Virtues, Values, and Meaning In Life (New Class)

I am delighted in this post to announce and explain my new classes, “Virtues, Values, and Meaning in Life” and a revamped and relaunched version of my Philosophy for Atheists class. Both will start as soon as students are ready in March 2016 and run year round as students are able to continue or join midstream. Contact me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com or, preferably, on Facebook to express your interest and help me nail down the schedule around your availability. [Read more…]

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Dennett: Darwin Had The Single Greatest Idea Anyone Ever Had

This is a terrific video in which Dennett and Dawkins get further into the weeds discussing the dynamics of evolution, responsibility, how you can make living things out of dead stuff and conscious ones out of unconscious ones, the wonder of natural processes, the idea that we have souls—but they’re made of neurons, and many [Read More…]

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Is It A Waste Of Time For Atheists To Care About Spirituality?

Badger3K objects to my suggestion that rationalists should “take back” spirituality from the peddlers of woo and faith: Spirituality has always been associated with religion, superstition, and woo (including the new age bs). There has never been anything to “take back” – it was always their word to begin with. If you feel awe, say [Read More…]

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TOP Q 4: What Obligations Is Someone Prominent Under When She Is Perceived To Speak For A Group?

Prominent leaders of political, social, religious, and even anti-religious organizations, movements, governments, etc. should not simply echo back what their “constituencies” already think and want to hear—otherwise they would not be leaders at all. But to a certain extent, once it becomes clear that a great many people do associate their views closely with certain [Read More…]

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Philosophical Ethics: A.J. Ayer And The Emotivism Of A Positivist

In a series of posts this semester, I am going to blog all (or almost all) the lecture topics for the two Philosophical Ethics classes I am teaching this semester.  Each of these posts will primarily explicate the reading or a theme that dominated class discussion in a way that should be accessible to novices [Read More…]

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Understanding Each Other’s Minds

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant.”—Alan Greenspan “The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway.  It is getting them wrong that is living.  Getting them wrong and wrong and [Read More…]

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On Fulfilling Religious Impulses Both Within And Without Religion

Peaceful Atheist is a richly written blog by a Wheaton grad who deconverted from Christianity while a student at the devoutly Evangelical school.  Here are provocative thoughts which she formulated through the process of reviewing biological-anthropologist Barbara King’s Evolving God: In this broadest definition of religion, King includes the transcendent awareness that can be stimulated [Read More…]

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Dennett On Evolution

This is a terrific video in which Dennett and Dawkins get further into the weeds discussing the dynamics of evolution, responsibility, how you can make living things out of dead stuff and conscious ones out of unconscious ones, the wonder of natural processes, the idea that we have souls—but they’re made of neurons, and many [Read More…]

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The Complicated Relationship Of An Apostate To His Religious Friends And His Reilgious Past

In reply to this post from the other day and subsequent discussion in the comments section about the ways that religious belie can interfere with both reason and love, George writes, For the past year I have been trolling blogs and websites trying to wrap my brain around religion in general and evolution denial in [Read More…]

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