Quentin Smith on Bertrand Russell on “Unyielding Despair” and the Meaning of Life

In his essay, "A Free Man's Worship," Bertrand Russell writes: Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no … [Read more...]

Link: Intended and Unintended Life by Brooke Alan Trisel

I am quoting the abstract of Trisel's paper here, without comment pro or con, for interested readers who may wish to read the paper for themselves. Feel free to debate in the combox. Abstract. Some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance. What is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? If life originated by chance, this suggests that life was unintended and that it was not inevitable. It is ironic that people care about whether life in general … [Read more...]

Di Muzio Responds to WLC on “Theism and the Meaning of Life”

LINKHT: Ex-Apologist … [Read more...]

Kahane on Cosmic Insignificance

This paper is an absolute must-read. Abstract: The universe that surrounds us is vast, and we are so very small. When we reflect on the vastness of the universe, our humdrum cosmic location, and the inevitable future demise of humanity, our lives can seem utterly insignificant. Many philosophers assume that such worries about our significance reflect a banal metaethical confusion. They dismiss the very idea of cosmic significance. This, I argue, is a mistake. Worries about cosmic insignificance … [Read more...]

The Alpha course vs. Philosophy

Extract from my OUP book Humanism: A Very Short Introduction, which references the Alpha Course (it's from chpt 7) Religion vs. shallow, selfish individualism Let’s now turn to religious practice. Setting aside the issue of whether God exists, perhaps it might still be argued that religious reflection or observance is required if our lives are not to be shallow and meaningless. Here is one such argument. It is sometimes claimed, with so … [Read more...]

Scalar Connection to Meaning of Life?

Because I've written so much about arguments from scale lately, the following statement in Dennis Prager's op-ed on atheism and consolation caught my eye."'And we promise to work for more gun control. But the truth is we don’t have a single consoling thing to say to you because we atheists recognize that the human being is nothing more than matter, no different from all other matter in the universe except for having self-consciousness. Therefore, when we die, that’s it. Moreover, wit … [Read more...]

Brooke Alan Trisel: Intended and Unintended Life

Abstract:Some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance. What is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? If life originated by chance, this suggests that life was unintended and that it was not inevitable. It is ironic that people care about whether life in general was intended, but may not have ever wondered whether their own existence was intended by their parents. If it does not matter to us whether one's own existence was intended by on … [Read more...]

Paul Draper’s Chapter, “Christian Theism and Life on Earth”

Keywords:Christian theism and life on earth; arguments against Christian theism, CT and IN; comparing Christian theism (“CT”) to “indifference naturalism”; IN, a form of naturalism and CT, supernaturalism; evolution, on special creationism as false; implication of God's “rationality,” creating a universe; theistic objections to special creationism; methodological naturalism, in the physical sciences; IN and CT, and accuracy, to the condition of life on earth; evolution, theists the belief, of God … [Read more...]


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