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Philosophy

Potentially, the Atheist Nexus is home to many philosophers, professional or amateur. This group will be the place for them to debate philosophical standpoints, share new ideas, or help each other understand various philosophical propositions.

Members: 318
Latest Activity: Feb 7

The Philosophy Group on Atheist Nexus

Potentially, the Atheist Nexus is home to many philosophers, professional or amateur. This group will be the place for them to debate philosophical standpoints, share new ideas, or help each other understand various philosophical propositions.

Do you ever find yourself discussing the philosophy of science or the philosophy of mind, or do you ever consider yourself a cynic, an existentialist, a nihilist or a skeptic? Join up and launch yourself into interesting discussions and analyses. Connect with your fellow thinker!

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Discussion Forum

Our Unthinkable Situation, beyond Nihilism

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Jan 23. 1 Reply

The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

Started by Rodney A Sayre. Last reply by JP Carey Sep 4, 2013. 3 Replies

The Masochist's Wager

Started by Nathaniel Summers. Last reply by Steph S. Jan 7, 2013. 1 Reply

Can You Imagine Nothing?

Started by JP Carey. Last reply by Steph S. Dec 1, 2012. 3 Replies

STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY UPDATES

Catharine Macaulay

[Revised entry by Karen Green on May 25, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Catharine Macaulay's most substantial work was the eight-volume A History of England from the Accession of James I. to that of the Brunswick Line, the first volume of which was published in 1763, but the last not until twenty years later. This history, which began with the accession of James 1, and told the history of the English Civil War as the outcome of the struggle of the Commons to retain their liberties against the absolutist tendencies of the Stuarts, affirmed the right of the people to depose their monarch. She wrote a...

Leo Strauss

[Revised entry by Leora Batnitzky on May 24, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Leo Strauss was a twentieth-century German Jewish emigre to the United States whose intellectual corpus spans ancient, medieval and modern political philosophy and includes, among others, studies of Plato, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Nietzsche. Strauss wrote mainly as a historian of philosophy and most of his writings take the form of commentaries on important thinkers and their writings. Yet as he put it: "There is no inquiry into the history of philosophy that is not at the same time a...

Combining Logics

[Revised entry by Walter Carnielli and Marcelo Esteban Coniglio on May 23, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] The subject of combinations of logics is still a young topic in contemporary logic. Besides the pure philosophical interest offered by the possibility of defining mixed logic systems in which distinct operators obey logics of different nature, as for instance erotetic logics (the logical analysis of questions) which require combining epistemic and deontic logics, there also exist many pragmatical and methodological reasons for considering combined logics. In fact, the use of formal logic as a tool for knowledge representation in Computer...

Disability: Definitions, Models, Experience

[Revised entry by David Wasserman, Adrienne Asch, Jeffrey Blustein, and Daniel Putnam on May 23, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Philosophers have always lived among people who could not see, walk, or hear; who had limited mobility, comprehension or longevity, or chronic illnesses of various sorts. And yet philosophical interest in these conditions was piecemeal and occasional until the past hundred or so years. Some of these conditions were cited in litanies of life's hardships or evils; some were the vehicle for inquiries into the relationship between human faculties and human knowledge [see SEP entry on "Molyneux's Problem"]. But the treatment of...

The Ergodic Hierarchy

[Revised entry by Roman Frigg, Joseph Berkovitz, and Fred Kronz on May 23, 2016. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] The Ergodic Hierarchy (EH) is a central part of ergodic theory. It is a hierarchy of properties that dynamical systems can possess. Its five levels are egrodicity, weak mixing, strong mixing, Kolmogorov, and Bernoulli. Although EH is a mathematical theory, its concepts have been widely used in the foundations of statistical physics, accounts of randomness, and discussions about the nature of chaos. We introduce EH and discuss its applications in these fields....

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Comment by Jedi Wanderer on September 3, 2013 at 10:01am

