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Showing posts from March, 2012

Article in The Hindu

Article about my Evil God Challenge in The Hindu, India (circ 1.5 million approx, so good for research "impact") Original here . Why must God be good? SUDHAMAHI REGUNATHAN In this talk, Philosopher Stephen Law weighs the arguments for and against a belief in an all benevolent Creator. Here is a question most of us would have asked at one point of time or other: “If God is all powerful and all good, then why does evil exist and exist to the extents that it does?” Philosopher Stephen Law breaks the question into two kinds of problems: one he labels as the logical problem and the other as the evidential problem. The first finds it hard to reconcile a God to the evil and suffering in the world and the second wonders how an all powerful, all good God could make a world so full of suffering. The evidential problem deals with the quantity while the logical problem deals with the existence of any evil at all. Law further says we could confine ourselves to understanding evil as su

Tomorrow at Waterstones bookstore Oxford, with Nick Cohen

One of three events I am doing tomorrow in Oxford. The other two are a talk at 10.00am on Believing Bullshit and a debate 4-5pm with Lord Richard Harries, chaired by David Aaronovitch, both at the Oxford Literary Festival , Christ Church College, Oxford. Censorship in an Age of Freedom: The Debate Nick Cohen, Stephen Law You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom WATERSTONE'S OXFORD Thursday, 29 March 2012, 7:00PM TICKETS NOW ON SALE INSTORE £4 or £2 with a Waterstones Loyalty card Join us in store for an evening of lively and vital debate with Journalist Nick Cohen and Philosopher Stephen Law. It has become the accepted wisdom that we are living in an age of unprecedented freedom, but in world of super-injunctions and media self censorship, where you can risk your life by writing a novel or drawing a cartoon how free are we really? Further details: 01865 790212

Why a degree in Philosophy may be a better bet than a degree in Business administration

This previous post bears repeating in the current economic climate... If you are wondering what kind of degree programme is likely to boost your general smarts, consider these figures. Go here . This is one of several graphs from the above article. Based on GRE test performance ( Graduate Record Examination ) of graduate programme applicants. Quantitative (math) skills on the vertical axis, verbal skills on the horizontal (other graphs include the third component - "analytical writing", at which philosophers also excel, dramatically outperforming all others). Philosophy graduates are pretty damn smart, the various figures suggest, compared to graduates with other degrees, including most - perhaps even all - sciences (though were they smarter to begin with, or did their degree programme make them smarter, compared to other degrees?). Check the article. Here 's the original table of GRE scores of US students completing a variety of degrees. Notice religion also does v

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival at Hay in 2012

The Limits of Science Event [50001] Saturday 9 June 2012 2:30pm The Limits of Science Rupert Sheldrake, Stephen Law, James Le Fanu No one can doubt that science is our most powerful means to intervene in the world. But does science uncover the ultimate nature of the world? Or are there things it cannot fathom? Do we hide from the limitations of science or are we attracted by the inexplicable because it makes us feel more human? Controversial biologist and author of The Science Delusion, Rupert Sheldrake, physician, Telegraph columnist and historian of science James Le Fanu debate the limits of knowledge with Think editor, commentator and philosopher Stephen Law. Tickets here . Earlybird: £5.00 Standard: £7.00 Full-price: £9.00 website .

What is the Conservative Party for? The cui bono test

Can anyone think of anything the Tories have done in this parliament (economically, I mean) that has not been about financially benefiting the rich and/or big business (i.e. their backers), typically with the result that the resulting financial burdens are loaded onto those lower down the economic scale? I can't. I thought I'd discovered an example a couple of days ago when I heard that the Government were helping first time buyers with an assisted deposit scheme. "Finally" I thought, "Some evidence that the Tories are not only interested in helping out their rich mates. I am after all being cynical in suspecting the Tories are only about the rich and big business." But of course it turns out the scheme is only for those buying new build homes. It's actually a way of helping out the construction industry, and was probably suggested by industry lobbyists. Can anyone reassure me by coming up with a significant economic policy introduced by this Governm

ThinkCon 2012 - Saturday, March 17, Cambridge

ThinkCon 2012 Part of the Cambridge Science Festival Richard Wiseman, Helen Keen, Michael Brooks and others... When? Saturday, March 17 2012 at 11:00AM Where? McCrum Lecture Theatre Benet Street Cambridge CB2 3QN Who? Richard Wiseman, Helen Keen, Michael Brooks and others... What's the talk about? Tickets Price: Free for talks or £6 for food. Tickets can now be puchased/booked from WeGotTickets Progamme 11:00am Lewis Dartnell 12:00pm Iszi Lawrence 1:00pm Stephen Law 3:30pm Martin Robbins, Jane Gregory & David Whitehouse 5:00pm Michael Brooks 6:00pm Helen Keen 6:45pm Richard Wiseman

The Evil God challenge cartoon

Someone has taken the time to do a very nice animation based round my Evil God Challenge paper, and even added some good points of their own....

Glenn Peoples on evil god challenge

Glenn Peoples has a podcast on my evil god challenge here . It's been there a while but have only now had a chance to listen to it. It's very good as an explanation of the challenge. Glenn is a patient, clear expositor... I have commented and had a brief exchange with Glenn in the comments section if anyone's interested...