The 40th Skeptics' Circle

The doors of the Observatory are closed, and an eager crowd has gathered before them, milling about anxiously to await the unveiling of the newest Skeptics' Circle. Your host, Ebonmuse, steps up to a podium beside the doors and addresses the crowd thusly:

"Step right up, folks, to the Daylight Atheism Museum of Superstition and Pseudoscience! Dare to plumb the most bizarre depths of the human imagination! Marvel at the fascinating beliefs cultures throughout history have dreamed up to explain the world around them! We have a stupendous and spine-tingling assortment of strange and wild ideas for your edification and amusement. You'll laugh at their gullibility, you'll learn from their mistakes, and just maybe, you'll learn something about how your own brain works. Admission two for a penny - who'll be first to dare the weirdness within?"

He sweeps a hand dramatically toward the doors, which open onto a wild scene. The great telescope has been stowed away, and the vast domed room instead contains a madcap menagerie of trophies and exhibits that showcase the follies of humanity throughout history. Beneath the high ceiling, an elaborate orrery contains detailed models of the planets of the solar system encased in a set of interlocking crystalline Platonic solids. Animals crowd the decks of a scale model of Noah's Ark at the far end of the room, and putative Philosophers' Stones are scattered on pedestals, misshapen lumps some of which glow with their own inner light. Ancient statues of minotaurs, centaurs, mermaids and other fantastic beasts glare down on the exhibits in frozen stone.

Your host leads the tour group into the museum. "First, we have the Alternative Medicine wing - a durable field that's spawned all sorts of strange ideas. Just look at this authentic ancient Chinese acupuncture needle. Taking a cue from a classic pseudoscience, modern practitioners believe that sticking needles into people, and even into animals, can cure diseases by diverting the flow of an imaginary energy called qi! Skeptico sets them straight, in an essay titled No point to acupuncture on animals."

The next exhibit is a collection of hypodermic needles. "So like the acupuncture needle and yet so dissimilar, this one differs from the last exhibit in that it has actually cured people of suffering and disease. Sadly, some people reject the benefits of modern medicine in favor of ineffective quackery. Autism Street, in An Old New Twist on Undead Bad Science?, debunks a study claiming to detect correlation between autism and heavy metal levels in children's hair."

The tour's next stop is before an apparently empty glass case. "This case may seem empty, folks, but in fact, it contains the scientific integrity of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. They weren't using it, you see, so they've generously agreed to donate it as a permanent bequest to our museum. P.Z. Myers of Pharyngula gives us the full story in Damn the NCCAM."

Before a flourishing tray of deadly nightshade, poison ivy and hemlock, Ebonmuse continues, "And let's not forget, folks, that 'natural' medicine has been held out for ages as the cure to all ailments, as if the products of nature were somehow intrinsically better for you than the products of science. The Saga of Runolfr casts a critical eye on claims that consuming raw honey will cure pollen allergies, in The Cure for Allergies? And for a classic example of how 'natural' products can still be harmful, what could be more natural than HIV? A Moment of Science, in Skepticism Run Amok, an Appropriate Level of Skepticism in Evaluating HIV/AIDS Causation, asks why, if HIV does not cause AIDS, anti-retroviral drugs developed specifically to combat HIV are effective in extending AIDS patients' lifespans.

Our next exhibit, as you can see, is a single glass of ultra-pure distilled water. If the claims of homeopaths were correct, this would be the most powerful medicine known to man! The Two Percent Company informs us of the remarkable range of ailments that homeopaths claim to be able to treat with a single herb, in You Might Need Arnica Montana.

And finally, we have this table of assorted old-fashioned medical instruments - best not to ask what most of them do. The skeptical grandmaster Orac of Respectful Insolence is never one to shrink from the details, however, and gives us not one but two Friday Doses of Woo: Mere regularity is not enough and the appetizingly titled Would you like a liver flush with that colon cleanse?

