Month: August 2010

Oppression? False Consciousness?

Many nonbelievers are convinced that Islam subjugates, even oppresses women. Now, there’s a certain carelessness in such blanket descriptions. The Islam of the Taliban and that of the Bosniaks are quite different. Still, we can identify a historical mainstream within Islam, and observe that this mainstream upholds patriarchal social ideals. I guess for many of Oppression? False Consciousness?

Catholic monarchism

This video is getting attention on some secular blogs now. I must say, it’s surprising to see that Catholic anti-democracy views still survive, in the US especially. But here it is: a four-minute defense of rule by a Catholic monarch as a political ideal. It has a kind of semi-insane coherence characteristic of some Catholic monarchism

A Scientific Question? Part 4

Although the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University does not provide a single sentence (in the first four chapters of The God Delusion) defining or explaining what he means by a “scientific hypothesis” or by a “scientific question”, there are a few comments and phrases here and there that A Scientific Question? Part 4

A Scientific Question? Part 3

In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins asserts some interesting and controversial claims about the epistemology of religious belief, especially the belief that God exists. He asserts that this belief is a scientific hypothesis, that the question at issue is a scientific question, and that the correct answer to the question is a scientific fact. A A Scientific Question? Part 3

Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot

I want to recommend Luke Muelhauser’s Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot [iTunes] podcast on philosophy of religion and metaethics. The podcast does not always have the best sound quality, and Luke occasionally makes rookie mistakes like forgetting to turn off the intro music track, but he is a good interviewer, his discussions are deeper Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot

A Scientific Question? Part 2

Is the question “Does God exist?” a scientific question? I don’t know about you, but this topic is giving me déjà vu all over again. This is basically the question that was posed by Logical Positivists early in the twentieth century, and they in turn were following in the footsteps of David Hume, basically updating A Scientific Question? Part 2

A Scientific Question? Part 1

The question “Does God exist?” has generally been considered to be a philosophical question. It has, in fact, generally been considered to be a paradigm case of a philosophical question. However, some people believe that science has much to contribute towards answering this question, and many people believe that philosophy has not only failed to A Scientific Question? Part 1

Joylessness or family values?

Here’s a photo that’s a part of a story run by The Daily Mail, “The Talibanisation of British childhood by hardline parents”: The caption: Joyless: A Muslim family stay covered up as the[y] bathe on a British beach. The “joyless” assumption is understandable. After all, they’re all wrapped up in clothes that restrict movement; such Joylessness or family values?