• Olivia wrote a new post, Why Atheism Needs Philosophy, on the site Skepchick 5 years, 3 months ago

    Atheism and science are bros. Everybody knows they belong together, just like Troy and Abed. For most of the reign of New Atheism, science has been right hand man, directing New Atheism’s trajectory and enjoying […]

    • 1000%

    • Well said.

    • Check out Stoicism…

    • Finally, a comprehensive rational thought from those who claim to be preeminently rational. Well done, Olivia.

      When new atheists like Feynman, Myers, and deGrasse Tyson decide to unnecessarily (and emotionally) turn off their brains, and utter unsophisticated gems like, “Philosophy is bullshit”, they sound like slow and frustrated children. Why they assume something they’ve obviously never studied is a natural enemy of their cause simply because various religious traditions have a history with it, is nonsense, and ultimately harmful. You need to engage intellectual enemies on all fronts, not arbitrarily cordon off the academic landscape and give people you don’t like the silent treatment forever.

      I believe they do this because they genuinely misunderstand philosophy and regard it as a competitor to scientific knowledge, when any professional philosophy scholar has never claimed such a thing, and never would, as it has been a distinct field of study for hundreds of years. Moreover, to disrespect other academic fields and extremely learned scholar simply for not studying physics or biology is self-defeating, pointless, and bigoted, quite frankly. New atheism needs a total package, not huffs and puffs or I’ll blow your house down!

    • I also want to add that the atheistic community suffers from wishful thinking just as much as the religious, and they must accept this part of themselves. If you oppose a method of thinking purely on basis that you believe it shows (albeit erroneously) the opposing worldview they espouse, you are simply accepting their interpretation without taking the time to meticulously build up your own case. You will be inclined to believe that you empirical method of discovery is capable of demonstrating all manner of metaphysical truths, which is not only nonsense and tarnishes the intellectual reputation of new atheism, but this conflation of diverse spheres of knowledge also harm the sciences by introducing unnecessary metaphysical dependencies into the naturalistic worldview. One need not wishfully believe that philosophy must either demonstrate one’s own metaphysical worldivew or that of one’s opponent! That’s not what philosophy is, and it’s not how logical thinking works. A modicum of self-criticism is in order for the new atheists to accept the same human limitations in which the religious fit faith, and simultaneously show with confidence the reasonableness of the atheistic position, if possible. You can’t just pretend there are no logical gaps about the ultimate meaning of life, and simultaneously attempt to play philosophical definition games!

    • Humanism, sitting in the corner, smiles and waves.

    • The way I see things, skepticism is the philosophical view. Science is the application of that philosophy. In other words, science is applied skepticism.

    • On the importance of science, from Epicurus’ Principal Doctrines:

      11. If we had never been troubled by celestial and atmospheric phenomena, nor by fears about death, nor by our ignorance of the limits of pains and desires, we should have had no need of natural science.
      12. It is impossible for someone to dispel his fears about the most important matters if he doesn’t know the nature of the universe but still gives some credence to myths. So without the study of nature there is no enjoyment of pure pleasure.
      13. There is no advantage to obtaining protection from other men so long as we are alarmed by events above or below the earth or in general by whatever happens in the boundless universe.

    • Hmmm. Philosophy would seem to be, at best, a static set of mental tools for approaching other endeavors. If philosophers want to lay claim to boolean algebra, mathematicians may concede it, because it’s origin is of little consequence, and mathematics has so much else going for it.
      I submit, that while saying it is useless is too harsh, philosophy has had it’s day. When does philosophy ever prevail when it collides with a field of science? So long, and thanks for all the tools.