Philosophy & Culture Articles

Read articles relating to philosophical topics including the philosophy of religion, what is evil, and general philosophy in modern culture.

Problem of Evil: Why Bad Things Happen

God the Father (from Altar of Philip the Bold) - Melchior Broederlam, 1399

Why do bad things happen? Or more specifically, if there is a God, and He is all-knowing, all-powerful and completely good, why does He allow evil to exist and for good people to suffer because of it? This is the crux of the "problem of evil," an intellectual and moral dilemma theologians and philosophers have grappled with and debated for millennia. … [Read more...]

Perceptions of Evil – What is Evil?

The Riot or Scene of Revolution, or Destruction of Sodome - Honore Daumier

One of humanity‚Äôs most common theological questions is how to answer the fundamental question, "What is evil?" How can you create a working definition of evil that accounts for (1) mass genocides, atrocities like the Holocaust, or a gunman walking into an elementary school and opening fire, and (2) natural occurrences that cause mass destruction like floods, tidal waves, … [Read more...]

A Brief History of Halloween in America

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Of all the holidays, Halloween stands out as the best example of the quintessential American "melting pot," that is, a melange of beliefs, rituals, or traditions, both religious or pagan, that stem from all cultures living in America. October 31 marks the observation of Halloween or Hallowe'en, a short variation of All-hallow-even, the evening before All Hallows Day or All … [Read more...]

Why People Believe Strange Things

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I noticed that a large percentage of traffic came from StumbleUpon today, so I spent some time randomly attempting to see if I could land on my own site. I didn't, but I did find this interesting video where Michael Shermer, founder of Skeptic Society, talks about why people believe strange things like seeing the Virgin Mary on cheese sandwiches or hearing Satanic lyrics in … [Read more...]

Morality: How Do You Decide Right From Wrong?

The Remorse of Nero After the Murder of His Mother - John William Waterhouse

I stumbled on an interesting article over at New Scientist that asks the question where does your sense of right and wrong come from? (subscription required) In other words, are moral decisions based on emotion or logic? As it turns out, the answer is both. The article lists a few scenarios requiring moral judgment. For instance, A TROLLEY train comes hurtling down the … [Read more...]