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My book The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking

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Why do the British public support moderately left-wing policies, but fail to vote Labour?

Centrists, like Blair, who argue Labour must return to centrist policies to have any chance of winning again, have a problem with polling that shows moderately left-leaning Corbyn-style policies (e.g. free university tuition, free childcare, nationalised rail, higher taxes on wealthiest, etc.) were and still are popular. Centrists need to explain that polling away. Of course, they respond by saying ‘But Labour lost in 2017 and 2019! So the policies can’t be popular, can they?’ In addition, Tony Blair is now adding this : ‘In a 3 sec conversation people say they support rail nationalisation, say, but after a 30 sec or 3 minute conversation they’re much less keen.’ An obvious problem with this reply is that, while it explains why people would   drop support for such policies given longer exposure to centrist counter-arguments (assuming that’s true, which I doubt), it obviously doesn’t explain why, when the public haven’t  dropped support for such policies (which they haven't), they

'That May Be True For You, But It's Not True For Me' - Relativism Explained

According to the relativist, people who speak simply of what’s ‘true’ are na├»ve. ‘Whose truth?’ asks the relativist. ‘No claim is ever true, period. What’s true is always true for someone. It’s true relative to a particular person or culture. There’s no such thing as the absolute truth on any issue. This sort of relativism is certainly popular. For example, many claim that we ought never to condemn cultures with different moral points of view to our own. Differing moral perspectives are all equally valid. Similarly, some claim that while astrology and Feng Shui might be ‘false’ from a Western, scientific viewpoint, they are ‘true’ when viewed from alternative, New Age perspectives. What’s ‘true’ ultimately comes down to ones point of view. This is a chapter adapted from my book The Philosophy Gym . Introduction Let’s begin with a couple of illustrations of how appeals to relativism can creep into everyday conversation. 1. Olaf’s condemnation of female circumcision OLAF

My new Critical Thinking course - ideal for pupils, students, teachers, sceptics.

My new Critical Thinking course - ideal for pupils & teachers wanting to sharpen their thinking skills! 3 hours of snappy entertaining videos. Plus multiple choices quizzes. And if you get baffled, I'm on hand to respond to queries. Price of a paperback book!   Comprises all the most useful and fun bits of my teaching. Ideal for teachers and pupils wanting to sharpen their thinking.  The course (with sample videos) is here: https://www.udemy.com/course/critical-thinking-p/ And here's a sample video:    

Book Zoom sessions with me for your RS or Philosophy class

  TEACHERS. I'm offering online (via Zoom) talks and sessions to schools on A Level RS, Philosophy, and more.   ZOOM sessions can be organised to suit your exact class and needs, and can involve interaction, powerpoint slides, etc.   All sessions are accompanied by a pdf explaining the key points.   Sessions offered include: · Ontological Arguments · Natural Law and its practical application to e.g. embryo research and designer babies, abortion, assisted suicide, capital punishment, etc. · The Kalam Cosmological Argument (incl. William Lane Craig) · The Principle of Sufficient Reason · Religious Experience (e.g. including Persiger and Dawkins) · Religious Language: Ayer, Flew, Wittgenstein · MetaEthics - especially emotivism and intuitionism · The Logical and Evidential Problems of Evil (and my own Evil God Challenge)   Plus any other syllabus-related content you might want covered. I am happy to tailor sessions to your exact needs and syllab

Suggesting a new named fallacy: the Non Post Hoc Fallacy (or David Cameron Fallacy)

Many of us are familiar with the Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy (' after this, therefore because of this) - Post Hoc Fallacy for short). It's the fallacy of supposing that, because B occurred after A, A must be the cause of B. For example: My car stopped working after I changed the oil, so changing the oil caused it to stop working. Or:  I wore my red jumper to the exam and I passed, so that jumper is lucky: it caused me to pass. This fallacy is so common, it gets a latin name. However, there's a related common fallacy that I think also deserves a name. I am going to call it the Non Post Hoc Fallacy (' not after of this, therefore not because of this), or, perhaps more memorably, the David Cameron Fallacy. Every now and then someone desperate to ‘prove’ that X is not causally responsible for Y – e.g poverty is not a cause of crime, will commit the following fallacy. They will argue that as X has often occurred without Y following, therefore X was not the

Logical Objections to Theism (my chpt in Companion Guide to Atheism and Philosophy)

  (From A Companion Guide to Atheism and Philosophy - Graham Oppy, Wiley Blackwell, 2019) Abstract : This chapter looks at a range of objections to theism that one might class as 'logical'. Some of these objections aim to show that theism involves an internal logical contradiction. Others aim to show that theism is at least logically incompatible with other beliefs to which the theist is also typically committed. Also included are objections grounded in the thought that theism is nonsensical or meaningless. The chapter provides both an overview of this broad terrain, including a map of possible responses to different kinds of objection, and then a number of examples   Introduction   This essay is in two parts. In Part One, I map out several varieties of logical objection to theism, provide some illustrations, and then set out a number of response strategies that may be employed by theists in defence of their belief. In Part Two, I examine in more deta