• Philosophy - Science Stuff

    Science and Morality

    P Z Myers is almost always worth reading. I disagree with him on many things, and agree on many more, but a blog is not worth reading only based on agreement – no doubt many who read my blog also disagree with me on some things. A blog is worth…

  • Philosophy - Religion

    What Am I?

    I mentioned to some friends on Facebook that the label ‘Christian’ doesn’t really fit me well these days. People tend to assume I’m a Christian when I say I believe in God, and to then interpret what I say from that perspective, which means they tend to miss what I’m…

  • Philosophy - Science Stuff

    If you could, would you?

    Hack your mind, that is. http://www.salon.com/books/neuroscience/index.html?story=/news/david_sirota/2011/05/31/memory_mechanics_science_fiction I’m ambivalent about the whole thing. My worst memories are pretty mild… just embarrassments and stupid things I did. Without a ‘do-over’ that would change the memories of other people or, say, the financial consequences in the real world, just getting rid of the…

  • Climate - Philosophy - Science Stuff

    Truth and the Postmodernist

    I’ve talked about myself as a postmodernist here, claiming that all grand narratives (meaning frameworks) can be deconstructed in terms of their internal logic, and therefore truths are contingent, situated in time and place and culture, rather than absolute. (Or, slightly more carefully, that if absolute truths exist we have…

  • Philosophy - Religion

    Incorrigibility1 of Religious Beliefs

    I’ve been participating in a looong (over 500 posts) discussion2 at a Seventh-day Adventist forum I sometimes frequent about the Bible’s attitude to moderate consumption of alcohol: http://clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/416138/Is_it_ok_to_drink_alcohol.html#Post416138 This blog post is not about that issue per se, but the bone of contention there was my claim that the Bible…

  • Philosophy

    A salutary question

    Just something that occurred to me on the ride from the St Lucia to the Ipswich campus today (after almost a week of heavy rain, it was magic to be back in the bike in a big sunny afternoon): If you had the power to force everyone in your city…

  • Philosophy

    Ethics in School 2

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote something about the trial of an ethics course in NSW schools: http://www.bravus.com.au/blog/?p=1763 My friend Glenn wrote this on Facebook today: Here’s a dead easy way to have your say on the NSW Ethics Classes. Just visit this page, plug in your contact details…

  • Philosophy - Religion

    David in the Middle

    I say fairly often to people with whom I’m having a discussion “hey, you know I also argue with the people on the opposite side of this issue, right?” It’s true – I challenge evolutionists and creationists, Christians and atheists, left-wingers and right-wingers, and so on. I don’t think people…

  • Philosophy - Religion

    Theism, Atheism and Morality

    It keeps on coming up in the wide variety of web discussion forums I read, as well as in face-to-face conversations: what is the relationship of religion and morality? For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll stick to Christian religion, since that is most often the context, it’s the context…

  • Philosophy - Religion

    Reverse Pascal

    For those not familiar with it, Pascal’s Wager can be roughly stated as the idea that, given we cannot know for certain whether or not God exists, it is better to believe he does, since the rewards of believing he doesn’t are finite while the rewards of believing he does…

  • Philosophy - Poetry

    Stephen Fry on the English Language

    I’ve talked before here about language and how it grows and develops, and the tension between correctness and usage. This is the second half of an interview of Stephen Fry by Jonathan Ross, so it starts off a bit mid-stream, but once Stephen gets into his rant about the English…

  • Philosophy - Teaching

    Interdisciplinarity and Security

    I didn’t end up blogging a lot about the ideas from the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference I attended in Edmonton – lots more about the meetings with people and the day-to-day stuff I was doing. But there definitely were exciting ideas and exciting sessions…

  • Musings - Philosophy - Reviews

    Religion and Truth

    I need a big book to take on a big flight, and as I think I mentioned here before, I’m enjoying Neal Stephenson’s ‘Anathem’ on this trip. It’s over 900 pages of fairly small print, so I only read about half of it on the trip up, and have plenty…

  • Philosophy - Teaching

    Evidence-based Practice and Education

    It’s a notion that’s been popular in medicine for perhaps a decade, maybe a bit longer: doing what the best available research evidence suggests is the best possible treatment for a particular condition. Sackett and colleagues (1996) wrote that evidence-based practice consists of “integrating individual clinical expertise with the best…

  • Philosophy - Religion

    Alberto Rivera and Unassailable Claims

    Alberto Rivera is a guy who came out in the 70s – initially in the (in)famous Jack Chick Christian comics – and claimed that he had been a Jesuit priest (sometimes upgraded to bishop) specifically tasked with infiltrating and destroying Protestant churches. His ‘testimony’ sparked quite the panic among evangelicals,…

  • Philosophy - Teaching

    Kieran Egan Makes Me Think (Again)

    Kieran Egan is a Canadian educator who has written a lot about the importance of play, storytelling and imagination in education. I’ve been reading his stuff and enjoying it for nearly 20 years now. Just reading a little bit from one of his books today, I was struck by this…

  • Philosophy

    Explaining Explanation

    Not so much a New Years resolution as just a realisation: I’ve been having trouble writing new academic papers lately, and I realised it was because I wasn’t reading enough academic books and papers. Got to feed the machine and spark off the ideas, then they’ll come and writing will…