Having posted the Philpapers survey results, the biggest ever survey of philosophers conducted in 2009, several readers were not aware of it (the reason for re-communicating it) and were unsure as to what some of the questions meant. I offered to do a series on them, so here it is – Philosophy 101 (Philpapers induced). I will go down the questions in order. I will explain the terms and the question, whilst also giving some context within the discipline of Philosophy of Religion.
I know this has done the rounds. I often refer back to similar experiments which have show that TMS can alter moral judgements, as this BBC article shows:
Scientists have shown they can change people’s moral judgements by disrupting a specific area of the brain with magnetic pulses.
I was involved in a little discussion over at Advocatus Atheist the some time ago with regard to whether a secular and skeptical approach can spell the end of religion. I found this to be interesting. Even if the evidence (does it not already) overwhelmingly ruled in favour of the disbelief in a personal god, would religion still tenuously hang on to the threads of desperate hope or ritualistic comforts that humanity seems to endure?
The results of the 2013 New Zealand Census has Christianity down to 47 per cent. Retired scientist, Ken Perrott’s, accompanying graph charts Christianity’s decline in every recent census and projects its decline to just above 20 per cent by 2030 and further, beyond that date. It is, of course, very unlikely to disappear altogether, but, equally, the chances of a major Christian revival in New Zealand are very remote.
Tomas Rees runs a really interesting blog called [epiphenom] the science of belief and non-belief. Well worth visiting. This article reminded me of an earlier article of mine linking autistic people with a lack of belief. If you are an instinctive thinker, it seems, you are more likely to believe in God:
Late last year some fascinating research revealed that people who take a more deliberative approach to problem solving – rather than just going with their instincts – are also less religious.
Yup, you heard it here. The plagues. God getting involved right up to his neck in magic stuff. People and animals dying all over the shop. Frogs; gnats; darkness; rivers of blood; boils; hail; firstborns of Egyptian families and animals dying. AND THEN the army getting destroyed by a parted sea coming down on their heads.
Isn´t it interesting how the same argument can be very powerful and persuasive for some people while being completely uninteresting for others? The problem of evil is one of the most powerful arguments against the existence of an all-loving God for many Atheists, but I never cared much about it. I´m not sure why, maybe because I never believed in a God anyway, for other reasons, so speculations about what an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God would or would not do always seemed kind of moot to me. But nevertheless, I recently thought about the problem of evil when I had a discussion with our local young earth creationist JohnM.