Monthly Archives: December 2014

My Final Survey on Feminism

I have just finished my final survey on Feminism. Please help me out by doing this survey and sharing it:

Another Survey on Feminism

I just made a second survey on Feminism. I will also be making a third one. These two are both meant to add clarification for the first survey. Please help me by doing and sharing my surveys:

What I think a robust sex education program would look like. Plus a rant!

I’d like to start by saying. Abstinence is not a substitute for sex education. It never will be it hasn’t been effective, and in wouldn’t be effective. Why? Because most people are going to have sex, so if all you do is tell them not to do then how are you surprised when they eventually have sex they make all kinds of mistakes and missteps. You can’t expect to leave the lights off and expect newcomers to navigate the space safely.

People talk about abstinence as though it is some holy grail of sex ed. If only we talked more about abstinence teens and young adults would stop having sex! Hate to tell you but your parents generation of teens had sex, your generation had sex mine does, and the next will. With puberty comes sexual desire, while this isn’t universal it is extremely common, and for many teens and young adults sex is a real and present possibility, and something many want.

Telling teens not to do something isn’t going to be effective, and just telling them the risks isn’t enough as many will go on to risk it anyway. Lying and misleading them into think the risks are greater then they are is a bad idea, because when they find out well good buy to any trust those teens may have had in the person(s) lying to them and those implicit in lying to them. Even if they don’t find out, they are still in the dark about the real risk, and how to protect themselves even if this “save themselves” for marriage they did don’t know the options available to them, including general sex tips like lube usage.

All that you end up doing by promoting abstinence is making those kids ignorant, not safer. Don’t believe me read through this it has some mighty good citations.

Now my rant against abstinence only education has run it’s course I know not many reading is agree with abstinence only and understand abstinence, while it is an option, is only a tiny portion of what our children need to be informed members of society in regards to sexual activity.

I’d like to see a whole (mandatory) course devoted on the subject who’s main point would be as follows.

  • Reproduction and anatomy (the biological side of things, also including intersex)
  • Sexuality, and a brief look into gender.
  • Consent education, and education about rape culture.
  • Safe sex, including contraception, knowledge about vaccine treatments, information about testing, types of sexual intercourse, including non-preventative sex. Resources resources resources, you can’t cover everything, but kids will find out if they want to know, so you might as well direct them reputable sources.
  • Healthy Relationships, how to communicate, how to determine what you want what your goals are and what your comfortable with, how to share that with your future or current partner(s) and how to respect and compromise with your partner.
  • Abuse identification and prevention.

By hitting this 6 major points I could see us giving children a robust foundation for them to build upon as they grow into adults.

Reproduction and anatomy so that they are getting to know what to expect, and it’s just good for health to know how our bodies worth.

Sexuality so we do not push a heteronormative agenda a leave all the LGBTQA children high, dry, lost and confused. As well has just make it clear to everyone that differences in sexual preferences exist and are both normal and natural.

Consent so people stop raping one another, and so our kids understand what rape actually is.

Safe sex because most of these kids are going to be having sex in the next several years best make sure they’re prepared.

Healthy Relationships are something wholly missed in most sex education programs, expect most people will be getting into relationships before having sex. It’s an excellent time to have kids start thinking about what they want and how to communicate those desires, and well as teaching them how to communicate in those future  relationships where disagreements or misunderstanding my form.

Domestic abuse is still a massive problem in our world and give the next generation the tools to better identify and deal with it will bring about what I suspect would be some massive positive changes.

This is my ever growing outline for what I plan to be teaching to my kids in the future. I hope to see what we teach in school expand to these important lessons which I feel many children never really learn except for the hard way.


PS. It has been brought to my attention that some folks are think that I want to do away with teaching abstinence altogether. That is not the case, I want to do away with abstinence only education(because it’s been shown highly ineffective, achieving the opposite of it goal), other wise abstaining from sex is a perfectly valid option if you choose it. However it is ill advised and ineffective to try to force abstinence, and does not teach those necessary skills. Also don’t sex shame it’s counter productive, but I’ll do a post on that later.

I Am Both an Atheist and a Non-Theist

It’s true! I am both an atheist and a non-theist. A lot of you (all Christians, I might add) have said that one is either an atheist or a non-theist, and you have made comments in regards to non-theism being better, more sensible, more logical. But I am both. In fact, all atheists are both. Why? Because atheism and non-theism both mean the same thing: not a theist. A theist, as I’m sure you all know, is someone who believes that there is at least one god. Therefore, someone who is not a theist does not believe that there are any gods. That is what makes someone an atheist and it is what makes someone a non-theist. Don’t believe me? Check the link: Both the prefix for atheist (a-) and the prefix for non-theist (non-) mean not. The only difference is origin. The a- prefix comes from Greek. Non- has its roots in Latin.

