a tippling philosopher

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Skeptic Blogs becomes Skeptic Ink Network (SIN)

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, In : blogging 
So Skeptic Blogs had to change its name to appease Michael Shermer, whose own website bore a very similar nomenclature. We have now moved to a shinier, better equipped and more sleek site, called Skeptic Ink Network. My site still remains as A Tippling Philosopher:

http://skepticink.com/tippling/

Come and check us out! We have a facebook page and a twitter feed too. Unfortunately the redirects didn't last long, so the old URLs are defunct.

Do it!

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The move to Skeptics Blogs is going great!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, In : blogging 
The recent move from here (and Debunking Christianity) over to help found the new Skeptics Blogs is going great. The blogging community is growing there as we take on new bloggers, and the quality is right up there, whilst the footfall has certainly increased. All thing considered, I am a happy man.
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The All New Skeptic Blogs - why I am migrating my blog and my work at DC to help found a new community

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, August 16, 2012, In : blogging 
THe internet is an amazing place, full of innovation and vibrancy. There has been a movement towards community blogging as of late, with bloggers coming together to operate on a platform of blogs. Such an example would be Freethought Blogs (FTB) which, despite its recent internal and external controversies, has been a resounding popular success. Such success is evident in its hits / readership. 

With Skeptic Blogs, we would like to emulate the success but take it one step further in welcoming ...
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The Olympics, Boxing, God, The US and the Russians

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, In : General Life 
Recently, at DC, I posted this:
I'm loving the Olympics, I really am. I have even been to see some women's volleyball and it was great. It has all been so well organised (and in so being, it's great to put one up Mitt Romney for his silly comments). However, the good ole sporting problem raises its theological head. Who does God support? I was watching a boxing match which tied. This means that the judges' individual scores were tied so it goes down to who the judges selected in their intui...

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Exciting News

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, August 13, 2012, In : General Life 
Within the next couple of days, there will be some exciting news to announce with regards to blogging. As you know, I am a regular contributor to  Debunking Christianity, John Loftus' website and blog. There is movement afoot and a new project is under construction. All I can say is watch this space because there will be an exciting announcement to make in the next couple of days.
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I want to buy this - should I?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, August 10, 2012, In : Humour 
BOLLOCKS FISH DARWIN ATHEISM ATHEIST ANTI RELIGION MENS FUNNY T SHIRT S-3XL

or this

Atheism T-shirt Faith Science Fish Atheist mens T shirt (S- XXL) 6 colours 

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Frank Tipler refuted on his Star of Bethlehem thesis by Aaron Adair

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, August 10, 2012, In : Religion 
To coincide with the recent release of my book The Nativity: A Critical Examination, I wrote a couple of posts concerning issues with the nativity accounts in Luke and Matthew on the Debunking Christianity blog. One Christian commentator, Vincent, made replies to many of my points, all of which I rebutted. There was one point on which he pushed and that was a thesis by Christian physicist Frank Tipler that sets out to defend the Star of Bethlehem from a naturalistic standpoint. Tipler hypoth...

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Attention and completion as accurate predictors in 4 year-olds

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, August 6, 2012, In : Science 
Rather similar to the Gao et al and Walter Mischel research I refer to  in my Free Will? book, here is some new evidence showing that completion and attention at age four are accurate predictors of achievement some twenty years later:


Preschool Children Who Can Pay Attention More Likely to Finish College: Early Reading and Math Not Predictive of College Completion

 

 

ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2012) — Young children who are able to pay attention and persist with a task have a 50 percent great...


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Is God at the Olympics?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, August 6, 2012, In : Religion 
I'm loving the Olympics, I really am. I have even been to see some women's volleyball and it was great. It has all been so well organised (and in so being, it's great to put one up Mitt Romney for his silly comments). However, the good ole sporting problem raises its theological head. Who does God support?

I was watching a boxing match which tied. This means that the judges' individual scores were tied so it goes down to who the judges selected in their intuitive press of a button. This the...

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I'm going to the Olympics tonight

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, July 28, 2012, In : General Life 
I am pretty excited to be going to the Olympics tonight - Earl's Court - to watch some Women's Volleyball. It starts at 10.00 in London so travelling is sure to be a nightmare, but it's got to be done. 

The question is, who do I support? USA or South Korea?

As always, no doubt the losing underdog!

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Rules of discussion - love this!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, July 27, 2012, In : Philosophy 

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Social Deprivation Has a Measurable Effect On Brain Growth

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, July 23, 2012, In : Science 

Social Deprivation Has a Measurable Effect On Brain Growth

ScienceDaily (July 23, 2012) — Severe psychological and physical neglect produces measurable changes in children's brains, finds a study led by Boston Children's Hospital. But the study also suggests that positive interventions can partially reverse these changes.

 

Researchers led by Margaret Sheridan, PhD, and Charles Nelson, PhD, of the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children's Hospital, analyzed brain MRI scans from...


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Are humans getting better?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, July 23, 2012, In : Philosophy 
Are humans getting better?

Due to our up and coming Tippling Philosopher’s meeting entitled “Are humans getting better?” I thought I would put a piece together to get a few thoughts down. This is an interesting question because it promotes going down all sorts of rabbit-holes. I will try and keep my thoughts tight, however.

First of all, we are not talking about the world, but about humans which keeps things nice and specific. “Are humans getting better?” straight away implies ...
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One of the worst Christian arguments that I have argued against

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, July 22, 2012, In : Religion 
Recently, I posted a piece on biblical contradictions and how Christians harness cognitive dissonance to help them find desperate ways in which to defend ideas of inerrancy. I looked to show that they use a circular approach without realising it:

1) The Bible never makes contradictions
2) All alleged contradictions can be harmonised
3) Since the Bible never makes contradictions, all harmonisations are inherently more probable than the idea that there are contradictions
4) All harmonisations ...

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Another good review for "Free Will?"

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, In : Books 
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thought-Provoking Book!July 16, 2012
By 
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Free Will?: An investigation into whether we have free will, or whether I was always going to write this book (Paperback)
I recommend this entertaining and well-argued, mind-blowing book in which the author examines a notion we all seem to take for granted in the West, i.e., our dearly beloved notion of free wil...
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Atheist Acceptability on the Rise in America

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, July 15, 2012, In : Politics 

More than half would now vote for a nonbeliever.

Published on June 28, 2012 by David Niose in Our Humanity, Naturally

 

 


The good news for nonbelievers is that, for the first time ever, more than half the American population would vote for a qualified, open atheist for president.  A recentGallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans would not consider a candidate’s atheism to be a disqualification for holding the nation's highest office.

This shows remarkable progress, a nine-point incr...


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Biblical contradictions and the Christian mind

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, July 13, 2012, In : Religion 
Recently, elsewhere, I have been discussing the contradictions of the Bible. Many are fairly irrelevant in the scheme of things and don’t really invalidate the core claims of the Bible, only the claims of inerrancy. What it does show, however, is the rationalisation process of the average Christian. Not only is the process hilarious to watch, but the answers given vary so widely amongst defenders of inerrancy (and even amongst liberal defenders who instinctively try to protect the Bible's ...

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Higgs Boson - the God Particle...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, July 6, 2012, In : Humour 


 

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Antony Flew on 'Theology and Falsification'

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, In : Religion 
This superb essay was linked to me by Andreas on another thread. I/t is 44 years old now and was written by Antony Flew in his prime. It is as relevant today as it ever was:



Theology and Falsification

The following excerpt was published in Reason and Responsibility (1968).

by Antony Flew

et us begin with a parable. It is a parable developed from a tale told by John Wisdom in his haunting and revolutionary article "Gods."[1] Once upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jun...

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Heads you win, tails I lose

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, In : Religion 
Here is a video summing up and previous blog post of mine about theists using evidence at the opposite ends of the spectrum to conclude that God exists.


