Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Taner Edis on chance-and-necessity physicalism-a bottom-up understanding of the world

 This is from atheist Taner Edis: 

Physical explanations combine rules and randomness, both of which are mindless…Hence quantum mechanics has an important role in formulating chance-and-necessity physicalism, according to which everything is physical, a combination of rule-bound and random processes, regardless of whether the most fundamental physical theory has yet been formulated…Religions usually take a top-down view, starting with an irreducible mind to shape the material world from above. Physicalism, whatever form it takes, supports a bottom-up understanding of the world, where life and mind are the results of complex interactions of fundamentally mindless components.

If this is true, how could it be possible, at the same time, to say that you believe this because the evidence is good. If everything that happens in the world is, in the final analysis, the result of mindless causes, then your belikef that this is so is also the result of mindless causes, and is therefore unjustified. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

An exercise in political science

 Here's an exercise for people. Provide definitions of liberalism and conservatism, or definitions of socialism and capitalism, in such a way that no one will be able to tell after you are done what position on these matters you yourself hold. And while you're at it, do the same thing for pro-life and pro-choice.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Is it justifiable homicide if you kill abortion providers? Is abortion itself justifiable homicide?

 Some states—including South Dakota—consider homicide justifiable when it is an act of self-defense or in defense of another person. But HB 1171 would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include homicide that is intended to prevent harm to a fetus in certain circumstances. Abortion is not only legal in this country, but is a constitutionally protected right. As worded, this bill is an invitation to murder those who provide these legal health care services.


Is it wrong to kill abortion providers? I would have thought prolifers would want to keep the range of justifiable homicide narrow. 

For an argument that defends abortion as justifiable homicide, see here. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Murders, justifiable homicides, and other killings of persons

 What do you mean by murder? There are malicious acts of murder, there are justifiable homicides, but then are there homicides that are not justified, but not murder either?

Thursday, December 24, 2020

The grand miracle

 The central miracle of Christianity isn't the Resurrection. It's the Incarnation, according to C. S. Lewis. 

Merry Christmas. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

The resemblance fallacy and the death penalty

  I think it is a fallacy to think that in order to fit the crime, a punishment has to resemble the crime. People think that way about murder, but what about theft, rape, or torture? 

Abortion in the interests of the fetus?

 Well, if a fetus is aborted, it goes to heaven. If it is not aborted, it might live long enough to commit a damnable sin. 

But that isn't the argument that is discussed here.  The child's earthly life is likely to be miserable, so would it be better to abort it rather than condemn it to a short life of suffering. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

utilitarianism and the value of life

 I once knew someone who was such a utilitarian that he thought human life was not a value at all. A friend of mine once asked him "Well, if that is your view, what would be wrong with me killing you now?" His answer was "Only if you could do it painlessly.