Sunday, May 29, 2011

How can we define truth?

When our experience of reality coincides with a belief, it seems unshakeably true: a fact. Generally accepted beliefs about the actuality of experience become fused into world reality. ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What is the truth?

To overcome life's obstacles and stresses, cure-all solutions like prayer, medicine, positive thinking, counselling, and trying again have been advocated by those we trust. ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What constitutes proof?

Seeing may be believing, but it isn't proof.

That's been scientifically demonstrated for medical treatments. In his blog "But it works for me," Adam Slagell makes the skeptical point that just because a treatment works for someone doesn't prove its efficacy.

We've all heard of the placebo effect; believing a cure will work often produces the result even without any medicinal content. Tragically, the same is true for the nocebo effect; ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Why do we believe?

In an episode* of "The Middle," the mom prays for the crosscountry team to end, and budget cuts do just that, but then guilt and her daughter's disappointment prompt her to pray to rescind her request, and her boss ends up sponsoring the team. I don't believe prayer affected either outcome, but other people's belief might differ.

For a skeptic like me ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.
*(Season 2, episode 4: "The Quarry" aired 10/13/2010)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What benefit comes from belief?

I never felt a need for God. In my darkest moments it never crossed my mind to either blame anyone's god or to ask some god-figure for help. Still, I have no qualms ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What if private life was suddenly public knowledge?

Imagine what would happen if your private conversations became public knowledge for your friends and family to read. Rene Gutteridge does in Listen, and small town life is transformed into an abyss of public agonies, both those revealed by online exposure and those created by the new knowledge.

Or imagine you suddenly had vivid dreams of what it was like to be a friend or family member. As Jillian Cantor weaves The Transformation of Things, nothing is as it seems – or is it?

To be true to our ideals in real life is often more difficult than ... READ MORE
 I wonder... what you think.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How can the world survive its faithful idealists?

Every faith and system of belief is a metaphor explaining the whole. Culture, climate, community, and commerce all play a part in what develops where. Every religion is a localized ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why are religious idealists antagonistic?

Religions of all faiths are grounded in time, their recorded ideals created during the development of morality back in the days when slavery, polygamy, and idols were a way of life. Yet today, fixed faith in the ancestral deity remains fundamental to every religious worldview. ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Want to read a novel book?

It would be great to have a novel discussion group to talk about a thought-stimulating book! Each of these books has a novel enough premise to hold your attention, and if you buy them at the links provided, you'll make an automatic donation to the 501(c)(3) SocioEnergetics Foundation, which sponsors this blog. ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How do politicians justify their choices?

In his eNewsletter (Volume 8, Issue 5) today, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander states, "...the Army Corps of Engineers says the [Mississippi] river will rise higher than it has since the flood of 1937."

And yet a couple paragraphs later, he brags, "I voted to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act...". ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's wrong with binLaden's death?

Newcasters report Osama bin Laden is dead, and their barely repressed smiles just look wrong.

News footage shows the President and senior officials jumping up in front of a TV, cheering as if a favorite team scored a point, and the impression of sporting victory just feels wrong. ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How can #fracking be stopped?

Petrofuels are not the energy of the future; they're the debris of dinosaurs, and we'll go the same way if we rely on that defunct power supply. Oil and gas may be immediately beneficial but their cost has a long tail. Fracking to extract tight petrofuels has even more consequences. ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.
See more details posted on 4/27/11 - 4/28/11 - 4/29/11 - 5/2/11

Monday, May 2, 2011

What does #fracking do to real people?

In rural central Pennsylvania, the picturesque beauty of family farms and forested mountainsides is rapidly being destroyed. My friend Sandy, a mid-state eyewitness, says over the past few years, energy companies have ... READ MORE
I wonder... what you think.
See more details posted on 4/27/11 - 4/28/11 - 4/29/11 - 5/3/11