Metaphysical materialism claims that the only existing things are material and the laws governing the material. This point of view is becoming more and more popular among atheists and some scientists. What are the consequences of this view? The most obvious results seem to be that 1) religion is nonsense; 2) humans are merely sub-atomic particles … Continue reading Metaphysical Materialism
Scientists and materialists often complain that religious believers commit the "God of the gaps fallacy." This fallacy is committed when someone claims they have evidence for God by pointing to a gap in the scientific explanation of the universe. For example, if science can't explain near death experiences, then some Christian might claim that a … Continue reading God of the Gaps Fallacy
According to Seneca, the ancient Roman statesman and Stoic, "In the case of man , there is no good in him until his reason is matured. And what is this good? I will tell you: It is a free and upstanding mind which subjects other things to itself and itself to nothing... A mind flawless … Continue reading Seneca on Freedom
If you're like me, you find social media anywhere from annoying to mind-numbingly stupid. A large part of this is because people are continuously posting their political opinions. In most cases, any sort of response to a political opinion leads to a fight, but not always. Sometimes people try to have civil, rational discourse. But … Continue reading Politics and the Good Life
In the last post I briefly considered Aristotle's function argument. In this post I would like to consider the question of art. Humans seem pretty unique in creating and appreciating art. Every culture has something like fine art, and most of us seem to be obsessed with telling stories or creating things, whether it is … Continue reading Aristotle’s Function Argument and Art
Aristotle's Ethics is one of the most interesting ethical treatises ever written. And much of it is foreign to our modern sensibilities. The core of Aristotle's argument is the so-called function argument. The function argument goes something like this: Every being has a characteristic way of behaving (a function). To perform your function well, is … Continue reading Aristotle and the Function Argument
"Altered States of Consciousness" is a common phrase in contemporary culture...