Recently in Religion Category
The most amazing book I think I may have ever read, I'm reading right now. It's a children's book - supposedly - but it is so completely and utterly important. If you have a chance to read Lois Lowry's The Giver, do so at your first opportunity. It's a fast read.
I'm sure you've all heard about the ever so scandalous homosexual pheromone studies. Actually, maybe you haven't. I didn't see anything about it on Instapundit, so who knows what the bloggy-world is saying about it. For those who are impatient or hate ABC News (I won't ask), the story is this: the brains of homosexual men have been found to respond similarly to heterosexual women, when exposed to male pheromones. (Analogous studies with lesbians and female pheromones are in the works, but not complete.) The gay-rights boys and girls are claiming this as a huge victory, clearly evidencing that homosexuality is a product of biology. I've also heard people on the other side saying that this proves nothing, with regards to whether homosexuality is a choice or a product of biochemistry. It could be a learned/trained response! they say. As far as the whole question of whether sexual preferences are determined at birth, the right is actually... well, right. The fact that gay guys get hot-'n'-bothered sniffing boy-pheromones only really says that yes, there is a biochemical facet to our attraction - which I don't think was really in dispute, anyhow. The question of whether sexual preferences are determined at birth is, in my very humble (in this case) opinion, fairly irrelevant, and silly, besides. For further information, ask a five-year-old boy if he likes girls. (In other words, we aren't sexually active at birth, so who gives a rip?) Anyway, here's an odd hypothetical question, and I'd really love to have y'all answer. Set aside questions of whether homosexuality is determined at birth or later, whether it's a choice or biochemistry or a combination. Say you've got a homosexual man who, for religious, psychological, or personal reasons - or say, any reason, wished to end his attraction to males and stimulate an attraction to females. Say this study, in this hypothetical universe, allowed advances in pheromone blocking and reception, much like anti-histimines, and such a thing were possible through drugs or some sort of medical treatments. (I am neither a biologist nor a doctor. Blame any and all bad science on reading too many Michael Crichton novels. Then hit yourself over the head. This is hypothetical, damn you!) Would you support that man's right to effectively change his sexual preference? Alright, round two. Same situation, but the guy starts off heterosexual. Would you support his right to, pardon the phrase, "go gay"? Are there any conditionals you'd place on either answer? Also, just for my own demographic-related amusement: how do you feel about transgenderism (or gender-queer-ism, or whatever you want to call it), on the clothing (cross-dressing), lifestyle (living life as the opposite gender), and operation (surgical alteration) levels? Are you religiously or politically inclined, and do those play into your answers? (Flame free zone; I'm purely curious, and I won't get a good range of answers if people scare people off. Comment away! Oh, and if you're reading this via some other sort of service, come visit the original post to comment. Thanks!)
And you thought religion was just for humans.
Aping Hindu rituals to a T, a monkey appeared at an Orissa temple, prayed for an hour folding its hands in the traditional sign of respect, took prasad, put vermilion on its forehead -- and then fled.... Said Aniruddha Behera, a village resident: "The monkey folded his hands, observed silence, put vermilion on his forehead and also took the prasad from the devotees." "When we saw the monkey joining us we were surprised. We did not try to drive it out and it continued praying for nearly an hour amid hundreds of devotees," Behera told IANS.via Reason's Hit and Run