A quick thought on the definition and usefulness of “philosophy”

One way to define philosophy is simply as what philosophers do. And “philosophers,” in a modern context, generally means philosophy professors. This is in some ways a nice definition, because it rules out the possibility of making the absurd-sounding discovery that much of what philosophers do is not philosophy. [Read more...]

Why I moderate comments lightly

One aspect of the civility issue, which I said quite a bit about last week, is the issue of how to moderate comments. A lot of people have had things to say about this, generally on the side of moderating comments more (even PZ’s in on that). I had previously ignored this facet of the [Read More...]

Petition to support Indonesian Atheist needs 18,000 more signatures this week

I had been vaguely aware of the story of Indonesian atheist Alexander Ann being sentenced to prison for “blasphemy” because of a fracking Facebook post expressing his doubts about the existence of God. What I didn’t know until today is that the petition to the White House to help him needs 18,000 more signatures this week [Read More...]

Richard Dawkins and other atheists defend Sam Harris

Richard Dawkins just published a piece titled “It’s What Moral Philosophers Do,” which sketches a bit of moral philosophy and then ends by saying: [Read more...]

I love Reddit

Because of stuff like this: [Read more...]

Baby reacts to baptism

Via Facebook: [Read more...]

The authors of the Old Testament were the Pat Robertsons of their day

I’m currently tweeting my way through the Bible. I’m currently in 2 Kings, which includes this lovely bit: “The Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” Gee, what does that remind me of… [Read more...]

Are believers stupid? Ignorant? Not worth talking to?

In their book Reasonable Atheism, Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse (two philosophers at Vanderbilt) define the “No Reasonable Opposition strategy” as follows (p. 28): [Read more...]

Open thread

I’m making this an open thread for people to talk about whatever they want. This is partly because I’m (technically) on vacation–but partly because I really like the community that’s been growing up around this blog, especially in the last month. I want to see what you call can do when not constrained by having [Read More...]


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