Thursday, July 18, 2013

Videos from the CFI Conference on Scientism.

Are available on youtube. For some reason I cannot embed them. The links are:


Adzcliff said...

Interesting to see Atkins admit to and defend 'scientism'. Up until watching this I'd always assumed 'scientism' was little more than a straw-man used by religious and/or pseudo-scientific apologists to caricature the position of science-based critics. But when pressed briefly by Papineau, Atkins seemed to concede there may be limits to what science can answer and where it can take us, which, as I understand it, is to reject scientism (i.e. as a (largely non-existent) radical belief system where science can answer all questions and should dictate all human affairs). Makes me wonder whether Atkins' dislike of philosophy has caused him to misunderstand what he's being accused of? Not sure...

sam said...

I only watched the panel discussion, but Peter J. Williams is clearly an evangelical with a commitment to biblical inerrancy or some form of divine inspiration. He also offered the standard theistic response to the Euthyphro dilemma, that objective morality ontologically derives from yhwh's essence or nature, not its commands.

I want to know what it is specifically about yhwh's nature which ontologically makes taking pleasure in forcing parents to eat their children (DT 28:53-63)or bashing babies' heads against stones (PS 137:9) objectively moral. What is it within yhwh's essence which makes objectively moral such acts as human sacrifice (LE 27:28-29), genocide and infanticide (EZ 5:17, EX 12:29, 1SA 15:3-8, 2KI 2:23-24)?

If yhwh's nature IS X, can we derive an ought from it regarding how to behave? This seems to be the naturalistic fallacy. Is there a single philosopher of ethics who takes this moral ontology at all seriously?