Tagged: Philosophy

What will change everything?

The third of our stories since the new year to end with a question mark – over at Edge, some of our leading thinkers and scientists were asked the question what will change everything?. Answers range from the discovery of intelligent life from somewhere else through our ability to conquer death to superintelligence, universal translation, climate change and human-chimpanzee hybrids.

Andrew Copson, BHA Education Officer, on faith schools and Cristina Odone

Andrew CopsonPity the poor faith schools. According to a pamphlet published today by the Centre for Policy Studies, penned by Cristina Odone, they are under threat as never before from “a government … aligning itself with a stridently secularist lobby”. Few apart from than Odone can have noticed this dangerous development.

The problem of organ donation

TPM onlineThe recent debate in the UK about organ donation was surprisingly heated. People complained about a “nanny state” infringing on their post-mortem rights; some threatened to tear up their donor cards if the proposed change to an “opt-out” system went ahead.

Fashionable Dictionary

This is just from the ‘A’ section – go to the Butterflies and Wheels website for more.

Acceptance
Nice, warm, cooperative way of evaluating ideas, much better than argument.

Accuracy
Exploded concept. Foolish, Platonic notion that we can get our facts straight.

Alphabet
The opposite of the Goddess. “But one pernicious effect of literacy has gone largely unnoticed: writing subliminally fosters a patriarchal outlook. Writing of any kind, but especially its alphabetic form, diminishes feminine values and with them, women’s power in the culture.” [Leonard Shlain, The Goddess and the Alphabet]

Alternative
A wonderful thing. Because it’s the opposite of everything. You have the regular, normal, boring thing, like medicine, or scholarship, or education, and then you have the alternative kind, which does whatever the opposite is. Normal medicine relies on testing, so dear alternative medicine relies on guesswork and hunches and an inner voice. So much more spiritual.

Julian Baggini: The gripes of wrath

“There’s a vaguely new-age feeling going around that any form of inner agitation is bad and that we should all be heading for inner peace. I think that’s morally outrageous. There’s something deeply self-centred about aspiring to be the kind of person who’s not perturbed by anything.”

Dawkins, Dennett, Harris & Hitchens in conversation

Dawkins, Dennet, Harris & Hitchens

On the 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, convened by RDFRS and filmed by Josh Timonen.

BBC NEWS | Nursery pupils taught philosophy

Children as young as four are being taught philosophy in the nursery, BBC Scotland has learned.

The Clackmannanshire Council initiative is believed to be the first run by a local authority in Britain.

New research from Dundee University suggests learning philosophy raises children’s IQ by up to 6.5 points and improves their emotional intelligence.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Nursery pupils taught philosophy.

It’s not the first time that very young children have been taught philosophy. In 2005, it was reported that children were learning philosophy in Leicester, and there’ve been similar reports from schools in other parts of the country.

Thank who very much?

If we can’t thank God, who do we thank? Ronald Aronson, Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Wayne State University, writes in The Philosophers’ Magazine about gratitude in a Godless age.

Living without God today means facing life and death as no generation before us has done. It entails giving meaning to our lives not only in the absence of a supreme being, but now without the forces and trends that gave hope to the past several generations of secularists. We who live after progress, after Marxism, and after the Holocaust have stopped believing that the world is being transformed by reason and democracy. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the modern faith that human life is heading in a positive direction has been undone, giving way to the earlier religious faith it replaced, or to no faith at all. Alone as never before, in a universe scientifically better understood than ever, we find little in its almost-infinite vastness to guide us towards what our lives mean and how we should live them.