Assorted links

Brains, beards, sex, bias and more.

1. Working with in the youth program at church? Read the teenage brain.

2. The human brain doesn't like income inequality.

3. How would you react being on the receiving end of altruism? Bonus: Women and children first? It depends how fast the ship is sinking.

4. It's hard for Mormons to grow beards.

5. Name three people, preferably contemporaries, whom you honestly believe are smarter, better educated, and more honest than you are, but who disagree with you about God. Related: The most important variable explaining a newspaper's slant is the political orientation of people living within the paper's market, not the ownership of the paper. Are you unconsciously reinforcing your biases?

6. Join Friends of the Ordinariate. But can you use a church's symbol without permission? Addendum: The Traditional Church in America (AKA the Anglican Church in America) has decided to "formally to request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Cœtibus." Need I add the decision was by bishops only?

7. The Dalai Lama said he did not know who Woods was, but said self-discipline is among Buddhism’s highest values. When it comes to adultery, he said, “all religions have the same idea.”

8. Women at Catholic colleges engage more frequently in sexual "hook ups" than women at secular colleges, a new study shows, and researchers suspect alcohol may be the reason.

9. Is faith based foreign aid a failed experiment?

10. UK Scouts condemn Uganda’s anti-gay bill. American Political Science Association conference relocated from Uganda.

Comments (2)

Regarding 8: Young Catholic women hooking up: Long, long ago when I was in seminary and legal abortion was still relatively new across the nation, a study was done in Boston of women seeking abortions. It turned out a surprising plurality of women seeking abortions were Catholic. When they began to dig into why, the reason was, essentially, Humanae Vitae.

The reason was really pretty straightforward. A sin is a sin is a sin; and under Humanae Vitae, birth control and abortion were laid out as pretty much the same sin - that is, interfering with God's plan for conception. So, women did the math: To use a condom or a diaphragm was to sin every time one had sex. (The sex itself might or might not be a sin, depending on marital status.) To take the Pill was to sin 30 times a month. To take one's chances, and perhaps have to have an abortion was to sin only once, and then only if one was unlucky. At least one didn't plan to commit that sin.

The logic of this was impeccable, but the premises were worthless. I expect, though, that some young Roman Catholic women might engage in the same poor premises. They don't plan to hook up, and so if they do they're less morally culpable. If they get drunk first, they're even less morally culpable (I believe a number of years ago a similar study was done in India on young women who were by no means Roman Catholic, but who were seeking to reduce their guilt over intimacy by getting drunk.) Once again, the logic is impeccable, at least in form; but the premises are simply wrong.

Marshall Scott

Name three people, preferably contemporaries, whom you honestly believe are smarter, better educated, and more honest than you are, but who disagree with you about God.

IT, IT, and IT! ;-) (And I even know her real name!)

[Oh, does it HAVE to be somebody famous? Well, that Rabbi Sacks fellow in the UK sounds like a good candidate . . . though we'd probably differ over little more than whether one "Jesus of Nazareth" would be making a first or second appearance, arriving in Jerusalem in glory. ;-/]

JC Fisher

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