I've been asked to enter into a sort of dialogue about the philosophy of science by Stan, who appears to be a regular commenter over at Vox's place and who has both a blog and a web site to promote his views. Stan identifies himself as a "A 40 year Atheist" who "analyzes Atheism, without resorting theism, deism, or fantasy."

My guess is that Stan would like to draw attention to what he feels is an original analysis of atheism, but one that would lead to some sort of modification/rejection of conventional non-belief. That's certainly what a cursory look at his stuff would suggest, but y'all check it out and make up your own minds. I want to say upfront that I don't know Stan, nor do I know exactly where he wants to go with this exchange, but I'm game, especially if I get some kind of new insight as to the limits of science, faith, etc.

So, after some discussion, we agree upon this starting question:

"Is there anything that compels a working scientist (who tends to function, albeit not exclusively, as an empiricist) into adopting either naturalism or materialism as a private matter?"

Stan's response can be found here. I will reply to him soon, hopefully tomorrow.

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