The Course of Reason

Xzibit and Formal Logic

February 27, 2012 Seth Kurtenbach

Hello. Seth Here. Today’s homily will be about the relation between the Xzibit meme and formal logic. For some, formal logic is like the scary sister of the sexy informal logic you are trying to date. You want to become as familiar as possible with informal logic, but you try to stay out of sight from formal logic. Perhaps you spend hours looking at websites exploring every intimate detail of fallacies constituting the body of informal logic, so’s to better woo your mistress. But to spend hours looking at websites exploring the intimate details of formal logic would just be twisted; a form of sadomasochism. In some ways, yes, extended study of formal logic is self-torture, and to read about the formal logical pursuits of others is to delight in their suffering. But in small doses, the drug is beneficial (I freely dance with multiple metaphors at the Ball). I will show you that if you can reason about the Xzibit meme on the interwebs, you can do formal logic.

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A Secular Lent

February 22, 2012 Cody Hashman

Every year around the end February or early March I see people walking around with soot on thier foreheads and I am instantly reminded that I will soon see a barrage of piety for at least the next 40 days. People telling me they have given up chocolate, like Jesus will see their sacrifice as analagous to his megalomanical bodily sacrifice that absolved all humans of thier sins–HA! While I find this declaration of religious fervor somewhat repulsive, I think there might be some value in participating in such a tradition for reasons other than religion. 

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Music Monday: Stray From The Path - “Damien”

February 20, 2012 Cody Hashman

I would like to dedicate this week's Music Monday to a very special friend of mine who will go unnamed. A little while ago this person informed me that they received their official letter from their church announcing that thier request to be removed from the church was granted. It is a weird that such a move is so important (who needs a letter to be allowed to not participate in something like that?), but I know that this action is a very profound and almost spiritual experience for some.

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CFI On Campus Student Updates!

February 16, 2012 Dren Asselmeier

Today, I decided that the readers at the CFI blog Freethinking needed an update on how the CFI On Campus affiliates are doing. You all work hard to organize and coordinate events, support groups, volunteering projects, and much, much more. I'm posting this information here, too, both as a thank-you to everyone for their hard work, and as inspiration for other students. I'm sure that I've missed some groups who have also put on awesome events this month. I'm sorry that I couldn't remember everyone, but if you'd like to update us on what you've been doing feel free to email us or add our email to your listserv/newsletter.

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One Nation, Indivisible

February 14, 2012 Alex Caro

I first learned of Doe v. Acton-Boxborough in early September after attending a meeting of the Greater Worcester Humanists. Dave Niose, president of the American Humanist Association (AHA), was in attendance at the meeting. When he spoke to the group, he mentioned that AHA was filing a lawsuit against the town of Acton over the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Afterwards, I told Mr. Niose that I was from Acton and inquired about the lawsuit. He gave me a brief overview of the case and the kind of arguments they were going to make in court. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised to find out that my town was going to be at the center of such a potentially historic case.

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