Who cares about philosophy, anyway? You must, because you have one.
Philosophy as the Las Vegas of Rational Inquiry
Philosophy is always going to be the default home of nonnaturalists and antinaturalists. Since no other discipline will take them seriously, they gravitate toward philosophy and find each other.
The Future of Philosophical Naturalism
Philosophical naturalism comes in different flavors, but it is essentially the idea that nothing supernatural affects events in the world around us –– or perhaps that nothing supernatural even exists.
Naturalism and the Fundamental Question
Why is there anything, rather than nothing at all? The German philosopher G. W. Leibniz, co-discoverer of calculus, called it “the first question that should rightly be asked.”
Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism: Clarifying the Connection
During the past two decades, an attack has been waged in the United States against both methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism.
Naturalism is obviously a philosophical view. It is a view about what is, about how to inquire and what to inquire into, and about what we can meaningfully talk about. Moreover, because of these features, naturalism is also a view about how to do philosophy.
Religion Is An Empirical Question –– Finally
Karl Marx never wrote the phrase “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” He wrote, “[Religion] is the opium of the people.” Close enough. Marx saw religion as a fantasy that allowed people to balm their degraded lives.
Only the Truth Will Prevent Harm
Nothing is as destructive to a political ideology as a hypocrisy exposed. An accidental hypocrisy indicates ignorance, and ignorance, thankfully, can often be remedied with evidence and reason.
Censor Social Media and Lose the War Against Terrorism
I recently made a joke on Facebook about both ISIS and the absurdity of New Age religions and positive-thinking cults by saying that “If you don’t like ISIS, join them because change comes from within.”
What If We’re Wrong?
I’m not asking this question in a general skeptical sense. I’m not asking what we do when we suspect that we’re wrong, how we examine whether we’re wrong, or how we know when we’re wrong. I’m asking a very specific question.
Religion is Not the Solution to America’s (or Russia’s) Problems
Secularization continues to make big gains. Those Americans who rank themselves as nonreligious and those who qualify as atheists (broadly defined as those who are not theists) each ballooned by a tenth of the total population in just ten years.
The Problem with ‘Privilege’
The concept of privilege as used by the activist Left is problematic.
I read with interest Tom Flynn’s editorial “Smearing Humanism” (FI,June/July 2017). I have read Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens. Flynn’s last sentence of his piece, “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” is so very true.
Trump, DeVos, and the ‘Kuyperizing’ of America
With Donald Trump’s accession to the presidency, his appointment of billionaire Betsy DeVos as education secretary, and his choice of ultraconservative former Indiana governor Mike Pence as his backup, the stage is being set for something we might call the “Kuyperizing” of American education.
Of Big Bangs and Little Whimpers
The United Kingdom’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union was of a piece with the general tendency since the latter part of the twentieth century toward secession, fragmentation, and “local control.”
Finding Humanists in Survey Data
Humanists have an identity problem, and it’s a problem at multiple levels. I remember very clearly the first time I told my Mormon brother that I was a humanist in a discussion on Facebook.
The Eternity of Time
Editor’s Note: This essay by Britain’s longest-serving atheist activist harkens back to a time when most unbelievers assumed that the cosmos was eternal.
Morality as a Human Institution
Most of us think that moral norms are binding on us. For example, “Don’t kill a child for pleasure” is not a rule we can simply choose to follow or not, depending on our current desires and attitudes. Indeed, one point of the institution of morality seems to be to subordinate our personal preferences to the common good.
The Post-Humanists Are at the Gates!
If you think a lot has happened in the past few centuries, then, to echo Bachman Turner Overdrive, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari echoes the increasingly popular refrain that humans are on the brink of becoming superhuman. Harari, an Israeli history professor and author of the best-seller Sapiens, uses his scholarly worldview to take an unflinching look at a range of possible futures, most of them dystopian.
This is your lone atheist crouching / In her foxhole / Not so many of us, it appears