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Paley on whether perfection is necessary for design

II. Neither, secondly, would it invalidate our conclusion, that the watch sometimes went wrong or that it seldom went exactly right. The purpose of the machinery, the design, and the designer might be evident, and in the case supposed,...Show More Summary

My existence, here and now

At the end of the day there has to be an "us," a me, and a you, as actual beings. But if physicalism what there is are particles, and people can add those particles up and call them a "me" or a "you." It is often said that physicalism threatens the idea of a future existence beyond the grave, and we don't like that. Show More Summary

An Inquiry from the Secular Outpost

Yair Rezekl: Victor, can you clarify why "you have to account for this at least by positing emergent laws"? If I say that the valve opened because of high pressure built up (an emergent phenomena), do you mean by this that I positedShow More Summary

Victor Davis Hanson on Joan Baez and Abolitio Memoriae

In Our War Against Memory, Hanson writes (hyperlinks added), How about progressive icon Joan Baez? Should the Sixties folksinger seek forgiveness from us for reviving her career in the early 1970s with the big money-making hit “The Night They Drove...

Plantinga's paper on being an anti-realist

This is the link to Plantinga's How to Be an Anti-Realist.So what we really have here is a sort of antinomy. On the one hand there is a deep impulse towards anti-realism; there can't really be truths independent of noetic activity. On...Show More Summary

Vallicella on define or drop, and the concept of faith

While Vallicella uses this as a critique of the left, I suspect it has a wider use. I suggest that in discussions between atheists and theists, once the word "faith" is spoken, the opponents ought to determine whether they can agree on the meaning of the term or not. Show More Summary

More on Dreher vs Buchanan on "All Men are Created Equal" and White Supremacy

Dr. Patrick Toner comments and I respond in blue: Your piece on Dreher and Buchanan accepts Dreher's overall reading (or misreading, as I see it) of Buchanan's argument -- you seem to accept that Buchanan actually means to somehow call...

Liberals are So Stupid A Cartoon Suffices to Refute Them

The Political Burden of Proof As contemporary 'liberals' become ever more extreme, they increasingly assume what I call the political burden of proof. The onus is now on them to defeat the presumption that they are so morally and intellectually...

Robust moral realism and acts done from duty

I have been trying to develop the idea by using the Kantian idea of acts done from duty. Whether or not no moral action has any moral worth unless it is done from duty, it is at least intuitively true that if morality is to have any real influence on human conduct, it has to be possible for our actions to be actions done because it is our duty. Show More Summary

How Bad are Nazis?

Kurt Schlichter:... Nazis are so bad that you have to devote all your hating capacity to hating Nazis such that there's no room left to hate anybody else. Those hammer and sickle flag-carrying Communists? Well, you must...

I'm a Racist Because I Like Chess

I left the house at 5:15 this morning, hiked 45 minutes over the local hills to arrive at 6:00 sharp at Gecko Espresso where I met up with Lowell S. a local chess aficionado. We played under the influence of...

Warning to University Admins: Abdication of Authority Carries a Cost

The cardinal virtues are four: temperance, prudence, justice, and courage. Of the four, courage is the most difficult to exercise. So it is no surprise that cowardice is so widespread among university administrators. There is no coward like a university...

The mereological fallacy

This is from Michael Egnor's article "Neuroscience" in Zondervan's Dictionary of Christianity and Science, ed. Paul Copan. (2017). I have the articles on the Argument from Reason and Thomas Nagel in this dictionary. Another conceptual confusion in neuroscience is the mereological fallacy. Show More Summary

Horgan on the British emergentists

The British emergentists were not substance-dualists; they held that all particulars are physical entities wholly constituted out of physical entities as their parts. But they were not full-fledged materialists either, because they denied that physics is a causally complete science. Show More Summary

Dreher contra Buchanan on "All men are created equal"

Rod Dreher quotes Patrick J. Buchanan: “All men are created equal” is an ideological statement. Where is the scientific or historic proof for it? Are we building our utopia on a sandpile of ideology and hope? Dreher responds: With that,...


Ned Block has produced a meaty discussion for  The Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science on Philosophical Issues About Consciousness.   There are special difficulties about writing an encyclopedia about these topics because of the lack of consensus. There is substantial disagreement, not only about the answers, but about what the questions are, and even about how […]

Saturday Night at the Oldies: 'The King' Dead Forty Years

Elvis Presley died on 16 August 1977, 40 years ago. We can't let this weekend pass without a few tunes in commemoration. First a couple of 'Italian' numbers modeled, respectively, on O Sole Mio and Torna a Surriento: It's Now...

Why Something rather than Nothing? The 'Why not?' Response

According to a presumably apocryphal story, Martin Heidegger asked G. E. Moore, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Moore replied, "Why not?" A reader finds the 'Moorean' response cheap and unphilosophical. Let's think about this. Suppose we ask a...

Define or Drop

For leftists, words are weapons. If you are a lefty, and you disagree, then I invite you to define 'fascist,' 'racist,' 'white supremacist,' and the rest of the epithets in your arsenal. Define 'em or drop 'em. Show us that...

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