Month: September 2010

American Ignorance

Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim“A new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) now say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11% in March 2009. Only about one-third of adults (34%) say Obama is a Christian, down sharply from 48% in 2009. Fully 43% say American Ignorance

A Scientific Question? Part 10

One way of understanding “science” is that it is concerned with the discovery and verification of facts. But, what is a “fact”? The word “fact” has different meanings or shades of meaning, depending on what it is that we are contrasting with “fact”. One important distinction is that of fact vs. theory. D. Fact vs. A Scientific Question? Part 10

Another loss for Turkish secularism

Turkey recently had a referendum on constitutional changes, in which the ruling party enjoyed a crushing victory. The Western press, to the extent it paid attention, was preoccupied with questions such as whether this was a victory for democracy, and whether it was a victory for Islamism. The answer to both is yes. Western powers Another loss for Turkish secularism

The “Hard Problem,” Physicalism, and Theism

The discussion on “The X that created the universe” raised some interesting points, especially the exchange between Ted Drange and Dianelos Georgoudis on consciousness. There were two points of disagreement: (1) Whether, and in what way, consciousness is a problem for physicalism and (2) whether theism has a problem explaining consciousness. Dianelos and other advocates The “Hard Problem,” Physicalism, and Theism

Dawkins against the Pope

Video footage of a Dawkins speech to a crowd of around 10,000 at the Protest the Pope rally in London: H/T: Why Evolution is True

“Retirement” Responses

My “retirement notice” from philosophy of religion posted a couple of weeks ago has drawn an amazing and entirely unexpected amount of comment on Prosblogion, the Leiter Report, Debunking Christianity, and Dangerous Idea. My! I’ve gone viral! Seriously, I thought that maybe a dozen people would be interested in my decision, and since most of “Retirement” Responses

The X that Caused the Universe

The Kalam cosmological argument includes this bit of reasoning: 1. The universe began to exist.2. If the universe began to exist, then something (other than the universe) caused the universe to begin to exist.Therefore,3. Something (other than the universe) caused the universe to begin to exist.This reasoning seems fine to me. The universe did not The X that Caused the Universe

Burning Question

Does anyone else find it drolly ironic that the goofball Florida pastor who wants to burn the Qur’an has the same name as a member of Monty Python? When I hear that Terry Jones says he will burn a Qur’an , I expect it to be a skit with a Terry Gilliam cartoon and some Burning Question

“An Amoral Manifesto”

The philosopher Joel Marks has an interesting article, “An Amoral Manifesto,” in the latest Philosophy Now. He argues for a kind of amoralism (which seems correct to me). He also affirms the theistic argument that without a God, there cannot be the kind of (hard) morality as we usually understand it. That also seems to “An Amoral Manifesto”