Friday, April 6, 2012

Where in Religion (or Politics) Will You See This

...two of the Four Horsemen having a civilized disagreement, in public, and talking it out to everyone's benefit? Sam Harris posts his disagreement with Dan Dennett's account of free will here.

It's not the first such discussion among the Four Horsemen. The late Hitchens disagreed (in print) with Dennett and Dawkins that we should use the term "Bright". This is now apparently a moot point, although it's great to see atheism is self-confident enough in its positive values that its modern luminaries are unwilling to let the truth be obscured for the sake of maintaining a unified front.

And speaking of Dawkins - if you're in SoCal, are you seeing him in San Diego tonight? (Tickets $7.50, $10 at the door, speakers begin at 6pm in the Gaslamp.)

*Though it's certainly interesting, some materialist types (among them myself) are active agnostics on the question; "active" because we potentially care and think there's no clear answer, rather than frankly not giving a damn. To wit: what actions will you take tomorrow or ten years from now if you decide you have free will? Okay, what about if you don't? Like the concept of the existence of a god (Christian or otherwise), things that it's not clear anyone can coherent express and which anyway don't seem to affect your actions are useless at best, and possibly outright meaningless. But what's good to see is that old philosophical questions that were once only approachable from the armchair are now being tested experimentally.

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