Michael Nugent

Michael Nugent

37p

39 comments posted · 18 followers · following 19

480 weeks ago @ michaelnugent.com - Cartoon: Confused Ratz... · 0 replies · +2 points

On reflection, I have changed the wording of this cartoon, to make clear that it is a response to the Pope's recent attack on atheists.

480 weeks ago @ michaelnugent.com - Cartoon: Confused Ratz... · 0 replies · +3 points

Interesting feedback. I'm happy to hear more.

It's certainly provocative and could certainly offend people, but I'm not sure why some people perceive it to be childish.

In an unprovoked statement, the Pope publicly associated atheism with Nazism, despite knowing that Nazism was conceived and conducted mostly by people who believed in a god.

This is a cartoon response to that slanderous assertion.

As I said, I'm open to more feedback.

483 weeks ago @ michaelnugent.com - Copenhagen Declaration... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks for the feedback, Bob. There's no need to be so rude.

This version of the declaration was adopted by delegates at a world atheist conference in Copenhagen.

Atheist Ireland has adopted the following revised version, which takes into account the point you made.

Atheist Ireland declaration on religion in public life

483 weeks ago @ michaelnugent.com - Copenhagen Declaration... · 0 replies · +1 points

I agree that can be an ambiguous assertion. This version of the declaration was adopted by delegates at a world atheist conference in Copenhagen.

Atheist Ireland has adopted the following revised version, which takes into account the point you made.

Atheist Ireland declaration on religion in public life

483 weeks ago @ michaelnugent.com - Copenhagen Declaration... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks for the feedback, Una.

This version of the declaration was adopted by delegates at a world atheist conference in Copenhagen.

Atheist Ireland has adopted the following revised version, which takes into account the point you made.

Atheist Ireland declaration on religion in public life

492 weeks ago @ michaelnugent.com - Feedback on Copenhagen... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks, Kristjan. I've incorporated those comments into the post above.

530 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Atheist Identity · 1 reply · +1 points

The variations of "atheism is like not collecting stamps" are misleading.

To make that analogy meaningful, atheism is like not collecting stamps in a culture where the vast majority of people not only collect stamps, but insist that the universe was created by a stamp, and that truth and morality derive only from stamps, and that the laws society should be based on the sacred texts of stamp-collectors.

In that context, not collecting stamps is a significant and wide-ranging position, that forms the basis of a shared part of our identities.

532 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - How Prayer Works · 2 replies · +3 points

I remember reading about that study when it was published. It measured and made findings on two different things.

One, whether or not people were prayed for, it made no difference to their recovery.

Two, if people knew they were being prayed for, it increased the likelihood of health complications.

The first finding indicates that prayer has no effect. The second finding might show that knowing you are being prayed for might cause people extra stress.

Also, this was not merely any old study. It was a rigorous and comprehensive decade-long scientific study, designed specifically to address the flaws in previous less comprehensive studies on this issue.

532 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Understanding Atheism ... · 0 replies · +3 points

Aedus, all words are terms that people made up. That is why it is important to agree that we are using the same words to point to the same meanings when having discussions like this.

And the absence of evidence for a proposition, in circumstances where one would expect to see evidence if the proposition was true, does provide evidence for the counter-proposition being true.

It does not provide conclusive evidence, but it does provide some evidence. It provides enough evidence to enable people to justifiably form a belief and, in certain cases, to make a claim to have knowledge. That claim may, of course, be mistaken.

Did five hundred African elephants trample through your house last night while you were asleep? You have no evidence that they did not (they may have been very quiet and careful) yet I suspect that you not only believe that this did not happen, but you might even claim to know that it did not happen.

532 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Understanding Atheism ... · 1 reply · +4 points

I agree broadly with these definitions, with perhaps some nuances of emphasis.

There is also another factor to consider.

Sometimes we are speaking in ordinary, common-or-garden language. Using this language, when we say "I know..." it is assumed that it is prefaced with something like "Based on the evidence that seems to be available at the moment, and subject to being corrected by other evidence, and without currently having any reasonable doubts about my conclusions, I know..."

Sometimes we are speaking in more precise, philosophical or logical language. Using this language, we have to make explicit the qualifications that are assumed in ordinary language. Strictly speaking, using this type of language, we cannot know anything - even that "we" exist - because the only mechanism that we have for testing the accuracy of our thinking is our thinking itself.

Saying "I know..." in ordinary language is not as extreme as saying "I know..." in strict philosophical language.

And one difficulty with discussing atheism and agnosticism is that the discussion often shifts between these two types of language.