a tippling philosopher

Browsing Archive: February, 2012

The Fine-Tuning Argument

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, February 25, 2012, In : Religion 
Here are some notes I made some time ago on the Fine-Tuning argument. From memory, some of the ideas came from Richard Carrier in Sense and Goodness Without God. The argument looks like this (wiki):

The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unl...
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Faith Healing.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, February 19, 2012, In : Humour 

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AAARRRRGGGHHH!!! How do we help science???

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, February 19, 2012, In : Politics 

I am really quite scared about the future of, well, the world. We are potentially in the hands of big corporations and idiot politicians. What is particularly worrying is the potential presidents of the US: the Republican Party candidate leaders. There were several articles in the Guardian today which scared the bejesus out of me. This was one of them:

 

Attacks paid for by big business are 'driving science into a dark era'

Researchers attending one of the world's major academic conference...


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Quotations to keep you company #4

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, February 18, 2012, In : Religion 

The existence of a world without God seems to me less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell - Armand Salacrou.

 

I recall the story of the philosopher and the theologian. The two were engaged in disputation and the theologian used the old quip about a philosopher resembling a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat -- which wasn't there. "That may be," said the philosopher: "but a the...


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What gets my goat.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, February 17, 2012, In : Philosophy 

I was at a place called Monkey Bizness the other day with my two 18 month old twins and my partner. Monkey Bizness is a sort of kids climbing area with ball pits and all sorts. There is a special closed off area with a ball pit for under 2s only. There is a clear sign on the outside of the area and then by the ball pit which says children must be under 2 and cannot be supervised by an older sibling but only an adult.

 

I say this because this place led me to the realisation that I cannot st...


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Oppressed? Chuh!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, February 17, 2012, In : Humour 

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Is William Lane Craig Dishonest?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, February 11, 2012, In : Religion 
Here is a post aimed at getting some answers out of William Lane Craig about his inner witness of the Holy Spirit. John Loftus at DC would like him to answer dome pertinent questions, as you can see:



Is William Lane Craig Dishonest With the Facts? I've Drawn a Line in the Sand.

Most people know that I defend William Lane Craig against the charge that he is dishonest as an apologist. Among skeptics I am his biggest defender, perhaps the only one. But I have just ask...

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I am amazed anyone believes the Nativity at all!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, February 9, 2012, In : Books 
I am continuing apace with my latest book. But the more research that I do, the more astounded I am that anyone believes in the historical veracity of the nativity accounts of Jesus' birth.

I am including a section that I am still working on, and which has not been proof read yet, so apologies for any typos. It looks at the early actions of Herod and the notion that the magi are nothing but literary and theological devices:


13 – Herod acts rather naively and the magi as a mechanism for Matthe...


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Laurence Krauss on religion and science (from the Guardian)

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, In : Religion 

The faithful must learn to respect those who question their beliefs

Tensions between religion and science will persist unless believers recognise that skepticism is a hallmark of science

 

 

Issues of personal faith can be a source of respectful debate and discussion. Since faith is often not based on evidence, however, it is hard to imagine how various deep philosophical or religious disagreements can be objectively laid to rest. As a result, skeptics like myself struggle to understand or an...


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Great review of my talk on free will to the SHH.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, February 5, 2012, In : Philosophy 
Thanks to the South Hampshire Humanists who invited me to speak to them about free will last month. They have reviewed the talk in their recent newsletter:

… we were treated to an excellent exposition of the determinist position from our member Jonathan Pearce, suitably accompanied by slides. He began by reminding us of the three main positions — Libertarian (we own the decisions we make), Determinist (everything we do is determined by past conditions) and Compatibilist (Determinism and Fr...


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I get frustrated when people deny evolution.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, February 3, 2012, In : Science 
I was over on Debunking Christianity getting involved with a thread with a Christian who denies evolution. It pisses me off. Do people not read books? Do they not talk to experts in the field?

 From my book Unholy Questions:


It is worth looking at evolution in light of what is necessary for humanity, or any living organism, to exist. First of all, there must be a cycle to life. We must reproduce. Any life form that simply existed as a finite number would have to be impervious to danger, immorta...


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New video on naturalism vs supernaturalism

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, In : Philosophy 

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