Atheist Monument: Proof of Unintelligent Design

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The right to erect a monument, for any cause, is an opportunity. It’s a chance to lend dignity and consequence to a public space. A monument is also an aesthetic opportunity. It doesn’t have to be beautiful, but a successful monument makes it hard to imagine its setting without it. The American Atheists monument fails on both counts.

 

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What Makes a Human Bomb Tick?

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Western experts, looking for a comprehensible narrative, mistake consistency for fact. The misconceptions are further compounded by how difficult it is to identify a potential suicide—even mental health professionals can get it wrong—and how easy it is to conflate suicide terrorists with regular terrorists, the vast majority of whom don’t strap on bombs, preferring to stay alive and fight.

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Death Without Religion

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Many (obviously) look to religion for answers. Not me. Even if I consider myself somewhat religious, I have a hard time accepting the life-after-death claims of my own religion, Judaism. The dilemma is not uncommon: Although 80-90% of Americans believe in God, some 25-50% do not believe in life after death (the numbers depend on the study). So when considering death, many of us turn to less spiritual pursuits. Two recent books attempt exactly that: to explore the nature and meaning of death without religious filters. Shelly Kagan’s Death uses philosophy to define mortality and how best to live with the knowledge of it; Dick Teresi’s The Undead explores how science and technology is changing how we define death—and not for the better.

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The Redemptive Power of Jewish Self-Hatred

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“Jewish self-hatred” is an epithet that Jews fling at other Jews—for not being religious enough, or for daring to criticize Israel. As Paul Reitter puts it in his book, On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred, the term is an “an instrument of censure,” a “smear.” Reitter’s title is slightly misleading—the book doesn’t explain why some Jews hate themselves. Instead he explains the origin of the term. Reitter argues that many historians have wrongly assumed that the term has always been censorious, but careful study reveals that Jewish self-hatred was first put forward for a salutary, even messianic purpose.

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