Our next stop is the Psychics and ESP wing, another reliable source of uncritical thinking. The Island of Doubt, in The sense of being stared at ...not, registers disappointment that his alma mater, the University of British Columbia, is giving a platform to the notorious credulophile Rupert Sheldrake and his claims that people can psychically detect when they're being stared at.

Next, Skeptico again favors us in Medium guesses about serial killer, pouring rightful scorn on the vagueness and after-the-fact rationalizations of Allison Dubois.

And lastly, See You at Enceladus spins a tale of The Beirut Syndrome or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Credulity, about psychics who claim to have predicted the current warfare in Lebanon."

Beneath a gallery of faded and tattered documents, Ebonmuse continues, "History is the noble art of unearthing the past. Yet this genuine science, too, attracts the hoary speculations of the gullible. What we need is some skepticism to root them out, and thanks to several generous donations to this museum, we have it! The Second Sight, in Giant UFO Built Yowie Pyramids of Bullshit, offers sharp criticism of the true believers who are convinced of the existence of ancient contacts between pharaonic Egypt and aboriginal Australia; while Be Lambic or Green throws down the gauntlet against claims that Christopher Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci were the first Europeans to catch sight of the New World, in Rediscovering America."

As the tour takes another turn, the parchments and scrolls on display grow more ancient and venerable, and the sound of distant chanting echoes in the air. "That's right, ladies and gentlemen," your host announces, "we've come to that most sacred of all cows: religion. In Render unto Caesar [nothing], Infophilia analyzes the meaning of the biblical verse 'Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's,' concluding that it does not necessarily mean what it has always been construed to mean.

We also have an exhibit courtesy of Debunking Christianity that is titled Which Part Fits in Which Slot, Again?, remarking on the difference between natural events and miracles and the inconsistency with which Christian apologists invoke both categories. In a related vein, The Philosophy of the Socratic Gadfly asks whether 'ineffable' is a meaningful and useful term to use in arguments over the existence of God.

Atheist author Sam Harris has been making waves with his book The End of Faith, reviewed by Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds."

The last stop in this section, incongruously, showcases a Bible next to a vacuum cleaner. "But the comparison is more apt than you might think, as Mike's Weekly Skeptic Rant explains in Jesus' Lubricant, which compares religious proselytizers to salesmen who steer every conversation into a pitch for their product.

After all this credulity, you must be hungry for some real science, my fellow skeptics. Luckily for you, we have exhibits on that too." He points upward, to where several smaller, less regular bodies orbit among the planetary models hanging below the ceiling. "What constitutes a planet? Interesting Thing of the Day gives a skeptical viewpoint in Xena: Troublemaker on the edge of the solar system.

In that vein, Humbug Online reenacts the Moon landing in the conspiracy theorists' preferred style, in Spooked911 Moon landing faked!

While we're on the topic, I'm particularly honored by the presence of our next benefactor: the illustrious Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy Blog. In Bad TV on the Science Channel: The Apollo 11 "UFO", the foe of bad astronomy everywhere mercilessly debunks a credulous and dishonest documentary which asserts that the Apollo 11 astronauts witnessed a UFO.

And isn't our Earth one planet among many? Deltoid and Thoughts from Kansas keep us up-to-date with the goings-on of this blue and green orb - with a refutation of the myth that environmentalists caused needless deaths by unconditionally opposing the use of DDT, in Zombie DDT Myth Will Not Die, and some good news for science from a recent slate of elections, in Final tallies: Science wins in Kansas.

A major part of science is critical thinking. In Doggerel #30: "You Need to Think Outside the Box!", Rockstar's Ramblings rants about claims that skeptics don't "think outside the box", pointing out that true believers are actually the ones whose thoughts are limited by their jumping to magic as the first explanation for everything.

And when it comes to understanding science," your host continues, "nothing is more important than educating the younger generation. Agnostic Mom has an account of one mother's plan to do just that, in An Accurate Guess Is Still Just A Guess."

