by Massimo Pigliucci A false dichotomy is a basic type of informal logical fallacy, consisting in framing an issue as if there were only two choices available, while in fact a range of nuanced positions may be on offer upon more careful reflection. While I have argued together with my colleagues Maarten Boudry and Fabio … Continue reading The false dichotomy of Islamophobia
by Massimo Pigliucci Christmas is fast approaching. So, naturally, American Atheists has launched its usual billboard campaign to nudge closeted atheists to come out and embrace the good news. AA President David Silverman is again spearheading what he calls the organizations’ “firebrand” approach to fighting religion. Despite being a lifetime member of American Atheists, I … Continue reading It’s American Atheists billboards time, again!
by Daniel Linford Why is it that some people do not believe in God? Some popular religious writers have claimed that atheists reject God because they were presented with the wrong kind of God. Atheists reject a god that is too small, it is claimed, and most have not considered the more sophisticated God that … Continue reading Do atheists reject the “wrong kind of God”? Not likely
by Coel Hellier In the all-time lists of Good Ideas the principle of religious freedom ranks high, preventing much strife and war and thus being responsible for saving more lives than penicillin and vaccination combined . “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me … Continue reading Three cheers for religious toleration
by Peter D.O. Smith Introduction This article is neither a defense of nor an attack against either religion or secularism. It treats them as well established sociological facts and no more than that. I take them as given and argue that a greater moral good can be achieved if the two belief systems find common … Continue reading Virtue Ethics: an ancient solution to a modern problem
by Mark English Anyone who claims that the writings of philosophers are pointless or unnecessary is immediately accused of philosophical naïveté. And so in order to avoid or counter the charge one has to do a bit of philosophy. Likewise, it’s difficult to articulate an anti-metaphysical stance without getting bogged down in something that looks … Continue reading Does philosophy have a future?
by Alan Sokal In all the examples discussed so far I have been at pains to distinguish clearly between factual matters and ethical or aesthetic matters, because the epistemological issues they raise are so different. And I have restricted my discussion almost entirely to factual matters, simply because of the limitations of my own competence. … Continue reading What is science and why should we care? — Part III
by Alan Sokal Let me now pass to a second set of adversaries of the scientific worldview, namely the advocates of pseudoscience. This is of course an enormous area, so let me focus on one socially important aspect of it, namely so-called “complementary and alternative therapies” in health and medicine. And within this, I’d like … Continue reading What is science and why should we care? — Part II
by Alan Sokal I propose to share with you a few reflections about the nature of scientific inquiry and its importance for public life. At a superficial level one could say that I will be addressing some aspects of the relation between science and society; but as I hope will become clear, my aim is … Continue reading What is science and why should we care? — Part I