pw201 + russell-blackford   10

Becoming Atheist: Humanism and the Secular West | Reviews in History
Russel Blackford reviews a book about the social history of atheism in the 20th Century in the West, looking especially at the gender differences in how interviewees expressed their reasons for leaving religion.
atheism  history  gender  russell-blackford 
july 2017 by pw201
Interview: Russell Blackford on Atheism, Philosophy and Morality – Rational Hub Blogs
Longish (written) interview with the philosopher Russell Blackford. I enjoyed the bits about the supposed incompatibility between science and religion, and the stuff about moral error theory.
scientism  science  scie  error-theory  religion  morality  ethics  philosophy  russell-blackford 
october 2012 by pw201
Sam Harris on the Innocence of Muslims affair | Talking Philosophy
Russel Blackford examines Harris's essay. He gets a couple of commenters telling him that he's a cultural imperialist or doesn't understand the sacred or something, so I waded in.
religion  blasphemy  islam  russell-blackford  sam-harris 
september 2012 by pw201
Talking Philosophy | Religion and science: the issue that won't go away
This is great, and has productive discussion in the comments too. Subscribed!

"Recall that the rise of science did not subtract from our pre-existing resources for investigating the world. Rather, it added to them; and the old pragmatic and scholarly methods and the new, distinctively scientific, ones can always be used together in any given case. We need to know whether such claims as that Jesus rose from the dead and that the universe was created by God are plausible when set against what we know overall about how the world works, both through methods that we could have employed anyway and through the distinctive methods developed by science.

When the question is framed like that, surely we don't think that these claims come under no pressure at all from our best empirical investigations of the world?"
resurrection  russell-blackford  philosophy  science  religion 
december 2011 by pw201
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club: On moral evaluations
Blackford points out that morality doesn't require anything spooky or metaphysical to be rational and non-arbitrary, so long as we're prepared to accept that "[w]hatever judgments we make do not compel all comers, regardless of their desire-sets, to act one way or another on pain of making a mistake about the world or something of the sort."
philosophy  morality  ethics  error-theory  mackie  russell-blackford 
april 2011 by pw201
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club: Gnus can be nice
Blackford writes good stuff: "What we do say is that it's hopelessly misleading to go around saying "Science and religion are compatible." It would be more true to say that science tends to undermine all or most traditional forms of religion, making them less plausible, putting pressure on the religious to thin out their supernaturalist, providentialist views of the world, and so on. The result is that much in the way of actual religion really is threatened by the advance of science. Claiming otherwise is, we say, likely to be disingenuous (or, to be fair, simply mistaken)."
science  religion  atheism  accomodationism  russell-blackford 
february 2011 by pw201
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club: Science/religion compatibility yet again
Another round of the accommodationism debates: "Viewed historically, religion needs to thin out its epistemic content, or to introduce notions of the capricious way supernatural beings act, or to adopt intellectually unacceptable ad hoc tactics of various kinds, in order to maintain a formal compatibility with the scientific picture of the world; the advance of science pushes God into smaller gaps; and some religious views are plainly inconsistent with robust scientific findings. All this reflects a general mismatch between the scientific approach to the world and the religious approach, which follows from (1) the fact that they use different methods for discovering the truth and (2) the methods of science do not, historically and contingently, reach the same conclusions as previously reached by religion."
religion  science  russell-blackford  philosophy 
june 2010 by pw201
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club: If I could lead the cat herd
"I were leading the cat herd, I'd like to stress that the problem isn't so much religion in itself, or even the Abrahamic tradition in itself. It is, first, the many deplorable elements - the apocalypticism, totalitarianism, sexist, puritanism, intolerance, etc. - that are so prevalent in the Abrahamic holy books and traditions. But it is not every single element of those traditions."
religion  karen-armstrong  russell-blackford  sam-harris 
april 2010 by pw201
Russell Blackford on Sam Harris on Francis Collins
Blackford doesn't agree with Harris that Collins shouldn't have been appointed, but has some good things to say about Collins's views.
science  religion  russell-blackford  samharris  sam-harris  francis-collins  harris  evangelicalism 
july 2009 by pw201
Liberalism and tolerance and Terry Eagleton
What are the limits of liberal tolerance? "Liberalism isn't an agreement that we all shut up and say nothing nasty about each other; it is not an agreement that we cease to regard our own respective worldviews as superior to others on offer; it is merely an agreement that we stop trying to get our hands on the levers of state power for the purpose of imposing our worldviews by coercion."
dawkins  eagleton  liberalism  russell-blackford  terry-eagleton  richard-dawkins  politics  islam  religion  tolerance 
may 2009 by pw201

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