- I assert that God is omnipotent, omniscient, but also all-Evil. How would you disprove this contention? : DebateAChristian
- Someone takes Law’s Evil God Challenge over to /r/DebateAChristian, and makes a pretty good showing of it. Amusing for all the Thomists complaining that the poster doesn’t get it, without quite being able to say what it is OP doesn’t get.
(tags: theodicy stephen-law theology philosophy god good evil thomist aquinas)
- Peter Loggins – On The Importance Of Learning Other Dances Aside From The Lindy Hop : Atilio Menéndez : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
- Loggins on how to dance at a real jazz club where most people are there to listen, and some history related to the old time ballrooms. Plus some advocacy for learning stuff other than lindy (maybe I should brush up my rusty ballroom skills).
(tags: ballroom dancing etiquette jazz lindy lindy-hop history)
- Trevor Copp and Jeff Fox: Ballroom dance that breaks gender roles | TED Talk | TED.com
- A couple of ballroom dancers who have developed various ways of switching lead/follow during the dance.
(tags: dance ballroom gender dancing waltz salsa)
- A fighter pilot on how to avoid collisions when driving
- It’s about saccades and detecting movement.
(tags: safety cycling driving fighter perception brain)
- Video & Audio: Is the Universe Designed? – an Atheist’s View
- Stephen Law talks at the Faraday Institute. Evil God Challenge gets most of the time, plus a bit of the new X-claim stuff.
(tags: stephen-law theodicy evil god faraday-institute lecture philosophy)
- Twitter’s missing manual / fuzzy notepad
- Things I didn’t know, as I rarely actually write to Twitter because my impression is that it’s useless for discussion.
(tags: twitter manual)
- What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team – The New York Times
- It’s all about psychological safety.
(tags: collaboration team work employment management google)
- Which God Do Atheists Reject?: David Hume on Straw Gods
- The theist will say that there is Something or Other that Created the universe, but they cannot tell us what this Something or Other was (other than that they call it ‘God’) nor can they say what it means for the Something or Other to Create. At most, as Anthony Kenny argues, they can say that ‘Create’ specifies some unknown and incomprehensible relationship between the Something or Other and the universe.
The atheist can agree to this much. There is some explanation for the universe’s origins. Perhaps future inquiry will reveal the explanation and we’ll be able to fill in the details.
(tags: hume david-hume philosophy theology god atheism)
- Genesis chapter 1 through 1500 years of English – YouTube
- via livredor, a reading of Genesis 1 through 1500 years of English.
(tags: language english bible)
- Justin Schieber on Twitter: “Nobody just lacks belief in unicorns. We all believe (for good reason, mind you) that they are fictions. So too is it the case with gods.”
- Justin Schieber (an atheist) argues against the claim that “atheism is just a lack of belief”. This seems fair enough: what atheists tend to use the claim for is to say that they don’t have a duty to rebut any random stuff someone comes up with, but in fact, we consider the eixstence of gods and unicorns unlikely based on our background knowledge and the lack of expected evidence (which is evidence of absence), and this is a legitimate belief.
(tags: belief god atheism theism unicorns evidence epistemology)
- 60 Years On: Academic Atheist Philosophers Then & Now : The Critique
- Graham Oppy reviews 60 years of atheist thought in philosophy. Interesting stuff. Is it true to say that people think sceptical theism means that a theist should not be convinced by the evidential problem of evil? I thought that sceptical theism had problems of its own, but I rely on people like John Danaher to digest the literature for me rather than reading journals or anything…
(tags: graham-oppy atheism philosophy theodicy religion)
- Faith vs. Facts – NYTimes.com
- “a broad group of scholars is beginning to demonstrate that religious belief and factual belief are indeed different kinds of mental creatures. People process evidence differently when they think with a factual mind-set rather than with a religious mind-set. Even what they count as evidence is different. And they are motivated differently, based on what they conclude. On what grounds do scholars make such claims?”
