a tippling philosopher

Browsing Archive: March, 2012

Of Human Emotions

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, March 30, 2012, In : Philosophy 

In reading Steven Pinker’s How the Mind Works, which has been a slow burner (both in terms of time taken to read it and time taken to get into the really interesting stuff), I have just started to read about the importance and ontology of emotions. I came to a realisation, explicitly, that emotions are fundamental to our lives. Fundamental by way of giving us the reasons and desire to do all that we do. In fact, without emotion, we wouldn’t get anything done, and would undoubtedly not exi...

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Super-Earths 'in the billions'

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, In : Science 

Science correspondent, BBC News, Manchester



There could be many billions of planets not much bigger than Earth circling faint stars in our galaxy, says an international team of astronomers.


The estimate for the number of "super-Earths" is based on detections already made and then extrapolated to include the Milky Way's population of so-called red dwarf stars.


The team works with the high-precision Harps instrument.


This is fitted to the 3.6m telescope at t...

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"Why is not working?”

Posted by Sergio Paulo Sider on Friday, March 23, 2012, In : Religion 
Here is a post from a fellow freethinker, Sergio Paulo Sider from Brazil. Thanks Sergio!

"Why is not working?”


There’s an old joke about a young boy looking at his mum spending a long time doing makeup in front of the mirror.


Mum, what are you doing?

I am doing my makeup, darling.


To look more beautiful.

But why is not working?


I remembered this joke when I was thinking about the fact that, without some special and explicit hints, it’s virtually impossible to surely ...

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This is genius.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, March 22, 2012, In : Humour 
This is sooo good. I do this all the time because I am essentially a sad git.


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consciousness explained?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, March 18, 2012, In : Philosophy 
Here is an excerpt from my first book, Free Will? I have always been interested in consciousness and it remains a fertile battleground for many philosophers:

Consciousness explained?


We have touched lightly on naturalism and the soul, so it would be rude, and a little short-sighted, to forget to mention consciousness. Consciousness is another sticky bog that perhaps potentially undermines any concept of determinism. Unlike the soul, we know consciousness, at least in some way (and possibly...

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Can Religion be Destroyed?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, March 16, 2012, In : Religion 

Can religion be destroyed?


I was involved in a little discussion over at Advocatus Atheist the other day with regards to whether a secular and sceptical approach can spell the end of religion. I found this to be interesting. Even if the evidence 9does it not already) overwhelmingly ruled in favour of the disbelief in a personal god, would religion still tenuously hang on to the threads of desperate hope or ritualistic comforts that humanity seems to endure?


Firstly, we must accept tha...

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AAAARRRGGHH! The US scares me so much.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, March 11, 2012, In : Religion 
A fascinating article from the Guardian, bastion of sense in a world of nutjobs.

The new legal theory that enables homophobic evangelising in US schools

A campaign funded by the religious right has effectively rewritten the constitutional separation of church and state in education

The PFOX 'ex-gay' flier distributed in Maryland schools
The PFOX 'ex-gay' flier distributed in Maryland schools last month

Last month, 8,000 public high school students in Montgomery County, Maryland, went home with fliers informing them that no one is "born ...

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An excerpt from my upcoming book "The Nativity: A Critical Examination"

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, March 9, 2012, In : Books 
Just thought I'd post another excerpt from my upcoming book which is just being copy-edited at the moment. Let me know if you see any mistakes!

14 – An unlikely Herod acts particularly naïvely

One has to wonder why, if travelling from the East, the star does not lead the magi directly to Bethlehem but to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem. What becomes even more implausible is that Herod decided not to follow the star himself, but to task the itinerant wise men with going themselves and ...

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Heads you win tails I lose.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, March 8, 2012, In : Religion 

When thinking about subjects like the fine-tuning argument it becomes apparent that the theist loves to have their cake and eat it. They thrive off a “heads I win, tails you lose scenario”.


What I mean by this can be exemplified as follows:


In the fine-tuning argument when a sceptic argues:


The universe is more fine-tuned for death than life.

The size of the universe is so unbelievably and unnecessarily massive that it appears that it is not designed for human life.

Etc etc

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Apologies for quiet!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, March 8, 2012, In : Books 
Sorry I have been quiet these last few weeks, but I have been editing and finalising my latest book:

The Nativity: A Critical Examination

I will post an excerpt soon and get back to a few blog posts!

Here is the cover (draft):

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Privatised Police? Money first?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, March 4, 2012, In : Politics 
Call me a liberal leftie socialist (actually, I wasn't always. When I first studied economics I was pretty conservative) but....

It has become highly newsworthy recently that due to austerity measures in the UK, and due to slashed budgets in the police finances, certain UK police forces are considering outsourcing police work to private companies. 

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but private companies are answerable to stakeholders (shareholders) who demand profit. First and foremost, companies ar...
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Latest Richard Carrier Debate

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, March 2, 2012, In : Religion 
As a fan of much of Richard Carrier's work, I am looking forward to watching this debate on whether Jesus was the Son of God or a mere apocalyptic prophet.

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