• Critique of Sam Harris’s rejection of Free Will

    The Armchair Sceptic


    Musings with Rodd Rothwell

    Hello friends, I want to welcome you to our blog we call the Armchair Sceptic. This blog takes a sceptical approach to politics, religion, science and to philosophy. My name is Rodd, I’m the armchair sceptic. We chose the term armchair to describe our practice in research. There are a few armchair sceptics on the web, and what they have in common is the use of the internet for research.  Since the introduction, internet research has been easier as most of the academic journals are online, so much time is saved as one doesn’t need to visit libraries and other research venues.  Thus, I have been able undertaking my research for my blog, presentations, As my research, videos and audios ares from my home and presented basically from my comfortable armchair.

    My background has been teaching at a University for more than three decades (yes three maybe more) , and this has influences my approach to the topics covered. I have a number of presentations I will load up each week to I hope you continue to watch  – though your suggestions will also be helpful. Over my years of teaching I have taken a great interest in many topics and since my training has been in philosophy and in psychology, I will take a philosophical perspective on the issues discussed. My sceptical approach will cover topics relating to politics to religion and science – I might venture into other areas, let’s wait and see.

    Another introductory point to make is that I will be taking up a sceptical position in discussions. This raises the question of the meaning of scepticism and its variants. Scepticism takes many forms and its origins are in Greek philosophy, though a number of forms of it have evolved since then. In addition to philosophy, (particularly in the areas of epistemology, logic, philosophy of science and a few other areas). Scepticism has historically played an important part in many areas in science, religion, and politics. The history of Christianity provides an example in religion with Martin Luther questioning the truth claims of the Pope, the Church (catholic) and the church councils resulting in Protestantism.

    However, while philosophers continue to talk and argue about forms of scepticism, the approach I wish to follow is basically scientific scepticism – also sometimes also referred to as philosophical scepticism. Suffice it to say, and briefly, it takes the position that any assertion of fact or of truth that is not backed up with acceptable evidence is to be doubted or questioned. Later I plan a blog on the nature of evidence, as understandably there is some ignorance and confusion in the general community about what is meant by evidence.

    It is becoming more and more important these days, with a plethora of generalisations and claims about a variety of issues, to approach them sceptically. Many of those in the media, journalists, politicians increasingly don’t bother nowadays to research and fact-check their claims, and they embellish stories without checks or evidence. I argue that it is imperative to check all stories and claims – and the only way to do this in my view is to take a sceptical stance. I explain more on my page entitled “Scepticism”. I really hope you join in our discussions and enjoy the areas we cover – also, please make suggestions.

    I want to make it clear here at the beginning, this blog is not really meant as a formal academic or professional presentation – It’s for anyone who is interested. I will try to avoid any professional jargon and be as clear as I can. So don’t hesitate to join in every discussion, whoever you are.





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