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Showing posts from June, 2010

Via Ferrata in Italy

I am back from the Dolomites. Did some great via ferratas in good weather with friends. Here are a few clips. HD video using the pocket Vado. For full screen view select 720p at bottom right corner of frame. Top of Tomaselli again: Start of Tomaselli: Trincee:

Comment moderation

Comment moderation is now on. Shame a loony has to mess it up for the rest of us. I am off doing via ferrata in the Dolomites till next Tuesday. So comments may wait a few days before appearing. Except for DMs which will compiled for benefit of the police.

Playing The Mystery Card

Here's chpt one - very early draft. This chapter is long 12K words, so be warned. The others are much shorter. For your comments, feedback... PS I know I spell McGrath wrong - for some reason I really struggle with his name... PLAYING THE MYSTERY CARD “But it’s beyond science /reason to decide” Oh dear, your belief system looks pretty irrational. Critics point out that only do you have little in the way of argument for what you believe, there also seems to be powerful evidence against it. If you want, nevertheless, to convince both yourself and others that your beliefs are not nearly as ridiculous as your critics suggest, what can you do? Play the mystery card. By far the most popular version of this strategy is to say, “Ah, but of course this is beyond the ability of science and reason to decide. We must acknowledge that science and reason have their limits. It is sheer arrogance to suppose they can explain everything.” Scientism The view that science can ultimately ex

Graham Taylor, England manager

Photo from my Flickr site (black and white photography). Graham managed my team Socrates Wanderers. We lost. Interviews with Taylor on my footballing peformance here .

Cheltenham Ladies' College Principal made to feel "slightly immoral"

Poor Mrs Tuck, who has felt victimized and "beaten up" - article from This is Gloucester . She couldn't really be quite as awful as this interview presents as being, could she? I advocate banning private schools altogether. Outgoing Cheltenham Ladies College principal Vicky Tuck says she was made to feel "slightly immoral" for running a fee paying school. Mrs Tuck, principal of Cheltenham Ladies' College for 14 years, said: "I won't miss the problem of us having to defend ourselves. "Many of us in the independent sector work very hard and feel at times we have to apologise for what we're doing." Mrs Tuck, 57, is now set to become director-general of the International School in Geneva. On sabbatical in Brazil where she is studying education, she told The Times: 'There are things about England and British education that are quite irksome - you have constantly to defend independent education. "You feel beaten up. "

Humbug

Just been reading philosopher Max Black's excellent piece on humbug . Black outlines a number of coping strategies re humbug. This had me giggling: Strongly to be recommended also are humor, parody, and satire. The glorious response, for instance, of the philosopher Samuel Alexander, in his deaf old age, shaking his ear trumpet with laughter on being introduced to a Harvard professor: "I must be getting very deaf -- I thought you said he was a professor of business ethics!"

Sally Morgan

Genuine or hot/cold reader (and selective editing)? You can probably guess what I think. Derren Brown recently said in passing it's a shame we cannot imprison psychic fakes and charlatans like in the old days. Let's bring those days back, I say. The "Luke" example at 3min 30 secs looks to me like a really excellent bit of cold reading. Worth replaying to see exactly what she does... Here's some hot reading... Thanks to Skeptic's Dictionary - which provides excellent resources on hot and cold reading.

Intro to book (part 2) for comments

Second half of the intro to my new book on intellectual black holes. Much of this material will already be familiar to many of you. For comments... Two threats to the rationality of theism Our discussion will include several examples of how our eight strategies are used to deal with intellectual challenges to theism – to belief in God. I will focus on two intellectual challenges in particular: (i) the evidential problem of evil, and (ii) the problem of non-temporal agency. Because it is easy to underestimate the power of these objections, it’s well worth clarifying them at the outset. Readers already familiar with these objections can of course skip ahead to the next chapter. The logical and evidential problems of evil Perhaps the best-known challenge to theism is the so-called problem of evil. In fact there are at least two versions of the problem – the logical problem and the evidential problem. The logical problem is essentially simple. It is a challenge to belief in the trad