Category Archives: philosophy

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.    

A new proof of God: The argument from The Matrix

Well, there’s this website whose name (which includes “Science and Nonduality”) has some strange characters in it, so I’ll just give a screenshot that links to the site: Part of the site’s aim is to “ignite the dialogue between science and spirituality,” which already erects my fur. And on that site, someone named Bernardo Kastrup has […]

Dan Fincke responds to me, claiming morality is objective

I previously wrote about Dan Fincke’s talk at the Pittsburgh Atheist and Humanist meetings, in which he claimed that there is indeed an objective morality: one based on “human flourishing.” It was only a 20-minute talk, as were all of them, so he couldn’t lay out his thesis in detail, and I had to respond […]

Daniel Fincke: morality is objective

Several of the talks at the Pittsburgh Atheist/Humanist meetings were excellent, and I hope to have time later to discuss one or two more. But first I want to say a few things about Daniel Fincke’s talk, titled “Empowerment Ethics.”  Daniel (I don’t know if he goes by “Dan”), as you may know, is a […]

How does philosophy help science?

We go around and around on this topic, and right now I’m just looking for examples of how philosophy—not philosophy broadly construed as “people thinking”, but more or less the academic discipline of philosophy—has helped science. Now I know that philosophers can correct some bad arguments of scientists, and, if educated in science, can make critiques […]

Accommodationism from a physicist

On his Scientific American website Cross-Check, John Horgan interviews Carlo Rovelli, a physicist well known for his work on quantum gravity. They cover a number of topics, including whether there will soon be a “theory of everything” (Rovelli says no), the role of philosophy in physics, and the compatibility of science and religion.  You can […]

Gary Gutting interviews Michael Ruse and asks him why he coddles religion

Gary Gutting is a philosophy professor at the University of Notre Dame, and has been interviewing various academics about religion at his website The Stone at The New York Times. Interviewees have included Alvin “I Haz True Beliefs” Plantinga and my friend the philosopher Philip Kitcher. This week Gutting’s subject is the philosopher of science Michael Ruse, now at […]

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