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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ad Hominem



The Believer's Ontology


Sometime believers make our case better than we can.


The Anti-Freethinker

Reasonable non-belief


Faith trumps inquiry.




The Anti-Skeptic

Lack of empirical evidence

Revelation trumps discovery. 



The Anti-Secularist

Inconsistent revelations 


Custom trumps reason.

The Anti-Humanist 

The argument from evil

Piety trumps morality.



Next up, Avenging Hypatia.




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Avenging Hypatia



The New Atheists have nothing on these women. Their arguments are as compelling as any that were ever crafted.


The Freethinkers


Inquiry trumps faith. 











The Skeptics

Discovery trumps revelation.





















The Secularists

Reason trumps custom.














The Humanists

Autonomy trumps piety.




















Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Darwin Day Playlist




Charles Darwin (1809-1882) 

Ella Fitzgerald
Sheryl Crow
The Rolling Stones
Brook Benton and Dinah Washington
Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
Sheryl Crow
New York Dolls
Indigo Girls
Gloria Gaynor
Tim Minchin
Sade
Marvin Gaye
Dinah Washington
Flashdance
Cabaret
Intro TV Theme Song
Patti LaBelle
India Arie
Cher
Kanye West
Amy Winehouse
Salt 'N' Pepa (feat. En Vogue) 
Tina Turner
Percy Sledge
The Beatles 
The Rolling Stones
Carole King
Fats Waller



Suggestions?


Sunday, February 10, 2013

20th Century Horsemen




Inspired by Four Horsemen identified by Greg Epstein (2007), Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, in Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe and Massimo Pigliucci's (2010) exposition of the Pre-Socratic philosophers in Nonsense on Stilts How to Tell Science from Bunk, I set out to fill in the gaps from Socrates to Darwin. I use four classic ontological arguments as as basis of comparison with the New Atheists.


The argument from reasonable nonbelief- If the existence of the gods were self-evident, everyone would believe. The burden of proof is on religion. Russell's teapot is a classic example of a proposition that we do not take on faith.





The argument from inconsistent revelations- Sectarian religions are mutually contradictory, internally inconsistent an incoherent. They can't all be right, so who's to say they're not all wrong? Madalyn Murray O-Hair understood that no interpretation could salvage supernatural revelation.


Lack of empirical evidence- Discovery trumps revelation. Einstein believed in reason and evidence.


The argument from evil- If the gods are real, they have a lot of explaining to do. Carl Sagan celebrated the world on its own terms, not as capricious deities would have it.