Reframing the conversation: Theism, atheism, and more

This post should be the first in a series of a general ‘umbrella topic’ of “Reframing the Discussion.” I hope to talk more about this topic in future posts, podcast episodes, and speeches dealing with the sub-topics of how to be a better communicator, engage in a genuine conversation, and change perspective of how people view disagreement and discussion in order to encourage others to view disagreement and discussion as a positive ‘thing.’

In previous months — and especially following a wonderful discussion I had with philosopher Peter Boghossian (discussion is now available here) — I have been really interested in the general topic of how a person can effectively communicate with others and what — if there is an ‘answer’ — is the ‘best way’ to engage a person whom one happens to disagree with whether a discussion is regarding what one considers a ‘heated topic’ or something as non-controversial (or what one would think would be non-controversial) as how science informs philosophy/how philosophy informs science. I don’t think there is just one way to be an effective communicator…but I also don’t think that any given way of communicating messages to others is permissible simply because there is not just one way to be an effective communicator; some methods of communicating can rightly be labeled as ineffective.

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Claims of Personal Revelation and Divine Hiddenness

I have what seems to be quite a novel idea that I would like to present here…

Months ago, I authored a post dealing with what is often called the problem of divine hiddenness or, more generally, why — if the Christian god exists — the Christian god remains hidden. Theists typically, at least from my experience, use personal revelation as reasons to believe in God (or otherwise justify their previously held belief in God) and thus — as it seems and should be guaranteed to follow if we accept their claims for sake of argument — increase the probability of God existing. Surprisingly though, as I will argue, if it is the case that theistic belief is conditional on a god not revealing himself, it seems to be the case that both claims of personal revelation undermine the reasoning of theists who maintain that God must remain hidden due to certain considerations and that claims of personal revelation (if accepted for sake of argument) actually seem to lead to a conclusion that the Christian god doesn’t exist.

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NEPA Freethought Society Podcast – Episode 11 – Interview with Ethereal Collapse

Ethereal Collapse on NEPA Freethought Society Podcast

Episode 11 of the NEPA Freethought Society Podcast is now available in video and audio format!
Follow this link for the podcast through your method of choice.

Podcast Topic:
Joining us for this podcast — hailing from Wilkes-Barre, PA — are members of the melodic death metal band Ethereal Collapse. We discuss themes of philosophy which are present in their music and talk about the band in general.

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Lawrence Krauss clarifies his comments regarding philosophy, apologizes

I published a new article on Examiner.com titled “Lawrence Krauss clarifies his comments regarding philosophy, apologizes.” Read the first paragraph of the article below and visit Examiner.com to read the rest of the article.

Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss has drawn the ire of many following some of his comments at American Atheists’ 2012 national convention including “philosophy is the field that hasn’t progressed in 2000 years whereas science has” and in an interview with The Atlantic in which he asserted that philosophy of science has “no impact on physics what so ever.” Philosopher of science Massimo Pigliucci responded to some of Krauss’ comments in a lengthy blog post on RationallySpeaking.org noting that Krauss’ comments are a “combination of profound ignorance and hubris.” Today, in a Scientific American article titled “The Consolation of Philosophy,” Krauss clarified his statements regarding philosophy and apologized to those whom he offended.

Read more of the article on Examiner.com here.

Have diversity initiatives sabotaged higher education?

 

Diversity initiatives in higher education, with the intent to foster harmony and understanding of others, seemed to have undermined some of the primary goals of higher education: leading students to critically self-reflect and hold justified true beliefs. Some diversity initiatives have reinforced the very harmful idea that disagreement is disrespectful and have also assented to indefensible epistemiological ideas including ‘all perspectives are equally valid’ and ‘people are justified in holding a belief because it is a product of their culture.’ Harmony can be had — and perhaps better so — as a result of critical discussion that should be encouraged and welcomed instead of discouraged and viewed as disrespectful. 

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