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Category Archive: Atheism and philosophy

Jul 29 2014

Facing death-2: My own attitude to aging and death

Like everyone, my view of death is shaped by my own life experiences. I became seriously ill with polio at the age of six and it was only as a result of the heroic efforts of my family and the skill of the physicians who treated me that I have had a full life. But …

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Jul 28 2014

Facing death-1: Why think about it?

I have been thinking about death quite a lot recently. Circumstances have forced this topic to the forefront of my mind. Don’t get me wrong. There are no signs that any time soon I will be shuffling off this mortal coil, checking out, kicking the bucket, snuffing out the candle, or any of the other …

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Jun 18 2013

The compatibilism puzzle

I am a hardline materialist. I think the material world is all that there is and I have no reason to believe in the existence ofany nonmaterial entities. I did not start out with this view as an a priori philosophical premise. Rather I have arrived at it over time as the only way that …

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May 25 2012

Thought experiments on the historicity of Jesus-2: The case of the sixth islander

In a post yesterday I discussed a paper by philosopher Stephen Law of the University of London where he used a thought experiment and something that he called ‘the contamination principle’ (P2) to cast doubt on the claims of whether a historical Jesus existed.

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May 24 2012

Thought experiments on the historicity of Jesus-1: The contamination principle

Readers may recall an earlier post on the question of whether the Jesus of the Bible is based, however loosely, on an actual historical figure living in that region of the world at that time (as claimed by the historicists) or whether he is an entirely fictional character based on myths and legends (as asserted …

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Apr 17 2012

Is philosophy science?

In general, questions such as “Is (subject X) a science?” are not very useful. After all, what does it matter what label you assign to something? In certain situations though, the label matters quite a lot. In the US, because of the Establishment Clause, the answer to the question of whether a theory is scientific …

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Mar 25 2012

Reason Rally report

morans

I attended a portion of the Reason Rally yesterday in Washington DC. It drizzled or rained gently most of the time, which cast a bit of a damper on the proceedings but people were in good spirits. The crowd that attended should dispel the notion that the nonbelievers movement consist of old, white guys. It …

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Feb 15 2012

Existence and universal claims

An interesting discussion has broken out in the comments section of the post The weak historical evidence for Jesus that is related to the question of where the burden of proof lies when promoting or refuting a claim. Those who started reading my blogs only after I moved to Freethought Blogs have been (so far …

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Jan 27 2012

How does one scientifically disprove something?

J&M edge

In the article titled Buddhism Without the Hocus-Pocus in the The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 13, 2012, page B4, unfortunately behind a subscription wall) by Owen Flanagan, a professor of philosophy at Duke University, that I wrote about yesterday, the author quotes the Dalai Lama as saying that if

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Jan 16 2012

Why agnostics may find the religious more congenial than atheists

A regular reader of my former blog, who describes himself as a fence-sitting agnostic, commented in response to one of my posts at my previous site: One objection I do have against this blog is the sense of superiority it conveys and the derision with which it refers to the religious. Atheism somehow seems to …

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