 
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Big Bang didn't need God to start universe, researchers say

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, In : Science 
[From msnbc.com]

 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Our universe could have popped into existence 13.7 billion years ago without any divine help whatsoever, researchers say.

That may run counter to our instincts, which recoil at the thought of something coming from nothing. But we shouldn't necessarily trust our instincts, for they were honed to help us survive on the African savannah 150,000 years ago, not understand the inner workings of the universe.

Instead, scientists say, we should trust the la...


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I have an internet stalker - and he's a bloody pain in the arse

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, June 29, 2012, In : Books 
So I have a stalker. He's a complete tool with no capacity for intellectual conversation. He started by posting a negative review of my free will book without having read it. He has done it on .com and .co.uk,. He has started reading it now but is so dense that he is making stooopid claims. He is a man of the cloth, it seems - a Father Clifford Stevens.

For example, in Free Will I set out the three positions, talk about their main adherents and then debunk them. However, he quotes me quoting...
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D Rizdek gives an insightful view on writing Gospels

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, June 23, 2012, In : Religion 
Here is a good post from another blog which I think is worth reposting. I think people forget to think of the Gospel writers as real people actually sitting down and logistically trying to create something so demanding:

It always puzzles me at the idea that someone might assume one person, be he named Matthew or Sam, just sat down one day and decided to write a book called the Gospel according to Matthew from memory or from his own notes. Is this how literary scholars think things got writ...

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The Nativity available now!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, June 22, 2012, In : Books 
My new book "The Nativity: A Critical Examination" is now through all the distribution channels! It has a foreword written by David Fitzgerald, author of "Nailed". Looking at the infancy narratives in the Bible, it analyses the reports from a historical context to see whether they stand up to scrutiny.

They don't. Check it out in paperback or on Kindle.

 
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Nonstampcollector, sticks and stones - and yes, they will break bones.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, June 21, 2012, In : Youtube 
Nonstampcollector is always good - this fulfils expectations:


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The Nativity and Herod

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, June 21, 2012, In : Religion 
Whilst some of you may think Christmas has come early, the reality is that I have a new book out which deals with the historicity of the nativity accounts found in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. As if all the other arguments aren’t enough, there’s nothing like topping it all off with a healthy dose of critical historical analysis.

So the book is called The Nativity: A Critical Examination and the more involved in writing and researching it I became, the more amazed I was that anyone a...

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Philosophy and knowing about as much as possible (and my free will talk)

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, June 17, 2012, In : Philosophy 

So I gave a speech to the Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub group on Thursday night and, if I might say so, it went really well.

 

Here is some of the feedback from the events page:

 

“Amazing talk tonight, I'm still attempting to process everything..so many questions :) Thanks Johno Pearce.”

 

“Fascinating talk on free will tonight by Johno Pearce. Who knew philosophers could be so ... enthusiastic?!”

 

Which is great to hear – I’m glad I did not disappoint. However, to be ...


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Reppert on loving your enemies

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, June 14, 2012,


I was perusing Victor Reppert’s blog in order to catch a feeling of what apologists around are saying. Something that Reppert was talking about over on his blog dangerous idea the other day struck me as slightly nonsensical. Reppert was dealing with Keith Parsons talking about the commandment to love thy enemies, and how far this should be taken. Parsons gives examples of really terrible actions of certain people and Reppert counters that loving these people is “above his pay grade”: ...

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My talk tonight to the Portsmouth Skeptics

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, In : Philosophy 
i am pretty excited about tonight's talk on free will to the Portsmouth Skpetics in a Pub group. Hopefully there'll be a good turn out. Free will seems to really be on the agenda at the moment. People are talking about it and it features on programmes such as Horizon, Radio 4 and suchlike. There is certainly an appetite fro the debate.

Here are the details:

http://portsmouth.skepticsinthepub.org/ 

I'll let you know how it goes!

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Interesting extra-terrestial impact

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, In : Science 
New Evidence Supports Theory of Extraterrestrial Impact

ScienceDaily (June 11, 2012) An 18-member international team of researchers that includes James Kennett, professor of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, has discovered melt-glass material in a thin layer of sedimentary rock in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Syria. According to the researchers, the material -- which dates back nearly 13,000 years -- was formed at temperatures of 1,700 to 2,200 degrees Celsius (3,100 to 3,600 degr...

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Heads you win, tails we lose

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, June 10, 2012, In : Religion 

I would like to investigate in this post the opportunism of the theist. I have been involved in many conversations and debates, and have certainly seen many debates between proponents of most corners of the divides, and there is something which does annoy me. Theists, it seems, like to have their cake and eat it. They seem to enjoy the ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ ethos. There are many arguments where the theist will use the evidence available, in this here world, to support their case. ...


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Valaerie Tarico - I Don’t Believe in a God – What Should I Call Myself?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, June 7, 2012, In : Religion 

I Don’t Believe in a God – What Should I Call Myself?


Posted on  


Valerie Tarico


Catholic, Born-Again, Reformed, Jew, Muslim, Shiite, Sunni, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist . . . .  Religions give people labels. The downside can be tribalism, an assumption that insiders are better than outsiders, that they merit more compassion, integrity and generosity or even that violence toward “infidels” is acceptable. But the upside is that religious or spiritual labels offer a way of defining ...


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Craig and The Kalam Cosmological Argument...again

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, In : Philosophy 

Recently, William Lane Craig has produced a video, based on an essay in a book he and Paul Copan have edited this year “Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics” entitled “Terrible objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument”. I am yet to read the essay, but I must assume it to broadly follow the line of his video of the lecture “Worst objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument”.

I have a mild obsession with the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) and am poten...

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Craig objecting to Kalam objections

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, June 3, 2012, In : Philosophy 
As you may have gathered, I object to the Kalam Cosmological Argument. A lot. On my You Tub video about it, a Christian posted something to which i retorted. I then also sent him my extended post rejecting the KCA. He then sent me a video recently taken of Craig refuting objections by internet philosophers of the KCA. 

So far I have only watched 19 minutes of it, but based on those 19 minutes, my opinion is pretty damned low. Craig's problem with the circularity picks on a rather bizarre and i...
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Matthew and the guards at the tomb

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, May 31, 2012, In : Religion 

In this post, I am going to look at the resurrection account given by Matthew, in particular his addition found in no other Gospel account, that there were guards stationed at the tomb.

 

 

According to Matthew, the chief priests were worried that the disciples might steal Jesus’ body to fake a resurrection, so they went to Pilate and got permission to post a guard on the tomb. When Jesus rose from the dead, the guards reported it to the priests, and the priests bribed them to claim that...


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This video scares the bejesus out of me

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, May 31, 2012, In : Religion 
Oh dear. This is truly terrible.

Terrible.

 
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Autism study strengthens idea that we read God's mind

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, In : Science 

Autism study strengthens idea that we read God's mind

 

People with autism appear less likely to believe in God – a discovery that has strengthened theories that religious belief relies on being able to imagine what God is thinking, a capacity known as "mentalising".

 

One of the hallmarks of autism is an impaired ability to infer and respond to what other people are thinking, so the investigators wondered whether this would affect their l...


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Everyone's agin it! The church and homophobia

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, In : Religion 
This has been hitting the news in the US.

Oh dear. Can I even say any more?

 
 


And then a response from one of his idiotic congregation members.
 


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Book looks good!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, May 28, 2012, In : Books 
I have just received my proof copy of my new book "The Nativity: A Critical Examination" and it looks really good. As you can imagine, i am pretty excited. It is available of kindle already, but there's nothing like the feel of new book in your hands!

The cover looks great too. Just a week or so before it filters through the distribution channels then!

