October 26, 2009

smellClean Smells Linked to Virtuous Behavior
“There is a strong link between moral and physical purity that people associate at a core level. People feel contaminated by immoral choices and try to wash away their sins,” says Katie Liljenquist, a professor of organizational leadership at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. “To some degree, washing actually is effective in alleviating guilt. What we wondered was whether you could regulate ethical behavior through cleanliness. We found that we could.” (Catherine Elton, TIME)

Science and Dogmatism
Dan Agin: A mere belief in the existence of God (or Gods) without any dogma about the natural world deriving from that belief is no practical enemy of science. In contrast, a strong dogma (doctrine) about the natural world derived from religion is nearly always antithetical to the practice of science. We need to say “nearly always” because it depends on which science is in practice. (The Huffington Post)

Vatican Recruits Anglicans to “Just Say No”
James Carroll: The Vatican’s preemptive exploitation of Anglican distress explicitly ducks the large and urgent challenge facing every religion and every religious person, which is how to positively reconcile tradition with the massive changes in awareness, knowledge, and communication that come with the scientific and technological breakthroughs that daily alter the meaning of existence. (The Boston Globe)

Why Is Canada Considering Legalizing Euthanasia Now?
Margaret Somerville: I suggest it’s profound changes in our post-modern, secular, Western, democratic societies, and their interactive and cumulative effects. To make wise decisions about whether or not to legalize euthanasia, we need to identify and understand these changes. (Ottawa Citizen)

Q&A
Anne Rice

Her newest release, Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim, will be out just in time for Halloween. But no vampires or witches here. Instead, this novel concerns a young hit man, an angel of God and an assignment to respond to a prayer from a Jewish family facing mob violence in the English town of Norwich during the Middle Ages. As the well-told story develops, Toby, the main character, must first accept that God can forgive any sin, even murder, before he can be reconciled to God. (Sue Nowicki, The Modesto Bee)

Category: Field Notes

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