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Tag Archives: reason
People often claim that they’re appealing to reason in argumentation, but the way they reason frequently reveals more about them than the truth. Put another way, an argument often says more about your inward passions, sensibilities, and imaginative world than … Continue reading
Seriously. __________ Okay, I have to comment. First, before you can even get this sort of logic going, Adam and Eve would need to have actually existed in a garden in Mesopotamia 10,000 years ago. They never did. Second, you’ve … Continue reading
At Feministing, Juliana Britto is impatient with privileged white males who, in conversation, play the “devil’s advocate” for non-feminist perspectives. Here are three quotes from her essay (as a representative taste): These discussions [surrounding patriarchy] may feel like “playing” to … Continue reading
I don’t like this t-shirt. It cheer-leads obfuscation, mystification, authority. A better statement would be, “I’m a professor. If I make a claim, doubt it and ask for the reasons and evidence I have in support of the claim. I … Continue reading
Matthew 27:51-53. Have you ever read it? Immediately following Jesus’s death, Matthew says that there was an earthquake that exposed numerous graves on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and “many bodies of the saints which slept arose.” Not only did many among … Continue reading
Physicist Alan Sokal, the famed skewer of postmodernism, in an article at Massimo Pigliucci’s Scientia Salon, gives faith a well deserved towel snap: “Faith” is not in fact a rejection of reason, but simply a lazy acceptance of bad reasons. “Faith” … Continue reading
Catholic conservative Roger Kimball is editor of The New Criterion, which is a great journal. I read it. I like it. But sometimes Kimball comes a little unhinged. He often seems, for example, to regret that the Enlightenment ever happened at … Continue reading
Occam’s razor gets its name from the medieval theologian William of Occam, who wrote in the 14th century that “No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary.” Put another way, the simplest conclusion is usually best. … Continue reading
The first is from the philosopher Bertrand Russell: “What we need is not the will to believe, but the will to find out” (quoted in How to Think about Weird Things, by Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn, p. 11). What … Continue reading
__________ Talk about deep doo-doo! So much of life, philosophy, and critical thinking resonates in this ironically captioned image. Take the atheist-theist debate, for example. Is God, though silent and invisible, lurking beneath the yellow noise of the cosmos? Do … Continue reading
If you could have been there when the big bang went bang 13.7 billion years ago, you would likely think that God (if God exists) was pulling your leg if She said to you, “From this explosion I’ll make a … Continue reading
Wow. I like this Anglo-French Enlightenment inspired cartoon from 1890: __________ Talk about push-back to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress! “Freethought Road” takes you past a secular schoolhouse and Investigation, Reason, Education, Humanity, Justice, Science, Virtue, Love, and Liberty, with “Truth” shining … Continue reading
In a recent article, Dennis Prager claims that God is necessary for objective morality, writing the following: If there is no God, the labels “good” and “evil” are merely opinions. They are substitutes for “I like it” and “I don’t like … Continue reading
A lot of us are brought under the spell of false beliefs because we can tell a good story about how they might be true, they are consistent with logic (they are logically possible), and we want to be believe them. We’re quite good, … Continue reading
A Cautionary Tale. As a Southerner living in Virginia in the 18th century, Thomas Jefferson once encountered a jaw-dropping claim, and it came from two eyewitnesses. They said they had seen rocks fall from the sky. Rocks from the sky. They even … Continue reading
One good thing about God belief of the Christian variety (if you can swing it) is that it inoculates you from other forms of irrationality. A nonbeliever in God is more prone to, say, succumbing to the delusions of Marxism … Continue reading
First, it is perverse to reject evolution outright. Darwin was largely right, and people who try to reset science to pre-Darwinian assumptions are engaged in folly. The converging lines of evidence from numerous scientific disciplines point to the fact that … Continue reading
At The New Republic, Steven Pinker comes out swinging against those who direct the pejorative term “scientism” at atheists and agnostics. Pinker thinks that, just as gays turned tables on the bigots and came to embrace the pejorative term “queer,” atheists … Continue reading