 


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Determinism vs compatibilism: abrogation vs moral responsibility?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, May 26, 2012, In : Philosophy 
I have been discussing with someone about moral responsibility with regards to determinism, free will and compatibilism. 

Compatibilists often claim, as per David Hume, that the agent has free will because they are not being physically coerced to do something by another agent. However, a hard determinist such as myself will simply claim that that coercion is internal, and not external. The causal process is what makes an agent do something, and this may take its form in other agents, genetics,...
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High praise indeed - and a cable TV slot!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, May 25, 2012, In : Books 
A chap called George Ortega contacted me recently about a video of my free will talk to the South Hampshire Humanists. He runs a small local cable project about free will in the States. Anywho, he is planning on using the video as the backbone for four of his cable shows, which is great.

What is more impressive, is this quote from him:

 
This is far and away the best refutation of free will available anywhere! I'm only about 1/3rd of the way through it, and Johno Pearce wowed me so completely ...

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10 Commandments...

Posted by B__e on Thursday, May 24, 2012, In : Religion 
Here is a post from an ex-Christian called B__e who has been ruminating on this for a whiile. See what you think:

Ten Commandments or Ten Suggestions?

By B__e

I have sometimes heard that the Bible has the Ten Commandments and not the “Ten Suggestions.”  I’m not so sure that Yahweh thinks so based on the Scriptures themselves, since He appears to break or flout them all.  You be the judge…

1.       You shall have no other gods before me.

Deuteronomy 6:4 reads:  “Hear, O Israel: Th...


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A Universe form Nothing - Krauss

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, In : Science 


I am presently reading Laurence Krauss' readable and short book "A Universe from Nothing". i like short books like this due to the fact that my reading list is incredibly long.  


I was reading a segment on antimatter and antiparticles, and I just loved this quote:


I like to say that while antimatter may seem strange, it is strange in the sense that Belgians are strange. They are not really strange; it is just that one rarely meets them.

Anywho, it seems a good book so far, some 50 odd pa...

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Outdated morality?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, In : Religion 
I like this picture. I can imagine it being pretty true. 

Please refer to my previous posts on the issue. 

 

 

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Guest poster at DC

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, May 21, 2012, In : Religion 
Author John W Loftus has asked me to be a guest poster over at Debunking Christianity. At 130,000 hits+ a month, this is a great privilege and one about which I am very grateful. Thanks to John for the invitation. Hope to see you there!


http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/ 

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Why do normal people believe ridiculous things?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, May 20, 2012, In : Religion 


Why, indeed, do normal people believe ridiculous things? We have heard much from John Loftus about the OTF – the Outsider Test for Faith – which essentially illustrates that religion is a (geographical) accident of birth. It claims that if believers used the same critical powers they use to assess, and dismiss, other religions and their claims, then they are obliged to turn those critical faculties on their own. If they did, John would claim, then they would surely end up dismissing the c...


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Ockham's Razor and Christianity

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, May 19, 2012, In : Religion 

OCKHAM’S RAZOR AND CHRISTIANITY

 

Here is a definition of Ockham’s Razor:

 

Occam's Razor: the principle that entities should not be multiplied needlessly; the simplest of two competing theories is to be preferred.

 

This can often be a very useful principle in comparing competing theories which seek to explain the same phenomena. I will like to apply this theory to everything we know and see whether Christianity or atheism is a more attractive theory.

 

 

Let us look at issues w...


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A word on exclusivism

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, May 17, 2012, In : Religion 

Exclusivism, as I understand it, is merely accepting one belief in denying other similar claims. Which can surely be boiled down to accepting a claim and denying other claims.

 

We all do this, surely.

 

I see people as having two choices for living in a world of evidence.

1) being Pyrrhonian Skeptics

2) being able to make some kind of truth claims (beliefs)

 

For those who don't know Pyrrhonian Skepticism:

Whereas academic skepticism, with Carneades as its most famous adherent, cla...


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Gay marriage - the real reason for opposition

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, May 17, 2012, In : Humour 

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The Nativity update - proof ordered, Kindle submitted

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, In : Books 
I am pretty excited. My new book, The Nativity: A Critical Examination, has been submitted to Kindle and the printers / distributors. It will be available on Kindle by the end of today, and I should get a print proof copy within, say, a week or so.

Being my fourth book (discounting the children's book I edited), I am really happy with things at the moment. It's all about keeping that profile up!

I'll keep you posted.

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A very good video indeed on biblical approach to marriage

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, May 14, 2012, In : Youtube 

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Author David Fitzgerald is writing a foreword for my new book

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, May 11, 2012, In : Books 

 I am very excited to announce that author and public speaker David Fitzgerald will be writing the foreword for my new book "The Nativity: A Critical Examination". i am really pleased that he thought the book was "excellent".


I am presently making some final editions, changing a few things about which David and myself have been talking. A big thanks to him.

Go and buy his excellent book from the UK and US links above!

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Very funny. An amusing political take on abortion laws, a very serious issue...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, In : Politics 

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Sam Harris defends profiling. and philosophically so do I, but the devil is in the detail...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, May 7, 2012, In : Philosophy 
Sam Harris, apparently, has recently been defending profiling. Without knowing the detail of what he says and the real context, I thought I'd give my tuppence worth in defending profiling in a basic philosophical way. Here is what I have posted elsewhere:

In really simple terms, profiling should be seen in a consequentialist frame (IF you adhere to moral consequentialism. If not, and you adhere to Kantian Categorical Imperatives, then profiling is likely morally bad in and of itself since peop...


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Jerry Coyne has dug these maps out - awesome

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, May 3, 2012, In : Religion 
This map was posted by Jerry Coyne to show, along with John Loftus' Outsider Test For Faith, that religion is an accident of birth.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/science-vs-religion-the-outsider-test-for-faith/ 



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Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, May 3, 2012, In : Religion 

Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

ScienceDaily (Apr. 30, 2012) — "Love thy neighbor" is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people.


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Hypocrisy?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, May 3, 2012, In : Humour 

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The Philosophy of Evolution

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, In : Philosophy 

I was worried recently when I read the phrase “goal-directed evolution” in some philosophy writing. This annoys me since it shows what I consider to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what evolution is and does, and philosophers should know better,


People often think, incorrectly, that genes, or chromosomes, or animals, or evolution as a whole are invested with purpose, with agency. This is patently false. There is no agency in the chemical make-up of genetic material and evolution, ...


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Homosexuality and Christianity Part 2

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, In : Religion 

So now it is time to return to the idea of homosexuality and Christianity about which I posted the other day.

 

Having looked at biblical issues concerning the position of deeming h/s morally wrong, let us now look at what makes people h/s and whether it is fair for an all-loving god to judge them.

 

Historically, h/s has been seen as a behavioural choice. However, over recent years, more and more research has been carried out into the causality of h/s.

 

H/s is seen as being "an endur...


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Josephus' Testimonium Flavianum

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, April 30, 2012, In : Religion 
This is an excellent and informative post from Harry McCall on DC which i thought was interesting enough to post here:

 

This is the reply I got from the foremost scholar on Josephus today (apart from Louis Feldman).  Steve Mason is editor-in-chief of EJ Brill’s multi-volume on the works of Josephus:   
 
http://www.brill.nl/publicatio...
 
 
On 18-Feb-09, at 8:27 PM, Harry McCall wrote:

Professor Mason,
 
I have several volumes in the Brill series Flavius Josephus:  Translation and Commenta...


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How Physics and Neuroscience Dictate Your "Free" Will

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, April 29, 2012, In : Philosophy 

Physics and neurobiology can help us understand whether we choose our own destiny 



From the Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=finding-free-will 


By Christof Koch  | Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 27

 

 

 

In a remote corner of the universe, on a small blue planet gravitating around a humdrum sun in the outer districts of the Milky Way, organisms arose from the primordial mud and ooze in an epic struggle for survival that spanned aeons.