As the tour nears its end, the tour group passes through a set of doors into a back room. "We have a special treat for you all today, one not open to ordinary visitors - a tour of our archived collections, the interesting material that just didn't fit anywhere else. For example, Salto Sobrius has donated an exhibit on the skeptical leanings of a classic sword-and-sorcery fantasy author, in Fritz Leiber, Skeptic.

And then there's Millard Fillmore's Bathtub, who debunks the religious mythology that has grown up around flag-folding ceremonies, in Flag ceremony update.

And last but not least, Unintelligent Design laments the credulous leanings of Alton Brown, host of the Food Network TV show "Good Eats", in Alton Say It Ain't So!"

Following a sign reading "This Way to the Egress", the tour lets out before the museum's front doors. Ebonmuse addresses the group one final time. "Thank you for attending, fellow skeptics and critical thinkers! It's been my honor to play host to you all, and I'd like to extend my special gratitude to the many excellent bloggers who generously contributed to this exhibit. Don't forget, the next Skeptics' Circle will appear at Interverbal in two weeks, so get those submissions in!"

August 3, 2006, 8:28 pm • Posted in: The ObservatoryPermalink52 comments

We're Looking For a Few Good Skeptics

Attention please:

It is, once again, my honor and privilege to announce that the 40th Skeptics' Circle will appear at Daylight Atheism on August 3, two weeks from today. Send in your best skeptical blogging now, and you too can lay waste to superstition and credulity with the sharp edge of reason! Entries can be e-mailed to me at this address.

July 20, 2006, 9:17 pm • Posted in: The FoyerPermalink0 comments

The 44th Carnival of the Godless

It is a glorious summer day in the Garden here at Daylight Atheism, and the 44th Carnival of the Godless has convened and is in session. Caravans and covered wagons bearing infidels and freethinkers from around the world have arrived and are drawn up in a circle on the green lawn. The sun beats down bright and hot from an endless blue sky, its light filling the air and glittering like a haze of molten gold. Some attendees lie on deckchairs or beach towels laid on the grass and bathe in the sun's light, while others seek refuge beneath blossoming willow and cherry trees whose green branches filter the heat into a pleasant dappled cool. The cheerful sounds of friendly chatter and occasional lively debate rise above the silver trickling of an antique fountain that casts an arc of spray shot through with rainbows.

At one end of the garden, preparations have been made for a feast: several large barbeque grills send up shimmering heat and mouth-watering smells, interspersed with ice-filled coolers and, on a table, a miniature, fully functional beer volcano. A tall stack of cordwood awaits the bonfire to be lit later this night, after the sun has set and the fireflies have come out. To the north stands a stately house where light glitters blindingly off the tall picture windows of a library and, on the roof, the white dome of an observatory.

Your intrepid host, Ebonmuse, takes the podium at the front of the gathering, beneath a trellis where climbing roses are brilliantly in bloom, and calls the meeting to order.

"Welcome, one and all, to the 44th Carnival of the Godless! I'm honored to be playing host to you all today, here in my humble home. It warms my heart to see so many free minds together in one place. People say the golden age of freethought has come and gone, but I'm here to tell you that we've never gone anywhere! And what's more, we've grown stronger than most people realize, and if we use that strength, we can accomplish truly great things. Though the hosts of religion may rage, and though they may have great power and influence, they do not have the one thing that we have: the truth. It may seem a small thing, but in the right hands, it can move mountains.

And now, without further ado, let's get to this week's featured speakers! We have a wide variety of godless goodness from around the world for your consideration and enjoyment.

At the top of the order, Decrepit Old Fool brings us A cold and broken alleluia, the beautifully titled story of how a former minister became an atheist.

Next, Goosing the Antithesis, in The God That Wasn't at Church, tells of a church screening of the movie "The God Who Wasn't There" and how religious apologists attempted to protect ordinary churchgoers from its content.

Jaundice James offers a provocative proposal for safeguarding separation of church and state in Jail Time for Bible Thumpers.

Jon Swift, he of the aptly chosen name, laments the impious ingratitude shown by a recent act of philanthropy, in Warren Buffett Turns Against God.

