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John Danaher
Philosophising about technology, law, ethics and religion
Philosophising about technology, law, ethics and religion


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Does Human Nature Exist? On the Philosophy of Human Nature
We hear the term bandied about all the time. A man cheats on his wife. We are told that this is simply part of his 'nature’ - that men have evolved to be philanderers. Two young men fight on the streets, taunting and goading each other on. This too is said ...

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The Reality of Virtual Reality: A Philosophical Analysis
The Holodeck - Star Trek There is an apple in front of me. I can see it, but I can’t touch it. The reason is that the apple is actually a 3-D rendered model of an apple. It looks like an apple, but exists only within a virtual environment — one that is proj...

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Podcast - Why we should create artificial offspring
I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the RoboPsych podcast. I was interviewed by hosts Tom Guarriello and Julie Carpenter about my recent paper 'Why we should create artificial offspring'.  The paper is an extended thought experiment, arguing tha...

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New Paper: In Defence of the Epistemological Objection to Divine Command Theory
I have a new paper coming out in the journal Sophia . It's about the so-called 'epistemological objection' to divine command theory. This builds on some of my previous posts on the topic, albeit at much greater length and in more detail. The paper argues th...

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Episode #27 - Gilbert on the Ethics of Predictive Brain Implants
In this episode I am joined by Frédéric Gilbert. Frédéric is a philosopher and bioethicist who is affiliated with quite a number of universities and research institutes around the world. He is currently a Scientist Fellow at the University of Washington (UW...

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The Everlasting Check: Understanding Hume's Argument Against Miracles
"I have discovered an argument [...] which, if just, will, with the wise and learned, be an everlasting check to all kinds of superstitious delusion" ( Hume, Of Miracles )  Miraculous events lie at the origins of most religions. Jesus’s resurrection from th...

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The Argument from Irreducible Complexity
Bacterial flagella When I was a student, well over a decade ago now, intelligent design was all the rage. It was the latest religiously-inspired threat to Darwinism (though it tried to hide its religious origins). It argued that Darwinism could never accoun...

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Episode #26 - Behan on Technopolitics and the Automation of the State
In this episode I talk to Anthony Behan. Anthony is a technologist with an interest in the political and legal aspects of technology. We have a wide-ranging discussion about the automation of the law and the politics of technology.  The conversation is base...

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Slaves to the Machine: Understanding the Paradox of Transhumanism
TL;DR : This is the text of a keynote lecture I delivered to the 'Transcending Humanity' conference at Tubingen University on the 13th July 2017. It discusses the alleged tension between the transhumanist ideal of biological freedom and the glorification of...

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Likelihood Arguments for Design
These are some notes about design arguments for the existence of God. They are based on my readings of Benjamin Jantzen’s excellent book An Introduction to Design Arguments , which was published by Cambridge University Press back in 2014. 1. Likelihood Vers...
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