For new readers, my name is Dan Fincke and I am truly delighted and honored to move my blog, Camels With Hammers to the FreeThought Blogs network, which I am certain will become the center of the atheist blogosphere in no time. I am extremely grateful to Ed and PZ for giving me this extraordinary opportunity. And I am delighted to join all the other excellent bloggers already on the network and those who I know are slated to come aboard any day or week now.
For the time being, my archive is still not here. Everything can still be seen at the old site (along with a message about the future of that site, for those interested). It should be transferred over any day now. In the meantime, I apologize for the sparseness of things here. This really has the feel of moving into a brand new apartment and savoring the fresh possibilities you see in the empty walls and floors, as you imagine what it will all look like once all your stuff arrives from your old place and you can make the place your own.
While I am waiting for my stuff to finish arriving and for my web guy, Dave Smith (the most easy going guy in the world and a terrific friend) to arrive and get everything set up, let me quickly introduce myself and this blog.
I have a PhD in philosophy, from Fordham University (2010) and I have 8 and a half years teaching experience at the university level. I am an adjunct assistant professor at Hofstra and at the City University of New York Hunter College, and any given semester I may also be an adjunct professor at William Paterson University, St. John’s University, and Fairfield University. I live in Manhattan but, as you see, teach all over the Tri-State area. Of course nothing I write represents any of the views of any of these universities. I am also happy to report that in all my years of studying and teaching at various Roman Catholic universities, there have never been any attempts to rein in the outspoken atheism of my scholarly work or blogging.
I wrote my dissertation on Nietzsche’s philosophy and metaethics. I use this blog as a place to simultaneously educate a broader readership on philosophical issues and as a place to draft and get feedback on my nascent philosophical ideas before they are ready for peer review and publication in scholarly formats.
I also am passionate about the need for, and the value of, atheist activism. I love relaying great resources for atheists and so enjoy aggregating interesting ideas and videos from around the web. I also love personally being of philosophical help to everyday atheists in their efforts to combat religious sophistries and to clarify their own thinking on the philosophical issues that arise and become important to them through their debates with religious people. For me, during my adolescence and undergraduate years at one of the nation’s most religiously and politically right wing colleges in America (Grove City College), religion and theology were the gateways to my interests in philosophical questions. Unlike many atheists, I did not come to atheism through science but through philosophy, and I came to philosophy through religion. I imagine many an atheist, even many of those who come to their atheism through science, becomes interested in philosophical questions through the need to answer religious insistence that they have developed answers to various metaphysical, epistemological, and metaethical/ethical questions. I am here to do my atheistic, rigorously philosophical thinking on such questions out in the open in hopes of advancing the public debate and being a resource to fellow atheists in the process.
Part of this means that even though I consider this an activist blog, I also approach it with an academic mindset. I want to ask challenging questions and challenge my fellow atheists as much as rally them. I want to not just repackage and popularize existing atheist memes but to help push my fellow atheists to more nuanced positions. I want to provoke, and contribute to, vigorous debates among atheists as much as against theists.
Finally, I write long posts which I try to make rigorous and original as I can and I end nearly every post with a hopeful plea for Your Thoughts. I read every reply and often base follow up posts on comments from readers on earlier posts. I love using the blog as an interactive format to have open-ended conversations, in which I learn the most through having to answer challenging questions and retorts. So, please do not be shy about chiming in in the comments section. Your Thoughts are always a huge part of what invigorates and motivates me at this blog and are my primary barometer of its success.