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food-for-thoughtHow to Organize Your Mental Clutter

Excellent tips for sitting down and putting it all together. I like it because it isn’t wishy-washy and gives very specific instructions.

America the Illiterate

The gist:

There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book. 

This is sad and even scary. It reminds me of this speculative documentary I saw some time ago. But I have hope that things will change from now on. I think being smart is going to be cool again and not a faggy and pompous trait. Intellectual pursuits won’t be exclusive for the “elitists” anymore.

Does Religion Make You Nice

One reason why religion keeps being a powerful thing in peoples’ lives is the idea that without it, there wouldn’t be morality. There wouldn’t be a compass that would guide us through right from wrong. Thus atheism is dubbed amoral. But as any intelligent and reasonable human being would know: that is so far from the truth it isn’t even funny.

From the Slate article:

In his new book, Society Without God, Phil Zuckerman looks at the Danes and the Swedes—probably the most godless people on Earth. They don’t go to church or pray in the privacy of their own homes; they don’t believe in God or heaven or hell. But, by any reasonable standard, they’re nice to one another. They have a famously expansive welfare and health care service. They have a strong commitment to social equality. And—even without belief in a God looming over them—they murder and rape one another significantly less frequently than Americans do.

Denmark and Sweden aren’t exceptions. A 2005 study by Gregory Paul looking at 18 democracies found that the more atheist societies tended to have relatively low murder and suicide rates and relatively low incidence of abortion and teen pregnancy.

I’m sure and hopeful that one day, finally, Christianity and other big world religions, will be like Astrology and Greek mythology.

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