However, it seems that how we label ourselves matters more to people than what the words we use actually mean. So, why do I call myself an atheist and not a non-theist? Is it because I believe that no gods exist as opposed to not believing that any gods exist? No. I both believe that no gods exist and don’t believe that gods exist. In fact, I believe that gods don’t exist because I don’t believe that gods exist. Confused? Me too. And unnecessarily so. We’re humans. We hold beliefs. It’s unlikely that you don’t believe that something exists and don’t also believe that it doesn’t exist. You may say that you don’t know, but it is perfectly possible to form a belief about something that you don’t know. The trick isn’t to not form said beliefs (we all do it whether we want to admit it or not), the trick is to be aware that, while we hold a belief, we could be wrong. And, of course, to collect as much evidence to support our beliefs as possible. So no, I don’t call myself an atheist because I hold a belief as opposed to…what? Not holding a belief…
No, I call myself an atheist because it is an easily understood term. If I tell someone I’m an atheist, they know what I’m saying (kind of). At least they know that I, in one way or another, don’t believe in any gods. They may think that I hate god, or that I’m being rebellious, or that I’m just angry. They may think that I believe that there are no gods when I should simply not believe in any gods (simple my ass). They may think that I’m actually an agnostic, or that I hate theism. All of which are either untrue or non-issues. But at least they know that I don’t believe in gods. If I say that I am a non-theist, people don’t make that assumption. They assume that I’m “finding myself.” They assume that I’m between religions, or I’ve lost my way. They assume that I’m a theist who is not willing to call myself a theist. At best, they wonder with category of non-theistic groups I’m a part of (am I an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, a freethinker, a secular humanist?). For the record, I’m technically within all of those groups. I am an agnostic atheist who is also a secular humanist, skeptic, freethinker. And I’m a non-theist. Why should I have to choose just one when they all cover different areas?
I think that there are a number of problems with assuming that I must call myself an atheist or a non-theist. First, it forces me into a single box that I don’t fit in perfectly. Yes, I’m an atheist. But that is not all I am. So why should I solely be defined by my atheism? I am also a non-theist, but, again, that is not all I am. So why should I say I am? Second, it applies other labels to me that I don’t want applied to me. If I say that I’m an atheist, people stick the “asshole” label to me because they assume that all atheists must be assholes. I get the “anti-theist” label stuck to me because people don’t realize that being an atheist doesn’t make me an anti-theist. I get the “you just hate god” label stuck to me because people assume that if they believe in god, I must too. Sadly, the labels I’d get if I called myself a non-theist are worse (in my opinion). I don’t want people to label me as “finding myself.” I know who I am. And I don’t want people to make assumptions about me because the label I use isn’t clear. I want people to use the label that I prefer because that is showing me respect. The third problem is you are trying to fit someone into your labelling system. To tell someone that they are, or should, label themselves in a way that they don’t is arrogant. It’s saying that you know who they are better than they do. You don’t. If non-theist works for you, fine. But atheist works for me.
So please, stop it with this nonsense about non-theist being a better label that atheist. Stop telling me that they’re different. Stop trying to lump me into a category because you think I should either be different than I am or I should call myself something that I don’t call myself. I am an atheist. I am an atheist definitionally speaking, and I am an atheist because that is the label that I chose to use.


Have You Been Discriminated Against Because of Your Religion or Your Lack There Of?

Fill out my survey here:

A Survey About Discrimination Against Atheists

Here is survey number 2 for my project: Please help me and fill it out 🙂

A Survey About Discrimination Against Christians

I’ve decided to start another project involving surveys. This one will involve three (I may also add a few more to my project about Feminism). The first survey is on discrimination against Christians. Please help me out by filling it out (even if you aren’t a Christian):

A Survey on Feminism

I have decided to do a bit of a project. Please help me out by clicking the link below and filling out the survey. I promise it’s not that long:

The Purity Myth: Facts at a Glance

Jessica Valenti summarized what she discussed in a facts page at the back of her book. I will repeat these facts here.

“There is no working medical definition for ‘virginity.'”

“‘Vaginal rejuvenation’-in which a woman’s labia is trimmed and her vagina tightened, or her hymen is completely replaced (a ‘revirginization’)-is the fastest-growing form of plastic surgery in the U.S.”

“Over 1400 federally funded Purity Balls, where young girls pledge their virginity to their fathers in a promlike event, were held in 2006 across the United States.”

“Violence against women is going down, unless you’re not white. Between 2003 and 2004, the incidents of intimate partner violence among black females increased from 3.8 to 6.6 victimizations per 1000 women. And the average annual rate of intimate partner violence from 1993 to 2004 was highest for American Indian and Alaskan Native women-18.2 victimizations per 1000 women.”

