Sticky Posts: Old Ones Resurrected

Top down or bottom up?

‘Rationality is useless if it is not sound. This is what Martin Luther meant when he called reason a “whore”. Pick the wrong premises, and rationality is utterly screwed. Therefore, merely that someone is “rational” means absolutely nothing about whether that person is well-connected to reality.’

“True Islam” and violent extremism – redux

I am reposting this in response to the terror attacks in France last night, resulting in the deaths of over one hundred people. As ever, the internet is awash with right-wing shouts to “kill all Muslims” and refugees, to the left-wing shouts that it is the Imperial West to blame and not Islam or Muslims. Neither of these positions are correct. It is obviously thoroughly complex, indeed involving international politics. However, to deny the Qu’ran, Muhammad and the Hadith causal responsibility in these atrocities is to deny the self-determination of those very terrorists who claim that they are doing these actions in the name of Islam and their god.

Computers, Brains and Accountability

I spent a good part of my working life programming computers. I started in the late 60’s, almost fifty years ago. Back then, computers were the size of houses, and the programs were punched on cards. Data storage was on magnetic tape. Processors were slow and memory was small. But in the early 70’s when the microelectronics explosion happened, memories grew from kilobytes to megabytes to gigabytes to terabytes. Processor speed accelerated from kilohertz to megahertz to gigahertz. And of course the cost went down and down and down. Today, most kids carry one around in their pocket.

Kalam Cosmological Argument Book Update

I wrote my dissertation for my Masters in Philosophy on the Kalam Cosmological Argument. It was a firm favourite topic of mine for some time. As a result, I was always planning on converting my dissertation into a book. Well, over the last few days, I have resurrected the idea and am happily thundering my way through my paper.

13 Reasons to Doubt – scientific and philosophical skepticism

SIN has created its own book which came out in 2014. It’s a great collection of essays looking at a whole range of subjects to be skeptical of. For example, Rebecca Bradley deals with “pseudoarcheology”, whilst Caleb Lack writes about cognitive biases. Subjects from science denialism to groupthink, free will to the history of skepticism, are dealt with, with care and quality. The variety is a real joy. It would make a great Christmas present!

Dan Davis responds to my Free Will article in Free Inquiry with his own

I recently had an article (“Is Society Accepting That Free Will Is an Illusion?”) in the Free Inquiry magazine published in the US, which was, as far as I can tell, well received. In fact, Tom Clark liked it enough to say and post it at Naturalism.org. Tom Clark stated:

“Damn good article – the site needed new content and it totally filled the bill. Keep up the good work!”

Update on my zombie fiction book

I am happy to say that the final edit before it goes back to my partner in crime, Rebecca Bradley, of my zombie book is going really well. The great thing is that I have really enjoyed re-reading it. It is in parts tense, in parts gruesome, and in others intellectually stimulating and funny.

The Atlantic vs The Nation on ISIS

Two of the most interesting pieces concerning what has happened with regard to ISIS have come from The Atlantic and The Nation. I advise reading both, especially as The Nation’s piece is an attempt to rebut the first article.

“True Islam” and violent extremism – redux

I am reposting this in response to the terror attacks in France last night, resulting in the deaths of over one hundred people. As ever, the internet is awash with right-wing shouts to “kill all Muslims” and refugees, to the left-wing shouts that it is the Imperial West to blame and not Islam or Muslims. Neither of these positions are correct. It is obviously thoroughly complex, indeed involving international politics. However, to deny the Qu’ran, Muhammad and the Hadith causal responsibility in these atrocities is to deny the self-determination of those very terrorists who claim that they are doing these actions in the name of Islam and their god.

The Problem with Divine Command Theory #3

I have previously talked about Divine Command Theory (DCT) in detail a couple of times before (here and here). I have been reading a paper called “Can God’s Goodness Save The Divine Command Theory From Euthyphro?” by Jeremy Koons. It’s a cracking paper and worth reading. The abstract reads:

Feminism, Jess Phillips (MP) and MRA nonsense

Today is sponsored by:

Gender differences/outcomes ≠ gender inequality (of opportunity, rights and respect)

Let me explain.

For those of you outside of the UK or not following some current news in the UK, some rabid argumentation has erupted concerning the Labour MP Jess Phillips concerning a Tory MP’s demands for an International Men’s Day to discuss men’s matters. Apparently, the feminism is pretty evil (from what I have been reading) and men are discriminated against to the point that they need their own International Day