Category Archives: philosophy

The consensus of philosophers

Over at his website, Sean Carroll has called my attention to a paper by David Bourget and David J. Chalmers called “What do philosophers believe?” (free download here, reference below). I must admit I’ve only scanned the paper, but the interesting results (highlighted by Sean) reflect whether or not the philosophers agree with various viewpoints and […]

Four horsemen, one seaman

Just FYI, there’s a profile of Dan Dennett by Jennifer Schuessler in yesterday’s New York Times “Book” section: “Philosophy that stirs the waters.” I knew Dan was a sailor, but didn’t realize that he once had a 42-foot “cruiser” (I guess that’s a sailboat). His books must be doing pretty well! The piece highlights Dan’s […]

Jim Al-Khalili mistakes unpredictability for free will

UPDATE: Reader Chris Quartly noticed that I posted about this same article by Al-Khalili in January here.  All I can say is that I forgot; blame it on advancing age. At any rate, those readers who didn’t catch the earlier post may want to engage with this one. Mea culpa.  Too, my views have developed […]

A.C. Grayling on the Colbert Report

by Greg Mayer English philosopher and humanist A.C. Grayling was interviewed last night on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.  The interview highlighted Grayling’s new book, The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism, which Jerry has noted here at WEIT. Grayling started with a nice definition of humanism that was appreciated by […]

Is the notion of “God” coherent?

There’s been some discussion on this site and others whether it’s even useful to ask if there can be evidence for a god, given that the very notion of God is incoherent.  I’ve maintained that there can indeed be evidence that would provisionally convince at least me of the existence of a divine being. But […]

Yet another experiment showing that conscious “decisions” are made unconsciously, and in advance

In the last few years, neuroscience experiments have shown that some “conscious decisions” are actually made in the brain before the actor is conscious of them:  brain-scanning techniques can predict not only when a binary decision will be made, but what it will be (with accuracy between 55-70%)—several seconds before the actor reports being conscious […]

Troy Jollimore: how do we replace religiously-based ethics with secular ones?

Alert reader Dennis called my attention to a new article in aeon Magazine (free online) by poet/philosopher Troy Jollimore.  The piece is on secular ethics, is called “Godless but good,” and has the subtitle, “There’s something in religious tradition that helps people be ethical. But it isn’t actually their belief in God.” Jollimore’s thesis is […]

On morality and moral responsibility: a final response to Uncle Eric

I wasn’t going to prolong my interchange with Eric MacDonald about “ways of knowing,” as I think we’ve both made our disagreement clear (and let me emphasize again the affection and respect I have for the man), but I want to make a few points connected with Eric’s latest response to me at at Choice […]

Uncle Eric goes all anti-scientistic, argues for “ways of knowing” other than science

I am a big fan of the avuncular Eric MacDonald, our Official Website Uncle™, not only because he abandoned a position as an Anglican priest to become a “strident” atheist, but also because he fights for the right to commit assisted suicide, argues forcefully against the stupidities of theology, and, not the least, has been […]

Blessed are the cheesemakers

Reader M.L. called my attention to the website and comic strip The Atheist Pig, a collection of writings and cartoons that, as in this this strip from October of last year, can be quite amusing—and on the mark:

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