Dave Muscato from MU SASHA shares a transcript of his talk at ReasonFest 2012, along with a few closing thoughts on the question "Is religion a force for good?"
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.
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.
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.