Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Secret to Passing a Bill in the Senate...

Is apparently to have it be a regulation to stop something so annoying that even Republicans hate it.  I of course am talking about the fact that the volume of commercials is higher than the volume of the TV show you are watching.   This alone it seems is offensive enough that even the free market republicans felt they could vote for it...welcome to America in the 21st Century.

The Problem with Libertarianism

I personally have a fair amount of respect for libertarians.  True libertarians, like Ron Paul, tend to stand for some clearly identifiable and understandable positions and even to a large extent stay true to those principals.  The only problem is that libertarianism is based on a terrible faulty assumption.  Just as its ideological counterpart, communism, assumes that all of us are selfless noble creatures that will gladly reduce our own well being for the well being of other, libertarianism assumes that everyone is an all knowing individualist.  They cling to the ideal espoused by the objectivists (Ayn Rand, etc) that everyone is out only for themselves and that if everyone behaved in accordance with their "enlightened self interest" everything would be hunky dory.  We are neither entirely individualistic nor are we entirely community driven; rather these two forces constantly coutner ballance one another in our societies, and any political ideology that ignores one for the other is just as delusional as the other.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Do Atheists Know More About Religion then the Religious?

So as some of you may have heard, The Pew Forum on Relgion & Public Life recently released the results of a survey that found that Atheists know more about religion then believers.  Now some people may have found this rather surprising...and I am not one of those people.

So why are Atheists so knowledgeable about religion?  Well, for starters how people become Atheists partially explains this.  Unlike believers, Atheists are generally not indoctrinated from childhood; rather they come to their Atheism gradually over years and years of self exploration and questioning.  Part of this exploration involves learning about all the different religions out there and realizing how ridiculous some of their claims are.  Then add onto that fact that Atheists tend to be people who value intellectualism and learning and it makes perfect sense.  When you take a subset of the population that represents, almost in it's entirety, people who are highly educated and who tend to have a questioning mind that is always seeking to learn more you are invariably going see results like this recent survey.

Now if only this survey would silence all those people who are convinced that Atheists are only Atheists because they don't know anything about the "virtues" of faith...yeah I'm not holding my breath either.