"Project 'Plurationalism'"

Help others learn about and practice plurationalism (commitment to everyday reasoning, regardless of one's worldview) by name-dropping the word! Use "plurationalism" or "pluralistic rationalism" in one of your posts, tweets or links this month! If your Twitter followers or Facebook friends ask you what the word means, tell 'em! (Or tell them to check it out at Wikipedia!)

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New This Month

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Op-Ed Link to Slate article on Pluralistic Rationalism as the lesson of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek and Kate Mulgrew and Co.'s Orange Is The New Black:

"Orange Is The New Black Is The New Star Trek"


Op-Ed by: Katy Waldman, Slate | Updated June 36, 2015

Slate Op-Ed, noting how both OITNB and Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek endorse "pluralistic rationalism" -- the use of reason and empiricism, regardless of our diverse worldviews, to lead us to reject our "preconceived notions" and "reconsider our biases."

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Parable of the Week (July 11): Dedicated to The Pluto Mission

The Flat World, The Round World
A voice in a faceless crowd proclaimed, "The World is flat!"
The people all chattered, "Of course he's right! We can see the edge of the World -- it's right over there!" And they pointed to the far horizon of the sea, where the red sun flashed green ere vanishing beneath the waters.
But a second man cried, "Wait! The edge looks so close! How can we sail for days upon days into the West, and lose sight of the mountains of our home, if the World is flat? Might not the World actually be round?"
And the people catcalled and hurled rotten fruits and cabbages at him.
"It's flat! Just look at the horizon!" they jeered.
Yet the second man believed that perhaps the World was round, but also very large -- and so just seemed flat, as his bald pate might seem to a tiny louse.
So he fashioned a telescope, using a long hearing-aid tube and two pieces of polished glass.
Then every morning he sat on the dock and stared at the horizon with his scope, pausing only to wipe its lenses free of salt-spray, and to gaze fiercely at passersby who cajoled him.
But then one afternoon, he startled and darted to his feet, one hand still holding the telescope to a gawking eye.
Through its lenses he could see a crow's nest - only a crow's nest -- rising slowly above the waters, its red and white flag flapping on the tall mast.
"Look!" he pointed to the horizon and cried to a small crowd of passersby, "Look! The mast of a galleon rises from the sea, but with no galleon yet seen beneath it! The World is not flat -- it is round! Round!"
A large rotten cabbage smashed into his beaming face, and his telescope dropped into the sea.
Thus, the whole world can still be wrong.

July 11, 2015, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2015 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton. Dedicated to the New Horizons Pluto mission, and to the journey of Clyde Tombaugh, whose mortal remains will be the first to visit the planet he discovered, and the first to journey beyond our solar system.

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Parable of the Week (June 26): Dedicated to SCOTUS' Obergefell vs. Hodges

Eight years ago, The Circle of Reason first posted the below Parable of the Week noting the growing acceptance, particularly from the Millennial generation, of same-sex marriages. Our original dedication is given here, along with the Parable and our new 2015 re-dedication:

September 21, 2007, excerpt from The Parables of Reason (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), Copyright © 2007 by Frank H. Burton. Dedicated to the worldwide victims of so-called "Defense of Marriage" and other homophobic or anti-gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender legislation, and to civil rights judges -- heroes in black, not white, robes.

The Husband & Wife, The Spouses
Dwelling on the outskirts of a city, in a small cul-de-sac, was a loving family -- a husband and wife, their two children, and their pet dog.
Each morning, as the husband walked to his car to commute to work, he looked across their small cul-de-sac at the empty windows of a house for sale, and imagined what his future neighbors would be like.
"Hope they'll be nice," he thought to himself, "and that the husband plays golf!"
Each afternoon, as the wife picked up after their young son, daughter and poodle, she stared out her bay window's curtains at the vacant house across the way, and imagined her future neighbors.
"Oh, what if the wife likes to cook? We'll share all our best recipes!"
Each day, as the young son and daughter played in the front yard, they glanced across at the empty swing before the vacant house, and imagined what the neighboring children would be like.
"Maybe they'll let us use their swing!" the sister said to her brother.
Then, one day, the "For Sale" sign was gone.
The very next morning, a moving van arrived. The husband, wife, kids, and even the poodle stared out of their bay window at a station wagon that drove up to the new home, and from which a family poured out: a boy and a girl, their Scottish terrier, and their two parents -- who hugged, kissed and held each other arm-in-arm as they strolled up to their new home behind their scampering children.
The mouths of the husband and wife peering out from the bay window fell open.
The two parents of the new family were both women.
The husband and wife turned and stared at one another. They both began to frown.
But the slamming of their screen door jarred them from their stupor. Through the bay window they saw their kids and their poodle -- feet and paws flying -- dashing across the street to welcome their new playmates and their two mommies.
Thus, marriage is a voluntary union of sapients.

June 26, 2015, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2015 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton. Dedicated to the U.S. Supreme Court's finding that people with same-sex attraction have an equal Constitutional right to marry the one they love.

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Parable of the Week

The Moderates, The Radicals
Bordering a vast gulf dwelled the peoples of two continents.
On one continent the people lived under strict laws, set down thousands of years before, that forced them to dress, wear their hair, study, labor, congregate, and marry, in proscribed ways.
Those who did not were ostracized, ridiculed, beaten, burned, lynched or beheaded.
The people of this continent lived in constant hatred and fear, as their forebears had done for centuries.
Yet they called themselves moderates.
On the other continent the people lived under lenient laws, continually perfected by amendment, that prohibited force, allowing them to dress, wear their hair, study, labor, congregate, and marry, in any way.
Only those who sought to force others were punished, if first found guilty by their peers.
The people of this continent lived in constant empathy and optimism, as their forebears had done for centuries.
Yet they called themselves radicals.
Thus, liberty is radical.

June 10, 2015, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2015 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.

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Parable of the Week

The Insincere, The Sincere
Warrens of cubicles pigeonholed the dreams of better futures.
One worker, desirous of being a boss, decided to sabotage his coworkers.
Always friendly, he soon became his coworkers' trusted adviser.
One asked him, "Do you think our boss will mind if I approve this deal without him?"
"No! Go ahead and approve the deal," he replied. "Don't bosses like initiative?"
Another asked him, "Do you think my coat looks too threadbare?"
"No!" he reassured the man. "Doesn't a threadbare coat show you care more about your work than your appearance?"
When these workers were demoted, they didn't blame him -- only wistfully envied his unsullied optimism.
When he became boss, he ran his office to ruin -- for his insincerity was emulated by those under him, and office warfare became the rule.
A second worker, also desirous of being a boss, decided that spurring achievement within himself and his coworkers was the only fair way to reach that goal.
Always friendly, he, too, soon became his coworkers' trusted adviser.
One asked him, "Do you think our boss will mind if I change this policy?"
He replied, "Let's ask the boss if he'd prefer we run such policy changes by him, shall we?"
Another asked him, "Do you think my dress is too casual?"
He gently recommended, "Our dress is best regarded when it matches our professionalism."
When these workers were asked with whom they could best work as their new boss, they all named him.
When he became boss, he guided his office to new heights -- for his sincerity was emulated by those under him, and office collaboration became the rule.
Thus, insincerity is a form of murder.

May 30, 2015, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2015 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.

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