Do we have free will, or fate, or both? (Sam Harris is Wrong, Part 2)

[I'm going to re-write most of this. Please be patient for now.] This series will be written with the assumption that you are up to speed with the nature of Harris’s positions, or that you understand the state of the debates in question. If that assumption does not apply to you, that’s ok; just please … Continue reading Do we have free will, or fate, or both? (Sam Harris is Wrong, Part 2)

Gods and Goddesses of abstraction: Why Western thought is scientific

In discrete mathematics, categorization is a form of abstraction. There are many different kinds of birds, but there is also bird”ness” that is common across all birds. There are many different types of rocks, but there is also rock”ness” that is common across all rocks. I can tell you about a rock without naming a … Continue reading Gods and Goddesses of abstraction: Why Western thought is scientific

“All we have is conversation or violence” (Sam Harris is Wrong, Part 1)

This is the first installment of a series in which I look at various beliefs of Sam Harris and explain why they are wrong. Why am I picking on Harris? Although I believe Harris is wrong about many things, the way he is wrong is usually interesting: the intellectual consequence of mental traps that are … Continue reading “All we have is conversation or violence” (Sam Harris is Wrong, Part 1)

Smart, Religious, and Gay: Was there Group Selection?

The first thing you need to know is that personality is mostly genetic. I recently watched this interview with Michael Woodley. I cannot verity the veracity of his claims, but they are interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOudO5EPI0M&t=1s There is a lot of controversy, in the study of evolution and society, about the term “group selection.” Mostly unfair. Here’s … Continue reading Smart, Religious, and Gay: Was there Group Selection?

Proper Sovereignty Manifesto, Part 6: Immigration, etc.

I began this series: This is the first in a series of posts with the intent of laying out my political philosophy. At least, the starting point of my political philosophy. That is to say, what it was three years ago when I wrote this manifesto in my head. Which demands the question: to what … Continue reading Proper Sovereignty Manifesto, Part 6: Immigration, etc.

Proper Sovereignty Manifesto, Part 5: Deterrence

We can view crime as a prisoner’s dilemma problem. If one criminal gets away with a crime, they profit at the expense of others. But if everyone gets away with crime, the situation is worse for everybody, even the criminals. What I call coercion, therefore, can be classed as a collective action problem. There are … Continue reading Proper Sovereignty Manifesto, Part 5: Deterrence