The question periodically arises of whether there is such a thing as a "secular fundamentalist". Atheist Revolution steps up to answer that question, and the Atheist Ethicist chimes in as well.

One of my favorite godless blogs, Debunking Christianity, asks, Who Has A Rational Faith?

Since the Raving Atheist has compromised himself by promising to never again criticize Christianity, we need some new voices to step up to the plate and substitute for him. Frank the Financially Savvy Atheist comes through with FSA's God Squad Review I.

Texas Oasis gives a clear perspective on the very confusing story of an atheist who joined a Presbyterian church while remaining an atheist, in Press Biter.

Love and Rage writes about an Islamic musician who has come under attack for violent lyrics in his songs, in Fundamentally Flawed.

Salto Sobrius provides a succinct explanation of what it means to be Godless.

No More Mr. Nice Guy! criticizes the persecution fantasies of right-wing Christians who style themselves movie critics.

The Greenbelt speaks out strongly against a church that has erected a twisted and theocratic mockery of one of America's most powerful symbols, in Liberty Desecrated.

Confessions of an Anonymous Coward rejects the premises of Pascal's Wager, in Betting Against Blaise.

God-belief is worldwide, but fortunately for us, godlessness is worldwide to counter it too! Nonoscience offers a critique of the extremely muddled thinking of a Hindu mantra in Critique on Gayatri Mantra - a Scientific View.

The Philosophy of the Socratic Gadfly reminds us how often human conception fails and what implications this holds for religious views of ensoulment.

The Accidental Weblog offers some dry commentary on a Christian who believes he has been called by God to attend pornography conventions to evangelize the attendants, and some thoughts on healthy attitudes about sex more generally.

Silly Humans is touched by the poetic muse in Interdependence Days.

And finally, The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks is a very interesting blog which I haven't previously heard about. In Do Unto Others, the author laments how religious belief has been turned into a justification for hate by small-minded and ignorant people. This blog looks well worth keeping an eye on.

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of the Godless. Our thanks and gratitude are due to all who attended, and especially all who submitted. Don't forget, the next edition will appear in two weeks at Beware of the Dogma, so get those entries in. Until then, my friends!"

July 9, 2006, 1:08 pm • Posted in: The GardenPermalink14 comments

The Carnival of the Godless Is Coming...

It is my honor and privilege to announce that the 44th Carnival of the Godless will appear at Daylight Atheism on Sunday, July 9, thirteen days from today. If you're a godless blogger who hasn't yet appeared in the CotG, this is your chance! I'd very much like to feature some fresh new voices alongside the old stalwarts.

Submissions can be e-mailed to Brent Rasmussen, using the address on the carnival homepage; alternatively, entries can be sent to me directly. Don't forget that you're not limited to submitting your own posts - if something on another atheist blog grabs you, by all means, send it in. Let's see if we can't make this the best godless carnival yet.

And in the meantime, don't forget to check out the 43rd Carnival of the Godless at Silly Humans.

June 26, 2006, 6:51 pm • Posted in: The FoyerPermalink1 comment

The 12th Carnival of the Liberals

Welcome, one and all, to the 12th Carnival of the Liberals! Today we have a selection of some of the best liberal and progressive writing on the Internet for your reading pleasure and consideration. My name is Ebonmuse, and I'll be your host for this edition.

My weblog is called Daylight Atheism, and my primary purpose in writing for it is to bring to light the hate-based agenda of the religious right, the better to organize opposition to their noxious policies. As you might therefore expect, many of the posts in this edition attack the cross-toting clowns that are running this country at the moment, as well as the demonstrable futility of faith-based politics in general (although about that, more anon). With that in mind, let's get to the entries. I'll introduce each of the ten posts with some commentary on why it was featured and the liberal principles it exemplifies.

