a tippling philosopher

Browsing Archive: November, 2011

New essay about the soul and how it must be deterministic

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, In : Philosophy 
I've recently written a new essay which I have posted here in the essay section of the website. Please read it and see what you think. Post any comments to it here. Here is the abstract to the essay:

Abstract: This essay sets out to dispel the myth that the soul can be the originator for free will. I will start the essay by establishing the Cartesian idea of what the body is and showing that Descartes and modern biology indicate that the body is a biological machine. After indicating how Desca...
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Still one of the best songs about skepticism.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, In : Science 
Enjoy.
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Made me think

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, November 27, 2011, In : Religion 


This one made me think!

I don’t know, I think this works.

Let’s take Craig:

Smart, religious. Dishonest.

Most religious people are honest and religious, but evidently not very smart.

Most secularists are clearly smart and honest, obviously!





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Yey to women! Boo to Bible...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, November 27, 2011, In : Religion 
Cheers Unreasonable Faith



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Why I am going on strike

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, November 27, 2011, In : Politics 
This is the message i am putting on my window of the classroom in which I teach.


 

WHY I, MR PEARCE, AM GOING ON STRIKE – A FAIR LOOK AT THE FACTS

 

 

 

 

There has been an awful lot of misinformation in the media about why teachers have decided to strike, and the reasons for and against such action. I would like to give parents the reasons why I have decided to strike, and to give my side of the story.

 

 

The present government plans are due to have the following consequences, among...


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Calling all dads of twins!!!!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, November 26, 2011, In : Books 
An announcement to any dads of twins out there in the UK. I have just released my third book, Twins: A Survival Guide for Dads. It is out now on Kindle, and will soon be released in paperback. Twins UK and TAMBA has shown an interest, which is great. 

Here is the description and a review:

"So you’ve found out the good news. How did you take it? Normally it is a choice of pure joy, pure terror or downright panic. In the event of any or all of these emotions, you will certainly be needing advic...
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Anthropogenic Global Warming Denial - what goes on in the minds

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, November 24, 2011, In : Science 
I was recently posting on a right wing blog in the UK (James Delingpole's blog in the Telegraph). The blog was a response to the seemingly conclusive report by BEST. See it here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021144716.htm

Now, the deniers still try to squirm their way out of accepting AGW, so I thought I'd look at it from a philosophical / psychological point of view. Hopefully, this exchange (not in its entirety here) might be of interest:

Do you really think Prof Curry debu...

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Mormonism - nice reasoning

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, November 24, 2011, In : Religion 
Courtesy Unreasonable Faith. Cheers.




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Still the best video on religion. Fact.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, November 23, 2011, In : Religion 
Enjoy.
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Is the US heading for a theocracy?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, In : Politics 
An article from the Slate:

 

Rule of Lord

The Republican plan to nullify the courts and establish Christian theocracy.



Is the United States sliding toward theocracy? That’s what Republican presidential candidates have told us for more than a year. Radical Islam, they’ve argued, is on the verge of taking over our country through Sharia law. But this weekend, at an Iowa forum sparsely covered by the press, the candidates made clear t...


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Quotes to keep you company #2

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, In : Religion 
 Perhaps our role on this planet is not to worship God - but to create Him. - Arthur C Clarke

 

I have too much respect for the idea of God to hold Him responsible for such an absurd world - Georges Duhamel.

 

IMPIETY, n. Your irreverence toward my deity.

 

INFIDEL, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion.  In Constantinople, one who does.

 

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of ...


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Quotes to keep you company #1

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, November 20, 2011, In : Religion 
Some nice quotes from history to keep you company:


Blind faith is an ironic gift to return to the Creator of human intelligence - anon

The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church - Ferdinand Magellan

Every step which the intelligence of Europe has taken has been in spite of the clerical party - Victor Hugo

All great truths begin as blasphemies - George Bernard Shaw
 
Religion is wha...


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Goddidit

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, November 20, 2011, In : Humour 
Thanks to unreasonable faith for this




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Luke's use of mimesis

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, November 19, 2011, In : Religion 

In “Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?”, Dennis MacDonald seeks to show how Luke / Acts imitates Homer. Luke, he claims very convincingly, uses mimesis –the copying  / imitating previous works for a variety of reasons – by imitating the works of Homer. This then calls into question the factual historicity of the events accounted.

 

MacDonald show in the introduction how Luke quite obviously uses mimesis with regards to the Old Testament. Over to the author:

 

 

“To illustra...


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Irreducible Complexity? Hmmm.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, November 18, 2011, In : Youtube 

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Good without God.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, November 18, 2011, In : Humour 

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Too good to resist...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, In : Humour 
Thanks to http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/. This blew my mind. I mean, we've all seen Jesus on a piece of toast, but this...!


