Morality and Evolution 6: Moral dispositions

[Morality and Evolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7] In any field that has statistical variation, it is necessary to isolate the variables. Biology is all about statistical variation of populations, and so we must expect that any account of morality that is based upon biology will have variation along a number of axes. Here I wish to sketch out Read More…

Morality and Evolution 3: Apes and populations

[Morality and Evolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7] Humans are apes, evolutionarily speaking. That is, while we are named distinctly in the vernacular usage from the rest of the apes (chimp, bonobo, gorilla, orang-utan, gibbons x 2), we fall squarely within the great ape clade. As such, we might expect that we share with them a social nature.* As Read More…

Are political parties the problem not the solution?

I am slightly active in the political party that I am a member of, but it worries me that maybe it is the very existence of political parties as formal structures that is the problem in modern politics in democracies. Here is a brief argument why: If you have a formal organisation in which the Read More…

Bastardry: On protest and on fascism

I attended the March in March protest against the current government of Australia yesterday. My legs still hurt. I’m sure that demonstrations were not so arduous thirty years ago. I noticed that this was a privative demonstration. It was not about something so much as against something, and the something it was against varied by protestor. Some Read More…

Accommodating Science overview

I have done quite a lot of blogging under this heading lately so I thought it might be useful to get all the posts used in order: On beliefs Why do believers believe silly things? The function of denialism Why do believers believe THOSE silly things? The “developmental hypothesis” of belief acquisition How to argue Read More…

Rant: Old people

The Australian government is looking at extending the pension age to 70, so that older Australians, especially those in the Baby Boom demographic, will be free of the public purse for another 5 years over the present age of 65. Except that it is not the case that older Australians will work another 5 years, Read More…

Accommodating science: Strategy

[This is part of the final chapter. It is unfinished, but I have to move on to some other activities, so it may not be completed for a while. Also, the chapter on neuroscience and religion will take a while to work up. So expect one more section soon, and then nothing for a while.] Read More…

Accommodating science: Faith and reason

[This is the penultimate chapter. I can’t be bothered trying to get the references or footnotes included in the posts, so you’ll have to wait for the book. Some of this has appeared on the blog before in less well written form, so don’t worry about the deja vu] All religious systems, it is confessed, Read More…

Religion is mental?

Over at Chris Stedman’s blog, he posted 5 reasons why atheists shouldn’t call religious people mentally ill: 1. Even if well-intended, the equation fails 2. Mental illness is not an insult 3. Religion is often associated with wellbeing 4. This parallel distracts us from trying to understand and learn from religion 5. Atheists and theists Read More…

Science outreach: A conversation

From the Freethinkers Blog Con: With PZ Myzer and Aron Ra.