Guest Post by Angra Mainyu: Determinism and Compatibilism: A Reply to Jerry Coyne

Note: The following post is a guest post by SO commenter Angra Mainyu.In this post, Jerry Coyne made a some ethical and metaethical claims, as well as some claims about compatibilists. In this post, I would like to address some of his claims about compatibilists. I think the failure of many compatibilists to give explicit definitions of the term is that so doing would would expose the intellectual vacuity of their arguments. You’ll look in vain in Dennett’s piece for his definition of free w … [Read more...]

Please Excuse me from the Francis-Frenzy

I was watching the NBC Evening News a couple of nights ago as it covered the arrival of Pope Francis I. The allegedly objective reporter referred to the Pope not as "The Pope" or as "Pope Francis," but as "The Holy Father" and "His Holiness." Is NBC now CBS--The Catholic Broadcasting System? Would any imam or even the Dalai Lama be shown such reverential deference? Of course, Francis does look cuddly compared to his predecessor, Grand Inquisitor Benedict XVI. J. Edgar Hoover would have looked c … [Read more...]

Darwin the Philosopher

I have noted several unfortunate statements by scientists, some of whom I deeply respect, expressing disdain for philosophy. Their view, apparently, is that if you have science you have no need for philosophy. This attitude is doubly unfortunate. First, it betrays considerable ignorance, and, second, when scientists reject philosophy, they really, really should avoid philosophical questions, like the existence of God, because they say embarrassing things that a bit of philosophical insight would … [Read more...]

Craig on Appeals to Common Sense

Here is something written by a reader who asked not to be further identified. I think he makes a good point and raises the interesting question of when appeals to common sense are reasonable and when they are not. The author begins by commenting on a reply made to me by Craig in our 1998 debate. ….but I recently watched (and enjoyed) your 1998 debate with William Lane Craig and found myself rather irked by something Craig said.  The result is what you see below, which I thought you m … [Read more...]

100 Key Psychology Studies Repeated

This is a bit off topic, but psychology has important implications for understanding religious belief and the absence of religious belief and rejection of religious belief.  One hundred key psychology experiments published in three top psychology journals in 2008 were reproduced to see if the same results were obtained as the originally published experiment.  The bottom line: about 2/3 of the studies did not hold up in terms of statistical significance, and "very few of the redone studies c … [Read more...]

Atheist Revival Meeting

Folks, it has come to my attention that some other atheists on other sites are indicating that we here at SO are not real atheists. We may even be crypto-Christians who appear in atheist guise to delude the unfaithful. So, I and Jeff and Bradley—and you atheists who frequently comment, like Scott, Ryan, and PDH—are all under a cloud of suspicion. Well, we might as well admit it. We are backsliders. We are lukewarm in our unbelief. We occasionally show respect to theists, whereas furious, ven … [Read more...]

Stupid Atheist Meme #3: Freethinker = Atheist

LINK (to my old Secular Web article from 2001) … [Read more...]

Stupid Atheist Meme #2: “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence”

This is my second post in my series on stupid atheist memes. (For the previous entry, click here.) I'd like to discuss the following meme, coined by philosopher W.K. Clifford in his famous essay, "The Ethics of Belief." It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. While I am embarrassed to admit that, in my philosophical youth, I used to agree with this meme, I'm proud to say I got wiser.The problem with this meme (and the reason I think … [Read more...]