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Tag Archives: Daniel Dennett
William Lane Craig is a smart guy, and I learn a great deal whenever I read him. He makes me think. I don’t agree with him on a lot of things (most obviously, the veracity of Christianity), but he’s a … Continue reading
It’s sometimes suggested that science and poetry are two ways of looking at the world that really don’t have many points of contact. But, curiously, below is one of the world’s greatest living literary critics, Helen Vendler of Harvard, explaining how her early training … Continue reading
Atheists tend to be comfortable with one, and only one, irreducible thing in the universe: matter. Matter just is. It has no explanation outside itself, but it’s here; it is its nature to be here. Did it just jump into existence … Continue reading
Daniel Dennett deflates consciousness here: __________ David Chalmers inflates it here: __________ And Terence McKenna takes some DMT to break the tie, struggling to share in words, to the uninitiated, the qualia that accompanies ingestion of the chemical.
What is the Enlightenment’s Distinctive Feature? And What Contemporary Movement is the Enlightenment’s Most Representative Heir?
Zeev Sternhell, in his recent book, The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition (Yale 2009), offers reason as the Anglo-French Enlightenment’s distinctive feature, and the ingredient that made for its historic break with the past (41): Criticism of the existing political order, but also criticism … Continue reading
The Contemporary World’s Metaphysical and Epistemic Grand Canyon: Are You a Brooding Romantic or a Rational Universalist?
In his essay, “Grandeur, profundity, and finitude“, atheist pragmatist philosopher, Richard Rorty, tries to walk us back from what he sees as our two chief metaphysical and epistemic precipices: romanticism and rational universalism. He starts with romanticism (84): The romantics became convinced … Continue reading
In Richard Dawkins’s recent editing of an anthology of modern science writing, a female scientist notices something: Got myself an early yule present today; “The Oxford book of modern science writing” . . . Of 83 texts Professor D has … Continue reading
Obviously not personally, no. Darwin would probably have been appalled at the use that Hitler put his ideas to. But I nevertheless think that it is reasonable to connect the dots of evolutionary theory to Adolf Hitler’s ideology, yes. I do not mean … Continue reading
And an interesting match up. Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris v. Robert Wright, Dinesh D’Souza, and a rabbi, Shmuley Boteach:
And Appleyard skewers him, returning rhetorical fire with rhetorical fire: I note also the appearance of this character P.Z.Myers. I’ve never read him before but I now discover he once did me over – ‘How stupid are the editors and … Continue reading
Daniel Dennett. PZ Myers. Richard Dawkins. Jerry Coyne. Philosopher Michael Ruse is an atheist too. But don’t sign him up with the above confidence atheists. Why? Here’s one reason that he gave in a recent essay in the UK’s Guardian: [H]ow … Continue reading
Right-wing radio host and Evangelical, Hugh Hewitt, interviewed atheist Richard Dawkins on Tuesday. I thought this part of the exchange was telling: HH: I’m talking about the whole cosmos. Where did that come from, 13 billion years ago? RD: It … Continue reading
The Daniel Dennett deepity slide that Jerry Coyne took a picture of here is one that I wrote into my notebook (I was at the same conference). A deepity, according to Dennett, “is a proposition that seems to be profound … Continue reading
Is the New Atheism an Unpleasant Blend of the Academy with Cable News Culture? Andrew Sullivan Thinks So, and Takes After Jerry Coyne and Daniel Dennett
Jerry Coyne, at his blog, summarized Daniel Dennett’s talk this weekend at the big atheist convention ho-down in Burbank, California this weekend (and which I went to) thus: Dan Dennett talked about interviews with active priests and ministers who are atheists, and … Continue reading
A Photo Tour of the October 3, 2009, Atheist Alliance International Annual Convention in Burbank, California!
The Atheist Alliance International Annual Convention, held this year in Burbank, California (at the Marriot Hotel Convention Center next to Bob Hope Airport), happened to be not too far from where I live, and so I went. Ironically, the Marriot … Continue reading
Biologist Richard Dawkins, Physicist Lawrence Krauss, and Philosopher Daniel Dennett at the Atheist Alliance International Annual Convention in Burbank, Ca., October 3, 2009
This photograph was taken a few minutes before Daniel Dennett started his Saturday afternoon talk. Dennett, by the way, is a tall dude (like basketball player tall): Dennett, in his lecture, coined a mildly amusing term (or, more accurately, one of … Continue reading
The Hamlet Syndrome (“to go or not to go”): Should I Attend the International Atheist Conference This Weekend in Burbank, California?
Dang! Check out the speaker line-up for the International Atheist Conference being held in Burbank, California this weekend! It’s close to where I live. And it’s at the same Marriot Convention Center as the UFO conference that I went to just a … Continue reading
In The God Delusion, one of Richard Dawkins’s arguments against the value of positing a deity as an explanation for the universe’s existence is this: The deity would be more complex than the universe you’re attempting to explain, and so to say “God created the … Continue reading