Being a liberal means belonging to the reality-based community. We progressives should always derive our beliefs from the facts of the situation, as opposed to coming up with the beliefs first and then trying to force the facts to fit them. As the great physicist Richard Feynman wrote, "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." This aphorism applies with a vengeance to the political sphere, as the catastrophic failures of the Bush administration show all too well. Writings on the Wall drives this point home in Hijacking the political debate, which argues that the facts that drive one's interpretation of the world cannot be derived from religious texts. Literal interpretations of the Bible and other scripture have been proven false time and again, and we must move past them if we are to craft a policy that works.

Being a liberal means supporting the right to privacy. The essence of liberalism consists in allowing individuals the freedom to pursue their own conception of the good life free of interference. The more personal the area under discussion, the more important this principle is; and nothing is more personal or more important than sex. As opposed to conservatives driven by the obsessive need to impose their own dogmatic and fiercely puritanical morality on a phenomenon as diverse as humanity itself, we should defend the right of consenting adults to live their lives as they wish without facing hatred or discrimination. Polite debate, cultural controversy or civil war: What's the next step in the sex wars? offers a chilling portrait of exactly what the anti-sex crusaders want, and comes to us courtesy of an excellent blog that I'm ashamed of myself for not finding before, In This Moment. This one comes with my highest recommendation - go and read!

Being a liberal means having the honesty to own up to your mistakes. Rather than stubbornly persisting on the same failed course long after its failure is obvious, a true liberal possesses the humility and courage to admit when they are wrong and seek a better way. President Harry Truman's slogan "The buck stops here" symbolizes this ethic of personal responsibility. In contrast to this principled view is the arrogance of George W. Bush and his ilk, who continue to insist that their failed policies are commandments straight from God and not subject to revision. The Accidental Blogger shows the folly of this course in Rejoice! Your President Talks To God, which offers compelling reasons to stand against a president who regards himself as only a little lower than the angels.

Being a liberal means being open to new ideas and being willing to consider them on their merits. A new participant in the Carnival of the Liberals (and another of my favorite blogs), Philosophy, et cetera, offers a novel idea for consideration in A Challenge for Right-Wingers: the proposal that we should support an unconditional basic income for all members of society.

One of the ideals upon which the United States was founded, and one of the guiding principles of liberal democracy, is the ideal of secularism: that every person, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof, should be able to participate in society on an equal footing. The inimitable Professor P.Z. Myers of Pharyngula and his undead army of death-ray-wielding mutant squid-men bring us Secular horror?, which takes a strong stand for secularism as an integral part of our society.

Being a liberal means standing up for your principles - something of which many incumbent Democrats sorely need to be reminded. The professional panderers of the Beltway could take a lesson from Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers, a personal hero of mine. The brilliant and fearless Sen. Chambers is profiled by A Revolution of One in a post titled Barak He is Not, which explains his support for a bill that separates the Omaha school district largely along racial lines as a genius political move.

Being a liberal means recognizing that the true price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and to do that it helps if you know who you're being vigilant against. Pam Spaulding, proprietor of Pam's House Blend and contributor to the always-brassy Big Brass Blog, helps out with an informative Guide to the Top 20 AmTaliban, a list of those figures most eager to turn America into a right-wing Christian theocracy.

Science is the most effective way we have to learn about the world around us and control it to our benefit, and it is something that every good liberal should support without reservation. On the other hand, the principled conservatives who also support it are now in the awkward position of having leaders who would like nothing better than to eviscerate science in every area where it makes them uncomfortable, from "intelligent design" in biology classes to censorship and outright lies about contraception in sex ed. Bee Policy brings us Caffeine, or righteous indignance, wondering how anyone who cares about science and education can justify voting for these people.

The spirit of reason and rational thinking that was reborn during the Enlightenment gave liberals and progressives some of our most influential and eloquent thinkers. Atheist Ethicist follows in their footsteps with The Bus of State, which criticizes the worldview of the religious right for being based on blind faith rather than a clear-eyed look at the world around us. Though I do not believe our blindfolded bus driver has sent us careening off the precipice yet, we are still headed in that direction - but I do not think it is too late to turn things around.

