In Defense of the Moral Cause of Feminism

In the last few years I have written a lot both on behalf of social justice and on the need to elevate the discourse surrounding it. I can say unequivocally that the feminist blogosphere and my activist feminist friends have made me a far better ethicist, a far better person, and a far better man [Read More...]

How I Deconverted: It Started With Humean Skepticism

I have written a number of personal posts about what I was like before I deconverted and then how things went for me when I deconverted. There is more to say about both those periods, but it is time to start explaining how I deconverted. And, philosophically, that started with my discovery of David Hume. [Read More...]

Criticizing Wicca: Magic is Unethical

[This is part of a series looking at atheism and Wicca.] Many Wiccans practice magic.  Skeptics, rationalists, and naturalists may all be tempted to try to use science to refute the effectiveness of magic.  Although such refutations do persuade some people, they often fail to accomplish anything: despite the best efforts of scientific debunkers, magical [Read More...]

Criticizing Wicca: Magic is Unreliable

[This is part of a long series looking at atheism and Wicca.] Any procedure for changing an initial situation (the start) into a desired situation (the goal) can be tested for its effectiveness.   As used here, effectiveness is a matter of degree, so that procedures can be more or less effective.  The simplest way to measure [Read More...]

Spiritual Exercises for Atheists

Spiritual exercises (askesis) are practical activities for mental self-empowerment.  They are intended to facilitate successful achievement by increasing the degree to which the self is mentally or emotionally prepared to perform.  Spiritual exercises are not magic.  Spiritual exercises are distinct from magic because they focus on causing changes in the self while magic focuses on [Read More...]

Revelation versus Manifestation

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. The Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are religions of revelation.  As is well-known, these religions are derived from the experiences of religiously privileged individuals (prophets, messiahs, inspired writers) to whom it is alleged that God spoke.  These religions say [Read More...]

Criticizing Wicca: Levels

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. Some statements are based on evidence, while others are not.  And there is evidence for the existence of some entity if and only if the existence of that entity is asserted in a statement that is based on evidence.  To [Read More...]

Do Atheists Worship Truth?

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. Although many atheists seem hostile to metaphysics, that hostility is misplaced.  Any deep philosophical position is bound to presuppose some metaphysics.  Pure reason is also highly abstract.  Should pure reason be constrained by empirical evidence?   How?   All efforts to specify [Read More...]

If You Don’t Believe In Objective Values, Then Don’t Talk To Me About Objective Scientific Truth Either

I recently argued that when any of us act, we must act for reasons. When acting for reasons we must decide that the end we pursue is the best, most worthwhile, goal to pursue and that the action we take in order to achieve that goal is the most suitable one. I should also add [Read More...]