Category Archives: david hume

Jim Jones, Critical Thinking, and the Mass Suicide of the Mind

The problem. 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of the collective suicide of the Jim Jones cult. In 1978, over 900 people left California, set up a commune in Guyana in South America, and ultimately died there together, notoriously drinking … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, atomism, david hume, edward feser, philosophy, science, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Rhetoric, Critical Thinking, and Checking Your Premises

Rhetoric and critical thinking. In classical rhetoric, the central appeal is not to the emotions (pathos), but to reason (logos), and Aristotle’s rhetorical invention categories—his topoi—are heavily weighted to rational appeals (appeals to logic, evidence, comparisons, definitions, examples, and so … Continue reading

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The Tools of Manipulation vs. The Tools of Critical Thinking

In a recent article at The New York Times (“Why We Believe Obvious Untruths”), two cognitive scientists, Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman, claim that dispersed knowledge is a ready and overriding explanation for why people profess belief in foolish things … Continue reading

Posted in aesthetics, atheism, atomism, Bernie Sanders, climate change, david hume, donald trump, edward feser, feminism, God, hillary clinton, philosophy, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Robert Young is Probably Wrong. Trump Neutrality Endangers Resisters. And That’s Why Scientists Should March on Washington

The more people who peel off, the more dangerous it becomes for those remaining in the streets who resist. So this is hard for me to read. I post a link to the below article by Robert Young, not because … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, atomism, Bernie Sanders, brexit, climate change, david hume, donald trump, hillary clinton, Lucretius, Politics, science, Ted Cruz, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Atheist Bart Compolo, Meet Joseph Koerner

Pretty darn interesting. Bart Compolo, a former evangelical minister who evolved intellectually toward atheism, has discovered the world needs some of the same basic things that he did as a pastor, so he’s doing them in a low-key way at … Continue reading

Posted in aesthetics, atheism, beauty, david hume, God, philosophy, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This is Colonization, Not Immigration

In the video below, what we’re seeing is civilizational colonization, not immigration. Muslim men in France are literally driving women out of public spaces. Imagine a suburb of France that was majority Calvinist asserting the authority of Calvin’s “Institutes” over … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, brexit, david hume, donald trump, feminism, hillary clinton, philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized | 29 Comments

Information and Entropy for Beginners

Information. Physicist Brian Greene, in his book The Hidden Reality (Knopf 2011), gives a three word definition of information: “Information answers questions” (252). Curiously, in physics you can give a three word definition for entropy as well: entropy measures questions. (That is, … Continue reading

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Ur-Fascism: What Would Umberto Eco Say about Donald Trump’s Movement?

I hope to be pleasantly surprised with a Hillary victory announced on the day after the election next week, but I’m nevertheless bracing for a Trump win. And in wrestling with what this past year has meant, I find myself … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Bernie Sanders, david hume, donald trump, feminism, hillary clinton, Politics, Ted Cruz, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Clash of Fundamentalisms

As I see it, there are two very large megatrends that are crossing in the 21st century: the decline of religion (in terms of credibility and the number of serious practitioners it attracts) and the urbanization of humanity. Demographers tell … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, david hume, donald trump, feminism, Politics, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

David Hume On Beauty–And How To Get Good At Detecting It

Is taste in art and literature akin to taste in ice cream? In 1757, the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) published four essays under the title, Four Dissertations, one of which he called “Of the Standard of Taste.” In it, Hume attempts … Continue reading

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