Monthly Archives: October 2010

David Chalmers on Hard v. Soft Emergence with Regard to Consciousness

David Chalmers discusses hard v. soft emergence and why consciousness falls into the former category:

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Spectres of Reality or the Reality of Spectres?

Shane McCorristine’s new book on ghosts titled Spectres of the Self: Thinking about Ghosts and Ghost-Seeing in England, 1750-1920  (Cambridge 2010) receives a good review from Jonathan Barnes in The Times of London: What interests McCorristine about these alleged outbreaks of the paranormal is … Continue reading

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The Heart of Dante Alighieri

If you’ve never read Dante Alighieri, the following is written as an enticement for you to consider doing so. A Key Dante Biographical Data Point Dante was born in Florence in 1265, but he did not die there. In fact, … Continue reading

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A Good Jerry Brown Ad

I love California. I love Jerry Brown.

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A God Delusion: Josh Timonen v. Richard Dawkins

One sad aspect of the lawsuit recently filed against Josh Timonen by Richard Dawkins is the way that it has inadvertently played out the atheist script generally: reduce an ontological mystery (a mystery of being) to a mere problem or function for rational … Continue reading

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Qualia Defined

Dr. V.S. Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), admirably explains what philosophers and neuroscientists mean when they talk about qualia:

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Josh Timonen: Richard Dawkins’s Judas Iscariot?

Josh Timonen has been Richard Dawkins’s right hand man for a couple of years now, running the Richard Dawkins Foundation (RDF) store and managing the famous scientist’s website. As recently as February of 2010, Richard Dawkins was adamantly defending Timonen against a … Continue reading

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Agnosticism and Marketing

At Marginal Revolution today, economist Tyler Cowen was asked about whether there are some especially good economic ideas out there that are hard to popularize, and his answer led to a brief digression on complexity and agnosticism: [I]t is hard to popularize … Continue reading

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Dr. David Jeremiah’s El Cajon, California

This morning I heard on the radio a megachurch pastor by the name of Dr. David Jeremiah say some really wild things (even by fundamentalist standards). A description of what I heard him say in his sermon is here. Anyway, his megachurch is … Continue reading

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A Stomp is Not an Argument: Rand Paul Supporters Tear a Wig off a Woman, Drag Her to the Ground, Then One of The Crowd Stomps on Her Head

Rand Paul supporters show their respect for Western liberal democracy, freedom of expression, and a woman’s right to approach Rand Paul: Message: Total message control. Don’t ever, ever approach Rand Paul. Ever. ——————- UPDATE: Here’s the unedited AP clip of the … Continue reading

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How Crazy is Dr. David Jeremiah?

Dr. David Jeremiah is the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and I only know this because, when I dropped off one of my daughters at school this morning, I tuned into a Christian radio station and … Continue reading

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Thinking about Why

The following quote comes from the introduction to Diogenes Allen’s Philosophy for Understanding Theology  (Westminster John Knox Press, 2nd ed 2007): The ancient Egyptians said that the Greeks were like children because they were always asking ‘Why?’ . . . … Continue reading

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The God Conclusion v. The God Delusion: Keith Ward Tries to Tackle Richard Dawkins

Philosopher Keith Ward has probably written the best book attempting to counter the antitheist claims in Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion  (Houghton Mifflin 2008). Ward’s book is titled Why There Almost Certainly is a God: Doubting Dawkins  (Lion 2008), and on page 11 … Continue reading

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For the Trapped Chilean Miners, Maria Campillay Heeded an Inner Call

In the Los Angeles Times last weekend, a worker at Camp Hope was profiled. Her name is Maria Campillay: Maria Campillay? She’s a social worker in the neighboring town of Caldera who took an indefinite and unpaid leave from her government … Continue reading

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Adam and Eve and White Racism

When white Evangelicals and fundamentalists show picture books to their children depicting Adam and Eve and all the early humans (such as Noah) as white, it is no different from Afrocentrists teaching their kids that all great Egyptians were black, and … Continue reading

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William Dembski: Noah’s Flood May Have Been Global

At Panda’s Thumb Jack Krebs has an interesting post on the famous IDer, William Dembski, and his apparent drift towards belief in young earth creationism, including the idea that Noah’s Flood was a global historical event. Krebs, for example, quotes William Dembski recently … Continue reading

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Total Message Control Solution #1: Just Handcuff Any Journalist Who Asks Questions That You Don’t Want to Answer

Total message control (that is, the Palin model) was on disturbing display on Sunday in Alaska. This from Glenn Greenwald: [P]rivate “guards” working for GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller forcibly detained and handcuffed a journalist as he tried to ask the candidate questions … Continue reading

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Once a University Lecturer and Atheist, Father Lazarus El Anthony Talks about Being an Anchorite

Lazarus El Anthony was a university lecturer in literature and philosophy in Australia, an atheist of 40 years and a Marxist. Then his mother died. And he entered the desert. And:

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Why Do Super Brainiacs Drink More Alcohol Than the Rest of Us?

It appears that super smart people tend to be bigger consumers of alcohol than average and dull people, and Andrew Sullivan has an armchair theory for why this is the case: It’s what Oakeshott called “the ordeal of consciousness.” When you have … Continue reading

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The Source of the Moral Life

Love. A righteous outrage at encountering something ugly and unjust or a response to something beautiful that captures the heart. An epiphany. Like this:

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