July 2014

Theological Correctness Part I: The Question

I grew up as a boy going to the Christian Reformed Church, in which every Sunday we would recite the Apostle’s creed. It starts: “I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth.” There are two things to note here. First, the creed mentions the psychological state of “belief.” Second, the belief is supposed to be in a being that is almighty, or omnipotent.I wrote last time on whether cognitive science of religion impacts whether one should believe in God. Today I’d like to discuss a finding that raises a different but related question.

Read more

Privacy and The New Surveillance Society

We all got a rude awakening when Edward Snowden exposed the NSA’s spying on our emails, phone calls, and the like. A lot of people felt their right to privacy had been violated, and Snowden was a whistleblower who should be honored. Others felt Snowden was a traitor, revealing secrets about the capacities NSA has developed to keep America safe. If you don’t like it, move to Russia... like he did.

Read more

Tainted by the Sins of Our Fathers?

This week, we’re discussing moral taint and collective responsibility. We’re asking the question, “Can we be tainted by the sins of our Fathers?” You might think that the answer is that we certainly can. Adam and Eve ate that darned apple and tainted all humankind with Original Sin. Now I know that that’s the biblical theory… but, frankly, I don’t get it. I have never gotten it. They ate the apple. Not us. Why would a loving God hold us – their descendants – responsible for what they did? What kind of divine justice is that??

Read more