 

Despite all evidenc...


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Epistemologically superb video...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, April 28, 2012, In : Philosophy 
This is a great video about epistemology:

 
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Homosexuality and Christianity.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, April 27, 2012, In : Religion 

I am writing a post in reaction to something about which I was talking with my Christian friend (let’s call him Colin). We were talking about homosexuality and his approach to it given his Christian background. Some points were interesting and some I fundamentally disagreed with. Here are his views:

 

  • As according to the Bible, homosexuality is wrong.
  • This morality is grounded in God.
  • He is not homophobic and detests that label as it automatically halts any further informed discu...

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Of Hardening of Hearts

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, April 26, 2012, In : Books 
I thought, as I was reading through Free Will? again for a reprint, that it was worth posting this. It is still, to me, a really powerful argument against the sort of God we all know and love....




Of hardening of hearts

 

Normally, there are two ways of seeing theological determinism. Firstly, the soft type, called soft theological determinism, allows for humans to have free will, even though God knows what they are going to do. The hard type means that humans do not have any free will, and G...


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New book idea - Craig and the Kalam

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, In : Books 
I will soon be writing an extended essay on the Kalam Cosmological Argument as used by William Lane Craig. This has recently been a personal interest of mine as a subject, so it seems obvious that it would be a future choice of subject for a book.

The KCA has been a stalwart defence used by many apologists, particularly Craig. erroneously so, I believe. The essay and book will set out to undermine the KCA in the ways that I have shown already on this blog and in the essay section in my cosmolo...
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Ehrman, Carrier, everyone else and Jesus mythicism.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, In : Religion 

Battles have been raging online over the last month or so with regards to Ehrman's treatment of mythicism in his last book (Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, cobbled together from his debates, I believe) which was summed up here in his outspoken Huff Post article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bart-d-ehrman/did-jesus-exist_b_1349544.html

Carrier responded to this with gusto in his excellent piece here:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/667

 

Whic...


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Going Dutch

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, April 20, 2012, In : Religion 

This is an article from last year on the BBC which is really interesting. The Dutch certainly do things differently...

 

Dutch rethink Christianity for a doubtful world

By Robert Pigott

Religious affairs correspondent, Amsterdam

 

The Rev Klaas Hendrikse can offer his congregation little hope of life after death, and he's not the sort of man to sugar the pill.

 

An imposing figure in black robes and white clerical collar, Mr Hendrikse presides over the Sunday service at the Exodus Church ...


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Most important questions

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, April 19, 2012, In : Philosophy 
At our last Tippling Philosophers meeting we threw into the hat the questions that we would most like answered. I compiled them all, and combined a couple (which is why number 6 is missing). What do you think? What questions would you think are the most important questions?

1. What one quality / human characteristic should we want to prioritise in carrying forward out development / evolution?

 

2. What do you think we will carry forward?

 

3. Can God know everything?

 

4. If there is ...


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Behaviour controlled by genes

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, April 19, 2012, In : Science 

Can Behavior Be Controlled by Genes? The Case of Honeybee Work Assignments

ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2012) — What worker bees do depends on how old they are. A worker a few days old will become a nurse bee that devotes herself to feeding larvae (brood), secreting beeswax to seal the cells that contain brood and attending to the queen.



After about a week, she will progress to other tasks, such as grooming nest mates, ventilating the nest and packing pollen. Only at the end of her life will she be...


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Dogs can't give birth to non-dogs. Oh dear.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, In : Science 
Here is a response I made to Steve, a christian posting on DC, to a popular myth about evolution spread by the likes of Kent Hovind.

OK, Steve has used the :


We all know that dogs give birth to dogs, not zebras, and ants lay eggs that hatch into ants, not Canada Geese.


approach, which is straight from the book of Hovind.


Firstly, let me remind you of a post I made here at DC about a year ago about there being no such thing as a species (objectively) - http://atipplingphilosopher.yolas...


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Avalos vs Darrel - "Is the bible a source of absolute moral rules for today?"

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, April 16, 2012, In : Religion 

I have seen the opening statements of both. I almost burst out laughing at the poor poor tack taken by Darrel. Firstly, he sets out deconstructing Avalos' epistemology and morality. This is both a red herring and a shifting of the burden of proof. It matters not one jot, because that is not the focus of the debate. The debate is "Is the bible a source of absolute moral rules for today?" I can only see that Darrel should make a defensive stance. Avalos could have come out and said "I derive my...


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Another reply to David B. Marshall on faith vs Reason

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, April 14, 2012, In : Philosophy 
This is my latest reply to the debate going on here:  http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/explaining-faith-so-that-even-david.html 


Basically, so that we may be able to take this discussion further towards a much-needed conclusion, this is what I think faith is:

 

I am going to flesh out what is essentially the dictionary definition so that it is more philosophical and robust. But I am essentially not redefining it too far beyond what is accepted by the majority of the world....


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Free Will Talk to the South Hampshire Humanists

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, April 13, 2012, In : Youtube 
Here is the video of the talk I did on free will to the South Hampshire Humanists in January of this year. Let me know what you think. The questions got cut off at the end.


 
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Faith vs Reason

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, April 12, 2012, In : Philosophy 
Here is a post of mine which John Loftus at Debunking Christianity posted today. It was part of a larger discussion with David Marshal, a Christian author and blogger. See what you think. 
The post is here: 
http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/explaining-faith-so-that-even-david.html 
And the larger discussion here:
http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/less-evidence-you-havethe-more-faith.html#disqus_thread 

David

Part of the problem is that you are extracting these...


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Carrier at Skepticon 2

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, April 12, 2012, In : Religion 
This is a superb video which I have seen a few times. There is a lot of info in it, and it gathers momentum as it goes on. The case Carrier builds up for internal evidence as to the existence of Jesus, or lack thereof, is fantastic. I am not a mythicist: I am agnostic. But he does build a superb case.

 
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Being nice is genetically determined?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, In : Science 

Born Nice? Peoples' Niceness May Reside in Their Genes, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2012) — It turns out that the milk of human kindness is evoked by something besides mom's good example. Research by psychologists at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Irvine, has found that at least part of the reason some people are kind and generous is that their genes nudge them toward it.


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Rick Santorum as you have never seen him before.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, In : Humour 
This is genius. Rep candidate Rick Santorum's picture made up entirely of gay porn pictures. Aah, the irony.



Rick Santorum made from gay porn 

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New essay on Paul submitted by Sarah Cook.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, April 9, 2012, In : Religion 
This is an essay submitted by Sarah Cook, an undergraduate student reading Religious and Theological Studies at Cardiff University. It is a good, concise synopsis on whether Paul defends slavery or doesn't; and whether he does so from a position of historical and cultural context or from his own understanding of the morality of slavery. 

See what you think.
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US schools. Eek!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, April 7, 2012, In : Religion 
Courtesy of richarddawkins.net:


The Lord’s Army Comes to America’s Public Schools

“Now that you know the truth, who will you share this with?” asked Ian’s fourth-grade teacher. The setting was a March 2012 meeting of the Good News Club in a Pasadena, California public elementary school. Good News Clubs are afterschool “Bible study” programs with a fundamentalist agenda that are ...


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New speaking engagement booked - a talk on free will

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, In : Philosophy 
I am really pleased to announce that I have another speaking engagement booked in Portsmouth, to talk to the Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub about free will.

The Skeptics in a Pub is a growing secular movement around the country, and I must say, I am really looking forward to it!

Here are the details:

"An investigation into whether we have free will or whether I was always going to write this book"

Jonathan Pearce 

When? 
Thursday, June 14 2012 at 7:30PM

Where? 