Hey KBJ, it's PhilosopherAaron! Not surprised to find you here. My take: I'm just fine with calling myself an atheist. You put the matter well: one cannot logically rule out the existence of deities, any more than we can logically rule out the existence of fairies or goblins or any number of some such fantastical creatures. And all of these ideas were quite clearly created by people. Beliefs are held based on strength of certitude. I am not at all certain whether life exists elsewhere in the universe, but I tend to believe that there are, just as I am not at all certain that we haven't been visited by aliens, though I tend to believe not. I am very certain that I have two hands, and that my name is Aaron, and that I had tea AND coffee already this morning. This degree of certitude qualifies as knowledge if anything does. I am also very certain that people created the ideas of deities and all other fantastical creatures, and that these creatures exist only as ideas. I could be just as wrong about this as I am that I am who I think I am, and that I have actually experienced what I think I have experienced. I COULD doubt all these things; another way of putting this is that there isn't anything which can not be doubted. As an academic exercise, there isn't anything that, at one time or another, SHOULDN'T be doubted. But when we come back to Earth, we have to decide what degree of certitude we can assign to each of our beliefs, and which ones could be counted as knowledge. On this account, knowledge is weak and is nothing more than having strong certitude in a belief (and it must turn out that this belief was both true and reasonably-justified). With such a weak version of knowledge, it may be acceptable to affirm that we know more than what is logically permissible, because of the difference between logic and practical belief. The problems associated with this approach seem more acceptable than the problems associated with a stricter approach, for the simple fact that, as I previously mentioned, no belief is logically superior than any other, in any purely objective sense. We are all in an epistemological hinterland where the only thing separating truth from fiction is a reasonable suspicion of what is more or less likely. Nevertheless, if anything makes sense, then a great deal can be said about what does or doesn't make sense. Still, there is so much doubt surrounding our entire epistemological constructs that making any progress requires a lot of heavy lifting. But, some beliefs seem much lighter to lift than others, expertise seems possible, and so justification seems possible. At some point it seems possible to say some things with a great amount of certitude. I believe, with a degree of certitude sufficient enough to warrant calling it knowledge, that I have two hands. I have a similar strength of belief that deities are figments of people's imagination. If I cannot say that deities are not real, than I am in much the same situation with regards to saying that my hands are. In other words, either you have to accept a pervasive skepticism which undermines all beliefs and puts every belief on the same epistemological footing, meaning that all beliefs are just as likely to be true as any other, or you have to have some epistemological structure which allows for comparing beliefs against each other. However you bridge that gap, once you do than you have a weak method for separating truth from fiction, and you don't have to qualify every belief on this basic level. It will still be necessary to say what degree of certitude you have in any given belief, but you can be "sure" of some, sure enough to say you "know". I am sure I have two hands, I am sure there are no deities, etc., and I know these things.

 

I just wrote this off the top of my head though, so I'm not sure how well this all works. I would say I am less sure of what I just wrote than to be able to say that I know it is right. :)

Comment by Keith Brian Johnson on September 1, 2013 at 3:42am

I don't see a way to edit that, so just mentally add an end parenthesis at the end of the second paragraph.

Comment by Keith Brian Johnson on September 1, 2013 at 3:41am

No. No, no, no, and again, no. There is a lot of room between "Yes, God definitely exists," and "No, God definitely does not exist." Not all versions of God are logically impossible or even conflict with what we know about the world, and nobody halfway rational could absolutely rule out the possibility that one of the not-impossible versions of God exists. And that is enough to be claimed as agnostic.

Of course, this is a technical form of agnosticism. One cannot rule out the possibility that Santa Claus exists, either. (Maybe there's an invisibility shield cloaking his North Pole home, and maybe his sleigh has an anti-gravity device, and maybe he uses a Star Trek-style transporter to get into and out of homes, and maybe his bag reaches into a fourth spatial dimension and is therefore effectively bottomless, so that it can hold all of the presents he has to deliver, and maybe he has a time dilation device that slows the passage of time outside its bubble so that he can get to all the homes in one night, and so on.

Do I think human beings invented the idea of God? Sure. Of course. But if I say simply, "No, there is no God," theists jump on my statement as a statement of faith--"See? You have faith, too!"--and then think that nonbelief doesn't have any epistemological advantage over belief. I'd rather say that I do not see sufficient reason to think it's actually true that God exists, so that as a reasonable person, I don't believe that God exists, and that in the absence of such sufficient reason, nobody else should believe that God exists, either. But that's a mouthful. I'd love to find a quick way of saying that. So far, I haven't found one. "Nontheist" is a label I use, and perhaps "rational nontheist" would do. I'm unaware of a single, one-word label for my position, though.

Comment by D R Hosie on August 31, 2013 at 9:37pm

Why so many still claim to be agnostic.

Re-examining our God of the gaps

Comment by D R Hosie on August 24, 2013 at 1:38pm

For anyone still in the dark about Bradley Manning.

Bradley Manning's still a Good ol' Girl.

Comment by D R Hosie on August 20, 2013 at 6:11pm

Childhood religious indoctrination is Child Abuse.

Suffer not the little children

Comment by George Gordner III on August 3, 2013 at 11:01am

Existential Atheist

 

 

Comment by Kelvin Hilerio on March 14, 2013 at 4:35pm

Currently reading some of Jean Paul Sartre's fictional works.

Comment by JP Carey on October 16, 2012 at 2:34pm

Yes! I've made it home to here -I finally have some minds for conversations :)  Today I am 42yo, I've always been a thinker and alone. In fact I've spent 13 YEARS as a carpet cleaner STARING AT THE FLOOR, LOST IN THOUGHT.  In that time I've had some pretty profound ideas. amazing to be here, today

Comment by Smiley Courtney on September 21, 2011 at 8:13am

Board moderator;

You have some good sources here. Can you put up an expandable biblio? A place for us all to share books, etc. we've founf informative?

 

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