About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
* A proposal in the Nebraska legislature to ban abortions after 20 weeks -- that is when the fetus can feel pain, lawmakers charge -- has solid support, according to a local paper. If it passes, expect it to be challenged.
* Sticking to the issue of abortion, here's a piece about the supposed "personhood" movement that is trying to stretch the legal definition of "person" so that abortion would be illegal. I don't expect it to gain much ground, but hey, these people do exist.
* I got to spend an evening (no, not a date) with the up-and-coming conservative atheist S.E. Cupp, who happens to just love religion. Read about that here.
* If male martyrs can expect 72 virgins in paradise when they die (they can? can they?), what rewards can female suicide bombers expect? If you were wondering ...
* Chris Mooney argues that secularists need to court religious moderates. What say you?
* The latest scandal in the Catholic Church has dropped Pope Benedict XVI's approval rating in the U.S. to 40 percent. Which is a shame, because all this news reporting on the pedophilia cover-up is just "petty gossip," of course.
* Belgium is the latest country moving to ban the burqa in public.
* Apparently Deepak Chopra thinks he can cause earthquakes. Right.
* Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is expected to step down soon. Who is Obama considering as his replacement?
* And though it isn't newsworthy, I recently re-discovered one of my favorite grad school assignments: E.H. Carr's book "What is History." An excerpt, called "The Historian and His Facts," can be found here.