News Bits

by Luke Muehlhauser on July 25, 2010 in News

17 musical compositions by Nietzsche, in mp3. My imagination expected something more like the music of Carlo Gesualdo.

John Danaher of Philosophical Disquisitions has launched a podcast. Episode 01 here, on Wielenberg’s “Skeptical Theism and Divine Lies.”

Atheist pocket debater iPhone app.

New blog: Accidental Penis.

Pancake-flipping robot makes me laugh really hard.

Man robs bank dressed as Darth Vader.

I updated the atheism-theism debates page. Yeah, I’m still doing that once or twice a month.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Justfinethanks July 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Pancake-flipping robot makes me laugh really hard.

I know this is just a product of my human tendency to project agency and emotional drama where there is none, but I found that video oddly touching. It was like watching a five year old slowly get better a riding a bike without training wheels.


Bill Maher July 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Great, the military developed true blood. next stop: vampires coming out of the coffin. at least it will take the heat off of atheists.


Hermes July 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm
nate July 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm

The iphone app disappointed me with its terrible arguments. Some problems:
No believer believes that all religions have equal evidence. Some evidence that all religions have equal evidence would have been a nice addition.

If a believer proves their religion is true, they don’t need to study other religions to know if they are false; there can only be one true religion.
The “you only believe what you believe because of where you live” argument commits the genetic fallacy and can be turned right back around to an atheist. Does anyone think they would be an atheist if they were raised in Iran?

Luke, it’d be really cool if you or someone that knows how to argue made an iphone app that didn’t suck.


lukeprog July 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Yeah, even in the video it didn’t look very good. Oh well.


matth July 25, 2010 at 11:15 pm

this is some pretty big news

hundreds of years from now when we finally set out to colonize an earth like planet in another solar system, we might look back to this year as the time it was first discovered, the new earth’s birth year


G'DIsraeli July 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I actually expected something more in the vain of Krzysztof Penderecki…


Joe Navy July 26, 2010 at 9:43 am

Col v Ven
If it wasn’t for loss of life…I’d like to see these two countries go at it for a while, put it on a UFC ticket even!


Ronnie July 26, 2010 at 10:25 am

“Does anyone think they would be an atheist if they were raised in Iran?” Why not? Many people have been raised in ultra-religious countries and have become atheists.
In fact, some of the most vocal atheists have come from conservative Christian households in America. Consider Nathan Phelps, for example. Now, someone could easily scold me for comparing apples to oranges. After all, Fred Phelps could not get away with executing his son in America. However, a person can become an atheist and remain in the closet until they feel safe to come out, even if that feeling of security lies in another nation.


Eneasz July 26, 2010 at 10:38 am

Is Accidental Penis SFW?


matth July 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

@Eneasz not really


Matthew D. Johnston July 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm

The “you only believe what you believe because of where you live” argument commits the genetic fallacy…

Well, I don’t know. It is only a genetic fallacy if it is irrelevant to the issue under debate and I think the demographics of belief are certainly relevant to certain (and probably most) religious systems. The facts that people are psychologically disposed to religion in general and the beliefs of their parents in particular; that they would not form these beliefs independently of some form of teaching; that, when sociologically isolated from one another, different cultures have developed completely disparate belief systems from one another; that religious attitudes and beliefs change continually over time – these facts don’t weigh on the existence of a deistic/philosopher’s god, who would assumingly not care about our beliefs, but they do weigh on the existence of a personal, intervening Deity who wants everybody in existence to come to know Him personally. I cannot see how that can be brushed off as a simple fallacy (although many attempts to address and explain this away also exist).

My main objection to this line of argumentation is that it is so damn glib. It’s presumptuous and smacks of moral superiority. But worded in a less inflammatory way, I think it’s valuable. Statistically, the most telling factor in determining someone’s religion is the religion of their parents. If they say karma – we believe karma. If they say zen – we believe zen. If they say God – we believe God. And yet, clearly, the odds of us having, by pure chance, being born into the one true religion are exceedingly small, especially when you consider historical changes in beliefs and the many branches and schisms of each individual faith. If this doesn’t give anybody at least a moment of pause, frankly, I don’t know what will.


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