Rolling out some announcements

Blackford rev 5It’s been a busy couple of months at my end, and indeed a busy couple of years – but I have some announcements about the pay-off (back before Christmas I was talking on my personal blog about a roll-out of announcements on the way; well, here’s some of the roll-out). This will enable the world (if it, or some small component of it, is interested) to catch up with my doings.

The biggest news is that my co-authored book with Udo Schuklenk, 50 Great Myths About Atheism, is now complete and in the pipeline for publication in September. We’ve gone through the initial copyedit and have even settled on a cover (which we both love) with the good folks at Wiley-Blackwell. The book explores many libels, lies, half-truths, and distortions that relate to atheism and atheists, trying to give them their due whenever we spot a grain of truth or an aspect that is plausible. Udo and I also provide a long chapter about the rise of atheism and why we think it is now the most plausible answer to the God question.

Meanwhile, I have delivered the manuscript for Humanity Enhanced to MIT Press, where it is under contract. Stay tuned for more about this. I can’t, for example, as yet give you a planned date of publication. The book deals with the ethical and (more particularly) legal/political issues surrounding the emerging technologies of genetic choice. In doing so, it examines in detail many of the misgivings about these technologies based on such ideas as harms to autonomy, violations of the natural order, problems of distributive justice, and much, much more.

I am at earlier stages with a couple of other books, though it looks like I’ll soon be signing a contract for at least one of them. In both cases, much of the work is done, but there’s also a lot more to go (and let’s face it, many a slip so I won’t say more about that for now).

Over the (southern hemisphere) summer I’ve also had new pieces published in The Philosophers’ Magazine and Free Inquiry. Currently I’m working on a long book chapter about religion and politics, plus acting as one of the jurors for the Norma K. Hemming Award.

Upcoming speaking engagements include a couple (one already announced, one to be announced soon) at the forthcoming inaugural Newcastle Writers’ Festival (in which I am also somewhat involved in my role as chair of the Hunter Writers Centre)… and, hot off the presses, a talk at The Amazing Meeting 2013 in July.

The line-up of speakers for The Amazing Meeting has only just been announced, but from my viewpoint it looks fantastic. I say a bit more about it over here.

  1. I look forward to checking out your work. “Atheism” has too many semantic problems. I do not believe in “God”; I do not believe in an afterlife.

    “God” in the profusion of ways it might be employed by anyone, has a meaning that the atheist can translate.

    Dawkins and Hitchens indicate a rigidity and an overly literal, one-dimensional understanding of “God” that I find stupid. They take the most idiotic, childish notion of “God” and assume that is theism.

    Moreover, the need for some to adopt the most childish notion of “God” is an over-determined fact. Fighting against it is futile.

    Proud atheists are as annoying as proud Christians.

  2. wendelyn anderson

    Any issue of god simply cannot be addressed without also addressing the issue of patriarchy. Even the staunchest athist continue to subscribe, albeit unconsciously for the most part, to a masculine centered universe that was created with the advent of the monotheistic, male-dominated belief system.

  3. ‘“Atheism” has too many semantic problems.’

    This is so very true. For starters, the etymology of the word implies the equivalence “religious = theist” whereas in most of the other religions, theism is either absent or completely different. Also, the structure of the word alludes to a negation, a refusal – clearly it was invented by religious people.

    As to the “existence”, it is obvious that God exists. The only issue is: “how”? Or maybe “where” (in a metaphorical sense)? For instance, I like to think of it as a collective psychological complex. But denying its influence on men (though it is men’s creation) is as stupid as thinking there’s a white-bearded man in the clouds.

    Anyway, here’s a list of interesting Christian arguments:

  4. Well, the concept of God certainly exists. I.e., there is such a concept. Many people share this concept, the concept affects many people’s behaviour, many people believe that the concept is actually instantiated, etc.

    It does not follow, though, that the concept actually is instantiated.

    The book will, of course, discuss some of the semantic, etc., issues. It’s not as if the authors are unaware of them.

  5. I do not see it as a mere concept. I believe there is something “under” the concept, a psychological pattern from which it is born; and later a complex psychological structure that conditions much more than behaviour; after all, every civilization has developed a concept of god/gods; and our own concept of God was very strong when we layed the foundations of Science and of all our modern culture; it would be interesting to understand how this complex has shaped our modern understanding of the world (the “God-perspective” in physics comes to my mind).

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