Author Archives: Thrasymachus

About Thrasymachus

Thrasymachus is a junior doctor and amateur philosopher in the UK.

In defence of the Genetic Fallacy

Many objections to religious belief take the form of ‘debunking arguments’. On these views, religious belief is a manifestation of class oppression, or psycho-sexual disfunction, of some evolution-inspired psychological glitch (agency detection) or similar. An objector might want to nail… continue reading »

Atheist Prayer Experiment, Week 5: Why Atheists should hope there is a God.

We’ve seen so far that Mawson’s recommendation that atheists should pray are along the right lines: so long as you don’t think prayer is too likely to lead to self delusion, and the costs for the added information are smaller… continue reading »

Why people who boast about their IQ are (generally) losers

- What is your IQ? – I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers – Stephen Hawking A quick and dirty signalling explanation as to why Hawking is right:

Atheist Prayer Experiment, Week 4: What if there’s no answer?

[Belated updates as I’ve been working in A&E.] Nothing much happened this week. So, instead, lets talk about divine hiddenness: It is implied by the rationale for doing the ‘prayer experiment’ that although a ‘positive result’ has value (“Oh, God… continue reading »

How many lives does a doctor save?

[This is cross posted on 80,000 hours: 1 2 3. Particular credit to Ben Todd for basically writing the third section.] Doctors have a pretty solid reputation as do-gooders. There are regular news stories about how advances in medical science… continue reading »

Atheist Prayer Experiment, week 3: Why should atheists bother praying, anyway?

Personal update: I have been finding praying pretty difficult in the last week or so. It has been hard keep my mind on prayer rather than wandering elsewhere after the initial mental recitation. Similarly, I have generally failed to keep… continue reading »

I know what I did last summer…

Who wants to live forever? A (medical ethics) elective report on Prezi

Atheist Prayer Experiment, Week 2: Not much, and the moral argument

Nothing much to report. Like others, I am finding it hard to actually concentrate on praying rather than free-associating to something related, even in the space of three minutes. Nothing has happened in my life suggestive of divine signalling: no… continue reading »

Atheist Prayer Experiment, Week 1: Introduction

I decided to be one of the seventy-ish atheists/agnostics/non-believers taking part in the atheist prayer experiment. I figured I’d give approximately weekly updates on how things develop over the next 40 days, maybe with some parenthetical remarks. For now, an… continue reading »

If everyone else believes in God, shouldn’t you?

Part 11 in “20 Atheist answers to questions they supposedly can’t” 17. How do we account for the nearly universal belief in the supernatural? 18. How do we know the supernatural does not exist. Short answer: In a similar way… continue reading »

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