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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Shermer’

TED Tuesday: Ideas worth spreading for the week of 6/29

June 29th, 2010 Comments off

A while back when I was a little more gung ho about updating, I posted Michael Shermer’s last TED lecture on strange beliefs.  This time, we’ve got a bit more from the editor of Skeptic Magazine as he discusses the patterns behind self deception.  Filmed at TED2010 in February 2010, Long Beach, CA.

Shermer’s works irks some new atheists in that he accepts the reality of and makes an effort to understand of religious beliefs (being squarely in the skeptic/agnostic column).  I’m not sure I jive with the criticisms, as I feel Shermer’s supposed ambivalence as permitting him the characteristic of empathy.  He tries to not only learn, but also understand why people believe what they experience.

Click through to read more. Read more…

TED Tuesday: Ideas worth spreading for the week of 4/6

April 6th, 2010 Comments off

A new feature I’m going to hopefully get going on the site is linking a couple of lectures from TED that I find worthwhile watching.  First up is going to be a few pieces on Science, Free-thinking and Religion.

The subject was  sparked for me by tuning in to a TED talk by Sam Harris two weeks ago on morality and religion, or rather taking morality from our understanding of science, instead of religion.  Filmed at TED2010 in February 2010, Long Beach, CA.

I will admit that I’m not 100 percent on board with Harris’s talk.  I think that the idea of scientific forces driving moral behavior has some validity, but it’s far from a universal truth.  On the converse side, one can also equally argue that religion has been at the forefront of both acts of kindness and true villainy.  Where Harris does hit home, however, is in the idea that science can guide what is good — or rather the affirmative answer to the question posed by Harris: can a fact about how reality is provide an idea of how something should be.  Harris will lose some fans in that he is elitist and somewhat dismissive of the more religious of the red states.

In any respect, Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer and Julia Sweeney, after the jump. Read more…