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Why burqas / niqabs are controversial

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, April 2, 2012, In : Religion 

Burqas are back on the agenda in the UK. This is because there was a recent furore within the British legal aystem. A Muslim woman was barred from serving on a jury because she refused to remove her veil. In a controversial ruling, a judge said she could not sit on an attempted murder trial because her full face covering (niqab) concealed her expressions.

 

Knowing this is controversial, I would like to give my tuppence worth because I am against the wearing of such veils and I will tell yo...


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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.

Why?

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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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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One of my favourite analogies.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, In : Philosophy 
I love this analogy for the intuitive brilliance and common sense that it makes. It exposes the explanatory weakness of supernaturalism and illustrates that it has been on the retreat ever since the new boy Science hit town. It can be found in many of Richard Carrier's writings, for example here. See what you think.




The cause of lightning was once thought to be God's wrath, but turned out to be the unintelligent outcome of mindless natural forces. We once thought an intelligent being must have...
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Rick Santorum thinks pregnancy through rape is God's gift? Seriously?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, January 29, 2012, In : Politics 
From the Guardian:

 

Rick Santorum thinks pregnancy through rape is God's gift? Seriously?

Invoking God's will as a supporting argument to his position on abortion hardly fits with the constitution he claims to uphold

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum (left) signs autographs at a Tea Party campaign rally. Photograph: Joe Skipper/Reuters

As a lapsed Catholic turned atheist, a staunc...


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Why Christianity is not 'responsible for science' (Part 2)

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, January 29, 2012, In : Religion 

Epistemologically speaking, truth was often seen as being the product of revelation, whether from God or the Pope. Therefore, empiricism was frowned upon as a method to arrive at truth and certainly could not trump revelation.

 

What was also frowned upon was scientific progress. This value was seen as poor in comparison to the value of the Gospels and spreading the good word, and the resulting relationship with God. These value positions were not antithetical to God, but they likewise did ...


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Why Christianity is not 'responsible for science'. (part 1)

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, January 28, 2012, In : Religion 

I have recently been involved in an argument online which is a very common argument and one which annoys me just a little. It is also an argument which I have had many times before with Christians. The claim goes something like this:

 

“Christianity is responsible for the development of science.”

 

The word science can be swopped with hospital, charity, education and so on. In the case in hand, there were statements such as:

 

“the essential neccesity of Christianity to the origin...


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Philpapers as an awesome resource for philosophical opinion

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, January 23, 2012, In : Philosophy 
For those of you who don't know, philpapers is a resource I refer to a lot because it is so damned useful and interesting. Wiki:

PhilPapers is an international, interactive academic database of journal articles for professionals and students in philosophy. It is maintained as a combined project of the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra and the Institute of Philosophy in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London.

As of 2012, the site ...


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My first public talk (on free will)

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, January 23, 2012, In : Philosophy 
On Sunday, I was lucky enough to have been invited by the South Hampshire Humanists (SHH) to do a talk on free will in Southampton. This was my first public speaking engagement in the world of philosophy and I was both nervous and excited. There was an assembled audience of only 20 people which was nice and intimate. I talked for about 45 minutes and then did a Q and A session afterwards.

Back some months ago I turned up to the SHH drinks in a nearby pub - a social to discuss pertinent subject...
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Hell and its incoherence

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, January 21, 2012, In : Youtube 
Just thought I'd throw this one out there again:



 
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Bethlehem or bust

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, In : Books 
Here is a draft version of a section of the book on the Nativity that I am working on. see what you think:



5 - To Bethlehem or not to Bethlehem

 

 

Bethlehem is a very important place for the average Christian. It is the birthplace of Jesus. But it is more than that, it is the birthplace of the predicted Messiah, whether Jesus existed or not. For Jews and Christians alike, Bethlehem was touted as ‘the place to be born’ if you had any hopes of achieving Messianic greatness. For an eva...


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"Free Will?" Kindle format tidied up.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, In : Books 
Kindle formatting is a nightmare. Not being able to accept tables for free-flowing text is a headache. For my twins book, which had loads of tables, it really proved frustrating. There were some glitches for the Free Will? book too (as well as a duplicated quote). I have now tidied them up and resubmitted a better .prc file for the Kindle version on Amazon. Anyone who has bought an earlier version, let me know (with proof) and I can send you a rectified file. 
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Natural oughts? Is there such a thing as natural?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, January 15, 2012, In : Philosophy 

I was wondering today, as I lay there with one of my twins in my arms, as to whether oughts can be derived from a natural pre-programmed’ behaviour. For example, if an evolved characteristic, such as aggressiveness in males (I am generalising here, of course) or to want to eat meat, or, if it could be proven, that it were ‘natural’ to be heterosexual was inherent in a human, are we then obliged in some way to act in accordance with that ‘natural’ inclination?

 

Or, indeed, is it ...


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Arguments against the existence of the soul

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, In : Youtube 
Just reading some writing which Saga Sabin sent me on consciousness, it reminded me of the problem faced with people who claim we have soul but who accept evolution. At what point in evolution did homo erectus or similar develop a soul? Which family had mum and dad without a soul but sonny with a soul?

Enjoy.

 
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An independent Scotland and Salmond's double standards

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, In : Politics 

I don’t profess to have too much opinion on Scottish independence. It is quite hot news in the UK as there is talk of a referendum Alex Salmond is leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) who, for the first time ever, have a majority in the devolved Scottish parliament. There is great debate as to whether it would be beneficial for Scotland to have their independence from both sides of the fence.

 

There are claims that Scotland are a drain on the UK parliament and that they cost more ...


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A Tale of Two Texts

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, January 8, 2012, In : Books 
I am really enjoying writing at the moment. I have drafted some 40 odd pages. Here is the start to the bppk (after the introduction) which looks at the Gospels as an overview, and then the two texts individually. I have included the short overview section here:



 

PART 1 – THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS

 

 

Introduction to the texts

 

 

It would be imprudent to start talking about the issues with the textual accounts of the nativity without at first acknowledging their background and discussing the...


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New book coming on nicely

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, In : Books 
It always feels good to get a good evening's writing done. i must admit, I am really enjoying writing this new book (working title - 25 Reasons to Disbelieve the Nativity). I am some 20 odd pages in and I will certainly have enough pages to make a decent sized book. It is going to be a job making sure it is concise enough!

I am also rating Gerd Theissen's 'The Historical Jesus'. What a fantastic reference book it is turning out to be! I have just finished my opening background section on the G...
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Quotes to keep you company #3

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, In : Religion 

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel

 

Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy

 

 

If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstances.  -Theodore Dreiser, 1941.

 

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficient and omnipotent God would have designedly cre...


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My Top 5 Atheist / Agnostic songs

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, January 1, 2012, In : Religion 

I have decided to compile a list of my favourite atheistic / agnostic / philosophical songs. There are many on other lists which I do not know and feel I would like to, but here is my definitive list. I have made a comment with each and maybe copied the odd lyric to explain why it is in the list. I will also try to list any YouTube links to the songs.

 

Please add your own selections in the comments below and if I don’t know them, I am sure to want to check them out.

 

1)      Ring the ...


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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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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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Jedward - evidence for determinism

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, October 29, 2011, In : Philosophy 


 

 

I am going to use an unlikely tool to show the philosophical veracity of determinism – the belief that we have no free will. The evidence I am going to bring to the stand is / are Jedward. For those who don’t know them, they were X-Factor sensations from Ireland – identical twins who are so similar you just can’t tell them apart. And they do EVERYTHING together.

 

So, let’s look at free will. I do not want to get into the intricacies of free will here (you can read my book...


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Ray Bradley vs Craig on hell

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, October 28, 2011, In : Religion 

I have just listened to Ray Bradley debate William Lane Craig. I heard this several years ago but didn't really pay it close attention. This time round I was quite shocked at how many points Craig evaded, or logical demands from Bradley that he met with the terms "God may" and so on.

