The Daily Telegraph in Sydney has been mounting an extensive disinformation campaign on climate change for years now. The tactic is simple, and apparently effective, if not truthful – latch onto any isolated “fact” that seems to show some evidence of a cool world, ignore all the facts, evidence and reports to the contrary, and sneer rather than argue logically. And make sure all your columnists, cartoonists and featured letter writers are ‘on message’.
So now that 2013 is over, what does the data tell us in Australia?
Recently I was following a debate between a christian and a non-believer, and the non-believer said that he (I presume it was “he”) would require “irrefutable evidence” to consider changing his mind about God. It seemed like a rather stringent requirement to me, so I started thinking ….
What things could we reasonably say we have “irrefutable evidence” for?
“Confirmation bias …. is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way …. [or] interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.” (Wikipedia)
Atheists often accuse christians of confirmation bias, but we all do it to some degree – it is part of developing a consistent world view. But sometimes it obscures the truth.
In recent decades, cosmologists have investigated the ‘fine-tuning’ of a number of physical laws and values that determine the structure and nature of our universe. It appears that these parameters have to be very carefully selected for our universe to survive and for intelligent life to evolve.
This scientific conclusions has been used to argue for the existence of God, so when two expert scientists strongly disagree, the stakes are high.
I’ve seen it many times. A confident statement by a committed atheist that religion is dying out. It is inevitable. Modernisation, especially science, has made it impossible for the virus of faith to survive much longer. Scandinavia is a peaceful paradise and almost godless, and shows that once society rides itself of God, prosperity and(…)
Over the years I’ve met many people, in ‘real life’ and on the internet, who have changed their beliefs about God. Some have moved from unbelief to belief in Jesus, others have moved from belief to atheism. And I have come across a few who have changed their belief twice – from faith to unbelief(…)
I didn’t have high expectations of this book. I’m not that much interested in the so-called new atheists, nor in those who argue against them. And I think the world probably has quite enough books about CS Lewis. But I am interested in the philosophical arguuments generally. And I am a great fan of Lewis(…)
The trial of Giordano Bruno by the Roman Inquisition, by Ettore Ferrari. Picture: Wikipedia. Recently the TV series Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, was launched on TV screens around the world. I didn’t watch it (we don’t have pay TV) but the first episode generated some controversy, with critics arguing(…)
My friend Howie has a blog, Truth is Elusive, and his latest post discusses the philosophical arguments for the existence of God, and whether they are effective or even useful. His broad conclusion is “not very” – that is not for him, not for many people, only for a few. I mostly agree with Howie(…)
Most of us like to think we are reasonable people. Most of us think we have good reasons why we believe in God, or disbelieve. But we all probably know people who think quite differently to us, and yet they think their reasons are reasonable and ours are not. How can we understand what’s going(…)
In this blog I explore questions of belief and disbelief, ethics, evidence, etc, all relating to the question of whether God exists. Readers agree and disagree, and some accuse me of inconsistency or dishonesty. I thought it might be worthwhile setting out, particularly for the benefit of non-believers who visit, how I try to work,(…)