a tippling philosopher

Browsing Archive: December, 2011

Morality of the Old Testament

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, December 31, 2011, In : Humour 
kill every man in town. sell the daughters into slavery. plunder the livestock. a plague on your city. ravish the women. mikey, stop playing 'god of the old testament', it's time for dinner.

Courtesy Unreasonable Faith

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Balance isn't everything - misrepresenting science in the media

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, In : Science 
This is a fantastic article which I read a year or so ago and have subsequently dug up, written by Mark Henderson, Science Editor of The Times. It details how media organisations falsely promote balance when reporting science, and end up doing science a gross disservice.

Dear BBC: balance isn't everything

By Mark Henderson

At the end of September 2009, a 14-year-old girl collapsed and died at her school in Coventry. Natalie Morton, an autopsy showed, was killed by a large chest tumour that had n...


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More on Craig's position

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, December 22, 2011, In : Religion 



 

Craig, in the video above, cements the sort of views which I posted in the previous blog entry. Thanks to GearHead Ed who linked this video in the last blog post. Watch this video, and read the last blog post, and you shall see that one can conclude the following about Craig’s views:


1)      The Witness of the Holy Spirit / subjective experience of God trumps every other type of evidence / proof.

2)      As such, there is no contrary evidence whatsoever that would invalidate a bel...


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Gadzooks, Craig, what are you thinking?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, December 19, 2011, In : Religion 
Craig has recently posted a Q&A that beggars belief. I'm not sure I need to explain it - I'll let the man talk for himself:

" This is because the resurrection of Jesus is essential to the truth of Christianity. So if Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity would be false. So if the bones of Jesus were discovered, that would entail that he did not rise from the dead and so Christianity would be falsified. ... 

" So, yes, if the bones of Jesus were to be found, then he did not rise and Chr...
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Plummeting Probabilities

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, December 18, 2011, In : Philosophy 
Quite often, theists posit arguments, but when they are met with difficulties, they necessitate extra premises. This is the case in Glenn Peoples' Moral argument, as pointed out by Stephen Law on his blog.

Here is what he had to say about what this does for the likelihood of the argument then being true:

Glenn Peoples' blog has been interesting me lately. He has just out up his version of a moral argument for the existence of God.

Glenn argues, as does Craig:

If there's no God, there are no obje...
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Free tee hee will

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, December 16, 2011, In : Humour 


Courtesy The A-Unicrnist

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Free will as an illusion; illusions as commonplace

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, December 16, 2011, In : Philosophy 
When people claim things like free will is an illusion, as i do, then critics often hit back with "Why expect something so obvious to be false? Why not accept it on face value as you do most everything else int eh world?" etc. etc. This is an appeal to intuition as being a form of (reliable) knowledge.

The issue here is that many, many things in our world are not as they seem. Our interpretation of reality is exactly that an interpretation - and there is no guaranteeing its accuracy. Let me re...
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New video

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, December 15, 2011, In : Youtube 
I have created a new video on broadly similar lines to some recent posts. Enjoy.
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25 Reasons to Disbelieve the Nativity: My next book is on the Nativity

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, In : Books 
Ho ho ho, it's Christmas. Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Or do they?

My next book, which has been on the back-burner for some time now, is tentatively called "25 Reasons to Disbelieve the Nativity". It will be a cumulative debunking of the Nativity of Jesus, Although there will be 25 points eventually, here below are 27 points, in note form, and the mental stretching and gerrymandering one has to do to accept them as coherent truth.

Let me know what you think:


1) Mary and then Joseph are visited b...


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Oughts and moral philosophy

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, December 12, 2011, In : Philosophy 

If a theist or God declares that I ought to do something, say A (such that it is good and I would get to heaven, but which is supposedly intrin, out of intrinsic duty, then this scenario seems to render that divinely inspired ought as meaningless:

 

If I want to go to hell, then in what sense of the word can it be said that I ought to do A? The duty to do good is circular so that I cannot say I ought to do good in order to do good, since this is tautologous. I ought to put oil in the car so...


