Tuesday, September 15, 2009

HOT5 Dailiy 9/15/2009

1. "What’s the Point of Demonstrating?" Someone at least as cynical as I am.

Representative Sample: I stopped participating in public demonstrations, not because I thought the government no longer deserved protest and petition for redress of grievances, but because I lost all faith in the efficacy of the demonstrations. I was gaining a sounder appreciation of how the state operates, and as my understanding deepened, I found myself unable to suppose that the people who constitute the state have any interest in doing what might loosely be called “the right thing.”

2. "Are There Ethics in the Hebrew Bible?" Is Western culture actually based on "biblical values"?

Representative Sample: this is what much of the biblical “ethics” are -- rules that are imposed and expected to be obeyed. They are good rules because they are divine rules—and gods are good, or at least the god in the Bible. But ethics is about doing what is good because it is intrinsically good.

3. "How Obama’s election has NOT helped “race relations”" Generally using the race card in an attempt to silence criticism isn't great for race relations.

Representative Sample: Many of us predicted it would happen way before he was elected President: Barack Obama has not helped race relations. Before he was elected, scrutiny of him by opponents was treated as “racist” in nature. And not just from conservative opponents.

4. "400,000" Putting criminals in jail lowers the crime rate. Amazing, huh? Links to an interesting article on crime & punishment.

Representative Sample: if it sent people to prison for the same reasons and for the same length of time as in Spain – its prison population would be not 80,000 but 400,000. Not coincidentally, Spain is a country whose crime rate is – yes, about one fifth of Britain’s.

5. "How Atheists View Religion" An interesting analysis.

Representative Sample:  From an atheist perspective, though, whether or not religious belief once served a useful purpose, its time is now past. Our contention is that continued slavish devotion to the superstitions of our ancestors is actively harmful to human civilization

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at unrright@NOSPAMgmail.com. Put HOT5 in the subject.

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