“A 2007 report from the American Psychological Association found that nearly every form of media studied provided ‘ample evidence of the sexualization of women,’and that most of that sexualization focuses on young women.”

“Over 80 percent of abstinence programs contain false or misleading information about sex and reproductive health, including retro gender stereotypes like: ‘A woman is far more attracted by a man’s personality while a man is stimulated by sight. A man is usually less discriminating about those to whom he is physically attracted.”

“Abstinence-only education programs, which cannot mention contraception unless to talk about failure rates, have received over $1.3 billion dollars since 1996, despite the fact that 82 percent of Americans support programs that teach students about different forms of contraception.”

“Students who take virginity pledges are more likely to have oral and anal sex.”

“Between 1995 and 2007, states enacted 557 anti-choice measures-43 in 2007 alone. Since George W. Bush took office, state legislatures have considered more than 3700 anti-choice measures in total.”

“FDA approval for Plan B, the morning after pill that prevents pregnancy, was held up after a FDA medical official wrote in an internal memo that over-the-counter status could cause ‘extreme promiscuous behaviours such as the medication taking on an ‘urban legend’ status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B.'”

“More and more laws are cropping up that attempt to curb pregnant women’s rights, and even punish them. In 2004, a Utah woman was charged with murder after refusing to have a cesarean section and one of her twin babies was delivered stillborn. One legislator in Virginia even introduced a bill in 2005 that would make it a crime-one punishable by a year in jail-for a woman not to report her miscarriage to the police within 12 hours.”

Science Depends On Philosophy, and practice at examining logical arguments.

This post will be severing two purposes. First as a review for an excellent video Gary Edwards put out on Sunday, and an examination of a deductive argument that I promised on my post about deductive and inductive logic.

Here’s the Video titled “Science Depends On Philosophy” for those interested the video does have a full transcript which can be read by going to the Youtube page clicking the ⚫⚫⚫ More button under the video title.

For ease I will include the definitions and the deductive argument here.


A = “The Hypothetical Philosophy Denialist”

P = “A is doing empirical science”

Q = “A has taken a conceptual and evaluative side” (You have agreed to certain definitions of what your looking at and looking for, that you won’t be redefining things as you go along and that you won’t be moving the goal posts if you don’t like any answers you might get. As well you value some thing, general try of evaluation, or forms of evidence, over other kinds.)

R = “A has engaged in appropriate discourse”

S = “A is Hypocritical and conceited”

T = “A is doing Philosophy”


1. “P” [assumption]

2. “NOT S” [assumption]

3. IF “P” THEN “Q” [premise]

4. IF (“Q” AND “NOT R”) THEN “S” [premise]

5.  IF (“Q” AND “R”) THEN “T” [premise]

6. EITHER “R” OR “NOT R” (This is a case of an exclusive or) [premise]

7. EITHER “S” OR “T” (This is also a case of an exclusive or) [deduction 4+5+6]

8. “T” [deduction 2+7]

9. IF (“P” AND “NOT S”) THEN “T” [deduction 1+2+3+8]

Well scared yet? Hopefully not! Though if your needing the refresher I’ll link back to my discussion of logical connectives here, and the the basic form of an argument here.

First I’m going to take this argument step by step and restate each step of the argument, and discuss it’s importance. If you had no problem following Gary then you may wish to skim though this part, but given this is formal logic and may reading this will have little to no exposure to this type of rather intimidating notation. It is best to try to make the argument as clear as possible.

First come the assumptions. For this argument we are assuming 1. Your doing empirical science (P), and 2. you are not a conceited hypocrite (NOT S). Both of these are build in to give the argument charitability to the philosophical denialists (A). I haven’t yet talked much about charitability and I’ll be writing a full post on it soon as it is very important. I won’t go into it much here other then to say that by being charitable Gray has made his fair, and respectful which is always a good route to go.


So we know “A” is doing empirical science and is not conceited or hypocritical. Now to the premises.

3. First premise is IF “P” THEN “Q”. Which translated back into English is saying:

IF someone is doing empirical science (P) THEN it is the case that that person has taken a conceptual and evaluative side.

Which is to say that someone has accepted some set of acceptable scientific and empirical methodologies in which they will base their conclusions upon. How do we know those methodologies are acceptable? For that we need to go on to the next premise.

4. IF (“Q” AND “NOT R”) THEN “S”

IF someone has taken a conceptual and evaluative side (Q), but has not engaged in appropriate discourse (NOT R). THEN it is the case that person is a conceited hypocrite (S).

