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Showing posts from September, 2013

Extract from my book The Philosophy Gym - "The Consciousness Conundrum"

13. The Consciousness Conundrum Philosophy Gym category: Warm up Moderate More challenging Scientists are grappling with “the problem of consciousness”: the problem of explaining how that walnut-shaped lump of grey matter between your ears is capable of producing a rich inner world of conscious experiences. Will they ever solve this mystery? Some think it’s only a matter of time. Yet there are arguments that appear to show that consciousness is something that it is in principle impossible for science to explain. The private realm of consciousness Take a look at something red: a ripe tomato, for example. As you look at this object, you are conscious of having a certain experience – a colour experience. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel [i] (xx) explains, there’s something it is like to have this experience, something for you , the subject.             We spend our lives immersed in a vibrant flow of such experiences: the smell of a flower, the taste of an

Book now for Halloween special event CFI UK

Centre for Inquiry UK, The Skeptic magazine and Conway Hall present Halloween Special: Ghosts, Zombies and Vampires! Chaired and organized by Stephen Law, Heythrop College University of London. PS I AM INTRODUCING FANCY DRESS COMPETITION! WINNER GETS SIGNED COPY OF MY BOOK. PLUS SKEPTIC MAGAZINE BACK ISSUES FOR WINNER AND RUNNERS UP! Saturday October 26th, 2013 Conway Hall (Main Hall) 25 Red Lion Square Holborn London WC1R 4RL £10 (£5 students and BHA Ethical Soc members; free to friends of CFI UK). Tickets here or on the door. 10.30am registration. 11am-3.30pm 10.30 Registration 11.00 Deborah Hyde on vampires 12.00 Chris French on ghosts 1.30 Frank Swain on zombies 2.30 Scott Wood on London ghosts 3.30 END

Skeptical theism and divine lies: The McBrayer/Swenson response to Wielenberg

Here's a draft (to be deleted shortly) for comments... Skeptical Theism and Divine Lies: The McBrayer/Swenson response to Wielenberg 1. Skeptical Theism Evidential arguments from evil often [i] take something like the following form: If God exists, gratuitous evil does not exist. Gratuitous evil exists. Therefore, God does not exist Gratuitous evil is evil for which there is no God-justifying reason. Why suppose gratuitous evil exists? Well, we observe great evils for which we can identify no God-justifying reason. Thus, it is suggested, it’s reasonable to believe gratuitous evil exists.

My complaint to CISAS about huge Virgin mobile phone bills

UPDATE Dear Mr Law Case No: 212133585 - Law v Virgin Mobile Further to our recent correspondence we have received confirmation from the company that they are settling this claim in full. The adjudicator has no power to award any more than what the customer claims on the application form. Accordingly, the Company has 28 days to comply with the settlement. Should the Company not comply with the settlement please contact CISAS. However, please be advised that we will not be able to investigate against the Company before the 28 day period has passed, ie on or before 01/11/2013. Should we not hear from you after this period, we will assume you are happy with the resolution and will close our files accordingly. For anyone interested... I wish to complain about my daughter’s Virgin mobile account: account number FAxxxxx I am a longstanding Virgin media customer. Some time ago was called by Virgin and offered a £5pm sim card for use in the mobile of a family member

George Ross - memorial lecture tomorrow

I am giving the George Ross Memorial lecture tomorrow (Sunday) at 2pm, Conway Hall, London, part of the Philosophy Now Festival. I'll be talking about stuff from my book The War For Children's Minds, which George liked, I'm told. I didn't meet him but I have discovered a lot about him and clearly I missed out. Here are George's Ten Commandments. Discuss...! THE NEW TEN COMMANDMENTS Published in Humanism Scotland Winter 2001, p. 11 1.           Sapere aude - Dare to know. Take the risk of discovery, exercise the right of unfettered criticism, accept the loneliness of autonomy. Have the courage to use independently your own understanding, without recourse to anyone else's guidance. Always question, always examine critically your thoughts and deeds. Always ask 'why?' Try also to ask 'why not?' Be creative.  2.           Know thyself. To thine own self be true. Remember that an unexamined life is not worth living.  3.