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...]

My Thoughts On Eric's Wicca and Atheism Experiment

In early December, after juggling 9 classes and a daily blog all semester, I got sick. Eric Steinhart, a previous guest contributor on the blog, stepped in and has been the primary blogger on the site for one month now. He has discussed possible connections between atheists and Wiccans. Thursday was my first day where [Read More...]

Criticizing Wicca: Rationality

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. According to the Farrars, “Witches [that is, Wiccans] are neither fools, escapist nor superstitious.  They are living in the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages” (1981: 105).  The Farrars write that “Many witches are scientists and technicians . . . [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...]

An Example of Atheist Faith

by Eric Steinhart Here’s a nice statement of atheistic faith by Carl Sagan: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” (1980: 1). Such a statement is as faith-based as any statement in the Bible or in Christian theology. After all, it’s just a mirror-image of the statement that God [Read More...]

On the Rapture

The rapture isn’t going to happen on 21 May 2011. And that implies an ordered series of disconfirmations: (1) Harold Camping is wrong about the Bible; (2) his way of reading the Bible (that is, Biblical numerology) does not reveal anything trans-scientific about the future; (3) evangelical ways of reading the Bible reveal nothing trans-scientific [Read More...]

Singularitarianism as Religion Entails Testable Predictions

by Eric Steinhart Singularitarianism is religious. Specifically, it is a kind of millenarian movement. It will therefore develop according to millenarian patterns. Millenarian movements can develop in several ways. The first way is good: the movement turns into a positive mature religion. The second way is bad: the movement turns into a self-destructive cult. The [Read More...]

The Singularity as Religion

by Eric Steinhart I think much of the culture and discourse around the singularity is religious. I say this based in part on my reading of David Noble’s book The Religion of Technology and my reading of Robert Geraci’s Apocalyptic AI. Both are fantastic books. And I’ve compiled a long list of articles and books [Read More...]


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