Mid-vacation recap: now also an open thread!

Well, I seem to have gotten a decent amount of blogging done on this vacation of mine. I unfortunately haven’t gotten any book-writing done, which I will try to remedy next week. So you may see less of me next week. Or you may see more of me next week, as I’ll be spending my entire next week in one city without family to entertain.

But, the week’s posts for those of you who’ve may have missed a few of them:

One of my main pieces of actual writing this week was titled “Are religious believers stupid? Ignorant? Not worth talking to?” where I address some rather confused criticisms of the Gnu Atheists from Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse.

I also wrote about how the authors of the Old Testament were the Pat Robertsons of their day, why I moderate comments lightly, and a thought about the definition and usefulness of “philosophy.”

Though it was mostly quotes from other people, this post on Richard Dawkins’ and others’ defenses of Sam Harris generated quite a bit of discussion.

In the quick fun things department, there was Stephen Hawking on the afterlife, Baby reacts to baptism, and I love Reddit.

Finally, I had an open thread, a post on killfiles, and a call to sign a petition in support of an Indonesian atheist jailed for blasphemy.

Consider this thread itself another open thread. Discussion of any of the above topics especially welcome, but nothing is unwelcome. Specific question: how many of y’all use Google Plus? I’ve started sharing my blog posts there, so it’s one way to keep track of me in addition to Twitter and Facebook, but I haven’t been otherwise using it. Should I use it more?


  • Annatar

    I don’t use Google plus, but then I don’t run a blog and am not trying to get people to read my stuff. So that’s my inspiration for ya.

    • Justin Allen

      I was wondering if anyone has distilled any glib rejoinders in response to people quoting the bullet points of any of WLC (or any well known apologists) commonly cited stuff.

      You know, the kind of thing people will come up to you and be like wham, bam, boom followed by “do you believe in god yet”

      Ways to shut down, say, the KCA in 3 sentences or less when you aren’t on the internet and dealing with entrenched research situations.

      • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hallquist Chris Hallquist

        The best response is probably to make them slow down, and calmly ask them to explain why they believe the things they’re saying.

        Don’t fall into the trap of letting them make assertions and having it fall on you to disprove them.

        You talk to them awhile and it becomes evident that their reason for believing these things is “William Lane Craig, who is a great philosopher, said so,” Craig’s track record of dishonesty becomes fair game at that point.

        You may also want to ask them, “Is this your real reason for believing in God? Is it your only reason? If it isn’t your only reason, what other reasons do you have? If I show you what’s wrong with these arguments, will you admit you have no good reason to believe in God?”

        Because honestly, a lot of the folks who expect quick conversions from Craig’s arguments–they don’t actually have any idea whether the arguments are any good, they’re just parroting what they’ve been told is a great evangelism technique.

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  • Annatar

    Chris, a while ago you recommended a better thing than Rosetta Stone for learning languages. What was it?

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hallquist Chris Hallquist

      Pimsleur. It’s a program of tapes.

      BTW, if you go into Google and type site:freethoughtblogs.com/hallq/ you can do a search of just this blog, to find stuff like that. Same goes for any other website.

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