Jan. 31st, 2011

snugglekitty: (Default)
I have read a few articles recently that feel like they are relevant to my "skeptical about skepticism" post.

Here is one on changes in the placebo effect.

Here is one from [livejournal.com profile] mzrowan on the decline effect. which also led me to an article on why most published findings are false. (Fair warning, I found the second one harder to read and a little bit ranty.)

I also read this interesting article on atheists and what it would take to get them to change their positions.

The idea is that atheists are accused of being close-minded but that they feel that it is theists who are close-minded, eg, that we theists often openly admit that nothing would change our beliefs. The writer asked for theist responses, examples of things that would change their minds. When they did they were... kind of mocked and deconstructed, which I suppose makes sense (and some of the responses were in fact pretty silly).

I found this to be an interesting idea. I guess my perspective is that the atheistic position described here is based on logic, rationality. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't think those things are a big factor in most people's belief systems. I know they aren't in mine. I'm a pagan because it works for me and I would likely go on being a pagan even if I became an atheist as well. (There are pagan atheists and agnostics just like there are pagan buddhists and judeopagans.) I guess the only reason I can imagine leaving paganism would be if it no longer worked for me and I had good reason to think it would never work again. No longer being a source of support in my life, but rather a drain on my resources. Which has little to do with logic or proof, or even much of anything about the world outside of my head, and I feel pretty okay about that. From my perspective, that piece of writing has a good point but is pretty orthogonal to how I see my spirituality.
snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Land of the Burning Sands
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Series: Griffin Mage book 2
Genre: Fantasy with talking animals.
Setting: The edge of civilization and the desert.
Reason for Reading: My metamour got me into this series.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 441, plus an excerpt from book three
Copyright Date: 2010
Cover: A wing, a sand dune, some curlicues.
First line: "Gereint Enseichen sat on a narrow pallet in the lowest cellar of the Anteirden townhouse, waiting."
Best part: This book was both compelling and quite different from the previous installment.
Worst part: It was oddly jarring (though perhaps that was the intent?) to see the story from the perspective of another side.
Imaginary Theme Song: Taqasim.
Grade: B+
Recommended for: Fans of the series.
Related Reads: Lord of the Changing Winds by the same author.

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