Archive for May 2011

Multi-Gender Bathroom

Gendered Jargon

Society · · Leave a comment

Language changes as culture changes. That is supremely evident from any cursory historical analysis. And as feminism rose and made its impact on Western culture, language changed to reflect that influence. One only needs to read books from a hundred years ago to see the change. Where once humanity was referred to as “mankind”, and where it was acceptable to refer to doctors as “he” and secretaries as “she”, now gender-inclusive language is encouraged and used. Now mailmen are postal workers, stewardesses are airline attendants, and policemen are police officers. I view this as a positive change that better reflects the diversity of the culture in which we live.Continue Reading

The Null Hypothesis

Religion, Science · · 12 comments

One of the most accurate ways to describe my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) is by way of a concept known as the “null hypothesis”. Like most atheists, I do not claim that I know God does not exist. I merely claim that there is not enough evidence to justify belief in God. And the best way to illustrate this claim is through the null hypothesis. This is a statistical concept that is used for hypothesis testing in science. Because statistics is not a strong point for many people, I will try to explain it using a minimum of stats jargon; however, some will be required, and I will try to explain what each term means the best that I can. I really feel that this is an important concept to understand when one is trying to assess evidence claims (which happens to us all the time). So hang on for the ride!Continue Reading

Helpless

The Divine Debasement

Religion, in all its diversity, has a vast range of effects on people. For some, the interaction between religion and the individual is very positive. Religious beliefs bring them hope, peace, and a stable optimism that helps them to become caring and compassionate people. There are many ways to explain this, of course. It may be that these people are just kind people, and would be so with or without religion. Or, it may be that religion creates this kindness and stability within them. What is most likely, though, is that it is a combination of both: These people are naturally predisposed to being kind people, and religion both encourages this and provides ways to manifest these positive qualities. If this is the case, religion can have very positive effects for these people.Continue Reading