 

Craig squirmed big time when Bradley pressed him on subsets of compossibles. This is a REALLY important point. I will try to set it out here:

 

Imagine a set of people, call that set A. These are all the people in ...


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Good science? Bad science.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, October 27, 2011, In : Humour 
Christian Big Bang Theory (Found at Joe. My. God.; For a related video, click here http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/post/241750582/teaching-kids-to-reject-evolution-and-embrace)

Courtesy http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/page/5 

 

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A great article on the circularity of God = Good moral argument

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, October 24, 2011, In : Religion 


Does Morality Depend on God? - P. Wesley Edwards
(updated 20-Aug-2004)

Introduction

I have rarely engaged in a debate with a theist where the issue of morality justification has not come up.  The theist’s complaint typically takes the following form.

If there is no God, then why is it wrong to murder and  steal? Even if you don't want to murder and steal, on what grounds can you criticize someone who does, since morals must be completely relative and arbitrary to an atheist?  Without God there ...


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Question

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, October 24, 2011, In : Religion 
What would it take for Christians / The World to stop believing in God?


What is the threshold? What is the evidence needed etc?

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Good signage

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, October 20, 2011, In : Humour 
Thanks to Christian Nightmares for this.


Church sign shows how much God loves us (For a related post, click here http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/post/3727327741/church-sign-god-wants-full-custody-not-just-a)

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Stephen Law vs William Lane Craig Debate Review, Part 3

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, October 20, 2011, In : Religion 

So, on to the rebuttals. Craig pointed out in several of his rebuttals that Law has not, and did not seem to want to, critique the cosmological argument. Craig does have some beef here as Law seemed to want to debate Craig’s version of God rather than the more fundamental argument over A God’s existence. Thus in true debate point-scoring, Law would take a hit here. However, as Law plainly stated, and I think this was a wise move, this would have broadened the scope too far and wasn’t im...


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Evolution, Natural Selection, True Beliefs, Stephen Law and Plantinga's EANN

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, October 20, 2011, In : Science 
In a YouTube conversation that I am having, I have been discussing Stephen Law's chat with Alvin Plantinga on Premier Christian Radio's Unbelievable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyQ5cFIoKts

The poster stated this: "To return to the frog example. Why should natural selection care about the frog's beliefs? If you design a robot to catch flies, it can do so beautifully without having true beliefs - or false beliefs - or any beliefs. So why should natural selection bring beliefs into the equ...
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Debate Review: Stephen Law vs William Lane Craig Part 2

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, In : Religion 

So, on to Law’s opening statements. It’s probably better to get this from the horse’s mouth - http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2011/10/opening-speech-craig-debate.html. However, I will duly sum up. Law, much to his credit, claimed he was only interested in defending his position using only one argument, based on the Evidential Problem of Evil. That being, if God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, then he is able, knows how and is loving enough to want to do something about all ...


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Debate Review: Stephen Law vs William Lane Craig Part 1

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, In : Religion 

Last night, two friends and I went to the Stephen Law vs William Lane Craig debate at Westminster where the two philosophers were debating ‘Does God Exist?’ Craig’s Reasonable Faith tour has been hotly anticipated by Christians and non-Christians alike, and with the relative unknown of Stephen Law (in debating terms), there was a feeling of unpredictability thrown in to the usual wager that Craig would win.

 

The debate was good, though not necessarily for the straightforward reason o...


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William Lane Craig vs Stephen Law debate review

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, In : Religion 
I was lucky enough to be in Westminster at the Law vs Craig debate on Craig's Reasonable Faith tour. It was a cracking night. I do not have time to review it yet. Suffice to say that it was probably a draw. The format was good and the contributions good. I thought it was well-narrowed down, and Craig did not produce a scatter-gun approach.

A much larger review to follow.

Also, I got to meet both of them, gave Law my book, and asked Craig a question to which he couldn't answer. Great. 

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Going to see Craig debate tomorrow. My questions for him.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, October 16, 2011, In : Religion 
I am going to see William Lane Craig debate Stephen Law tomorrow in Westminster. I am pretty excited, even though the best one can hope for is some kind of philosophical impasse. Anyway, I have penned a couple of questions which I would love the opportunity to ask. I will try and get my tuppence worth in the Q & A:

 

Given that God is perfect, this must either be the perfect creation, or the most perfect created parameters that could achieve the best possible outcome. Since plate tectonic which...


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God's omniscience and his own free will

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, October 15, 2011, In : Youtube 
Check out my new video!




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How useful is claiming God grounds morality?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, October 13, 2011, In : Religion 
This comes courtesy of Theoretical Bullshit. It is a precis of the end of his excellent video found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWNW-NXEudk

 

Let’s imagine a thought experiment:

 

God comes to you and tells you there are transcendent, unconditional moral oughts. Just imagine that in this world all the things you ‘ought’ to do, from a moral point of view (a moral ought), happen to cause unfathomable pain, suffering and injustice and will land you up in hell where you will experi...


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Ray Bradley vs William Lane Craig

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, October 9, 2011, In : Religion 
I have just listened to Ray Bradley debate William Lane Craig. I heard this several years ago but didn't really pay it close attention. This time round I was quite shocked at how many points Craig evaded, or logical demands from Bradley that he met with the terms "God may" and so on. 

Craig squirmed big time when Bradley pressed him on subsets of compossibles. This is a REALLY important point. I will try to set it out here:

Imagine a set of people, call that set A. These are all the people in t...

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Religious people are nerds...?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, October 9, 2011, In : Youtube 

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Sweet violent bejesus!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, October 6, 2011, In : Humour 
Ta, courtesy Unresonable Faith http://unreasonablefaith.com/2011/09/28/jesus-take-the-mortar/
 
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Uncaused God vs Uncaused Universe

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, In : Philosophy 
A really important point made here in the context of debating William Lane Craig:

"Additionally he has to posit that the most complex state of being possible, God, was uncaused whilst the simplest possible state, empty space, had to have been caused by god."
 
 This, as a wider point, is a really concise and acute way of putting across the idea that an eternally existing universe is no more, and even somewhat less, improbable than an eternally existing God. I like it.

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William Lane Craig is disturbed.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, In : Religion 
William Lane Craig, debater and apologist extraordinaire, really said this. No, really, he did.
(http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5767)

"So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers t...
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Loftus posts my piece on DC

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, October 3, 2011, In : Religion 
John Loftus, blogger at Debunking Christianity, has posted this piece on his blog, kindly (http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2011/10/is-this-best-possible-world-and-does.html#disqus_thread):


Is this the Best Possible World and does God have Free Will?

Let us assume the triple properties of the classical approach to God: that he is omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. In terms of the classic Problem of Evil argument, if there is too much evil in the world, ...


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The BBC and BC/AD to be replaced by BCE/CE

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, September 25, 2011, In : Religion 

I was walking past the newspaper stand in the newsagents and I saw the headline to the Daily Mail. Now, the Daily Mail is a hate-filled diatribe of poor and polemical journalism. Its online message boards more so, with posters who are so right wing, they would be more at home in the Tea Party.

 

Anyhow, what was the headline? Well:

 

BBC turns its back on year of Our Lord: 2,000 years of Christianity jettisoned for politically correct 'Common Era'

This was the headline to an article full...


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New video - another question for God.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, September 23, 2011, In : Youtube 

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The Rooney Rule and Positive Discrimination

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, September 19, 2011, In : Philosophy 

Recently, the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) has been toying with the idea of employing the Rooney Rule when shortlisting and interviewing candidates for managerial positions in football clubs in England. The rule demands that clubs must interview at least one black person for manager when recruiting.  This rule was rolled out to NFL clubs in the States in 2003 and has since been reformed to include ethnic minorities there. I would like to look at this from a philosophical poin...


