Author: jrcowles

A Skeptic’s Heaven

Spirituality
Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness. -- George Santayana This is going to sound really strange coming from me, your faithful Skeptic In Residence. But, strange or not, here goes ... I believe in Heaven. Don't be in too big a hurry to pick your chin up off the floor or to sponge up the residual drool, because I'm now about to tell you something even stranger: I have been there. But ... make of the following what you will ... It is September of 2008. My wife Diane and I are in Hilo, Hawaii, on the Big Island, where Diane an
Counting the Cost … Or … Well … Maybe Not

Counting the Cost … Or … Well … Maybe Not

Challenge, Christianity, Discernment, Disciples of Christ, Ideology, Luke, Religion, Scripture, Skeptic, Spirituality
Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness. -- George Santayana We live in an age of religious radicalism when many sects, some quite powerful, not only do not seek to avoid martyrdom, but seem to court it as a badge of honor.  Yes, I mean (radical / jihadist) Islam.  But I do not mean just radical / jihadist Islam.  There are equally extreme fundamentalist Christian sects, professedly friendly to the state of Israel, that actively agitate, both in this country and there, to promote the exile of the Palestinians from the West Bank and
Of Dead-Weasel Toupees And Homophobia

Of Dead-Weasel Toupees And Homophobia

Christianity, Consitution, Discernment, Essay, GLBT, Jim Cowles, Philosophy, Politics, Sexuality, Skeptic, Spirituality
Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness. -- George Santayana In opposition to civil rights for LGBTQ people, conservatives often advance the argument that, whereas civil rights legislation for African-Americans is justified on the basis that one is not free to choose one’s race, civil rights legislation for LGTBQ people is not justified because homosexuality – at least, so the allegation goes – is something people choose.  So, the argument proceeds, legislation prohibiting discrimination against African-Americans in matters of housi