Monday, December 22, 2014

Skepsis in 2014: An Index

Another year is drawing to a close - the year I decided to start writing about some of the things that occupy my thoughts between clinics, ablations, teaching, on-call, spending time with my wife & kids, visiting with family and friends, travelling, & training for a 10k that never seems to happen. I wish that there was more time for learning and contemplation, but alas, a busy life is also a good one.

In 2015, I plan to explore more of the case against theism. Why does this interest me? Obviously, I think that theism is false and a bad influence on so many people and in so many important issues. It's also somewhat disturbing to me that the level of public discourse and contemplation surrounding so many of the outrageous claims made by various theistic hypotheses, as ubiquitous as they are, is so awful. On top of all that, it's an exciting and challenging intellectual exercise to reason against an idea whose defendants can resort to just about anything (god is omnipotent, omniscient, etc. after all) and have been doing so for a long time. So, I'll be looking at the evidential problem of evil, skeptical theism, & reformed epistemology. On the medical side, I'll discuss at least one way that Cardiology is like religion and I'll explore whether lifestyle changes are the key to treating atrial fibrillation. There will probably be some more updates about my health as I try to hold off on getting aortic valve surgery without incurring any identifiable consequences. If I can make the time (who knows? maybe while I'm recovering from valve surgery?), I might even blog my way through a couple of books. I hope you'll continue to follow along, but even if you don't, it just feels good to clarify my thoughts and get them down on paper. If you ever think that I've written anything that smells like sepsis rather than Skepsis, please let me know in the comments even if you prefer to do so anonymously. In the meantime, and while I take a break from writing for a couple of weeks, here's how 2014 went down over here:

Welcome: Skepsis is born

Ham-Strung: My thoughts on the Ken Ham (creationism) v Bill Nye (evolution) debate of that month.

A 3-part series on my response to Gary Gutting's NYT interview with acclaimed Christian philosopher, Alvin Plantinga: (1)Is Atheism Irrational? (2) Are Atheist Philosophers Irrational? (3) Is God Like a Cosmic Teapot?

A 2-parter on What Doctors and Anti-Vaxxers Have in Common (Part 1, Part 2)

The Most Powerful Evidential Argument Against God? Exploring the theistic peculiarities of God's hiddenness and the geographic distribution of theistic belief.

My pledge to help alleviate extreme poverty: The Life You Can Save

Philosopher Daniel Dennett on The Magic of Consciousness

A 2-parter on why I disagree with blogger and electrophysiologist, John Mandrola about the novel oral anticoagulants: (1) When Are Treatments Equivalent? (2) The Truth is in the Details

A letter from Richard Dawkins to his daughter that I would like to share with my children, too. A Message for My Children

Shelly Kagan's awesome essay: Is death bad for you?

Why there's nothing wrong with fundamentalism

What are deepities and how to avoid them. Keep calm and avoid Deepities

A 4 parter on Alvin Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism: (1) Do I even know anything? (2) A tentative response to Plantinga's EAAN. (3) Another response to Plantinga's EAAN. (4) A final word on Plantinga's EAAN.

An essay by a friend on our home town: Why Winnipeg

Love your daughters

A 2-parter exploring faith and rationality: (1)There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio.  (2)Are there more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio?

Exploring the claim that God must be the ground of objective moral truths: Does God ground transcendent moral truths? Is God a good explanation for morality (Part 1)? Is God a good explanation for morality (Part 2)?

Stephen Pinker on the moral instinct

Willful Blindness: A TED talk by Margaret Heffernan

What does God say about slavery?

A 2-part exchange with HJ Hornbeck on whether Sam Harris' off-the-cuff comments and blog defense are sexist: (1) Why Sam Harris' comments can't be sexist. (2) HJ Hornbeck should apologize to Sam Harris. 

A few things I've learned about psychological gender differences

Pope Francis is a creationist

On the importance of parsimony

The problem with the gospel miracle accounts in 4 minutes

Why Ezekiel Emanual wants to die at 75.

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