Friday, August 28, 2015

Is Creationism just as irrational as Young Earth Creationism?

I've had this topic in my head for a while, but I've never got the motivation to put bytes to webpages to write it until last night when I saw this tweet by one of my favorite atheists on the internet, Justin Schieber:

Normally this sort of sentiment would get my full endorsement.  The idea seems pretty straight forward, once you've gotten to a certain level of philosophical understanding anyway.  In the end I may be agreeing with Justin here, but I want to try and hash our my thoughts on the subject, and writing helps.  Jump below the fold for my thoughts.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

No Hemant, these aren't 5 Ways to be a Better Atheist

I really like Hemant Mehta, better known as the Friendly Atheist.  He's not really into philosophy, but he's got a good enough head on his shoulders to be able to avoid the general mistakes of superficial internet atheism, and at the same time call out the bullshit of religious apologists.

He's also great at blogging, and is a generally a solid voice of moderation in "online atheism".

So I was kind of shocked to see him (or his team) share this article on his Facebook page this morning, saying that he thinks it's "a pretty good list".  Since Hemant is a good guy who may be falling prey to a Golden Mean Fallacy, I wanted to write this post why I think he should re-evaluate the list.

EDIT#1: Hemant has kindly replied on Twitter. He didn't post the link himself, and agrees that many of the arguments are silly. He does think that atheists need to do a better job of communicating our answers to these philosophical questions.  This is a position I wholeheartedly endorse. You can read Hemant's updated comments on this on his Facebook page.

EDIT#2: I wanted to add an update based on what I'm seeing in reactions from someone I highly respect, Justin Schieber.  I can agree that for 3/5, probably 4/5 of these general principles are things atheists should do.  I think that they are actually things people in general should do (well 3/5 of them anyway).  We should make concessions, where warranted.  We should be open minded to the existence of the supernatural, when warranted. And we should admit the weaknesses of our position, when warranted.  This doesn't negate the fact that in the arguments that Patton tries to make following these general points are in fact terrible. Or that atheists are not following the relevant general principles.

Jump below to see why.