Morality is a human construct, by and for humans. If not, we'd have to get it from a natural source . . . or a supernatural one. I'm an atheist, so a supernatural source isn't a serious alternative to me. That leaves one alternative: Nature. But I can't detect the slightest whiff of morality in nature. Mother nature is red in tooth and claw. She is indifferent to violence,…Continue
I hope to persuade hard (absolute) determinists that their position is based on a false dichotomy. Determinism does not preclude free will. It's not either/or: there are other possibilities. I am presenting, here, one of those other possibilities. It's a model based on reciprocal causality. It doesn't claim to have proof: we know too little about the brain to prove how any…Continue
The Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society(PATAS) and the International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization (IHEYO) invite you to join a three-day conference on Humanism scheduled on June 21-23, 2013 in Cebu City, Philippines. The conference will tackle human rights issues affecting our society today and humanist approaches to alleviate appalling…Continue
This video is full of surprises.
Name something that gets passed around
Added by Atheist Exile on May 8, 2012 at 11:50pm — No Comments
My brother sent this to me. I had never seen it before even though it's been circulating for some time. I thought that I'd post it here in case you've never seen it either.
The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his…Continue
Added by Atheist Exile on May 8, 2012 at 12:59am — No Comments
I just stumbled upon a year-old YouTube video named, “Sam Harris gets destroyed by Dr. William Lane Craig”. It’s the 2-hour University of Notre Dame debate held on April 7, 2011, between Harris and Craig. It was titled: “The God Debate II: Is Good from God?” The video can be found at the bottom of this page.
And guess what? Harris really was destroyed by Craig!…Continue
The following maps were originally published by the London Times Faith Central blog. It's an interesting contrast between religion and science.
As much as we hear about U.S. Christians pushing I.D. in public schools and building multi-million dollar creation-themed parks, it's good to be reminded that people know which side their toast is buttered…Continue
by Pat Condell, May 2, 2012 (#109)
Transcribed by AtheistExile.comContinue
Added by Atheist Exile on May 2, 2012 at 8:00pm — No Comments
The naturalist understanding of morality asserts that we have evolved empathy as an impetus to cooperation. Combined with personal experience, empathy leads most of us to a "Golden Rule" sense of morality. From experience, I know what hurts me: with empathy, I know the same things likely hurt you too. Experience and empathy is all we need to decide most moral matters. "Do unto…Continue
“I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed
because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do.” ~D. Dale Gulledge
Ignorance is our natural state: we were born that way. We learn what we know as we grow up and gradually replace ignorance with…Continue
There's a fundamental disconnect between atheists and the word "atheist". Part of this is because there isn't complete agreement on what the word means.
“An argument which proves too much, proves nothing.” ~M.M. Mangasarian
Carl Popper popularized the concept of scientific falsifiability. He asserted that a hypothesis, proposition, or theory is observably valid only if it is…Continue
I'm certainly no physicist. But I do find physics fascinating. I probably don’t understand quantum physics well enough to hazard a comment about it, but hey, that’s what blogs are for! I’m sure somebody will set me straight. Anyway, it’s my understanding that modern physics includes information as a fundamental property of (subatomic) matter and also acknowledges a role for consciousness in physical reality. Combined, these 2 points seem curious to me. Why would physics have ANY role for…Continue
The "Occupy Wallstreet" movement is no longer dominating headlines but I still find people debating the "haves" and the "have-nots" and what to do about them. Like most in the Occupy Wallstreet movement, I'm a political independent. I consider myself moderate: a centrist with beliefs spanning both liberal and conservative ideals. I saw a list of 18 demands allegedly made by Occupy Wall Street but their official website denies there are…Continue
In these discussions about self-determinism, some hard determinists dismissively parade opinion as fact. Their conviction trumps their rational integrity. We all need to be mindful that just about everything to do with free will and determinism is, thus far, a matter of opinion.
Almost 400 years ago, René Descartes claimed that, unlike the human body, the mind has no physical properties or spatial dimension: thus it can not be examined in the same way as the physical body. Today, we…
Added by Atheist Exile on January 16, 2012 at 8:06am — No Comments
This post revisits arguments related to free will and complexity theory. I've recently been focused on newer arguments for self-determinism (a compatibilist explanation of free will) but an interview of Daniel Dennett, by CFI, has prompted me to revisit "emergent properties". If you're not familiar with my explanation for self-determinism, please consult my web page at AtheistExile.com for several posts on the topic.
The basic premise of hard…Continue
I've grown disappointed with philosophers on the subject of free will. The great philosophers of the past knew nothing about the brain. Modern philosophers contradict each other. What I've been trying to do is to stick with the knowledge we have and avoid philosophical entanglements and conjecture as much as possible. However, certain philosophical conundrums must be addressed, such as: (1) the false dichotomy of free will versus causality; (2)…Continue
The Internet is amazing. It hosts media of all kinds. Anybody can communicate with anybody. And you can find out anything you want to know. It's huge and complex but we don't need to understand how it works to know that it does. In the same way, we don't need to understand how the brain works to know that it does. Its electro-chemical machinations, while interesting, aren't necessary to understand in order to know that the brain deliberates. That's what it does.
Neuroscience can't yet…Continue
Dancing with Causality: Purposeful Steps
Free will, in the form of self-determinism, is only a big mystery if you allow your thinking to be governed by the centuries of philosophers who have never managed to figure it out. They've been arguing in circles because they've defined "free will" to fit their premises. This is because they…Continue
Pat says that he's been receiving comments about venturing into political territory. He says it's natural for him to do so because he believes, strongly, in democracy. That's his prerogative. But I do wonder: Why now (only recently)? With 106 videos under his belt -- almost all of them focused on religion -- perhaps he's running out of material or inspiration. What I do know is that he was on much firmer ground when discussing religion. I can't think of a single religion-related post of…Continue