Category Archives: Religion

Free Inquiry on Campus

The “Free Inquiry on Campus: A Statement of Principles by a Collection of Middlebury College Professors” document, published in the “Aftermath at Middlebury” is well worth reading and pondering.

On March 2, 2017, roughly 100 of our 2500 students prevented a controversial visiting speaker, Dr. Charles Murray, from communicating with his audience on the campus of Middlebury College.  Afterwards, a group of unidentified assailants mobbed the speaker, and one of our faculty members was seriously injured.  In view of these unacceptable acts, we have produced this document stating core principles that seem to us unassailable in the context of higher education within a free society.
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On the importance of “viewpoint” diversity…

I am proud to be a member of the Heterodox Academy (see http://heterodoxacademy.org/). Heterodox Academy members are all professors who have endorsed the following statement:

“I believe that university life requires that people with diverse viewpoints and perspectives encounter each other in an environment where they feel free to speak up and challenge each other. I am concerned that many academic fields and universities currently lack sufficient viewpoint diversity—particularly political diversity. I will support viewpoint diversity in my academic field, my university, my department, and my classroom.”

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Ruining Christmas: An Economist’s Guide

Ruining Christmas: An Economist’s Guide – Forbes.

Quoting from this Forbes article, “… economists are the wet blankets of the world. We can ruin almost any proposal and almost any situation with just a couple of analytical tools and the words “unintended consequences.” The author of this essay “ruins” Christmas by looking at this beloved holiday through an economist’s lens…

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Christmas approaches – The Big Picture – Boston.com

Christmas approaches – The Big Picture – Boston.com.

A wonderful photo-essay on Christmas from our friends at the Boston Globe.  Quoting from this article,

The appearance of multiple simultaneous Santa Clauses is a sure sign that mankind’s most widely recognized and commercialized religious holiday is near. It’s also a sign that the holiday is celebrated by many more people than just faithful Christians, for better or worse. From the traditional Christmas markets in Germany to elfin divers feeding dolphins in Japan to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem where it all began, Christmas is observed worldwide for commercial, irreverent, and religious reasons. Gathered here are images of people as they herald the advance of an entire season built, loosely or faithfully, around the birth of Jesus Christ.”

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On the social scientific study of religion

I’d like to give a “shout-out” to University of Washington political scientist (and Baylor ISR Distinguished Senior Fellow) Tony Gill for his “Research on Religion” podcast series. Research on Religion (AKA “RoR”; see http://www.researchonreligion.org/) is a weekly podcast series which is devoted to the social scientific study of religion.

Since I commute regularly from my home in Austin, TX to my Baylor University office (which is located 1-1/2 hours away in Waco, TX), this gives me plenty of time to listen to podcasts. By far and away, my favorite podcast series is (not surprisingly) Econtalk (located at http://www.econtalk.org/). Both EconTalk and RoR follow a similar format, in that there is a new, roughly 1 hour long podcast every week that features an interview between the program host (Russ Roberts on EconTalk and Tony Gill on RoR) and a guest who has typically published a book or article on an important/relevant/timely topic.

Anyway, the direct iTunes link for RoR is http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/research-on-religion/id401047404. The direct iTunes link for EconTalk is http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/econtalk/id135066958.

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Assorted Links (10/13/2010)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Christien Meindertsma: How pig parts make the world turn | Video on TED.com

ted.com

“TED Talks Christien Meindertsma, author of “Pig 05049” looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.”

Google to map inflation using web data

ft.com

“Data could provide an alternative to official statistics.”

Higher Taxes Mean I’ll Work Less

nytimes.com 

“A personal case study looks at some of the ways higher taxes may affect the earnings of high-income taxpayers.”

Review & Outlook: The 2010 Spending Record

online.wsj.com

“The Wall Street Journal on the 21.4% federal spending increase in two years.”

Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ for ObamaCare

online.wsj.com

“In the Wall Street Journal, Main Street columnist William McGurn writes that congressional hearings can be used to sell market-friendly fixes.”

Europe the Intolerant

online.wsj.com

“In the Wall Street Journal, James Kirchick writes that the continent’s progressive image is a fabrication of the American liberal mind.”

NFL vs. ‘TV Everywhere’

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman Jenkins, Jr. says that TV’s fight to preserve its power in the face of digital ubiquity may be a lost cause.”

Book Review: Roosevelt’s Purge

online.wsj.com

“Jonathan Karl reviews Susan Dunn’s Roosevelt’s Purge: How FDR Fought to Change the Democratic Party.”

Irwin on France’s role in the Great Depression

cafehayek.com

“In the latest EconTalk, Doug Irwin argues that France played a much larger role than previously thought in causing the Great Depression. We talk about how the gold standard worked and how French monetary policy forced deflation on the rest of the world.”

The Decline of Cursing

online.wsj.com

“Bad words, once glorious, have been emptied of meaning by common use, argues Jan Morris in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.”

The Weekend Interview with Scott Rasmussen: America’s Insurgent Pollster

online.wsj.com

“In the Wall Street Journal, OpinionJournal columnist John Fund interviews Scott Rasmussen, who says that understanding the tea party is essential to predicting what the country’s political scene will look like.”

Paul Johnson – The Quest For God – The ReAL Book Review

torenewamerica.com

I really like Gerard Reed’s book reviews; here’s one about British historian Paul Johnson’s new book entitled “The Quest for God”. I first became aware of Paul Johnson more than 20 years ago, when I became deeply influenced by Paul Johnson’s essay entitled “The Heartless Lovers of Humankind” (see http://www.fortfreedom.org/h11.htm).

The Fed Compounds Its Mistakes

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Carnegie-Mellon University economist Allan H. Meltzer says the Federal Reserve shouldn’t deliberately use inflation to reduce unemployment.”

Diamond, Mortensen, Pissarides Share 2010 Nobel Economic Prize

bloomberg.com

“Peter Diamond, Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their work on the efficiency of recruitment and wage formation as well as labor-market regulation.”

Four Lions: The Absurdity of Terror

www.thepublicdiscourse.com

“In the British film Four Lions, five Muslim men from Sheffield, England—four from immigrant families along with an English convert—seek to break out of their ho-hum average-ness by doing something which they think will launch them into hero status in their community.They plot a terrorist attack in the name of “jihad” in the U.K. In this farcical film, black satire meets terror-jihad and it is a match made almost in heaven. The would-be jihadists, however, end their lives only in tragedy, not in paradise.”

The MBA Oath

www.tutor2u.net

“At a time when capitalism, free markets, corporate greed, (WallStreet 2), bankers’ bonuses, is making headlines, here is the MBA Oath. The oath is a voluntary pledge for graduating MBAs and current MBAs to “create value responsibly and ethically’.”



Joe Queenan on Jimmy Carter’s Addiction to Writing Books

online.wsj.com

“The American people wanted Jimmy Carter out of office in the worst way, and to this day they are paying the price. If we had to do it all over again, I think a lot of people would vote to amend the Constitution and allow presidents to run for five, six—as many terms as they wanted. That wouldn’t leave them much spare time to write books.”

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