Category Archive: philosophy

Jun 19 2013

Does Life Have A Purpose?

What does it mean to be alive? What is life’s purpose, if any? Material stuff that wants, that strives, To turn its one self into many What does it mean to have an urge? What does it mean to struggle? Must we ensure that our gametes merge, Or is it ok just to snuggle? What …

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Feb 25 2013

On Free Will

Our free will, or its illusion, Is the source of much confusion; We make choices all the time, but can we say that they are free? Mind and body in cohesion Make us think we are Cartesian, But the whole of modern science makes me want to disagree! A causal mind’s existence, Though a meme …

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Jan 25 2013

At The Dalai Lama’s Science Conference…

They’re analyzing consciousness By means of introspection And none of them have noticed that They’ve looked the wrong direction. The Dalai Lama saw the moon Was not lit from within He shared his observation (To his tutors’ great chagrin) Tibetan thought did not survive Objective observation The moon was not a lantern— That was just …

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Dec 17 2012

Mechanism, Contextualism, And The Limits Of Brain Science

Over at NPR’s 13.7 Cosmos and Culture blog, Alva Noë writes about “Science And The Allure Of ‘Nothing But“, a topic near and dear to my hearts. Reductionism in science has led us to some frankly silly stances, but stances held and strongly defended by major players, and (probably, but I have not counted) a …

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Jul 26 2012

Absolute Truth(s)

It’s fun* sometimes, to look at what other people think atheists must think. I saw an example of this recently: Atheists love to tell Christians we’re just about as atheistic as they are. We’re atheistic about millions of gods; they’re atheistic about millions plus one more. Okay, it’s silly, but I’ll address it one more …

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Jul 19 2012

The Philosophy Of Atheism

So, this pops up in my inbox this afternoon, and it’s the most beautiful bit of writing I have seen in a long while. Nobody writes like this these days–who is it? I ask. Ah. Emma Goldman, writing in 1916. (hat tip to Eagainst.com, who also have the essay in Greek, if you prefer)

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Apr 25 2012


A small handful of commenters on my Rainbow Connection poll said they knew what I was getting after. Could be, actually. If you know me well, I’m pretty predictable. As a clue, a hint, to those people (and anyone else who wants to guess), I’ll refer back to a favorite verse, and my all-time favorite …

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Apr 23 2012

On Free Will, Continued

Over on The Uncredible Hallq, I have run out of room in the comment thread, and there are two or three people there who clearly do not understand me. More after the jump:

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Mar 02 2012

When Alvin Plantinga’s Car Won’t Start

I got in my car, and turned the key; The engine pathetically sputtered. The idiot light on the dashboard blinked, And the idiot—me—simply muttered. It’s Satan again, playing loose with my car, With his telekinetic abilities Or else it’s the work of a communist spy Who’s engaging in open hostilities. Or maybe it’s gremlins, or …

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Nov 20 2011

Since We’re Coming Up On Thanksgiving…

Another oldie. Sorry. But I want you to donate to food banks, before thanksgiving. (non USAians, I just want you to be good people.) This verse, from a year and a half ago, examined motives. At the time, people were concerned that the reason that people donated to food banks was somehow more important than …

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