Finally, liberals recognize the common humanity of all people. The United States of America is a nation founded and built by immigrants, and we should never forget that. Welcoming comers from all cultures has always been and should always be one of the things we are most proud of, and though we have often fallen tragically short of that ideal, that is only incentive for us to work harder to live up to it. The recent debates regarding immigration in this country have made this issue more visible than ever, as The Executioner's Thong reminds us in El Primero de Mayo. This is a complex issue with no easy answers, but this post at least encourages us to start asking the right questions.

I'd like to make one remark in closing. Recognizing that the last few Carnivals of the Liberals have been hosted by atheists, and not wanting religious progressives and liberals to feel underrepresented, I put out a call for them to submit posts for this edition. However, none did. Perhaps this is because religious liberals are less engaged on the Internet or because they are unaware of the Carnival of the Liberals specifically, but I can't help wondering if this is another manifestation of whatever underlying cause has kept them so underrepresented in politics more generally. Although I am an atheist, I bear no ill will toward religious progressives; if anything, I wish they would speak out more often. With that in mind, I issue a challenge to the liberal religious people whom I know are out there: If you don't want your tradition to be defined by the evil of the religious right, then speak up! Show the world that you are out there and that the likes of James Dobson and George W. Bush do not represent you.

With that, we conclude the 12th Carnival of the Liberals. Regrettably, the carnival guidelines did not permit me to include every post that was submitted, but I will say that none of the nominees I received were unworthy of inclusion, and I'm grateful to all who took the time to contribute. The next Carnival of the Liberals will appear at Lucky White Girl in two weeks, so I encourage all progressives to get started writing!

May 10, 2006, 10:02 am • Posted in: The RotundaPermalink11 comments

Carnival Time Tomorrow

The 12th Carnival of the Liberals will appear at Daylight Atheism tomorrow. It's still not too late to get a submission in, if you haven't yet done so - I'll accept entries up until midnight tonight, Eastern time. Just as a reminder, the topics I'm especially interested in are as follows:

Entries can be e-mailed to me using the link in the sidebar.

May 9, 2006, 2:48 pm • Posted in: The FoyerPermalink5 comments

The 29th Philosophers' Carnival

The great Library at Daylight Atheism has been outfitted for an auspicious occasion. Merry bunting drapes the tall shelves of books, balloons congregate near the ceiling, and waiters quietly circulate bearing trays of drinks. Already the symposium is in full swing, and philosophers from every era and society in human history are circulating around the room and chatting animatedly: ancient Greeks in togas and sandals, Enlightenment Europeans - the men in frock coats and powdered wigs and the women in elegant gowns - colonial Americans, Indians in saffron robes, East Asians from the Neo-Confucian period in robes and topknots, Muslim Sufis in white kaffiyehs and dusky hijabs, and a few modern luminaries in cardigan sweaters, t-shirts and blue jeans. A few senior philosophers are holding discourse with their younger colleagues beneath plaster busts that suspiciously resemble them.

A podium has been set up near the tall picture windows at one end of the room, beneath a banner reading, "Ubi Dubium Ibi Libertas". The windows offer a picturesque view of a verdant and sunny garden below, where a few early arrivals seem to have organized a friendly game of football on the lawn.

Your humble host, Ebonmuse, takes the podium and surveys the room. He rings a spoon against the side of a glass to call the meeting to order, and once everyone's attention has turned to the podium, clears his throat and begins to speak.

"Welcome, one and all, to the 29th Philosophers' Carnival here at Daylight Atheism! It's my honor to be here in the company of so many august minds. We have a selection of the finest philosophy writing from across the World Wide Web for your reading pleasure and intellectual stimulation. There are a great many worthy candidates to showcase in this edition, so without further ado, let's get to them!

The Philosophers' Carnival's inaugural blogger, Philosophy, et cetera, offers reasons to believe that the actual world is not a possible world in modal space but rather a fundamentally different kind of thing, in a post titled The Actual World is not a Possible World.

Next, In Search of Enlightenment brings us Our Enhanced Future, exploring the ethical concerns that may arise in the future as our ability to radically enhance the capabilities of human beings increases.

