Last night, I gave a short presentation on Free Will in order to kick off some discussion between mixed groups of atheists and theists. It went quite well, I feel, and the discussions that I was involved with went pretty well. The notes I used are included below. It’s a really just a rough overview, and I wouldn’t consider it a compelling argument for the compatibilist position in and of itself, but… Well, people have written books on that, and this was only a 15-min presentation, so bear that in mind if you think that I think you should be convinced by this.
Category Archives: Education
Unlike a lot of my friends, I don’t find articles written by Christians to be completely stupid, or ignorant, or “unscientific”. The problems with them are those of basic reasoning, and this problems are not limited to Christians. In any case, I find them to be extremely useful to explaining reasoning, and how to articulate arguments, usually by pointing out how the article in question has failed.
In this case, I’d like to point you at “7 Things That Prove God is Real“. Take a moment to read over it, and I’ll meet ye beneath the fold.
I’ve had something of a writing block for the last month or so, so I’m thankful to Hemant Mehta over at Friendly Atheist for providing me with some fodder to dissect. I’ve always figured that there had to be some folk out there whose anti-abortion stance wasn’t built on a foundation of religion, as the latter simply isn’t logically necessary for the former. Plenty of people hold ignorant and poorly thought-out positions, appeals to god are simply gap fillers: people can also either fill in the gaps with a non-religious non-explanation, or just ignore them.
Such is the case in the guest post by Kristine Kruszelnicki, titled “Yes, There Are Pro-Life Atheists Out There. Here’s Why I’m One of Them“. An alternative title would be “I’m unaware of how shallow my arguments are, but here they are anyway”. That is, perhaps, unfair: it’s possible that Kruszelnicki is aware of how shallow these arguments are, but she claims that they are compelling….
I’m a big fan of science education, and those institutions whose reason for being is the furthering of knowledge, and the encouraging of the young to follow math-based ambitions. That stuff is hard, and requires a whole heap of enthusiasm and motivation in order to slog through.
Conversely, it’s somewhat shocking when I find a space center, a place that claims its goals are “to educate, inspire and evoke a sense of wonder about the Universe, our planet and space exploration” working to do exactly the opposite. Continue reading
Sometimes, I read something that’s really quite awesome, like a bunch of High School kids protesting against the firing of the Assistant Principal of their school. Why was he fired? Because he was gay. I think that it’s a credit to those kids that they felt they should stand up against an injustice and a credit to the school for instilling a sense of civic responsibility and ethics into their students.
However, some incredibly ignorant folk (like Rebecca Hamilton, 18-year member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives) believe that the job of a Catholic School is to raise mindless drones. In her own words:
It also points to a failed Catholic school. Based on the behavior of its students, this school appears to have failed in what most people think is the real mission of a Catholic school, which is raising up young people who can stand for the faith.