All Blog Posts Tagged 'philosophy' (69)

VS 71 on Choices and Avoidances

You can believe anything you want to believe. The only thing that **must** occur to you is death. The decision to believe or not believe anything less than the existence of death – which happens to you regardless of whether you believe it or not – comes down to Vatican Saying 71. …. “What will happen to me if that which this desire seeks is achieved, and what if it is not?”” In other words, “What will happen to me if I believe this, and what…


Added by Hiram on September 7, 2015 at 10:33am — 5 Comments

Making a mockery of the principle of charity: or see how easy it is to ridicule atheism when you don't understand it

People become atheists for all sorts of reasons, but one of the more commonly cited reasons is that atheism is a rational and reasonable position to take based on the lack of evidence for the existence of any sort of god. However, it is not uncommon for religious believers to argue that atheism is somehow based on faith and is inherently irrational, presumably more so than standard religious beliefs. A recent example of an attempt to argue for the irrationality of atheism can be seen in…


Added by Scott McGreal on August 15, 2015 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

India’s Silenced Lokayata Tradition

Republished from The Autarkist.


There was a period in the development of religious civilization in India during which several religious and philosophical schools emerged to challenge the…


Added by Hiram on May 28, 2015 at 12:29pm — No Comments

Humanist ethical concepts applied (and mis-applied) to public policy

I recently wrote Whose Pleasure? Whose Pain? Applying the Hedonic Calculus to Public Policy for the latest issue of The Humanist, where I discuss whether it makes sense to apply the Epicurean ethical method of hedonic calculus at the collective level. After some considerations, in the piece I argue



Added by Hiram on April 23, 2015 at 12:02pm — 1 Comment



"The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darned sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt. We have…


Added by Joan Denoo on April 6, 2015 at 5:16pm — No Comments

Scouring the Shire

One of my favorite pieces of literature is the last chapter of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Despite Tolkien's famous dislike of allegory the fact is that his stories resonate so strongly in us because of their multifaceted ie. allegorical nature. In the story, the heroes return victorious only to discover their homeland overtaken by the very philosophy against which they were fighting. What sets the heroes apart from their native cohabitants is two fold: perspective and…


Added by Čenek Sekavec on January 21, 2015 at 11:18am — No Comments

Reasonings About Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape

The following piece was originally written for The Autarkist.

After reading Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape, I’ve decided to finally articulate some of the praise and criticism that, for some time now, Harris and his work have inspired in me.

The goal…


Added by Hiram on January 20, 2015 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

What's Atheism Got To Do With It? Why Automatically Tagging Philosophy To Atheism Is A Bad Idea.

"So, you're an atheist. What does that mean other than you think you are a gift to the world?"

"How can you call yourself an atheist and support abortion?"

"Atheist men tend to be misogynists."

"Where do you get the right to determine what is right or not? You're an…


Added by Bluegrass Skeptic on August 7, 2014 at 10:50am — 13 Comments

Demythologizing Science and Religion (cont'd)

Several people have questioned the dominance of mechanistic thought in the sciences, and I must admit that my understanding of the scientific community comes from reading historical accounts and from conversations with scientific colleagues who began their careers half a century or more ago now -- and from reading works by scientists whose belief systems also go back a number of decades.

The gist of the conversations I recall was that people without an acknowledged commitment…


Added by Joseph Hilton on July 25, 2014 at 7:36am — No Comments

Demythologizing Science and Religion

The usual way of creating a myth is very straightforward: You simply take an entity as it has come to be defined in ordinary experience and grandly alter some of its basic attributes to remove its limitations.

In Christianity, for example, the god myth was created by…


Added by Joseph Hilton on July 20, 2014 at 10:15am — 4 Comments

Tending the Epicurean Garden

My new book Tending the Epicurean Garden is now live on amazon. I am very thrilled that, after the many months of hard work that went into the book, I'm finally able to take others on this adventure with me to discover Epicureanism on its own terms.

There are sources on Epicureanism, but many are indirect and some are hostile. It's important for us in the Epicurean movement that…


Added by Hiram on June 11, 2014 at 5:12pm — No Comments

Are we Dancing Bears?

If you want to understand a species, observe the behaviors of it's members over time. Bears have specific behaviors that have been exhibited throughout bear history. Bears forage, hibernate, are omnivorous, and so on. While the reactions of one bear in a particular situation may be unpredictable, the…


Added by Edward Teach on April 16, 2014 at 7:00am — 4 Comments

Society of Epicurus on Tumblr

The above link is to the tumblr page; it has many shareable secular humanist memes, links to articles, quotes, etc. that can be easily shared on social media.  Please share them!

Added by Hiram on March 19, 2014 at 9:54am — 1 Comment

Happy 20th!, the newsletter for the Society of Friends of Epicurus, is live

January 2014 saw the inaugural issue of the Society of Friends of Epicurus’ newsletter, titled Happy 20th.  SFE is the first contemporary attempt a Humanist missionary work of this kind and is dedicated to the teaching mission of the Epicurean Gardens.  If you’re interested in Humanism, philosophy, prudence, criticizing consumerism, living a frugal and simple…


Added by Hiram on February 1, 2014 at 3:21pm — 1 Comment

On Why Philosophical Materialism Matters

Originally posted in the Society of Friends of Epicurus page.

Karl Marx’s fascination with the ancient atomists led him to base his dissertation on Democritus and Epicurus: an early symptom of his future career as a materialist philosopher.  However, from their respective vantage points in history, Marx and Epicurus both reacted against…


Added by Hiram on December 24, 2013 at 6:15pm — No Comments

"Zeus might be Real!" And We Might Live in a Magical Fantasy World Too!

A few months ago, The New York Times published a bizarre opinion piece by philosopher Gary Gutting called Did Zeus Exist? With apparent earnestness, Gutting argues that not only did the ancient Greeks have good reason to believe in the existence of Zeus (and presumably their other gods) but that we should take seriously the possibility that they might just have been right. Not that they were right, but that…


Added by Scott McGreal on October 10, 2013 at 2:53am — 5 Comments

Great Greek Humanist Sermon (English Subtitles)

Added by Hiram on July 14, 2013 at 10:49am — No Comments

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