How to argue with silly thing believers

[Apologies this took a while; I’ve been rather sick] So, given all this [Why believers believe silly things, why they believe the particular silly things they do, and the developmental hypothesis of belief acquisition], how can you change a believer’s mind? It is tempting to say that you cannot, or to take a more rationalist Read More…

Why do believers believe THOSE silly things?

If, as I argued in the last post, believers believe silly things in order to make the community cohere in the face of competing loyalties of the wider community, why is it that they believe the things they believe? For example, you will often see Jews attempt to argue that kashrut (kosher, in Yiddish) dietary rules Read More…

Why do believers believe silly things? The function of denialism

Bishop Butler wrote in a sermon in 1729: Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be: why, then, should we desire to be deceived? [Sermon 7] It’s an interesting question. Why should we seek to be deceived about the consequences of our actions and the Read More…

The discrimination of the age

There are many kinds of undue and harmful discrimination in modern society, all of which collectively tend to privilege a few. Women are treated with less respect and given fewer opportunities than men; heterosexuality is privileged over “deviant” forms of sexual identity and the alphabet community (currently LGBT and variants) has fewer rights than the Read More…

Why anti science?

Over the past few decades there has been an increasingly negative attitude by governments, pundits, religiosi and faux philosophers against science. We have seen an increase in denialism about climate change (one of the most well supported scientific models of the day), vaccination, evolution, medical research in general, and the ancillary aspects of science like Read More…

On knowing the rules

The reader may have become aware of some examples of sexual harassment on the interwubs lately. I do not propose to get involved or to make detailed comment as I do not know much about the cases apart from what has been mentioned online. I take it as read these are echt cases of sexual Read More…

Are smarter people irreligious or just nonconformists?

There’s been a lot of discussion around the traps that studies show repeatedly that those who are atheists or otherwise irreligious are on average a bit smarter than those who aren’t. The usual ballyhoo has followed, with atheists claiming that religion makes you stupid or only stupid people follow religions, etc. I want to suggest Read More…