completely… Continue

Added by Shine on October 5, 2009 at 11:21pm — No Comments

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