Forgive me, long time readers (or, more precisely, readers from last week), because I’m about to mostly repeat myself in order to introduce myself to the many people who will be coming here for the first time today. You can entertain yourselves in the meantime by perusing the other newly launched freethought blogs on the network using PZ’s handy list of links and introductions.
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 on the network. Many of my favorite bloggers are here (or will be here soon) and it is an honor to be their neighbors. Rather than obligatorily sing each of their praises one by one here, I will let the regular upcoming occasions to call attention to their work express my respect and enthusiasm for each of them.
So, about me: 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.
Later today, I will post an overview of what I think about a number of key matters in atheism, the philosophy of religion, and ethics. That post will essentially be a guide through my archives, with copious links so you can find where exactly I develop in depth each major position I have taken. In the meantime, however, I would be delighted if you would scan down the left hand column of the blog where links to my key arguments on a wide range of topics in ethics, atheism, and religion, sorted into numerous categories, can be found. And if all you really are dying to know is what “Camels With Hammers” means, then this post may be of some help to you.
Finally, I’d be delighted if you used the comments section below to take a moment to introduce yourself and to ask me anything of interest to you (whether philosophical or personal) about me, my views, or this blog.