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Opening Salvo | Salvo 39

Can We Talk?

It Is Crucial That We Put Our Minds to Contentious Issues

by James M. Kushiner

Society has never before been so divided on so many issues, including such things as abortion, sexual morality, marriage, sexual "identity," the use of fetal "tissue," "recreational" drugs, "science" (e.g., man-caused global warming and evolution), and various "social justice" concerns. When these issues are spoken of, the emotions on display are often intense. Plenty of people may take sides on these issues, but they rarely debate them intelligently. . . . ►►►

Undercover | Salvo 24

Sexually Transmitted Unease

How Casual Sex Works Bad Chemistry from Good

by Terrell Clemmons

. . . "Sex is one of the strongest generators of the dopamine reward," the Hooked authors point out. This is not inherently bad, but overstimulation can cause the brain to become relatively resistant to it, leading the indiscriminate to engage in more and more of the same behavior to regain the high, not unlike the spiral of addictive drug use. "For this reason, young people particularly are vulnerable to falling into a cycle of dopamine reward for unwise sexual behavior—they can get hooked on it." But when the relationships are short-lived, the losses due to breakup are felt in the brain centers that feel physical pain, and can actually be seen on a brain scan. It's not hard to see how multiple relationships, each with its own cycle of bonding and breaking, can lead to profound pain, anxiety, and confusion, especially among teens still far from emotional maturity. . . . ►►►

Foreign Intel | Salvo 30

Bad Habits

How Not to Read the News

by Michael Cook

... when a story emerged about human remains found on the site of a Catholic home for unmarried mothers and their children which operated between 1925 and 1961 in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland, the media went mad. The facts were few, but it didn't take long for journalists to connect the dots and sketch images of murdered children and secret burials. Guardian columnist Emer O'Toole wrote in an incandescent fury: "Do not say Catholic prayers over these dead children. Don't insult those who were in life despised and abused by you. Instead, tell us where the rest of the bodies are." It was a wonderfully salacious story, one that fitted neatly into the template for a lot of B-grade films and novels. The only problem was, it was wrong. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 26 Science & Faith

"Faith" No More

It's Time We Did Away with the Notion of Religious Wishful Thinking

by Greg Koukl

. . . Someone once said, "The heart cannot believe that which the mind rejects." If you are not confident that the message of the Bible is actually true, you can't believe it no matter how hard you try. The "I just take Christianity on (blind) faith" attitude can't be the right approach. It leaves the Bible without defense, yet Peter directs us to make a defense for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). Also, the biblical word for faith, pistis, doesn't mean "wishing." It means "active trust." And trust cannot be conjured up or manufactured. It must be earned. . . . ►►►

Parting Shot | Salvo 39

Love, Rhetorically

Using a Powerful Word Doesn't Mean Your Argument Is Logical

by Tom Gilson

Another Christian celebrity has forgotten to put on her thinking hat. Religion News Service reports that popular Christian author Jen Hatmaker has said this about gay marriage: "From a civil rights and civil liberties side and from just a human being side, any two adults have the right to choose who they want to love. And they should be afforded the same legal protections as any of us. I would never wish anything less for my gay friends." I read that on Facebook, and I decided it needed a bit of analysis. . . . ►►►

Parting Shot | Salvo 36

Our Quantum Leap

There Is a Huge Chasm Between Humans & Nonhuman Animals

by Michael Egnor

. . . Nonhuman animals are purely material beings. They have no concepts. They experience hunger and pain; they don't contemplate the injustice of suffering. A human being is material and immaterial—a composite being. We have material bodies, and our perceptions and imagination and appetites are material powers, instantiated in our brains. But our intellect—our ability to think abstractly—is a wholly immaterial power, as is our will, which acts in accordance with our intellect. Our intellect and will depend on matter for their ordinary function, but are not themselves made of matter. . . . ►►►

Person of Interest | Salvo 36

Marriage Matters

An Interview with Patrick Fagan

by Marcia Segelstein

Patrick Fagan is the founder and director of MARRI, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute. MARRI studies the impact of marriage, family, and religion on society. Once a practicing psychologist, Dr. Fagan moved into the field of public policy as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services under President George H. W. Bush. He recently announced the launch of Marripedia, an online social-science encyclopedia that makes research related to family, marriage, sexuality, and religion accessible to the public. Dr. Fagan spoke with us about what makes for a healthy society, the importance of what he calls "the two great loves," and what he sees as a growing crisis for men. . . . ►►►

Deprogram | Salvo 39

Evo-Elitism

Darwinism's Missing Link to Civil Liberties

by Denyse O'Leary

. . . why are we more concerned about how old a politician thinks Earth is than whether that politician doubts that humans are special, based on "evolution"? It goes beyond life-and-death issues. U.S. millennials are among the groups most likely to believe that humans are not special and they are the group most likely to vote to curb free speech. That should not surprise us. ►►►

Camouflage | Salvo 39

Stonewalled on Abortion

One Woman's Quest for Straight Answers from Public Health Organizations

by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Shouldn't women considering abortion be provided with this information [alarmingly high rates of such maladies as PTSD, eating disorders, depression, substance abuse, and suicide in post-abortive women]? Gill asks. No, insists Dr. Grimes, the abortionist. That would be "a very overt attempt to dissuade or discourage women from exercising their right to have an abortion." Apparently this is what passes in his world for medical ethics. . . . ►►►

Scientia | The Science & Faith Issue

What Are the Dangers Posed by the Misuse of Science?

by John G. West

The benefits of science are so amazing that they can seem almost magical. There is more to the comparison than mere whimsy. In his classic book The Abolition of Man (1944), Oxford don C. S. Lewis claimed that "the serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins." At first glance, Lewis's observation might seem nonsensical. Science is supposed to be rational, skeptical, and objective. Magic, by contrast, is supposed to be the domain of the dogmatic, the credulous, and the superstitious. Yet as strange as Lewis's observation might first appear, I think he correctly ascertained three key similarities between science and magic—similarities that highlight the growing dangers that are posed by the misuse of science in today's society. ►►►

Headquarters | Salvo 38

Doctors Delusional

Transgender Disorder & Really Bad Psychiatry

by Boris Vatel

. . . It is unfortunate that the American Psychiatric Association, as the "voice and conscience" of the very medical discipline in a position to point out the delusional nature of such beliefs, has instead chosen to support the transgender agenda and thus lend it an air of medical legitimacy. Whether having a "transgender" or so-called "non-binary" identity causes subjective discomfort is quite beside the point. All experienced psychiatrists have seen patients whose delusions cause them no apparent discomfort. The bigger question is whether one can have a "deeply held belief" so drastically counter to reality as is the belief that one's sex is different from one's anatomy and still be considered normal. . . . ►►►

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Can We Talk?

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