Category: Formal Logic

Reason and the Reasoning Process

As a site that proclaims to have ‘Answers in Reason’ we have very few articles about what this actually means. When we speak of reason, we are speaking of the cognitive process of; actively thinking through a topic and coming to conclusions based on all available/known arguments and data. To summarise Plato, reason is the highest and most powerful human capacity. It allows us to rule over other passions and can direct us towards a virtuous life. Whilst reason is......

Different Types of Not Believing & The Law of Excluded Middle

There are some people who like to oversimplify not believing a proposition. They will say things like “You either do believe or you don’t believe, there is no third option!” On the surface, this statement is correct. The problem is, it doesn’t actually fully capture the type of not believing. This is why conflations of suspending judgment and disbelief seem to appear, and other claims like, “atheism is the default position” or the dreaded “rocks are atheist” debacle. So, please......

Agnostic Atheism – CMT – Vol: 13

It is very common to hear folks use the term agnostic atheist to describe themselves, and others. Let me say that you are free to identify how you like, though I would suggest you don’t be prescriptive with your identification on to others. If you wonder why; consider if you are the sort to tell others what their gender is. Yes, gender is a more sensitive topic, but we are speaking about identity here. That said, I think it is......

In response to Ra’s ‘What is Atheism?’

I was invited on Cheshire’s live stream ‘A Goblin Reads’ with Dave as she had seen my discussion with Aron about his belief that ‘Rocks are atheist!’ who then wrote a post called ‘What is Atheism?‘ In planning for this, I started reading Aron’s article where he argues why his definition of atheism is the ‘correct’ one and how SEP got things ‘wrong’ and his definition is the ‘original’. Whilst his article has had a lot of effort put into......

Ontology and the things we lack… (lacktheism or rocktheism?)

I often ask people, ‘What things are defined just by what they lack?’ – interestingly there are very few answers to this, but feel free to shoot some over and I’ll add them to the article. The reason I ask this is largely because of commonly heard, ‘atheism is only a lack of belief in gods, therefore, anything that lacks belief is an atheist’ aka conflating all forms of non-theist with atheist. This analysis may differ in various languages, and......

So what is this ‘Normative’ thing all about anyway?

Language is descriptive. It is defined through use. People might describe their use of words in slightly different ways, be that through regional differences, common usages, or indeed there might be contextually correct usages of words. So what is this Normative thing all about then? When we speak about ‘Normative’ usage of words we largely mean they have gone through a process of normalisation. For example, the word ‘Hello’ has gone through this process and is generally regarded as a......

Pitfalls of ‘New Atheism’

I’m an atheist. *Gasp* ‘Hold the phone!’ Hard to believe that an atheist runs an atheist site right? I’ve even been the keyboard warrior type of atheist, although that was many years ago. I spent lots of time debating theists desperately hoping that either they could provide me with some evidence of a deity, or I could get them to see reason past their presupposition and fallacies. Over time I got bored of the conversations, there are only so many......

The Burden of Proof – Belief vs Claim – Court Room Analogy

I've had the "Burden of Proof" discussion many times recently, and a lot of it comes down to semantic issues with definitions of claim & belief, as well as the logic around propositions. I hope to clear up some of the confusion with this article....