By the time I was thirty I had gone through my De Sade phase of Atheism where I was acting like an injured person lashing out. I had reached a stage where vilifying believers wasn't satisfying. I felt a need to understand why so many people believed in god. To do this I used the faculty I had learned as a philosophy student and motorcycle mechanic, empiricism. As an empiricist I observed god the only place I could find him/her/it, other peoples beliefs. The predominate pattern that emerged…Continue
At the Canadian universities I attended there was a noticeable scarcity of Atheist, Enlightenment writers on reading lists. There were plenty of writers from the romantic conservative reaction, such as Rousseau. After exposure to teachers from France and the United States I was introduced the the writings of French Encyclopedists such as Condorcet and Diderot and their American counterparts Thomas Paine and Jefferson. They still weren't on the reading lists but I had been pointed in the…Continue
Dennis Pennington has commented that many Atheists carry much baggage from religion. I agree. One piece of baggage I am particularly bothered by is Romantic Primitivism. The myth of the Garden of Eden lives on in a wide spread belief life was better when humanity was still in its most primitive stage. We romanticise about what life was like in more primitive society.
These myths gained popularity when Rousseau wrote the Social Contract and the Origins of Inequality as answers to a…Continue
In the movie The Seven Percent Solution, Freud and Holmes use different, but empirical methods to come to the same conclusions. Using empirical reasoning they converge on the same understanding of how a murder took place. In contrast ideologies diverge as people go off on different ideological tangents. Ideologies seem destined to diverge into increasingly fragmented sects.
Are Atheists converging on an increasingly common understanding? As faith based groups splinter into…Continue
In the blog where to start Philosophy studies, a woman wrote Philosophy was patriarchal. I found this disturbing since I have believed one of the greatest characteristics of Atheism was its disconnection from ideologies that could justify sexism. I would like to believe, as an Atheist, I have treated women as complete equals.
At a staff meeting, at a school I taught at, I suggested reading Condorcet's 'The Nature and Purpose of Public Instruction" where Part 4 starts with the section…Continue