Archive for the blog Category

My Thoughts on New and Militant Atheism

Atheism, by definition, means an absence of faith or a disbelief in the existence of God. By this definition, I am most assuredly an atheist. But as followers of this blog will know, I also have a dislike for some of the attitudes and methods, respectively held and utilized, by a sizable minority of contemporary […]

Thoughts about Reading (and my updated Book List)

In this post, I will first link to my updated book list (recommended reads) with brief reviews for Becker’s Birth and Death of Meaning and The Denial of Death, and a shortened review for Tallis’ Aping Mankind. I also want to express here some general thoughts about the process of reading and how one might […]

Delusions of a Consuming Instinct

Every year, my university invites a keynote speaker to give a psychology-related presentation to the class of fourth-year undergraduate students. This year, our faculty decided to invite celebrated evolutionary psychologist, Gad Saad, who will give a lecture titled: “The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography and Gift Giving Reveal.” As you might guess, Saad […]

Feeling Insane within Orthodox Psychology

It is hard navigating in this world when you think differently than most people. This is equally true when you feel that way within your own academic profession. After all, any scientific field or program of study, including psychology, should represent a general agreement about the scientific methods or tools for doing work within the […]

The Holy Temple of the Human Body

There is no ultimate purpose, point, or meaning, to human life – our existence is absurd. Some of us know this – at least intellectually. And yet most of the time, awareness is not enough to prevent us from trying to escape our uniquely human problem, through the reification of symbolic meaning by illusionary ideals. […]

Music Playlist of the Absurd

The human condition is ultimately absurd. Yet the unconscious mind works in ways to disguise that fact from our awareness while circumventing the uncomfortable feelings that would otherwise be provoked. The threat is always there – as is our unending thirst for psychological equanimity. Illusionary ideological systems offer meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence, and […]

Death, Meaninglessness, and Darwinian Heroism

Introduction Freud was right to say that culture or civilization is a symbolic reaction against the physical and psychological terrors of nature. The natural world means uncertainty and chaos. It brings storms, earthquakes, floods, famine, and death. Nature is cruel and heartless – it cares nothing for the needs of man and is indifferent to […]

Evolutionary Psychology and its Defenders

About a month ago, Rebecca Watson gave a lengthy presentation at Skepticon critiquing evolutionary psychology. Her talk has re-ignited online debate regarding the scientific validity of the field, and recent discussions have brought many defenders out of the woodwork. If you have not seen her talk, you might first want to check it out: Readers […]

Teaching in the 21st Century

As another university term comes to an end, I begin to reflect on my experience during the previous months and the reported experiences of my students based on course reviews and comments. The goal, of course, is to critically evaluate my teaching style and topic content in an effort to develop the best possible course […]

Defining the Human Animal (2 of 2)

In the last post I began sketching out a plausible theory regarding the evolution of consciousness. I suggested that our phylogenetic history led us down a dead-end path of painful contradiction – the emergence of the first symbolic animal: a creature that desperately craves meaning and purpose, but exists in a physical world that has […]