An interview of Richard Carrier, by Scott Burdick

I’ve come across quite a few presentation by Richard Carrier over the last couple or so years so I was quite interested in this interview by Scott Burdick. Again, another sharp-as-a-laser performance by Carrier. Worth it if you’re interested in reason, and also if you’re interested in some of Carrier’s thoughts on very early Christian documentation. In Burdick’s own words:

Here’s a one and-a-half hour interview I conducted with noted historian Richard Carrier that explores the latest scholarship regarding the evidence of who, when, and where the Gospels were written as well as the historicity of Jesus. We also discussed Dr. Carrier’s views on God in general, as well as his recent clash with historian Dr. Bart Ehrman.

Why do people believe in nonsense?

I think most of us know that homeopathy is nonsense, that it’s nothing more than a placebo. And I thought I’d heard all homeopathic nonsenses until I watched this:

Crazy Homeopathy Lady Charlene Werner Explains Physics

It’s almost as if she’s had a dose of woo from Deepak Chopra!

This raises an interesting question: Why do people believe in nonsense? The great Carl Sagan explored this many years ago in his book “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”, and by Michael Shermer in several of his books such as “Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time”.

It seems to me that people want to believe in something fantastical regardless of the weight of evidence that show that their beliefs just ain’t so. Is this a result of their upbringing, a failure to use tools such as common sense and critical thinking? Education is always important but we are unlikely to be totally free of wackos.

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2012

Critical thinking explained in six kid-friendly animation

Great feature from io9 with links to six videos on the basics of critical thinking (which I like to call common sense or reason):

And here are the videos:

Critical Thinking Part 1: A Valuable Argument
Critical Thinking Part 2: Broken Logic
Critical Thinking Part 3: The Man Who Was Made of Straw
Critical Thinking Part 4: Getting Personal
Critical Thinking Part 5: The Gambler’s Fallacy
Critical Thinking Part 6: A Precautionary Tale

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2012

Why are atheists so rude?

Quite funny.

The problem, of course, is that any form of discussion based on evidence and reason inflames the religious who just cannot accept that their world view is based on falsehoods, lies and immoral concepts. As far as they’re concerned, such arguments are shrill, disrespectful and rude. I have very little time to pander to the delusional and irrational, so I say it like it is.

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2012

Battles for freedom from religious tyranny

Way to go!

As I wrote in a recent blog:

I will criticise all religions and the religious where they come into conflict with ideals such as reason, rationality, freedom, equality and justice. History has shown that religions will suppress such ideals through use and abuse of whatever powers and controls they have.

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2012