Naturalism As True By Definition

Jason Streitfeld weighs in on the question of naturalism or supernaturalism, treated by Sean Carroll here, John Pieret here, and Shane and me in these this post and then this one. Streitfeld’s post is excellent so read it in full. Scientists do not rely on any notion of the supernatural to formulate their conception of [Read More...]

Can Scientists Infer About Naturalism And Its Limitations?

John Pieret is not thrilled with Sean Carroll’s foray into the philosophy of science and metaphysics from Thursday. Particularly, he is (rightly) critical of Carroll’s dismissal of major theories of scientific demarcation as mere “mottos” and his apparently unnuanced and uncritical preference for Occam’s Razor in all cases.  Only in the final paragraph does he [Read More...]

Is Karma Incompatible With Atheism?

An excellent question posed by a Scot, a reader at The Friendly Atheist. While Richard gives a fine answer supposing belief in a supernatural version of Karma, I find several of the comments interesting and more akin to the way I’ve used the term. Gary says: Actually, the word “karma” is sanskrit and simply means [Read More...]

Invisible

The Thinking Atheist takes on an invisible God: [Read more...]

Further Towards A “Non-Moral” Standard Of Ethical Evaluation

In reply to a recent post, Tyler writes: Your definition of ethics and morality is well taken and allows for further interesting debate on culture and moral systems but it still requires assumption of benefit. Defining phrases like “fully flourishing life” and “most excellent characters we can develop” require a standard of evaluation which I [Read More...]

Science And Supernatural Hypotheses, Present and Possible Future

Via PZ Myers, comes a long and recommendable argument by Sean Carroll on the philosophy of science and how scientific understanding of the world thus far precludes any room for miracles (thus making the religion and science incompatible).  Excerpted from the much longer article with interesting things on the philosophy of science which I recommend [Read More...]

You Are Not A Bible Character 3: On Believing Without Proof

Father Stephen has graciously offered another reply to my challenges to him that he should apply to the Bible itself his excellent critique of contemporary figures who presumptuously interpret their experiences as though they are biblical characters. Father Stephen’s reply: I completely agree that Christ takes Scripture “out of context”. Excellent, as this can help [Read More...]

Philosophy Not As Exceptional, But As Specialized

Recently in the philosophy blogosphere there has been a bit of a stir over a request for grant proposals from the NEH for new classes on the “enduring questions.”  In response philosophy Professor Jude Jones and I have had several exchanges on questions related to the relative academic value of specialists from other fields teaching [Read More...]

Why Do People Behave Honestly?

A new study by Joshua Greene and Joseph Paxton investigates the mental processes behind honest behavior: They recruited 35 people and asked them to predict the result of computerised coin-flips while sitting in an fMRI scanner. They were paid in proportion to their accuracy. In some ‘No-Opportunity trials’, they had to make their predictions beforehand, [Read More...]


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