Monday, 19 March 2007

dinner

Went and had dinner with the Janes' which was nice as usual. This weekend I have mostly been stressing about a not (particularly important) paper proposal I have to write. (This is the cheap talk thing I've mentioned here.) I think overall I haven't found anything particularly profound from the deep economic theory point of view... but maybe I do have a straightforward formal approach to ideological categories, utilising pretty standard cheap talk games. In other words, if I can find some useful applications it might go somewhere. Meanwhile I am just going to write something up and maybe a small example.

This exchange between Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan on religious faith is worth reading. Sam Harris is hilarious:
"Needless to say, I believe you have given the Supreme Pontiff far too much credit as a champion of reason. The man believes that he is in possession of a magic book, entirely free from error."
I also read Dawkins' The God Delusion over Christmas. I thought it was a bit disappointing: not enough intellectual meat. For example, he takes up a (to me) very interesting argument by a prominent theologian, that the law-governed nature of the universe (as discovered by science) is evidence for a divine creator, and dismisses it too quickly. And he uses probabilistic arguments about the unlikeliness of God, without really going into what probability means when taken out of its normal scientific context - a long-running philosophical question.