What is means to engaged in the appropriate discourse varies some depending on the particular science in questions, but generally speaking this means that you agree to follow those definitions, and methodologies agree on by the scientific consensus, and to be clear about place where you diverge. As well in mean that you will engage in the peer review process allowing other to look over your work, and that you will do the same, taking into considerations and criticism you get, and make corrections as needed. I could go on, but I think that is a compete enough overview for our purposes here.

5. IF (“Q” AND “R”) THEN “T”

IF someone has taken a conceptual and evaluative side (Q), and engaged in appropriate discourse (R) THEN that person is engaged in philosophy (T).

This is the first place most might object to the argument, but I think this premise fits well for both science and philosophy.


EITHER someone is engaged in appropriate discourse (R) OR they’re not (NOT R).

Another place you might object and say there is nuance, but I’ll save arguments against for later.

Now that we have all 4 Premises. Lets move onto the three deductions.


7. EITHER “S” OR “T”

EITHER your a conceited hypocrite (S) OR your doing philosophy (T).

This deduction follows from premises 4, 5 and 6 as follows. First we know from premise 4 and 5 that if someone engaged in appropriate discourse (R) that they doing philosophy, and if they’re not engaged in appropriate discourse they are a conceited hypocrite. With Premise 6 we know you must either be doing appropriate discourse or not, there is not middle group on that issue. Because of that we know that “A” must with be “T” or “S”.

8. “T”

The Hypothetical philosophy denialist (A) is doing philosophy (T).

Due the deduction 7 we know “A” must be “S” OR “T”, and since assumption 2 is that “A” is Not A conceited hypocrite (NOT S) then we know the “A” must be doing philosophy.

9. IF (“P” AND “NOT S”) THEN “T”

This final deduction draws from all the premises and deductions some directly and indirectly. We know that “A” is doing Science from the first assumption. We also know that “A” is not a conceited hypocrite (NOT S) from assumption 2.

As also know that from Assumption 1 and Premise 3 that “A” is doing Empirical Science (P) so “A” must also have taken a conceptual and evaluative sides (Q). Based on deduction  8 and all that came before it we know that If “Q” then we must either have “T” or “S”, but not both. We also know we must have “R” or “NOT R” (6), and that they follow from “Q” (4, 5), and that “Q” follows from “P” (3). Because of all of that confusing mess we know that to do empirical science (Q) we must either do philosophy (T) or be conceited hypocrites (S). We already now we are doing both Science and that we are not conceited hypocrites so we must be doing philosophy! Hopefully that made sense!

Gary Edwards explains line 9 a bit differently and I suggest everyone who’s gotten this far go back and watches again. Both are correct, though his is more concise. My explanation is drawing out the logic more in hope it may help a few people reading this understand.

Though if some this doesn’t make sense, and anyone doesn’t understand why these deductions follow from the premisses and assumptions please ask questions. I’ll do my best to answer, though do try to be specific what line your having issues with. This is formal logic so if it doesn’t make sense the first time though don’t worry it did make sense to me at first either.

Okay know I’m sure people are going to have some issue with the argument and would like to address some of it’s failings, if it has any. I’ll explain the basics of how you would go about doing so, and give an example.

First this argument is sound, the premises guarantee the conclusion. So saying the argument doesn’t work is a no go.The argument does work, if you have an issue you’ll need to indicate why the premise or assumptions are incorrect and how they are incorrect. Another way to think of it is that you can not refute the conclusions of a sound argument. Those are a given and above reproach. Instead you must show that the argument is build on unsound foundations by picking apart the premises.

I pointed out two places, Premise 5 and 6, where one might object. Of these two premise 5 seems the most likely candidate for criticism. That premise was:


5. IF (“Q” AND “R”) THEN “T”

IF someone has taken a conceptual and evaluative side (Q), and engaged in appropriate discourse (R) THEN that person is engaged in philosophy (T).


This premise is largely undefended, while I do agree with it, it still remains a weak spot. This is an important point to remember, you can criticize your own ideas in this manner, and well as those ideas you like. In doing so all you risk is improving your argument by recognizing its weak points and strengthening them, or finding our your wrong.  And finding out your wrong for yourself eases that awkwardness of someone else doing it for you.


First and post obviously you could argue the “T” does not necessarily follow from “Q” & “R”, so far from the discussions those thing seem to be important only too doing “empirical science” (P). Though in order to make this an convincing counter point you must explain why “T” Does not follow from “Q” & “R” what about philosophy make those two things unnecessary? And when you think of that reason why do you think might be the response from Gary? I’m actually drawing a blank, on a good reason, but that might be because I biased anyone have some ideas?


I also suggest any interested parties try to tackle the argument from Premise 6 which in retrospect may have made a better example ;).

Next time I’ll be talking about charitability in arguments and more specifically counter arguments.



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