(tags: faith facts psychology religion anthropology scott-atran)
- Britain Uncovered survey results: the attitudes and beliefs of Britons in 2015 | Society | The Guardian
- The Graun surveyed about 1000 people and weighted the results according to the UK’s demographics. Among other things, the bit about religion was interesting to me: their survey said “A majority of Britons (82%) do not actively practise a religion and a clear majority of the population (61%) agree with that “These days religion is a negative influence in the world rather than a force for good.” Unsurprisingly, those who associate with a religion are less likely to hold this view.￼”
(tags: survey britain secularism religion belief attitudes politics guardian)
- God Doesn’t; We Do: The apologist two-step–McGrew and Marshall on Boghossian
- Argues that Norman Geisler and Frank Turek’s “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” use “faith” in a very similar way to the way Boghossian does, namely “We mean that the less evidence you have for your position, the more faith you need to believe it (and vice versa). Faith covers a gap in knowledge.”
(tags: faith peter-boghossian apologetics religion)
- The economists’ manifesto – FT.com
- The FT asks a random selection of economists what they’d do if they were PM. A whole lot more sensible than the politicians’ one.
(tags: economics politics FT finance)
Over on top cosmologist Sean Carroll’s blog, there’s a guest post by his fellow top cosmologist Don Page, who is a Christian. Page was responding to Carroll’s debate with William Lane Craig. Page does not find Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument persuasive, but has his own reasons for being a Christian, which you can read about over there (spoilers: maybe God is the simplest explanation for the fact that the universe is orderly; also the Resurrection happened).
The comment thread beneath the post is huge and goes off in all sorts of interesting directions. Page makes use of Bayes’ Theorem in his arguments. There are some people who use in their day jobs (rather than just reading Less Wrong and bullshitting, as I do) who respond to him, notably Bill Jefferys, staring here.
I’ve been commenting on and off. I reconstructed the threads I got involved in as the lack of threaded commenting over there makes it difficult to follow. I’ve been reading Peter Boghossian’s “A Manual For Creating Atheists” (which I hope to post about at some point) so I was trying for some Socratic dialogue and questioning of “faith” as a means of knowing. See how I got on:
- On Occam’s Razor and what we mean by “simple”.
- On whether the Fall of Man changed the whole universe and if it didn’t, where the boundary between Fallen and un-Fallen physics was.
- Of Miracles, with the ugly broad ditch and Hume, of course.
- Simon Packer’s claims to have done and seen faith healings.
- My response: why doesn’t God heal amputees and raise the dead these days?
- Simon Packer’s claims that Christians can raise dead people.
- My followup questioning whether he’d believe such claims about other religions, among other stuff.
- Simon’s followup telling me to trust in God and lean not on my own understanding (I used to know a song about that).
- My followup, asking if he’d obey a call to trust in another god without understanding it.
- Simon’s followup.
- My followup: Christianity seems to entail belief in demons, although it’s not clear whether Prof Page believes in them. Accusations of “ultra-rationalism” are Straw Vulcan arguments.
- Don’t worship science, feed it. I also ask what “faith” is.
- Simon attempts to define faith.
- My followup: how do we know when a strong feeling of being sure is legitimate? (Simon’s said it isn’t always)
- Simon’s followup: the Gospel is true and you need to respond to it.
- My followup: would you believe someone who said “The Koran is true and you need to respond to it”?
I was interested in Daniel Kerr’s comments (for example, here, here, and finally here, in response to one of mine). He says that simplicity depends on a choice of mathematical language, but I thought this was just a constant factor. However, the comments rapidly go off into model theory and stuff about the Axiom of Choice, so I got lost. Can anyone comment on what he’s saying and whether he’s right?
- The Open-Office Trap : The New Yorker
- Open offices are horrible. Shame I work in one at the moment.
(tags: office productivity work space)
- Goodnight. Sleep Clean. – NYTimes.com
- Sleep is for your cerebral fluid to clear away the accumulated junk. Maybe.
(tags: sleep insomnia brain neuroscience)
- What is frame?
- “My best definition is that its a social convention for how we hold our bodies so our partner knows where we are in space.” I like 619shepard’s comment because it’s less about modelling people as springs and more about how there are conventions which are taught (some of which will involve behaving like a mass on a spring some of the time, to be sure).
(tags: frame dancing lindy lindyhop reddit swing)
- Bill Nye tests the benefits of swing dancing – latimes.com
- Bill Nye the Science Guy is a swing dancer. He extols the virtues of dancing in a short interview.
(tags: bill-nye science lindy lindyhop dancing swing fitness)
- RDFRS: Secular VIP of the Week: God on Facebook
- The man who plays God on Facebook. I’ve already Liked the page: it’s funny to see him responding to religious people who get offended, usually with much more grace than they show him.
(tags: god facebook funny comedy)