The Monty Hall Problem – Part 1

This post is off topic, but there are math and logic buffs out there who might enjoy a discussion of the Monty Hall problem, and I'm hoping to get some feedback on some thoughts I have about a standard solution to the problem.Fig Leaf JustificationAtheists and Naturalists are a minority group. Most people in the USA believe in God. So those who are doubters and skeptics are generally clear on the idea that the majority can be in the wrong, and also that smart people can believe stupid things. … [Read more...]

Naturalism and Norms

My recent exchange with Taner on ethical naturalism (EN) prompted a good bit of stimulating comment and criticism. I’ve been out of town for a couple of weeks and away from blogging, so I have not been able to reply to each comment as it arrived. Rather than attempt to do so now, I would like to address the issue that seems to me to be at the heart of much of the discussion: How do naturalists justify norms? The prima facie problem is this: Norms tell us what should be, not what is. Many p … [Read more...]

Religion as an inability to handle randomness

One consistent theme in my writing about science and religion is that there is an awful lot of randomness in the world, and that supernatural beliefs typically deny this randomness.Here's a discussion of some recent psychological research that connects nicely. Religiosity is often associated with an inability to accept randomness.I should probably add a qualification. I have run into some more strict-rationalist nonbelievers who also object to randomness, and who also are compelled by the … [Read more...]

Atheist converts after mock-prayer is “answered”

In the news:A self-confessed atheist has become a believer after mocking God by sarcastically praying for his mother to win the lottery. However, his joke prayer was amazingly answered as the next day his mother won $1 million on the New York Lottery Sweet Million game.Sal Bentivegna, 28, who did not previously believe in God, had sarcastically asked his mother to “ask your God for a million dollars”.However, his mother Gloria Bentivegna, follows the Catholic faith, and staying true to her bel … [Read more...]

“Supertheory of Supereverything”

It's not exactly new, but I just ran into Gogol Bordello's song "Supertheory of Supereverything." Enjoy it: … [Read more...]


Well, I'm still here.It also occurs to me that I would have very little opportunity for direct evidence of the Rapture a day after the promised date. I don't have many friends or colleagues who would be good candidates for being taken up in the air.Maybe if I were to go down to the supermarket and it seemed especially uncrowded? I'll have to see what happens. I shouldn't run out of milk until Tuesday. … [Read more...]

New Chick Tracts

Just in time for the impending rapture:And here's an anti-Masonic rant, just as in the good old days: … [Read more...]

Response to Taner

Taner, Thanks for the long post and the many insightful points and queries. Since Aristotle is the founder of naturalized ethics, it is really important that we get him right. Aristotle does not base his ethics upon “human nature,” but what he calls “the human function.” (Sorry, I don’t know the Greek) The human function comprises the way of living for which nature has suited humans. That is, just as the Great White Shark is suited (as the Richard Dreyfus character says in Jaws) to swim, eat, … [Read more...]