Why Are “Purity Balls” So Very Wrong?

  As children grow, parents probably want to instil confidence, love and creativity in their kids, tell them they are great children, that they can achieve anything if they apply themselves, and set them free to take on the world, as confident, well-rounded and realistic children, once they reach a certain age. Children should be taught the wonders of the universe, the beauty of nature, the frailty of life, and be allowed the ability to...

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Revisiting the UDHR – Human Rights and Well-Being

  It was pointed out to me this weekend, albeit rather dismissively, that an earlier piece I wrote titled “Quantified Morality – Seeking Well-Being for All” neither delivered anything about ways to quantify well-being, nor did I understand what a human right was. I was rather miffed by this comment, but it did raise some questions in me about the nature of a “right”, how it is perceived, and what importance rights...

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Easter – The Ultimate Vanity

  I know that there will be plenty of people writing blogs about Easter, its stolen (adapted) stories, its co-opted symbology, its dubious efficacy, and its variable date according to the phases of the moon. It happens every year, and as with Christmas, the points about how Christianity absorbed pagan rituals and mythology into its own religion so as to appease the people of the time, forever adding new appendages to the story and making...

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The Human-Made World

  *Crunch* The humble apple, something that we in developed nations take for granted, has a long and interesting history, and one that you are probably not aware of. The apple we see today comes in many varieties, from Red Delicious, to Granny Smith, to Gala and Fuji, but they all stem from a single plant which we have changed and customised to our palette’s desires over centuries. There are subtle variations in colour, flavour,...

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Imaginary Friends Show #177

Jake Farr-Wharton hosts Miranda C Hale (@MirandaCHale), and Ross Balch (@Skep_challenged) and I as we join new imaginary friends Psychic Vera and Deepak Chonopra to discuss life, the universe and everything. This was hilarious fun. Download mp3 here. The ImaginaryFriendsShow.com Podcast is part of the Secular Programming Family of secular podcasts, find out more at http://SecularProgramming.org Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes...

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On “Leaving The Tribe” – Rethinking my Slate Article

  It’s been nearly 6 months since I first wrote my article for Slate, which they titled in their editorial wisdom “Leaving the Tribe – Why I’m no longer part of the online atheism community.” From my perspective, it was a poorly though out decision to publish this article, for several reasons. First and foremost was my underestimation of just how badly it would be received by the readers at Slate. The most common...

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