Not long ago I developed and taught a class on the so-called New Atheists, a group of thinkers who put out books around the same time (2004 – 2007) arguing against Western religion. I only taught the class twice, and two unexpected things happened in the course of my delving deeply into these authors and … Continue reading SCIENCE, MIND, AND GOD. PART III: THE GREEKS DISCOVER THE COSMOS
Not long ago I developed and taught a class on the so-called New Atheists, a group of thinkers who put out books around the same time (2004 – 2007) arguing against Western religion. As a long-time devotee of Nietzsche, I was intrigued by these books and sympathetic towards many of the arguments they contained. I’ll … Continue reading Science, Mind, and God. Part I: The New Atheists
I was recently interviewed by Ezra Zaid from BFM radio in Kuala Lumpur. He hosts an English-language show about comedy, "Finding the Funny," and he'd run across the volume on Woody Allen and Philosophy I'd co-edited. You can listen to the radio interview here. In addition, you can read my essay from the volume, "God, … Continue reading Woody Allen and Philosophy
In my humble opinion, one of the wackiest things about contemporary physics is the notion of indeterminacy, or the idea that (as a recent essay put it): “Reality Doesn’t Exist Until You Look at It.” This title is doubly silly, since it equates reality with what goes on at the subatomic level, and not with trees, dolphins, … Continue reading The Mind Projection Fallacy, or: Do You Exist Before I Look at You?
A recent New York Times opinion piece, "A Crisis at the End of Science," raises the somewhat-unexpected question of whether "physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories." This is unexpected because empirical confirmation has been the foundation of the natural sciences since the beginnings of modern science. If someone's theories and claims can't be empirically … Continue reading Physics, Empirical Evidence, and David Hume
In an essay in the Sunday New York Times entitled, “Does Everything Happen For a Reason?” Konika Banerjeee and Paul Bloom (a Yale graduate student and professor, both in Psychology) discuss studies showing that most people tend to find meaning and purpose in the events in their lives. One might think that this is tied … Continue reading Making Sense of Our Lives
In the Weekend Review section of yesterday's New York Times there appeared an essay called, "Are We Really Conscious?" with the tag line: "It sure seems like it. But brain science suggests we're not." First, what do we mean by consciousness or being conscious? A good synonym is "awareness": to be conscious is to be … Continue reading When Science Gets Stupid