Death

Most nonbelievers think there is something absurd about the denial of death. Sam Harris expresses this view well:We live in a world where all things, good and bad, are finally destroyed by change. Parents lose their children and children their parents. Husbands and wives are separated in an instant, never to meet again. Friends part company in haste, without knowing that it will be for the last time. This life, when surveyed with a broad glance, presents little more than a vast spectacle of … [Read more...]

We don’t care

In both the United States and Turkey, the two countries I can observe most closely, the strength of conservative religious movements has a lot to do with how the religious are better at organizing care-giving and social solidarity compared to more secular people.In the US, much care-giving is linked to churches. From pastoral visits to the sick to church members pitching together to help a recently unemployed member, especially if you're relatively poor or in reduced circumstances, churches are … [Read more...]

Christian creationists for freedom of speech

And now, the Christian creationists—intelligent design proponents in this case—come out in defense of freedom of speech. That is, they decry the "Darwinist" persecution of alternative points of view.How many intellectuals and media conveyers will defend free speech and the importance of an unfettered debate of ideas? Fewer and fewer. We are witnessing in America a kind of academic French Revolution, where leading opinion is fratricidal, enraged, fanatical — and then overthrown to make r … [Read more...]

Muslim creationists for freedom of speech

We often hear of Muslims demanding restrictions on free speech, to prevent religious sensibilities from insult.In fairness, here is a group of Muslims standing up for free speech. They are, in fact, enraged about Western and secularist restrictions of freedom of speech. They demand thatTHE DARWINIST DICTATORSHIP SHOULD APOLOGIZEo For banning and burning anti-Darwinist books,o For refusing to permit any contrary opinions,o For removing scientists holding opposing ideas from their posts,o … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

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Denying service

Lately there seems to be many assertions of a right to deny services that violate the religious beliefs of a provider. Some Christian pharmacists want to have no part of filling a birth control prescription, a few Muslim taxi drivers want to refuse to pick up customers with dogs or alcohol, and so forth.Now, I figure such cases will eventually get resolved by the usual sort of political compromise, allowing conservative religious people some degree of moral posturing, while not inconveniencing … [Read more...]

More on Naturalism and Consciousness

Dianelos Georgoudis replied at length to my earlier posting on metaphysical naturalism and consciousness, and I would like to continue the conversation. I characterize metaphysical naturalists as committed to the causal closure of the natural universe, i.e., to the claim that natural phenomena, to the extent that they are caused (and not, say, random or brute facts), are caused by natural entities, forces, processes, etc. In other words, to parody the slogan about Las Vegas, what causes things … [Read more...]

Liberals for religion

Reading Liberalism for a New Century (Jumonville and Mattson, eds.) recently, I was struck by the backward-looking nature of allegedly cutting-edge liberal thought.I'll admit a certain bias: I keep a distance to American liberalism, though I invariably end up grudgingly voting Democratic. Liberals are far too conservative for my taste. And in this book too, liberal writers complain that liberalism has been marginalized in US politics because it has been insufficiently nationalistic, associated … [Read more...]


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