Criticizing Wicca: Magic

[Magic is a pseudo-technology based on the pseudo-science of mysterious energy.  It’s purpose is to provide the illusion of control.  This post briefly describes how some Wiccans conceive of magic.  Many Wiccans reject the use of magic altogether, or consider it entirely independent of Wicca.  Thus the two should not be confused.  After this brief [Read More...]

Criticizing Wicca: Energy

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. On the basis of my reading of a few Wiccan texts, I said that Wiccans believe that their ultimate deity is the ultimate immanent creative power of being.  This is an old Platonic idea.  The existence of such a power [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...]

Why Bother Blaming People At All? Isn’t That Just Judgmental?

Before moving on to addressing the question of when it is right or wrong to get offended, let me quickly address a certain attitude that arises a lot in response to my posts on morality. I sense in the tone of a lot of comments I get in general that there is a fear of [Read More...]

Yes, We Can Blame People For Their Feelings, Not Just Their Actions

“You can’t blame people for how they feel, only for what they do.” “You have every right to be offended, but you don’t have the right to censor others just because you’re offended.” In this post and the next one, I want to explain why I think these two common moral sentiments are quite mistaken—or, [Read More...]

A Philosophical Polemic Against Moral Nihilism

Jesse is undeterred by my argument that at least some of our moralities (or elements of them) can be objectively defended even though the physical universe (taken as an entirety) does not care about them: Daniel– I haven’t gone deeply enough through the other posts you linked to, and I will — but I think [Read More...]

A Critique of Noble Lies And The "Theologies" They Create

In this long post, I begin by explaining Plato’s formulation of the concept of a noble lie for those unfamiliar with it and then I explain in detail numerous problems I see with employing noble lies and with attempts to persuade people through “theological” arguments. I think all theology is either an explicit or an [Read More...]

You Are Not So Smart

The website You Are Not So Smart does an outstanding job of explaining all sorts of cognitive errors for a lay audience in an engaging way. Last week Dave McRaney, the site’s author, released a book version called You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly [Read More...]

A Debate About The Wisdom of Trying To Deconvert People

Jaime: So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how best to debate the existence of God with religious believers… Kelly: Why would you do that? Jaime: Do what? Kelly: Debate the existence of God with religious believers. What’s the point in that? Jaime: What do you mean, “what’s the point?” We live in the [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X