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Death: Acceptance or Avoidance?

autumn bench emptyIt’s the first day of autumn, a picture-perfect fall day, and I’m sitting here on my porch contemplating this essay on death. Perhaps it seems a bit macabre on such a lovely day, but it shouldn’t be. All the better to reflect on death in some of life’s finest moments than at its worst.

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How We Know What is True

http://i.imgur.com/IOOcrqh.jpgAs opposed to religions, which are founded on unsubstantiated if not outright debunked ideas, Secular Humanism is a philosophy of life founded on skepticism, empiricism, and reason. As a result, we not only have the capacity to better understand what is likely to be true, but we can also discern what is probably false, including supernaturalism.

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Mental Illness: Stigma, Silence, Suicide -- or Support?

Omental illness caring handsn a recent August morning I was awakened to the terrible news of Robin Williams’ demise. The sadness of this loss and his death by suicide hung over me like a shadow for days. Of course I didn’t know him personally, nor was I an especially avid fan. But over the years my life had been touched by this comedian and actor who made me both laugh and cry, and more importantly, helped me reflect on and better understand the complexity of our humanity. His portrayal of a passionate and caring English teacher in “Dead Poets Society” is a performance I will never forget. Now Williams’ own death has reminded me once again of the fragility of life and the heavy weight of mental illness that some people carry.

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The Problem with Magical Thinking

http://static.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/MjAxMi1lZGU5YmM0NzUwM2M0Yjlm.pngMagical thinking can be defined as "believing that one event happens as a result of another without a plausible link of causation."[1] This sort of cognition has led to beliefs in gods, spirits, luck, "alternative" medicines and therapies, magic, psychic powers, astrological signs, the power of prayer, etc. While magical thinking can produce some psychological benefits, there are simply too many dangers and downsides which make it harmful to society.

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The Problem with Liberal Religion

"Religion has not civilized man--man has civilized religion. God improves as man advances." -Robert IngersollAs I define it, liberal religion is the adherence to religious traditions and beliefs that do not outright contradict modern secular ethics or science. Often, Secular Humanists and liberal theists agree on a lot of topics. For example, many liberal theists accept evolution, global warming, gay rights, women's rights, sexual freedom, and cultural tolerance. In the end, the world would be a much better place if fundamentalist theists embraced liberal religion. Despite this, however, liberal religion still creates many problems which harm society.

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