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Please subscribe to my YouTube channel

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, September 16, 2011, In : Youtube 
Check out my YouTube channel for interesting videos on topics covered in my books, blog and concerning other things philosophical and theological.
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Sarah Palin dents Tea Party reputation?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, September 15, 2011, In : Politics 
I damn well hope so! Looks like the Palinator has got herself in trouble. A new book out has revealed that some time ago, Sarah Palin had an affair with a basketball player, and also snorted cocaine with her husband on a snowmobiling holiday.

This is good news since one would assume that this might well dent her chances of running for US President which would be a disaster for all mankind.

Book Claims Sarah Palin Had One-Night Stand with NBA Star Glen Rice



By IBTimes Staff Reporter | September 1...


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Tee Hee

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, September 10, 2011, In : Humour 
Courtesy of Unreasonable Faith



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Yom Kippur and Pontius Pilate

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, September 1, 2011, In : Religion 
I think this was originally Carrier:


When Mark says the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had a custom of releasing a prisoner on the annual holiday and the Jews cried for Barabbas, and to crucify Jesus in his place (Mark 15:6-15), what we have is surely a myth and not fact.  No Roman magistrate (least of all the infamously ruthless Pilate), would let a murderous rebel go free, and no such Roman ceremony is attested as ever having existed.  But the ceremony so obviously emulates the Jewish ritual ...


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God is a consequentialist video

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, In : Youtube 
A new video detailing my post below about how God is a consequentialist. Enjoy.



 
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Richard Carrier's excellent argument against supernaturalism

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, In : Science 

The cause of lightning was once thought to be God's wrath, but turned out to be the unintelligent outcome of mindless natural forces. We once thought an intelligent being must have arranged and maintained the amazingly ordered motions of the solar system, but now we know it's all the inevitable outcome of mindless natural forces. Disease was once thought to be the mischief of supernatural demons, but now we know that tiny, unintelligent organisms are the cause, which reproduce and infect us a...


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Nice post by lockley at DC

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, August 16, 2011, In : Religion 
Here is Lockley's post:

 

Religions tell you that you must have faith because there is no other reason for believing! One does not need faith where enough evidence exists. I don’t need faith that gravity will suddenly give way because according to all my perceived observations and experiences- gravity has never failed me or anyone else before!

 

Listen believers.....If there really is a god, and there really is some ultimate truth that we humans must know for the sake of our eternal souls, ...


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Gilgamesh flood myth vs Biblical account.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, August 15, 2011, In : Religion 

I have always maintained that the Flood myth in the bible is dependent upon the earlier Mesopotamian Gilgamesh as a source. Tablet XI (http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab11.htm) shows clearly that the two stories are so similar as to be beyond chance. This explicitly illustrates how the biblical narrative cannot, in any realistic sense, be anything like the truth. This quote from Cyrus Gordon sums it up (Cyrus H. Gordon and Gary A. Rendsburg, The Bible and the Ancie...


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Genetic link to intelligence confirmed

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, August 14, 2011, In : Science 
There is growing evidence for the link between genes and intelligence. This is hardly surprising but interesting, nonetheless.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811215420.htm

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Nonstampcollector confirms suspicions that God is a consequentialist

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, August 13, 2011, In : Youtube 


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New video about Jesus!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, August 11, 2011, In : Youtube 
Enjoy.
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Check out the videos on my channel!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, August 8, 2011, In : Youtube 

For added philosophical and theological delights, check out the videos on my Youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/johnnyp76?feature=mhee


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Christian existence as linear and having problems

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, August 6, 2011, In : Religion 

I have been wondering recently, ever since writing an essay on the meaning of life, how eternity fits in with happiness and the meaning of life. This is because death is often seen by philosophers as necessary to make sense of life, to give purpose to life since we have only finite time to exist. As such, we are forced to make the most of life and are unable to suffer the lethality of eternal boredom. Eternity promotes boredom, and as philosophers such as Schopenhauer declare, boredom is leth...


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One god amongst many

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, July 31, 2011, In : Religion 

The Jews definitely thought Yahweh was one god amongst many, and an inferior one at that. I~ have already touched on this in the forum, but it has now been lost.

 

In Deut 32:7-9 we have evidence that Yahweh was one of many gods.

 

"Remember the days of old,
         Consider the years of all generations.
         (O)Ask your father, and he will inform you,
         Your elders, and they will tell you. 
    8"(P)When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
         When He separ...


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Great post from Loftus: What must be the case if Christianity is true

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, July 24, 2011, In : Religion 

Reality Check: What Must Be the Case if Christianity is True?

Below I've put together all thirty theses (so far) that most Christians agree on and why they are all improbable:

1) There must be a God who is a simple being yet made up of three inexplicable persons existing forever outside of time without a beginning, who therefore never learned anything new, never took a risk, never made a decision, never disagreed within the Godhead, and never had a prior moment to ...

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New essay on Hume and Induction

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, In : Philosophy 
I have written a new essay on Hume's approach to inductive reasoning. Have a read here and let me know what you think by commenting on this blog post.
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Tickled me a little

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, July 17, 2011, In : Religion 

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God is a consequentialist

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, July 8, 2011, In : Religion 

When debating morality and ethics with Christian theists, scorn is often poured on secular ethicists who adhere to moral disciplines that are not grounded in God. Usually, these moral approaches are consequentialist in nature. In other words, moral actions are defined by the consequences they deliver as opposed to the intrinsic morality of the action itself. The ends justify the means. As an example, such an approach might well be utilitarianism. Though this appears in many guises (for exampl...


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God cannot be contrary to his own predictions

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, June 19, 2011, In : Religion 

Here is a criticism about God’s omniscience and omnipotence based upon a point made by John D. barrow in Impossibility, drawing on the work of cognitive scientists Donald Mackay. To put it into simple terms, it might be easier to state it as follows:

 

It has long been understood that with God’s omniscience, he cannot be contrary to his own predictions. For example, if you were claimed as being omniscient and omnipotent and you predicted beforehand that you would make yourself spaghetti...


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God cannot know he is omniscient

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, June 13, 2011, In : Religion 
Theists, the world over, claim that God is omniscient. However, this is not an easy claim to make for a whole host of reasons, one of which is worth looking into here. I want to look at the idea that in many instances, you cannot know that you don’t know something. If there is a situation where you cannot know something, then if it is claimed that you are omniscient, this would invalidate that claim.

For example, there could conceivably be something that God does not know. Conceivably, p...

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Religion is...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, June 4, 2011, In : Religion 
In the same discussion as the previous post was involved in, this comment by papalinton deserves a mention. It is a great summation of religion:

brdeadite99,
You say, "... Atheism is not a belief system."

It is just as you say; with atheism there is no doctrine, no 'good' book, no dogma, no catechism, no organised tradition, no institutional body or theological administrative organisation underpinning the ritual and  ceremony; there is no  procedural observance; no service, no sacrament, no litu...

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Atheism is a belief...

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, June 4, 2011, In : Religion 
In response to a discussion on Debunking Christianity, I posted this response:

I would concur that atheism is not a belief system - I think we have fairly well evinced that notion. However, is atheism not a faith statement? It would seem to me that atheism is as much of a faith statement as theism.

This is why I, although I act and intuitively see myself as an atheist, am logically an agnostic. To move from agnosticism to atheist takes faith. Faith that there is no God. Personally, the belief t...

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Questions from my new book - The Problem of Evil

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, In : Books 
With the release of my new book - The Little Book of Unholy Questions - I thought it would be nice to share some of the questions from the Problem of Evil section. Here goes...



1.              During the 2004 tsunami where, say, 250,000 people died, would it not have been more caring of an all-loving God to have made one less person die?

