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Category: Rationality

Is it rational to form beliefs based on testimony?

Introduction When the word testimony is brought up most people‚Äôs minds will immediately be brought to a court room scene, or to someone bearing witness to some religious experience.  A witness in the box stands in front of the court and gives their eyewitness testimony as part of the evidence for either the prosecution or…


Can you prove a negative?

I often hear my fellow atheists say things like ‘You can’t prove a negative!’ in a debate. This is often in response to either a theist trying to shift the burden of proof, or a misunderstanding of epistemic justification (aka burden of rationality or burden of proof on a belief position). I often respond to…


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…


The Faith of Science

Introduction The sun will rise tomorrow.  This seems to be an uncontroversial statement.  The sun came up today, and the sun came up yesterday, and the day before that.  Just as it has for millions of days before that.  Gravity held today, just as it has held since the formation of the universe.  This is,…


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…


Are we Born Atheist?

“We are all born atheist!” is something we have heard a lot. I’ve said it in the past. I am sure if you are an atheist you have said it too. But how true is that? What is an Atheist? An atheist is someone who subscribes to atheism. Atheism is polysemous (has many definitions).We have…


Fresh AiR – Season 1 – A Different Lens

Hello, and welcome to Fresh AiR! – I’m Joe… Words you will have heard a few times if you have already started listening to season one. What is Fresh AiR? ‘Fresh AiR’ is a podcast, hosted by Joe, Martijn and Dave. It is part of Answers in Reason but hopes to bring a fresh perspective…