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Showing posts from July, 2010

Intelligent design and the unexplained analogy

Bit of new book for comments. I did something similar to the following in the Humanism book. Another version of semantic goalpost shifting is the unexplained analogy. In the introduction I outlined an objection to a certain sort of argument for theism – the argument that the universe appears, for example, to be fine-tuned, and that a designer god provides the best available explanation for its fine-tuned character. The objection is based on the thought that if God is a non-temporal agent, a sort a cosmic super-intelligence that creates time and space, then we run up against the objection that talk of a non-temporal agent appears to make scarcely more sense than, say, talk of a non-spatial mountain. To recap: for something to be a mountain is for it to have parts spatially arranged in a particular way. It must have a summit and sides, for example, which requires that one part must be higher than another. If we strip away the spatial context, talk of a mountain no longer makes sense.

Alan Bennet's "The sermon" (Beyond the fringe)

One of the funniest things I have ever heard was Bennett in a dog collar doing his "sermon" in Beyond The Fringe . I am using a bit as an example of pseudo-profundity in latest book (more to come shortly). First verse of the fourteenth chapter of the Second Book of Kings: ‘And he said, “But my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man.”’ Perhaps I might say the same thing in a different way by quoting you those words of that grand old English poet, W.E. Henley, who said: “When that One Great Scorer comes To mark against your name, It matters not who won or lost, But how you played the game.” ‘But how you played the game.’ Words very meaningful and significant for us here, together, tonight. Words we might do very much worse than to consider. And I use this word ‘consider’ advisedly. Because I am using it, you see, in its original Greek sense of ‘con—sid-er’, of putting one’s self in the way of thinking about something. I want us here, together, tonight to put o

Via Ferrata - black and white film

Howard on my recent trip to Italian Dolomites. More of the book coming soon....