 

 

2.              (One question I have seen online) What am I supposed to be learning from my disabled son?

 

 

3.              What is he supposed to...


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Do animals have souls?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, May 14, 2011, In : Philosophy 
I was in the garden today and found a dead blackbird chick on the lawn. It was a sad sight, most probably falling out of the nest and not surviving. This made me think about the notion of life, what it is, how easy it is to lose, and whether, if souls exist, you could argue that animals don't have them. 

Let me be clear, I do not believe in the notion of a soul, unless (as many do without realising it) define a soul as consciousness. I look at this bird, and got a real sense of the loss of lif...
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My new book to be released soon

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, May 9, 2011, In : Books 
I am pretty excited that my new book, now called 'The Little Book of Unholy Questions', will be released in the coming weeks.

I sent a review copy to Derek Murphy, author of Jesus Potter Harry Christ and he returned this review:


If you were given an exclusive, face-to-face interview with God, what would you ask him? Are you curious about what the animals ate on the ark? Why Jesus could eat fish but also walk through walls? What, exactly, are angels? In "The Little Book of Unholy Questions" J...

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Argument From Format

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, In : Religion 

I have been ruminating on what, as far as I know, might be a new theory (which I have named the Argument from Format) showing that either God is not omnipotent or does not exist. Bear with me, as it might need refining, might be easily debunkable, or need changing in some radical way. It has developed out of my section on souls in the book that I am just getting published called Free Will? An investigation into whether we have free will or whether I was always going to write this book. In thi...


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Part II to Reasonable Faith critique

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, April 25, 2011, In : Books 
I have just rushed off the second part to the critique of William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith. It can be found here. Any comments abou tthe critique, please feel free to reply to this blog post.
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God has no free will. The universe is immutably set in stone.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Saturday, April 16, 2011, In : Religion 

I was wondering recently about the issue of God’s foreknowledge. It has long been understood that with God’s omniscience, he could not be contrary to his own predictions. This means that if God predicted beforehand that he would make himself a spaghetti bolognaise for supper on Friday, then when it came to making Friday’s supper, he would have no choice but to make the spaghetti bolognaise. This is because if he decided to be contrary to his own prediction and cook, say, pizza, then his...


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New essay about vegetarianism

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, April 15, 2011, In : Philosophy 
I've just finished rushing off an essay about vegetarianism and veganism. This was in response to my partner's daughter who has just decided to become a vegan. This inspired me to think about the philosophical implications of such a decision.

The essay can be found here. Please feel free to comment on it by posting comments to this post.

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The free will theodicy

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, April 13, 2011,
An excerpt from my upcoming book:

One fruitful theme that I wanted to explore here was that heaven and the existence of free will without suffering and evil is incoherent. We are often given the free will theodicy as (at least partly) the answer to why evil exists on earth. However, if heaven can exist with free will and no evil, then this should surely be an option on earth, especially if God is as loving as he is purported to be. This very simple logical argument has devastating effects on w...


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Objective ideas don't exist.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, In : Philosophy 

I am a conceptualist who does not believe in objective existence. The burden of proof would be on Craig to prove objective existence. Without this, his whole argument of objective morality falls apart. This is why he needs to debate a good philosopher who would take him to task on his foundational assumptions.

 

There is no such thing as objective morality, because any idea is subjective. Abstract ideas do not and cannot exist objectively.

 

It is anthropocentric. Imagine a more intellige...


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William Lane Craig vs Laurence Krauss. Grrr.

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, April 4, 2011, In : Religion 
What annoys me is the fact that by now people should know how to debate Craig. Price and Ahmed pretty much tried the right tack with some success. It sounds close to ad hom, but you need to set your stall out by attacking Craig's methodology. I lie in bed at night sometimes dreaming of how I would debate Craig. This is the definition of sad, I know. He puts himself in an unassailable position in debate terms because he

1) uses a scatter-gun approach that means that you have to answer about 100...
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Systematic theology?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, March 31, 2011, In : Religion 
I think one of the many problems that Christianity faces is the lack of a systematic theology. There is no coherence across the religion and across the bible. The responsibility of this lies on the lap of an all powerful and system designing god. And this itself is incoherent with such a god as defined by Christians.

What I mean by this is a religion that has 32,000 denominations that argue to toss over different aspects of theology, different core beliefs and so on is, to me at least, an obvi...

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God as an explanation

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, March 25, 2011, In : Religion 

There are some very powerful and simple arguments to indicate that this universe is far more likely NOT to be the result of [the Christian] God.


This should be done in terms of explanatory scope: the hypothesis explains many facts, not just one or two, and why this universe exists and not some other, why these properties and not others. 


And explanatory power: the hypothesis explains the facts with high probability. Ie, given that explanation as a fact we would very likely, or even expect...


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Reasonable Faith Critique

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, March 25, 2011, In : Books 
William Lane Craig is very famous for his seminal classic "Reasonable Faith" - an apologetic that unashamedly defends Christianity supposedly in a very reason-based manner.

I am in the process of critiquing the book in detail. However, it is slow-going. As a result, and insipred by a conversation on the Amazon review I made of this book, I have put the first part of the critique on the website here: http://atipplingphilosopher.yolasite.com/book-reviews.php.

As I complete more and more, I will c...
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Comments on this blog!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Friday, March 25, 2011,
Yey! Now people, if they want, can comment on this blog! Come on! Let's do it!
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Species - is there such a thing?

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, March 14, 2011, In : Science 

Recently, I have been thinking about evolution. Not unusual for me. Many apologists attack evolution, and attack the notion that species can evolve into new species, and that there is no transitional fossil evidence for X,Y and Z. However, what they do not realise is that there is no such thing as a species. Objectively, such an idea does not exist.

'Species' is a label that we humans have attached to groups of organisms that we see common characteristics between. We also tend to attach arbit...


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LOST - it has issues

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, In : TV 
I have been watching the final series of the much acclaimed LOST. I have enjoyed ABC's series in some ways. It tries to grapple with philosophical subtexts and bring them to a wider audience, which is no bad thing. However, it is often utterly incoherent requiring you to unpick it (unsuccessfully) in a manner which should be unnecessary for a well-thought out piece.

Aside from the scatter-gun approach of firing off half-philosophies and theologies in a random manner, I have one major gripe. On...
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James Delingpole and Horizon's 'Science Under Attack'

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Sunday, February 6, 2011, In : Science 
James Delingpole is a Cilmate Sceptic who writes blogs for the Telegraph. He is politically and philosophically, and unashamedly, very right-wing. Unfortunately, this presupposition of the veracity of his political stance over and above his willingness to deal with real science, means that he has come to conclude (before properly assessing anything that remotely looks like evidence) that climate change is happening, certainly under the causal influences of man and man's activities.

Sir Paul Nu...
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Blog post available in the Independent!

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Tuesday, November 30, 2010, In : Politics 
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-wikileaks-2146947.html

My blog post was published today in the Independent print and online.
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The Wikileaks Scandal

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Monday, November 29, 2010, In : Politics 
I'm not really sure it is a good idea for Wikileaks to have done what they did this weekend and to have released a massive amount of top secret stuff. By doing this they are implicitly saying:

There is nothing within the realms of politics and reality that should remain secret. Everything should be available to the public.

This is dangerous thinking. It assumes the public have the knowledge, understanding and sense to treat the leaks appropriately. Moreover, some things in life need to be kept ...
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Welcome

Posted by Jonathan Pearce on Thursday, November 25, 2010,

This site is currently under construction. Hopefully it will soon act as a conduit of ideas and communication between myself and the outside world. Blogs are essentially mechanisms for vanity. Me me me! As a result, the content here will not be so much about me as about ideas and philosophical ponderings.


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