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The Myth of the Good Guy With a Gun

  • The NRA is wrong: Owning a gun is far more likely to harm you than protect you.
  • Gun Ownership And Racist Attitudes Are Linked, Study Finds

Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes, Slate Magazine

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150123_MEDEX_GunMemorial.jpg.CROP.original-original.jpgCommunity activist Andrew Holmes comforts Audry Miller during a memorial service for her 11-year-old granddaughter, Shamiya Adams, on July 20, 2014, in Chicago. Adams was killed when a stray bullet flew through an open window and an interior wall and struck her in the head. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jan. 25 2015 | Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association issued a passionate call to arms last year, painting a bleak picture of a dystopian America on the brink of collapse:

"We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping-mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all."

Evan DeFilippis writes on public health and gun violence at the Atlantic, Huffington Post, Boston Review, and ArmedWithReason

Devin Hughes writes on gun control issues at ArmedWithReason.

Full story … 

Related:

Gun Ownership And Racist Attitudes Are Linked, Study Finds, Huffington Post

  • The researchers found that "for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home," as well as "a 28% increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns."
  • The US Gun Culture, December 16, 2014

Phil Plait / Suffering Fools / scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Ku'u Aloha for this contribution. 

Phil Plait / Suffering Fools / scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net

Bill Maher is right about religion

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  • The Orwellian ridiculousness of Jesus, and the truth about moral progress
  • "Most religions were pulled into the modern Enlightenment with their fingernails dug into the past"
  • Excerpted from "The Moral Arc" by Michael Shermer
  • Bill Maher on Charlie Hebdo attacks: “There are no great religions; they’re all stupid and dangerous.”

Michael Shermer, Salon

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MoralArc%20deep%20gray%20metallic.jpg?uuid=eplcgqGAEeSxRld4Mur8tASunday, Jan 18, 2015 | Most people believe that moral progress has primarily been due to the guiding light of religious teachings, the activities of spiritual leaders, and the power of faith-based initiatives. In “The Moral Arc” I argue that this is not the case, and that most moral progress is the result of science, reason, and secular values developed during the Enlightenment. Once moral progress in a particular area is underway, most religions eventually get on board—as in the abolition of slavery in the 19th century, women’s rights in the 20th century, and gay rights in the 21st century—but this often happens after a shamefully protracted lag time. Why?

The rules that were dreamt up and enshrined by the various religions over the millennia did not have as their goal the expansion of the moral sphere to include other sentient beings. Moses did not come down from the mountain with a detailed list of the ways in which the Israelites could make life better for the Moabites, the Edomites, the Midianites, or for any other tribe of people that happened not to be them. One justification for this constricted sphere can be found in the Old Testament injunction to “Love thy neighbor,” who at that time was one’s immediate kin and kind, which was admittedly an evolutionary stratagem appropriate for the time. It would be suicidal to love thy neighbor as thyself when thy neighbor would like nothing better than to exterminate you, which was often the case for the Bronze Age peoples of the Old Testament. What good would have come of the Israelites loving, for example, the Midianites as themselves? The results would have been catastrophic given that the Midianites were allied with the Moabites in their desire to see the Israelites wiped off the face of the earth.

Michael Shermer is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims.

Full story … 

Related:

Bill Maher on Charlie Hebdo attacks: “There are no great religions; they’re all stupid and dangerous.” Sarah Gray, Salon 

  • We must stop deferring to religion: Laughable absurdities must be laughed at.
  • The "Real Time" host appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and spoke about the attack in Paris.

Series | Considering the Problem of Race in America, Part 2: Lost in Rawlsland

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This is the second in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Charles Mills, the John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University and the author of several books, including the influential 1997 work “The Racial Contract.” — George Yancy

George Yancy and George Mills, the Stone / New York Times

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mills-img-articleInline.jpgCharles Mills

November 16, 2014 | George Yancy: You are a philosopher who thinks very deeply about issues of race. Can you provide a sense of your work?

Charles Mills: I think a simple way to sum it up would be as the transition from white Marxism to (what I have recently started calling) black radical liberalism.

G.Y.: So, how does “white” modify Marxism? And what is it about the modification that helps to account for the transition to what you’re now calling black radical liberalism?

The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless.

George Yancy is a professor of philosophy at Duquesne University. He has written, edited and co-edited numerous books, including “Black Bodies, White Gazes,” “Look, a White!” and “Pursuing Trayvon Martin,” co-edited with Janine Jones.

Full story … 

Related:

Part 1: What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means

This week’s conversation is with Naomi Zack, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon and the author of “The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality After the History of Philosophy.”

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