Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sam Harris sees our faculties as a "kind of miracle"

See the discussion here. 

Well, so do I. The kind of reliability our reason possesses is not what we should expect given naturalism, Reason does not emerge from irrational (or if you insist) nonrational causes.

There is just the fact that within the Darwinian conception of how we got here, there's no reason to believe that our cognitive faculties have evolved to put us in error free contact with reality. That's not how they evolved. We did not evolve to be perfect mathematcians, or perfect logical operators, or perfect conceivers of scientific reality at the very small subatomic level or the very large cosmic level or the very old cosmological level. We are designed, by the happenstance of evolution, to function within a very narrow band of light intensities and physical parameters. The things we are designed to do very well are to recognize the facial expressions of apes just like ourselves and to throw objects in parabolic arcs within 100 meters and all of that. The fact that we are able to succeed to the degree that we have been in creating a vision of scientific truth and structure of the cosmos at large, that radically exceeds those narrow parameters, that is a kind of miracle. It's an amazing fact about us that seems not to be true, remotely true, of any other species we know about.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What crucifixion was like


risky business

It does look like a historical fact that the disciples went very quickly from giving up on Jesus to saying he was resurrected. If we are skeptics about the resurrection, do we need an explanation for this? This is very risky behavior, telling people who just got someone crucified that they were wrong, and that God vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Shoving your beliefs down someone's throat.

Is it wrong to force someone else to live their lives based on your own religious belief system? Many people were brought up to believe that that is what they ought to do.But maybe that's absolutely wrong.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Is Speciesism Wrong?

This is a presentation of the issues involved in the charge of speciesism. 

All I can tell you is if I see a scorpion in the house, my species comes first.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Faulty assumption

From Manuel Alfonseca's popular science blog

Faced with this situation, Fran├žoise Baylis, an expert on bioethics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, believes that research on human-animal chimeras will eventually be banned because of the faulty assumption that human life is more valuable than that of non-human beings.is And he adds this:
The hope that one can ‘forever’ avoid the tough ethical questions by simply ensuring that the nonhuman animals are not ‘substantively humanized’ is flawed (short-sighted),”