Category Archives: philosophy

Sam Harris and The Very Bad Wizards

No, it’s not a new novel from Terry Pratchett. If you’re in the mood for discussion about religion, free will, morality, drugs, guilt, blame and vengeance, then you are in luck. Sam Harris joined philosopher Tamler Sommers and psychologist David Pizarro on their December 15th podcast. You can listen either on Sam’s site here or on The Very […]

E. O. Wilson: Only science (and not philosophy or religion) can tell us the meaning of human existence

From The Big Think we have famed biologist E. O. Wilson talking about “the meaning of meaning,” and telling us that the answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” must come from science alone, with no input from religion or, especially, philosophy. Massimo Pigliucci will be incensed! Wilson is talking about some material from his new […]

Another unconvincing redefinition of free will

I can’t remember whether a reader or someone else recommended that, since I’m interested in free will, I should read Michael Gazzaniga’s book Who’s in Charge? Gazzaniga, a well known neuroscientist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, gave the prestigious Gifford Lectures (an annual series of endowed lectures in Scotland that have been […]

More free will funnies

I can’t resist a good free will cartoon. This one, courtesty of reader jsp, comes from FoxTrot Classics, by Bill Amend:   The problem, of course, is that the “preordination” comes not from God, but from the laws of physics. Still, I can predict from those laws that yes, the Joker would be happy. ~

Templeton “dialogue” about free will (hint: they’re for it)

The John Templeton Foundation has put a big multimedia ad in Slate similar to the ads it used to put in the New York Times, in which a group of luminaries and scholars (often whose research was already funded by Templeton) discussed one of the Big Questions at the intersection of science and sprituality. This […]

“True facts” about Jesus

I wish ZeFrank would do a video on this. . . Four days ago, I posted about an NPR piece by Tonia Lombrozo, and its source, a paper by Neil van Leuuwen, which both maintained that the “truths” believed by religious people differ profoundly in character from the “truths” that scientists or laypeople hold about […]

A question for compatibilists

If you’re not a “Free Willy,” you can skip this, for I have at least one more post this week on the topic. But for crying out loud, let’s hear no protestations that I should stop posting on things that intrigue me. You’re always free to skip posts. I’m now used to the fact that […]

Bucky Catt, “free won’t,” free will, Dan Dennett, and Templeton

The concept of “free won’t” was, I recall, floated by researcher Benjamin Libet, the first person to show that our brain can make simple but predictable “decisions” that can be detected and predicted by researchers (using brain scans) before the subject is conscious of having made a decision.  Although, said Libet, we may not be able […]

Is atheism irrational? A philosopher says “yes”

Over at The Atlantic, you can read one of the more bizarre takes on atheism I’ve seen in a while. It’s not a nasty critique of New Atheism in the John Gray style, but a very strange piece about how New Atheism, LIKE RELIGION (these articles always draw that parallel), is based on wish-thinking. “What?”, you say. […]

The ghost ouside the machine

Reader Pliny the in Between has posted this on his/her website Pictoral Theology; it’s relevant to our discussions about consciousness and God.    


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