The (Epistemic) Floor is Made of Lava

I've been trying to be dilligent about following the trackbacks to people who have been discussing or critiquing my conversion post, and I found one I have to share.  Scott is linking in the context of a broader discussion about philosophy and the fundamental strangeness of finding really smart people who hold to improbable beliefs that you don't share.  He pretty much took the words right out of my mouth.  This is probably an egregious amount of blockquoting, and I apologize to Scott, but I ju … [Read more...]

Let me set some priorities

Ok, so the fact that it took me the entire day on Saturday to write my coming out post should have tipped me off that it was going to be hard to respond quickly and efficiently to some of the follow-up questions you guys have.  I'm making a list here of the most common posts people seem to want so I can focus on them.  The second list is some of the posts I want to write that are going to get interspersed in with the more meaty ones about conversion so I can stay sane and you won't lack for d … [Read more...]

Responding to the “What are you thinking?” comments

Now that the news has gone up on some of the other atheist blogs, some people in those threads who haven't really read this blog before are kind of understandably flabbergasted.  What bothers me though, are the some of the "I can't imagine why she would do something so stupid" or "this is totally incomprehensible, there's nothing she could have found compelling" comments.  The folks writing those posts are speculating about what could have caused this, since it wasn't data, and the leading c … [Read more...]

Doing Comment Triage [check back for updates]

I really appreciate all the warm messages of support that I'm getting in the announcement post from this morning, but I'm concerned that the critical comments are going to get buried, so I'm using this post to highlight the ones I've responded to so far.  If I haven't gotten to yours yet, and still haven't in a few days, feel free to still ping and remind me.  I may be waiting because I've got a post lined up that responds to your comment or I may have just lost track of it.You know I'm a p … [Read more...]

This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal

Update: I'm starting to work through the comments section and respond here.For several years, a lot of my friends have been telling me I had an inconsistent and unsustainable philosophy.  "A virtue ethicist atheist whose transhumanism seems to be rooted in dualism?  Who won't shut up about moral lapses as wounds to the soul and keeps trying to convince us it's better to be sinned against than sinning?  Who has started talking about mortifying her pride and keeps pulling out Lewis and Ch … [Read more...]

Telling Better Deconversion Stories

A while ago, Hemant Mehta of Friendly Atheist had a post contrasting atheist deconversion stories with Christian conversion narratives.  He thought atheists need to beef up speaking skills to be able to match the intense emotion of Christian "once was lost" stories. A lot of atheists stop believing in god after a long process of introspection. Maybe they read a book or a friend (or, ironically, a pastor) started them down that path, but there usually isn’t a “born again” moment. When we talk abo … [Read more...]

Epistemology for Time-Travelers

I've been mulling over a weird thought-experiment, and I'd be really interested in your intuitions.  (I'll explain why I've been thinking about it in a subsequent post). Poof! In a burst of special effects, you're confronted by a doppleganger you!"Hi," other!you says, "I'm you from the future."  Future!you knows enough about you that you're convinced it is indeed you, and does something that makes it probably s/he is really from the future (predicts a couple events)."Wow," you say, "my m … [Read more...]