Tag Archives: Belief

Where does confidence come from?

I’ve never thought of myself as a confident person. Yet sometimes people ask me where I get my confidence from, so I must be projecting the illusion of confidence at some level.

I don’t feel confident right now. I feel vulnerable. Continue reading

Multitasking is dead

I tried multitasking. Really, I did. I focused my full attention on it, to the exclusion of all other things. Yet even that couldn’t make it work. Continue reading

Why is morality relative?

The Ten Commandments by Gerry DIncher

The Ten Commandments by Gerry DIncher Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)

God gave the Israelites some pretty clear rules for how to live their lives. “Thou shalt not kill,” comes in at number six, and seems pretty clear cut. “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” is also very straightforward, and is at number seven. Yet Leviticus states, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

So what’s going on here? Is morality not as clear as we first thought? And if so, why not? Continue reading

Why are other people so f***ing stupid?

This, my friends, is a question that all of us have surely pondered. When I say “other people” I don’t mean you, of course, esteemed reader. I know that all of us here today are not stupid in the least. We are all smart, reasonable people. It’s those others I’m talking about. You know the ones I mean. Just what the effing fuck is wrong with them?

Here I’m going to share a theory of mine. Continue reading

My glass is still half-full

One of the reasons I started blogging four years ago was to share my excitement about the world. What an extraordinary place we inhabit! And life itself is such a miracle, and a true privilege. It’s something to be savoured every second of every day. Continue reading

Britain pulls up the drawbridge

So the people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. The margin was small (51.9% Leave vs 48.1% Remain) but a win is a win, and so Britain will now begin negotiations to leave – a process that might take years to complete. Already the markets have fallen, the currency has crashed, and the Prime Minister has resigned. But the crowds cheer, regardless. Continue reading

Why I have voted to remain in the EU

On June 23, 2016, the people of Britain will vote in a referendum. The question we will be asked is: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

I have already cast my vote by post, and I voted to remain, although I can see both sides of the argument. Here’s my take on what’s at stake. Continue reading

Infographics are like philosophical dialogues, but shorter

dialoguesNon-Believer: I have no idea what you mean. Infographics are nothing like dialogues.

Believer: Do you even know what a dialogue is?

Non-Believer: Duh. It’s what we’re doing right now.

Believer: Sure, but do you know what dialogues are for?

Non-Believer: Stop treating me like an idiot! Continue reading

Left vs Right, Authoritarianism vs Libertarianism

Anyone interested in politics should take a good look at the Political Compass website. Here you can read about Left vs Right (economics) and Authoritarianism vs Libertarianism (social attitudes) and see how you fit into the big picture. There’s a relatively simple test to take, and here are my results, shown with the positions of the various UK political parties in the 2015 general election. It seems like I’m a political outsider, although not an extremist. Continue reading

The tragedy of the meme

memesIt was the geneticist, Richard Dawkins, in his book The Selfish Gene, who first proposed the idea of the meme. Dawkins defined the meme as a unit of cultural transmission, an idea, pattern or concept that could be passed from person to person, changing or evolving as it propagates, such that successful memes or their variants spread rapidly, and unpopular memes die out. Dawkins, a scientist and an atheist, no doubt had in mind the notion that scientific and rational memes would steadily gain acceptance, and that religious and superstitious memes, when exposed to the harsh light of analysis and debate would gradually fade away. What a tragedy then, that the memes that seem to spread like wildfire are trivial nonsense at best, or ignorant bigotry at worst. Continue reading