Category Archives: philosophy

Sam Harris does another Ask Me Anything

by Grania Sam Harris recently did his second podcast on The Tim Ferriss Experiment, it’s a very enjoyable listen for a Sunday morning. From the show notes, these are the questions discussed. What are five books you think everyone should read? [6:53] In The End of Faith, you briefly discuss the challenging reality of having children. […]

Our New Overlords

by Grania There’s an entertaining article over on CNET about an actual conversation between a human (and an annoying one at that) and a Google computer program. The program has apparently been fed a database of movie scripts which is either cruel and unusual treatment of innocent unsuspecting software or really clever because that’s probably […]

A video on (the absence of) free will

Reader Matthew sent me this brand-new Cracked video with the note: It’s a pretty funny take-down of common arguments for free will, mostly of the compatibilist variety. None of this will be new to you, but the arguments are snappy and cogent. I also found some of their analogies to be quite clever. Cracked, in […]

Business Insider: Atheists are doing it wrong

Dear Lord, why do philosophers, who are supposed to be in the business of thinking analytically, rationally, and deeply, write such stupid stuff about atheism? The latest set of dumb lucubrations on the topic was published, in of all places, Business Insider, which becomes even weirder when you see the arguments about the impotence of atheism […]

Russell Blackford defends Peter Singer

I’ve written twice (here and here) about philosopher Peter Singer’s unpopular views favoring the “mercy killing” of newborn infants having horrible deformities or diseases.  For that many people have called for him to resign, or even for Princeton to fire him. And I’ve said that that’s unconscionable. For one thing, in my view Singer’s view does have some […]

Why is Norway’s prison system so successful?

A post from Business Insider brings up the recurrent questions of why the U.S. prison system is so dreadful, with its recidivism and large proportion of the population incarcerated; why European prion systems are so much better; and whether the difference has to do with the nature of the population with the nature of the “punishments,” or both. […]

Disability activists call for Peter Singer’s resignation

Two days ago I posted a piece about how Princeton philosopher Peter Singer was disinvited from a philosophy conference in Germany because of his views on euthanasia of newborn infants having horrible diseases or deformities (he’s long been in favor of that form of mercy killing). His disinvitation was prompted by a recent interview in a […]

Peter Singer disinvited from philosophy meeting in Germany for views on euthanasia of sick or deformed newborns

I’m not sure where or when Princeton University philosopher Peter Singer first suggested that it may not be unethical to euthanize newborns if they have a terrible deformity or disease, but that view has caused tremendous controversy.  Apparently, almost all people see the moment of birth as some irrevocable line beyond which “assisted dying” is unethical, both because birth […]

Michael Ruse: Proud to be an accommodationist

It’s been a while since we discussed the philosopher Michael Ruse, but he’s suddenly surfaced in the pages of Zygon, “The Journal of Religion and Science,” with a very strange article called “Why I am an accommodationist and proud of it” (reference and possible free link below). I found this article because Jason Rosenhouse sent it […]

Morality proves God, take #197

I’ve written before about National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins’s claim that “the Moral Law”—that is, the instinctive feelings of right and wrong we experience when, say, we see a drowning child or a cheater—are evidence for God. For, claims Collins, there’s no way to explain such instinctive feelings by evolution or other naturalistic processes. […]

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