Antimeta offers Sets of Worlds, which considers the issue of possibility and set theory as it relates to logically possible and impossible worlds.

A Brood Comb writes in Why a neural network can't be conscious (2) that the ability to replay signals given to artificial neurons functions as a reductio against the possibility of an artificial neural network being conscious.

Philosophy of Real Mathematics, in More about MacIntyre, draws some lessons for the philosophy of mathematics from Alasdair MacIntyre's arguments against relativism.

In Heidegger and Kuhn, Mormon Metaphysics compares and contrasts Heidegger and Kuhn's approaches to philosophy of science, focusing on Kant and the issue of internalism/externalism.

Sago Boulevard argues in Betting on Vegetarianism that, contrary to Rik Hine's argument for vegetarianism, one is not obliged to refrain from merely possibly immoral activities.

Reality Conditions, in Chalmers, Dennett, and the Zombies, considers the views of David Chalmers and Daniel Dennett on the irreducibility of consciousness and argues that the former fails to consider the revisability of scientific concepts.

Obsidian Wings suggests an ethical primer in About Morality.

Certain Doubts muses on when one is qualified to differ with the leading lights of philosophy, in Disagreement with Philosophical Superiors.

The Shipwright Returns criticizes two bad arguments for hereditary monarchy.

The Boundaries of Language worries whether subject-sensitive invariantism about knowledge can be reconciled with our intuitive picture of the role of experts in society, in Bombscare.

The ambiguous DuckRabbit offers another list of 10 things everyone should know about philosophy. criticizes moral particularism as stemming from a failure to properly apply Occam's razor, in Shaving Particulars.

Persephone's Box argues that the practice of giving wedding vows sets up an untenable and possibly harmful commitment, in Loved to Death.

Parableman writes in Ethics in a Multiverse that ethics would not be rendered meaningless even if multiple-universes models in cosmology or philosophy were true. considers the question of whether the demand of a biological parent to have their adopted child returned to them does more harm than good, in Adoption and Cruelty: Is Blood Thicker than Water?

Goosing the Antithesis discourses on pride and humility, arguing that the traditional view of which of these is a virtue and which a vice is in error, in Pride and Humility Part 1.

And last but not least, Stop That Crow! criticizes Plato's arguments against democracy and argues that what other people in a democratic society believe matters to us, in What Others Believe.

That concludes this edition of the Philosophers' Carnival; much gratitude is due to all who participated. The next edition will be held at AnnieMiz in three weeks, so get those entries in!

Should you be interested in further philosophy writing in the meantime, I've been asked to inform everyone of the inaugural Online Philosophy Conference, which looks to be a fine and welcome addition to our own humble efforts. And, if I may ask your indulgence, I myself have been known to record some thoughts right here in the Library at Daylight Atheism, should you be interested. Until next time, fellow philosophers and friends!"

May 1, 2006, 6:49 pm • Posted in: The LibraryPermalink4 comments

Upcoming Carnivals for May 2006

• The 29th Philosophers' Carnival will be hosted at Daylight Atheism on May 1, this coming Monday. It's not too late to submit a post - check the carnival home page for the nomination form, or simply e-mail me. Nominations will be accepted through Sunday night.

• And soon afterward, on May 10, the 12th Carnival of the Liberals will arrive as well. Unlike most other carnivals, the Carnival of the Liberals is more selective, only accepting about ten posts per edition. All high-quality liberal writing will be considered, but I'm especially interested in submissions addressing the following topics, and will look upon them with special favor:

So, I encourage philosophers and liberals alike to get busy writing and submitting. I hope to see you here!

April 27, 2006, 8:08 pm • Posted in: The FoyerPermalink1 comment

Happy Easter!

I hope this joyous holiday finds all my readers healthy and well. Allow me to grant a blessing to you in commemoration of this holiest of days.

UPDATE: Celebrate Easter with the Carnival of the Godless at A Rational Being.

April 16, 2006, 11:22 am • Posted in: The FoyerPermalink7 comments

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