Today's post continues from the last one:
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Monday, 28 July 2014
Today's post plumbs new lows, even for SN:
I can defend abortion without defending infanticide using only four words: “bodily autonomy” and “Schelling fence”A Schelling fence is a highly salient stopping point on what might otherwise be a slippery slope. Even leaving aside the medical evidence that there is a step change in a newborn's level of consciousness at the point where they start to breathe air, there is the completely undeniable fact that after birth is the first point at which medical decisions can be made independently for mother and child (which is an important qualitative change). Then, the fact that this question is even being asked highlights the fact that birth—even more than ‘viability’—is the most salient point in the whole process of child development.
Friday, 25 July 2014
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
I think the only response to this is “so what?”
Monday, 21 July 2014
I think this one can be summed up as “don't try to learn Bayesian reasoning from William Lane Craig”.
Saturday, 19 July 2014
Friday, 18 July 2014
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Heschmeyer does not seem to acknowledge that his initial point cuts both ways — being primed to believe in the existence of demons is actually even more analogous to having previously learned to associate the shapes and colours of playing cards.
Friday, 11 July 2014
By “Rationalism” in this article I mean the philosophical position, opposed to Empiricism and Skepticism, that knowledge can be acquired by reason alone, rather than from observation and experience (Empiricism) or not at all (Skepticism). To distinguish “Rationalism” from other terms (such as “rational”), I'll stick to capitalizing it.
If we take in our hand any volume—of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance—let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Second only to the concept of hell, I think the idea that we are somehow “fallen” or “broken” is one of the most pernicious of Christian beliefs.
Monday, 7 July 2014
Friday, 4 July 2014
Just finished a first reading of Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus.
The short summary is that I think the book succeeds in its goal of establishing what the case is that needs to be answered by the historicists; it presents a detailed Bayesian argument (and thereby avoids being sucked into the morass of dubious methodology) covering every category of evidence (not focusing solely on nitpicking over individual details in Paul or Josephus) and referencing its points in some detail (it's very footnote-heavy).
I do expect, unfortunately, that it'll get a lot of response that doesn't really respect the Bayesian logic but just points to isolated factors (such as the aforesaid individual details in Paul). The real test, though, will be whether it gets any useful responses from experts; for which I guess we'll have to wait and see. (It goes without saying that a large contingent of Christian apologists will reject the book without making any attempt to make valid arguments against it.)