Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Science vs. scientism

This excellent post is why I read Bob Carroll more than P.Z. Myers. To my skeptical friends — if you're not following the Skeptic's Dictionary, you're missing a lot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New indications of what drives consciousness

A theory known as "global workspace" seems to be getting some tentative empirical confirmation, including that "the researchers found a 300 ms delay between presenting the stimuli and witnessing this explosion of neural activity," which may be analogous to the famous half-second delay between starting what turns out to be a conscious action and actually consciously willing to do it.

That said, per David Chalmers, this study seems to answer an "easy question" about consciousness, or a couple, more than any "hard questions."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Talk deeply, be happy

Hey, fellow history, philosophy or political science geeks! Don't be afraid to talk about what you love; it's probably making you happier than just talking about weather or sports.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The creation of hell and the problem of evil

If, as many Christians claim, hell was created for Satan et al, and not human beings, this still does nothing to alleviate the problem of evil.

God, if the omniscient one of Christian tradition, knew what Satan et al would do, and yet did not create him in a way so as not to do that.

Looking at religion pages every week currently provokes my thought.

The "age of accountability" and ensoulment

Baptists and similar strains in Protestant Christianity talk about an "age of accountability," with the implication that "not so good" behavior committed before that age isn't fully "sinful."

Well, let's take this idea a bit further.

Does that mean a child before the age of accountability isn't fully "ensouled" either? (Presuming, just for this line of argument, that such a thing as a "soul" exists.)

And, what, then, does that say about a developing fetus, one, say, before viability? Is it not "ensouled" at all?