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Genius

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, December 11, 2011, In : Humour 
Cheers Unreasonable Faith
 
 Creationism: because it's easier to read one book than a bunch of hard ones.
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Natural abortions: a miscarriage of divine justice?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, December 11, 2011, In : Religion 

The statistics for miscarriages are notoriously difficult to assess completely accurately. This is partly due to the fact that many miscarriages go unreported (those after 6 weeks of gestation, which are known as spontaneous clinical abortions). However, the greater reason is that early pregnancy losses – those that happen during the first 6 weeks of pregnancy, generally tend too happen without the mother even knowing.

 

So why am I writing about this? Well, because statistically, it mean...


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Cognitive Dissonance bunny-style

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, December 9, 2011, In : Religion 
Courtesy Unreasonable Faith



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Another 5* review!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, In : Books 
The Little Book of Unholy Questions, as linked on this site, has received another 5 star review on Amazon.com! Great stuff!.

Here it is:

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading with a profound contentDecember 7, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I met Jonathan in a couple of forums over the internet. When the subject is religion and philosophy you surely expect pa...
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Kepler 22-b: Earth-like planet confirmed

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, December 5, 2011, In : Science 


Astronomers have confirmed the existence of an Earth-like planet in the "habitable zone" around a star not unlike our own.

The planet, Kepler 22-b, lies about 600 light-years away and is about 2.4 times the size of Earth, and has a temperature of about 22C.

It is the closest confirmed planet yet to one like ours - an "Earth 2.0".

However, the team does not yet know if Kepler 22-b is made mostly of rock, gas or liquid.

During the conference at which the result was announced, the Kepler tea...


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The more stupid you are, the more happy you are likely to be, no?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, December 5, 2011, In : Philosophy 


This raises an interesting philosophical point which was raised in a recent New Scientist article:

Don't get smart: The curse of knowledge
Richard Fisher
New Scientist
30 July 2011 pp 39-41

Knowing less can make you a better teacher, a more perceptive student and a happier person overall. It could even make you richer.

 

HEY, you, stop reading right now. This magazine might be bad for you. Put it down, kick your feet up and do something mindless instead.

 

Still here? Perhaps it would change ...


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World Becoming Less Violent: Despite Global Conflict, Statistics Show Violence In Steady Decline

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, December 4, 2011, In : Anthropology 
Following an online argument which you can see here (where I think I safely refute the other guy's points fairly comprehensively. He's a dolt who couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag), I thought it would be interesting to post an article dealing with Steven Pinker's latest critically acclaimed book:

 This is an article in the Huffington Post.


WASHINGTON -- It seems as if violence is everywhere, but it's really on the run.

Yes, thousands of people have died in bloody unrest from Africa to Pa...


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William Lane Craig and the Kalam Cosmological Argument

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, December 2, 2011, In : Philosophy 

 

During William Lane Craig’s recent Reasonable Faith tour to the UK where he debated philosophers such as Stephen Law and Peter Millican, Craig received a vast amount of publicity for having Dawkins refuse to debate him. However, what was more important to me was either a severe case of philosophical amnesia, or Craig has dropped the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which has been a standard part of his three / four / five pronged attack for decades. Why, I wonder. Well, let me explain.

 

 ...


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Bible - metaphor or real?

Posted by Cobourg Atheist on Friday, December 2, 2011, In : Religion 

Posted by Cobourg Atheist. 



Most Christians accept that a large part of the bible is a metaphor, analogy or parable; whatever you call it, a lot is not meant to be taken literally.  In some parts of the gospels, Jesus spells out that he's telling a parable - e.g.  the prodigal son, good Samaritan etc. but in others we have to hear the priest or minister explain that the story should be interpreted as a story that teaches us something.  One major example is the story of creation which is only a...


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10 ways to change the world

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, December 1, 2011, In : Politics 


I was speaking to a friend last night at Transition Fareham’s Green Drinks. This is a fathering of like-minded people who want to make our local town more sustainable. My friend Fiona has started writing articles for a local magazine and we were wondering if we could shoehorn Transition Fareham into the article. One idea was writing an article about the 10 ways you, as an individual, could change the world. I like this idea, so I have decided to start a list of my own. Perhaps you could a...


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