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Category: Communication

Conspiracy Theories, Writing and Logic 103

Conspiracy Theories, Writing and Logic 103

In editing a piece of promotional work for someone one morning, I was reminded again of the many similarities between writers, who tell fantastic stories for a living and have no intention that they be taken as fact, and conspiracy theorists, who tell fantastic stories for a variety of reasons with every intention that they be taken as fact. In Truther circles, as in plotting a story, the narratives often become increasingly elaborate as they expand. Take Jade Helm, for…

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Conspiracy Theories, Writing & Logic 102

Conspiracy Theories, Writing & Logic 102

I commented in an earlier post that I have observed similar thought patterns and behaviors in some inexperienced writers and conspiracy theorists (or truthers, as they are often called). In my first article on the subject, I explored some of the common elements in the narratives spun by truthers—specifically Sandy Hook truthers—and inexperienced writers I’ve worked with over the years in different contexts. Some of those elements include: The importance of time. For example, that video cannot be taken of…

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On Every Page: Bill Maher and the Qur’an

On Every Page: Bill Maher and the Qur’an

  I read an article on Thinkprogress.com recently that asked the question “Has Bill Maher Finally Gone Too Far?” with regard to his animosity toward Muslims and Islam. I personally think the answer must be “yes”, if for no other reason than that he is taking significant heat from other self-identifying liberals, progressives and atheists. In the article, Maher is quoted as saying, “The Qur’an absolutely has on every page stuff that’s horrible about how the infidels should be treated.” I’ll cut…

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My Friend Mycroft, Part Three: Mycroft on Religion

My Friend Mycroft, Part Three: Mycroft on Religion

Having discussed the role of science in the life of humanity, my atheist forum friend Mycroft turned to the subject of religion. The points of view were thus: Mycroft=science is a savior; Me=science is a tool for the exploration of reality Mycroft wrote: “The major organized belief systems are incoherent. Half of mosaic, christian, and muslim theology over the last millennia is devoted to the task of belatedly producing some kind of consistency—often by declaring something impossible a “mystery”, or adding afterthoughts.”…

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Part 7 of Religion – The Most Harmful Agency on the Planet?

Part 7 of Religion – The Most Harmful Agency on the Planet?

Bad Religion: When The End Justifies Any Means   For most of us, authentic religion focuses on the transcendent.  True religion links loving, kind and compassionate relationships with others on this plane of existence to the growth of the soul and an eternal life in the next. But some people — especially those who focus fanatically on a single component of their belief system – discard loving, kind and compassionate relationships in favor of an expectation; some hoped-for “sacred” outcome…

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Independent Investigation 2—Colorful Word Art

Independent Investigation 2—Colorful Word Art

As a writer of fiction, my job—according to colleague and wise-woman Ursula LeGuin—is to put into words what cannot be put into words. Tall order. The tools with which I am supposed to do this are words. Words arranged in such a way that I can convey to my reader what my characters are sensing, feeling, thinking and doing. I need to be able to subtly and not-so-subtly manipulate the reader’s thoughts and feelings to get the action, atmosphere and…

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Science Wins! (Rerun!)

Science Wins! (Rerun!)

My apologies for posting a rerun. I hope to have new blogs soon. I’m about a month out from knee surgery and the time I’m not spending doing physical therapy, icing down my leg and taking care of family necessities, I must write and edit to make a living. A thousand pardons, and I will try to answer any comments … eventually. 🙂 “Science Wins!” This was the headline on a another blog site I frequent. It was in reference…

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The Scientific Spirit #3: Russell on Unity and Plurality

The Scientific Spirit #3: Russell on Unity and Plurality

One of the most convincing aspects of the mystic illumination is the apparent revelation of the oneness of all things, giving rise to pantheism in religion and to monism in philosophy. — Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays, “Unity and Plurality” Thus Bertrand Russell begins a chapter on Unity and Plurality in which he explores the metaphysical or mystical concept of “oneness”. The words “unity” and “oneness” are much-used in both religion (or mysticism) and philosophy, but are also prominent…

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The Human Face of Ballistics

The Human Face of Ballistics

Today’s blog is a departure in a number of ways. First, though it has to do with faith and reason, it is not a matter of science—unless one considers the science of ballistics or perhaps the divine science of building union between human beings. Second, it is not part of the series I started last week. I apologize for the interruption, but since the subject of this blog woke me up early on a morning after a West Wing marathon (important…

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Intelligence Squared 8: Stirring the Particles

Intelligence Squared 8: Stirring the Particles

This is the last installment of my exploration of the Intelligence Squared debate between four stars in the firmament of science and commentary (scientists Ian Hutchinson and Lawrence Krauss and writers Dinesh D’Souza and Michael Shermer). I’d like to close by taking a look at one of the central ideas that was addressed (though unsatisfactorily, in my opinion) during the debate: the nature of God. Shermer: If God is supernatural, that is, outside of the space and time, there’s no…

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