Monday, January 20, 2020

How would you answer someone who questions the heart of ethics?

 According to the BBC guide to ethics, "At the heart of ethics is a concern about something or someone other than ourselves and our own desires and self-interest. Ethics is concerned with other people's interests, with the interests of society, with God's interests, with "ultimate goods", and so on. So when a person 'thinks ethically' they are giving at least some thought to something beyond themselves." But someone might question why we ought to give any consideration to anything beyond ourselves. How would you reply to someone who raises that question about ethics? 

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Explaining reasoning away

People rightly fear that we will interpose a God-explanation where a scientific explanation might be provided which would provide us with more prediction and control over the event in question. But in reasoning, if we interpose nonrational explanations to account for our reasoning, we are in fact explaining reasoning away. If we say that I believe in evolution because of the evidence, but then the explanation I provide for coming to hold this belief is a bunch of irrational neurons blindly following the laws of physics or acting on blind and brute quantum-mechanical chance, I am saying that in the last analysis I didn't really come to believe that evolution is true because there is good evidence that evolution is true. I cannot really say "I followed the evidence, and those creationists didn't." Both of our beliefs were caused in the same irrational way.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Need to impeach

The Democrats want impeachment, but the Republicans need it.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

The paradox of Dawkins' title

The title of one of Richard Dawkins’ books is entitled The Blind Watchmaker, but its subtitle is How the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a World Without Design. The subtitle, it seems to me, makes a paradoxical claim. On the one hand, it maintains we ought to draw the conclusion that the world lacks design. On the other hand, the subtitle suggests that he has reached this conclusion through examining the evidence of evolution, but examining the evidence is a process designed to discover the truth. In fact, Dawkins is fond of contrasting his own methods for reaching conclusions with methods based on faith, which to his mind involve a lack of design. But if the world really is without design, how is this possible? Of course, it could turn out that the paradox is resolvable. But the attempt to ban teleology from the bioverse, but then to insist that one’s own convictions are justified because a kind of teleological explanation can be given for these convictions, is a fact that, at the very least stands in need of explanation.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Trump and the Seven Deadly Sins

I think some of Trump's statements make virtues out of what Christians describe as sins. I recently told me class that I used to think Richard Dawkins was the most arrogant person in the world, until Donald Trump became President. C. S. Lewis called Pride, not abortion, the complete anti-God state of mind. 

He has had some good words to say about greed as well.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Dualism persists in the science of mind

According to this study. Though people like Dennett dismiss people like that as "mind creationists."