Jesus spotted on dog’s butthole (Found at Dangerous Minds)

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Why Samson is clearly a solar myth

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, In : Religion 
Here are some notes I made from Tim Callahan's "The Secret origin of the Bible" a few years back. Excuse the note form and any spelling / syntax errors. It's still interesting reading and shows how clearly the account is mythological. Samson makes no sense as a stand alone tale, and has no allegorical or symbolic meaning at all, begging the question as to why it's in the bible at all, if not a story lifted from a nearby culture and adopted to Yahweh.



Why is Samson myth?

 

Samson is clearly m...


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Gods don't kill people...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, November 11, 2011, In : Humour 
Thanks to http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2011/11/gods-dont-kill-people/ for this

Gods don't kill people, people with gods kill people

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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, November 11, 2011, In : Religion 
Over on the Secular Outpost blog http://secularoutpost.infidels.org/2011/11/christian-nt-scholar-and-apologist.html there is some debate over the resignation of Mike Licona over his interpretation of Matthew 27. 

"As reported by Christianity Today (see here), New Testament scholar Michael Licona has apparently lost both his job as research professor of New Testament at Southern Evangelical Seminary and been ousted as apologetics coordinator for the North America Mission Board (NAMB). 

Why? In h...
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Cherry picking intervention

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, In : Humour 
Courtesy of Unreasonable Faith:



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Evolution - nuff said.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, In : Science 

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The differences in the Passion accounts - harmonisable?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, In : Religion 

Some apologists explain the separate and different details of the passion narratives by claiming that all the accounts of the passion, particularly the empty tomb sequences, are harmonisable – ie that all the witnesses were at the empty tomb, that all the discrepancies of the gospels were actual individual events, not versions of the same event?  Reading around this, this is a classic situation of conservative vs liberal.  Liberals are not bound to interpret the evidence charitably, and can...


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Objective morality and oughts

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, In : Youtube 

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Bicycle pumps and why prayer seems to work... sometimes...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, November 6, 2011, In : Religion 

I have an analogy which I hope will illustrate why at least a lot of examples of alleged successful prayer or interventions of God take place.

 

Yesterday I was pumping up the tyres to my twins’ buggy. I have an old bicycle pump which I bought probably seven years ago. I bought it for £3 – peanuts. This pump has been very hard working – two bicycles and a buggy at regular intervals (the buggy particularly often needing pumping up). The pump has worked tirelessly (pun intended).

 

...
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The Human Soul: A simple category error.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, November 5, 2011, In : Philosophy 

Atlanta Atheism Examiner

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A banking parable

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, November 4, 2011, In : Politics 
A parable
Lo! And it came to pass that a certain man was prevailed upon by his wife to have built a new kitchen extension unto his home. Loud were her weeping and wailings. Deep were her sighs. Many were the nights that she was just too tired, and extensive, even unto the splitting headaches. Until it became clear to the man that easement of his life would be facilitated merely by the building of a new kitchen extension.
Now in those lands lived a builder and on the white sides of his van were ...

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Intelligent Design? Not If You're Over 50

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, November 3, 2011, In : Humour 
A great article from John Blumenthal at the Huffington Post :

 Thanks to Michele Bachmann, the tired concept of Intelligent Design has once again become a topic of conversation among Creationists, most of whom, ironically, often sound like Neanderthals. In case you don't know, this boneheaded theory claims that the human body is simply too remarkable to have come into being through millions of years of haphazard evolution, and that some super-intelligent deity must have been the engineering wi...
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We're gonna live forever!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, November 3, 2011, In : Science 

Erasing the Signs of Aging in Human Cells Is Now a Reality

ScienceDaily (Nov. 3, 2011) — Scientists have recently succeeded in rejuvenating cells from elderly donors (aged over 100). These old cells were reprogrammed in vitro to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and to rejuvenated and human embryonic stem cells (hESC): cells of all types can again be differentiated after this genuine "rejuvenation" therapy. The results represent significant progress for research into iPSC cells and a fur...


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Aah, those good, alturistic people.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, November 3, 2011, In : Humour 
Thank you, this looks delicious.

Thanks to http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/ for this.

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Millican used my (!) argument against the KCA in his debate against Craig.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, In : Philosophy 
This, from the review by Wintery Knight, shows the refutation to the KCA that I have been banging on about for a year or so is being used against Craig in debate. Finally. Well done Peter Millican.

"1. There is no evidence that whatever begins to exist requires a cause. All the evidence we have of things beginning to exist are when something is created from rearrangements of other things that already existed.

The closest analog we have to something coming into being from nothing is quantum part...


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