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  1. Anti-Intellectualism in New Atheism and the Skeptical Movement.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    Anti-intellectualism involves general mistrust of scholars, academics, and ex- perts, often as pretentious or power-motivated. While scholars have described currents of anti-intellectualism in American public life, evangelical Christianity, in responses to COVID, and rural identity, to my knowledge none have looked at how anti-intellectualism specifically manifests in the New Atheism movement. In this work, we explore the way anti-intellectualism is commonly found and expressed in New Atheism and the modern Skeptical Movement, including scientific skepticism more generally.
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  2.  90
    Arguing about Infinity: The meaning (and use) of infinity and zero.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    This work deals with problems involving infinities and infinitesimals. It explores the ideas behind zero, its relationship to ontological nothingness, finititude (such as finite numbers and quantities), and the infinite. The idea of infinity and zero are closely related, despite what many perceive as an intuitive inverse relationship. The symbol 0 generally refers to nothingness, whereas the symbol infinity refers to ``so much'' that it cannot be quantified or captured. The notion of finititude rests somewhere between complete nothingness and something (...)
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  3.  72
    Against Consensus as an Epistemology.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    In this paper, I wish to criticize the notion that consensus is an epistemology. While I have never seen it explicitly claimed that “consensus is an epistemology,” I have nonetheless seen it implied in many scholarly (and layperson) articles. This occurs whenever articles cite, “a majority of scholars agree that…” or “most scientists/researchers think…” In our democratic, individualistic society, we put a value on high value votes and the quantification of majority viewpoints, whether it be in political polls (due to (...)
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  4. Logical vs Practical Reasons.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    For years, the European world saw millions of swans, and all of them without exception were white. If inductive reasoning is valid, one may conclude that all swans are white. However, this would be incorrect: in 1667 Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh observed black swans in Australia, falsifying the hypothesis that all swans are white. While often used as a cautionary tale for the use of induction, such as with Popper’s falsification principle, I want to explore a slightly different idea: (...)
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  5.  47
    Arguments For and Against the Existence of God.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    In this article, I will discuss some of the arguments for and against the existence of God, in particular the monotheistic God believed in the Abramahamic religions (Judiasm, Islam, and Christianity) as well as Babism, the Bahai Faith, and Sikhism. Arguments for the existence of God try to argue that either God exists (based on other things people agree with) or that belief in God is reasonable. Arguments against the existence of God try to argue that the existence of God (...)
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  6. Devaluing the Human: Technology and The Secular Religion of Capitalism.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    Western, secularized capitalism appraises the “worth” of a worker through a wage, a numerical value assumed to reflect the value of one’s time (in the case of hourly jobs) or contribution (in the case of salary or commision-based work). Computers and AI models are capable of matching and even exceeding human performance on a variety of tasks such as mathematical computation, handwritten digit recognition, and even complex tasks such as playing the game Go. Furthermore, they can work around the clock (...)
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  7.  17
    10 Theodicies in Christian Thought.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    The problem of evil is one of the most significant challenges to theism and Christianity in particular, asking why there seems to be so much evil if an omnibenevolent (all good), loving God exists. The problem of evil, as posed by many atheists and agnostics today, (following Epicurus) often asserts that the following premises cannot all be true: 1. God exists, and is omnipotent (all-powerful) 2. God exists, and is omnibenevolent (all-good) 3. God exists, and is omniscient (all-knowing) 4. Evil (...)
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  8. Cultural Epistemology in America.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    In this article, I define a cultural epistemology as a set of socially reinforced assumptions about how knowledge and truth are produced. Unlike a philosophical epistemology, a cultural epistemology is largely the product of culture and largely invisible. As products of culture, cultural epistemology are relatively unquestioned and, in many cases, philosophically unsophisticated. There are three common types of cultural epistemologies, influenced by who holds power in a given society: an epistemological monarchy, an epistemological oligarchy and an epistemological democracy. A (...)
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  9. Principles and Philosophy of Linear Algebra: A Gentle Introduction.Paul Mayer - manuscript
    Linear Algebra is an extremely important field that extends everyday concepts about geometry and algebra into higher spaces. This text serves as a gentle motivating introduction to the principles (and philosophy) behind linear algebra. This is aimed at undergraduate students taking a linear algebra class - in particular engineering students who are expected to understand and use linear algebra to build and design things, however it may also prove helpful for philosophy majors and anyone else interested in the ideas behind (...)
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