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All Blog Posts Tagged 'philosophy' (65)

Humanist ethical concepts applied (and mis-applied) to public policy

I recently wrote Whose Pleasure? Whose Pain? Applying the Hedonic Calculus to Public Policy for the latest issue of The Humanist, where I discuss whether it makes sense to apply the Epicurean ethical method of hedonic calculus at the collective level. After some considerations, in the piece I argue

These…

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Added by Hiram on April 23, 2015 at 12:02pm — No Comments

THE ROLE OF DOUBT IN SCIENCE

THE ROLE OF DOUBT IN SCIENCE

"The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darned sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt. We have…

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Added by Joan Denoo on April 6, 2015 at 5:16pm — No Comments

Scouring the Shire

One of my favorite pieces of literature is the last chapter of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Despite Tolkien's famous dislike of allegory the fact is that his stories resonate so strongly in us because of their multifaceted ie. allegorical nature. In the story, the heroes return victorious only to discover their homeland overtaken by the very philosophy against which they were fighting. What sets the heroes apart from their native cohabitants is two fold: perspective and…

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Added by Čenek Sekavec on January 21, 2015 at 11:18am — No Comments

Reasonings About Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape

The following piece was originally written for The Autarkist.

After reading Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape, I’ve decided to finally articulate some of the praise and criticism that, for some time now, Harris and his work have inspired in me.

The goal…

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Added by Hiram on January 20, 2015 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

What's Atheism Got To Do With It? Why Automatically Tagging Philosophy To Atheism Is A Bad Idea.

"So, you're an atheist. What does that mean other than you think you are a gift to the world?"

"How can you call yourself an atheist and support abortion?"

"Atheist men tend to be misogynists."

"Where do you get the right to determine what is right or not? You're an…

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Added by Zomberina Contagion on August 7, 2014 at 10:50am — 13 Comments

Demythologizing Science and Religion (cont'd)

Several people have questioned the dominance of mechanistic thought in the sciences, and I must admit that my understanding of the scientific community comes from reading historical accounts and from conversations with scientific colleagues who began their careers half a century or more ago now -- and from reading works by scientists whose belief systems also go back a number of decades.

The gist of the conversations I recall was that people without an acknowledged commitment…

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Added by Joseph Hilton on July 25, 2014 at 7:36am — No Comments

Demythologizing Science and Religion

The usual way of creating a myth is very straightforward: You simply take an entity as it has come to be defined in ordinary experience and grandly alter some of its basic attributes to remove its limitations.

In Christianity, for example, the god myth was created by…

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Added by Joseph Hilton on July 20, 2014 at 10:15am — 4 Comments

Tending the Epicurean Garden

My new book Tending the Epicurean Garden is now live on amazon. I am very thrilled that, after the many months of hard work that went into the book, I'm finally able to take others on this adventure with me to discover Epicureanism on its own terms.

There are sources on Epicureanism, but many are indirect and some are hostile. It's important for us in the Epicurean movement that…

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Added by Hiram on June 11, 2014 at 5:12pm — No Comments

Are we Dancing Bears?

http://edwardteach100.blogspot.com/2014/04/are-we-dancing-bears.html

If you want to understand a species, observe the behaviors of it's members over time. Bears have specific behaviors that have been exhibited throughout bear history. Bears forage, hibernate, are omnivorous, and so on. While the reactions of one bear in a particular situation may be unpredictable, the…

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Added by Edward Teach on April 16, 2014 at 7:00am — 4 Comments

Society of Epicurus on Tumblr

http://societyofepicurus.tumblr.com/

The above link is to the tumblr page; it has many shareable secular humanist memes, links to articles, quotes, etc. that can be easily shared on social media.  Please share them!

Added by Hiram on March 19, 2014 at 9:54am — 1 Comment

Happy 20th!, the newsletter for the Society of Friends of Epicurus, is live

January 2014 saw the inaugural issue of the Society of Friends of Epicurus’ newsletter, titled Happy 20th.  SFE is the first contemporary attempt a Humanist missionary work of this kind and is dedicated to the teaching mission of the Epicurean Gardens.  If you’re interested in Humanism, philosophy, prudence, criticizing consumerism, living a frugal and simple…

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Added by Hiram on February 1, 2014 at 3:21pm — 1 Comment

On Why Philosophical Materialism Matters

Originally posted in the Society of Friends of Epicurus page.

Karl Marx’s fascination with the ancient atomists led him to base his dissertation on Democritus and Epicurus: an early symptom of his future career as a materialist philosopher.  However, from their respective vantage points in history, Marx and Epicurus both reacted against…

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Added by Hiram on December 24, 2013 at 6:15pm — No Comments

"Zeus might be Real!" And We Might Live in a Magical Fantasy World Too!

A few months ago, The New York Times published a bizarre opinion piece by philosopher Gary Gutting called Did Zeus Exist? With apparent earnestness, Gutting argues that not only did the ancient Greeks have good reason to believe in the existence of Zeus (and presumably their other gods) but that we should take seriously the possibility that they might just have been right. Not that they were right, but that…

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Added by Scott McGreal on October 10, 2013 at 2:53am — 5 Comments

Great Greek Humanist Sermon (English Subtitles)

Added by Hiram on July 14, 2013 at 10:49am — No Comments

Project discourse: basic ideas

For an introduction to this project please see this post.

-------------------------------------------------------------- 

Here's a string of ideas I aim to draw on to create discourse for thinking about ourselves as having evolved:

  1. There's nothing in the universe except:

       -  matter acted on by physics

       -  whatever's involved…
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Added by Shaun Johnston on April 13, 2013 at 12:30pm — 7 Comments

Why Religion Persists

Professionally I advertise myself as a “language expert,” which is quite accurate (see www.language-expert.net ), and I get a wide range of contacts from attorneys and private citizens regarding anonymous letters, plagiarism, contract interpretation, copyright infringement, and other issues where money, reputation, or something else of value is at stake. 

I also get questions about grammar and usage, which I answer gratis, just to…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 11, 2013 at 2:30pm — 32 Comments

The Existential Meaning of "Groundhog Day"

“Now that I’ve shed my skin completely, One true reality alone exists.”

Zen saying

 

Zen monk: “How should I escape birth and death?” Zen Master Shih-kung: “What is the use of escaping it?”

 

“In this world, we eat, shit, sleep and wake up.  After that all we have to do is die.”

Inkyu

 

Once again it’s Groundhog Day, which was nothing more than a rather witless locally-oriented celebration (and an American…

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Added by Alan Perlman on February 2, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Whitewashing Hell: or why belief in Hell is still not very nice

There has been some discussion about the topic of Hell over at Psychology Today recently. (I have a blog there by the way in case anyone's interested!) You might even say it's a hot topic! (Sorry.) Psychologist Nathan Heflick wrote about the psychological aspects of the subject…

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Added by Scott McGreal on December 23, 2012 at 2:30am — 3 Comments

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