Why I Secretly Root for the Atheists in Debates

Shortly after my book The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible came out, I was asked to fly to Ireland to participate in a debate on the existence of God at University College Cork. I had been doing radio interviews for my book and was very comfortable discussing some of the sillier arguments atheists use […]

Atheist Debates
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Today’s Golden Age of Philosophy

Few people know this, but our age is an amazing time for people who love philosophy. When I was in college 30 years ago, philosophy was strictly an academic exercise and there were few resources available for people, like me, who view philosophy more as a way of life or avocation than as a job. […]

golden age of philosophy
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Crunching the Obamacare Numbers: A Lot More Money for A Lot Less Care

Ready or not, Obamacare is finally here. Polls show that most Americans remain highly skeptical of the law’s benefits. According to a new CNN/ORC International survey released October 1, less than one in five Americans say their families will be better off under the new health care law. Nevertheless, the controversial law’s passionate defenders insist […]

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Atheists Take Credit for Science When They Had Nothing to Do with It

So if, as Albert Einstein insisted, Biblical religion was the necessary intellectual precondition for the gradual development of scientific method, how did the myth of the “scientific revolution” come about? One reason: For the past 400 years, the partisans of irreligion-from the Marquis de Sade to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins-have deliberately misrepresented the way […]

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My First Decade of Aikido

My knees are a bloody mess. It’s been a while since I did suwari-waza, the strange practice in traditional Aikido dojos of doing techniques, samurai-style, on your knees. Last week, the sensei spent almost the entire class doing suwari-waza and, when I stood up, the skin on my knees was entirely rubbed off. Ouch! And […]

Author Robert Hutchinson, longtime student of Aikido
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Finding a Balance Between Work and Leisure

I’ve been fortunate, over the years, because I have discovered a number of gurus who have cautioned me about indulging a monomaniacal commitment to work at all costs – especially when it involves a neglect of what really matters in life, such as anniversaries, soccer games and swim meets, school plays, sex in the afternoon, […]

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Why Parents Drag Their Kids to Church, Temple or Their Zen Sitting Group

Here’s what sucks about life: You wake up in your crib, confused and more than a little dazed, and then spend the next 20 or 30 years trying to figure out what to do with yourself. You mostly do what you’re told. You learn how to read, play sports, try to attract members of the […]

why parents drag their kids to church or synagogue
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How Chaos Theory Refutes the Blind Watchmaker of Richard Dawkins

I would like to briefly examine the claim, made by advocates of Neo-Darwinism and others, that advances in contemporary systems theory now give a rational explanation for the development of highly complex structures in the universe without recourse to the hypothesis of a Divine Creator. Further, I will show that such claims, while purporting to […]

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Biblical Heritage Leads to Freedom, Religious Toleration & Human Rights

The new atheist crusaders (such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins) like to pretend that the concept of universal human rights just popped out of thin air in the 17th and 18th century, the creation of the agnostic and atheist thinkers of the French Enlightenment. But the truth is precisely the opposite: The […]

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The Nature of Existence

For a beach philosophizer like myself, it doesn’t get much better than “The Nature of Existence,” the quirky little documentary on the Meaning of Life that is opening this weekend. Filmmaker Roger Nygard wrote down the 85 toughest questions he could think of about the meaning of life — and then set out with a […]

roger-nygard
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Frank Fenner: Another Crackpot Prediction of Doom

NOTE:  The photo above is an illustration of what the earth would look like if ALL of the ice on earth melted and the worst fears of the climate change doomsayers came true:  About 4% more of the earth’s surface would be covered by water than is true today. I would take the aged scientist […]

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Bible, Patriarchy & Wicca

To say that the Bible is patriarchal is like saying that Tai Chi is Chinese: It is such a bewildering statement of the obvious that only an academic or reporter would think it a profound revelation. Yet in the 1970s and ‘80s, literally millions of feminists opened the Bible (some for the first time, some […]

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Sex and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body

According to rabbinic tradition, the first commandment God gives Adam and Eve in the Garden is to have sex: Pru vehravu, “be fruitful and multiply.” It’s little wonder, then, that Christian theology has pondered for centuries the place that human sexuality and bodily existence have in God’s plan for the universe. On the one hand, […]

Theology of the Body
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Practicing Non-Violence in Aikido

Growing up in the 1970s, and attending a Jesuit high school and university, I heard a lot of talk about “practicing” non-violence.  This was the era of the anti-war priests Dan and Phillip Berrigan… of Catholic Worker protests… of James Douglass (author of The Non-Violent Cross) and his wife Shelly.  Everyone was a pacifist, everyone […]

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Debating Atheism, Part 1

A week ago, I was scrambling to get my daughters off to a major swim meet at six o’clock in the morning, when I got a strange email: I was being invited to come to the Philosopical Society at University College Cork, Ireland, and participate in a debate about “whether this house would” reject atheism. […]

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Aikido’s Strange History

Part of Aikido’s weirdness comes from its strange history. Aikido is a modern martial art that evolved out of Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujitsu, a deadly, no-holds-barred fighting form taught secretly to the Japanese samurai. The principal aim of the art was to teach samurai how to quickly kill opponents on the battlefield if they lost their weapons. […]

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The Real Reason Why Health Care is So Expensive

In the early evening of the Fourth of July, my wife was cutting cilantro for a salad we were bringing to a friend’s party. Distracted by yelling children, she accidentally cut her left index finger with the knife. Yikes! It was a fairly deep cut across a nail, bleeding profusely, and we all agreed she […]

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau and a Return to Eden

I just finished reading Leo Damrosch’s magisterial 2005 biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius) and I’ve been thinking a lot about how Rousseau’s vision ties in, or doesn’t tie in, with the problems of modern urban society. (Full disclosure: My wife hates Rousseau because he forced his lifelong mistress, Therese Levasseur, to give […]

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