Pope Francis has taken the unusual step of replying to two letters in La Repubblica, in which the founder of the paper, Eugenio Scalfari, wondered out-loud what he’d ask the new Pope if he had the chance. In particular, he wondered, what is the attitude of God to atheists like him, who try to follow Read more…

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Steven Pinker, the Harvard cognitive linguist, would not make a very good ambassador. In his latest diatribe, he attempts to reassure humanities scholars that science is not their enemy. Science is good, and humanities scholars should stop complaining about ‘Scientism’. Unfortunately, he says this in such a tactless and, er, Scientistic way that it’s guaranteed Read more…

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I want to explore the idea of Greek philosophy as a meeting-point between various humanisms, including Christian humanism, atheist or agnostic humanism, Islamic humanism and Jewish humanism. These days, I would describe myself as a Christian humanist. I mean ‘humanist’ in the Renaissance sense – someone who loves and wants to revive ancient philosophy and Read more…

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Imagine, if you will, the scene. The Enlightenment has defeated Religion, and its various champions meet to carve up the vanquished enemy’s territories. Philosophy takes the chair: ‘Right then, settle down everyone. Thank you. Now, let’s see…Religion used to offer ethics and laws. We’ll split that with jurisprudence. It also used to offer divination and Read more…

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Hi, welcome to another issue of the PoW digest. The Journal of Medical Ethics found itself in hot water this week when it published an article in which two Australian philosophers said that ‘after-birth abortion’ should be permissible in a wide variety of cases (in fact, pretty much in any case) because new-born babies aren’t Read more…

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