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Posted inPhilosophy

Biggest ever survey of philosophers results

Reading Time: 4 minutes So the philpapers survey of philosophers is somewhere I often go to see what the general trend is for modern philosophers. Not so much as an argumentum ad populum – quite a number of the results are evenly split – but to get an idea of which positions are deemed most tenable by those in the know. It really is fascinating reading. I might start doing a series on what each question means. Yes, that’s a good idea. Done. Aah, these good ole streams of consciousness out of which good ideas spout forth.

Posted inComedy, Philosophy

A smorgasbord of philosophical arguments against Twitter

Reading Time: 3 minutes This is a very amusing philosophical take on the phenomenon of twitter, by James Anderson. on his blog Analogical Thoughts The Virtual Home of James N. Anderson. Check it out. SEMI-SERIOUS WARM-UP ARGUMENT (1) Twittering requires communication in 140 characters or less. (2) Almost nothing of substance can be adequately communicated in 140 characters or less. […]

Posted inPhilosophy

Fogelin – In Defense of Hume on Miracles

Reading Time: 5 minutes This is an interesting book review as found in a Hume Society release. I really want to read this book – a defence of Hume on his work on miracles. Hume often gets criticised for his work in this area. Fogelin, by all accounts, takes a different approach in his defence. And it is a short book, which gets the thumbs up from me.

Posted inPhilosophy

On meaning and purpose without God

Reading Time: < 1 minute So there has been some debate on my meaning of life essay with JohnM, a YEC. He seems to think the only real purpose is an ultimate purpose, and getting through to him that this is not the case, and that ultimate purposes have no more value than subjective, instrumentalist purposes. Value system are, after all, […]

Posted inPhilosophy, Secularism

The Meaning of Life

Reading Time: 28 minutes Here is an essay that is a few years old now, on the meaning and purpose of life. I’m sorry, setting out the html codes for footnotes is an incredible ball-ache. Hope it does not put you off! As ever, let me know what you think.

Posted inHealth, Philosophy, Science

Life starts at conception but what about personhood?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Growing up in heathen headquarters (aka central Europe), I never met anyone in meatspace who thinks that a fertilized human egg is a “fully human person”. I’ve met many Catholics in my life so far, but none of them would agree with the notion of a zygote having full personhood (disagreeing with the majority of official Church doctrines is quite common for Catholics in first world countries). Since this view is virtually non-existent where I live, I never had to debate it with anyone and, to be honest, I never really thought about this issue until recently. The first time I participated in a discussion on this issue was on JW Wartick´s blog (Jonathan already mentioned the discussion that ensued on his blog in this post). While Jonathan was mostly raising philosophical issues in this discussion, I was focused on whether the personhood-starts-at-conception position is defensible based on a 21st century understanding of Biology, especially Embryology. I think that this position is necessarily incoherent, and I want to summarize my argument for that here.

Posted inPhilosophy

Natural oughts? Is there such a thing as natural?

Reading Time: 2 minutes I was wondering today, as I lay there with one of my twins in my arms, as to whether oughts can be derived from a natural pre-programmed’ behaviour. For example, if an evolved characteristic, such as aggressiveness in males (I am generalising here, of course) or to want to eat meat, or, if it could be proven, that it were ‘natural’ to be heterosexual was inherent in a human, are we then obliged in some way to act in accordance with that ‘natural’ inclination?