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......

The English Language Barrier

You often hear it said that England and America are two countries separated by a common language. Whilst this is tongue in cheek, it holds some truth to it. A prime example is how in America “chips” refers to what Brits would call “crisps” and what Brits would call “chips” Americans would call “fries”. We have “fries” over here too, it’s just that the “french fry” is a specific kind of chip. A sub-category if you will. Using language is......

There Can Be Only ONE!

The repetitious nature of folks trying to prescribe a singular definition of atheism, and claiming that other definitions are, “talking about something else” or are “wrong”, seems to never die. What’s worse, these folks who take you saying that there are actually multiple uses of atheism claim that YOU are the one being prescriptive and restrictive, yet you’re the one saying there are multiple definitions… This article discusses some of the recent behaviours and examples of bad logic and mental......

Atheism as a Proposition

Whilst atheism is polysemous and is quite common to find it being described as a lack of belief in gods on social media and among certain circles, it isn’t the only way it is defined and, in philosophy (especially Philosophy of Religion), it is usually used in a propositional sense. My goal here isn’t to tell you your definition is “wrong” as that is not how language works. My goal is simply to explain how statements like “if atheism is......

Why Agnostic and not Agnostist?

On my walk today, I was considering a number of conversations I’ve had recently with folks arguing for default states and atheist rocks and some of the things I’ve said in response. IST and ISM One of the key points I brought up is an IST is a follower of an ISM, which is why we can’t be born an IST. It’s also another why describing atheism purely by the absence of a psychological state doesn’t really work for an......

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......

The Problem With ‘Atheism is the Default Position’ Arguments

As an atheist, even one that doesn’t feel that in tune with many other atheists, I still want atheists to come from a position of strength. I want us to have good arguments, sound reasoning and solid logic. This is a big part of why I have the Bad atheist arguments series and the SciPhi Shortz videos and podcasts that address common misunderstandings and bad memes. Whether we like it or not, the behaviour of atheists reflects on us all.......

Belief and Action

Having discussed the definitions of belief and common misconceptions previously I felt it would be good to cover belief in a little more detail, namely how belief and non-belief inform actions. If you remember our short on belief, it was defined like this: Something accepted as true. Something thought most likely. A positive attitude towards a proposition. Something concluded is the case. For more info, check the Belief – SciPhi Shortz podcast or the YouTube Video We summarised they all......

Atheist Community?

It’s common to hear folks say things like “there is no atheist community” and “saying atheist community is like saying non-stamp collector community, I don’t see one” and on the surface this is understandable, you generally don’t see a community of non-stamp collectors or non-believers in Bigfoot, but can we say the same for atheists? What is a Community? a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. the condition of sharing or......

Acceptance, Belief and ‘Believe in’

Too often do conversations devolve into people splitting hairs over synonymous terminology. Obviously, a synonym doesn’t mean the word holds the exact same meaning, just that holds (at least) nearly the same meaning. Some words are shorthand for phrases. Some words or phrases can be used in various ways and their meanings can cross over and be different depending on context. As Dave has said a number of times Words are funny things! That is one of the reasons I......