Empirical poltics, also abortion

I’m always baffled by how ready many people are to declare anything and everything “not an empirical issue,” without any kind of argument, as if it were just obvious what things are not empirical issues. It’s one thing to say that about, say, ethics, but I have no idea why anyone thinks that’s a sensible [Read More...]

Help me write a better profile for myself

Okay, so I’m not very happy with the current “about” in my sidebar, and would like help writing it. Part of the issue is that I don’t know what info about myself is salient to other people, so something that might seem not worth mentioning to me might turn out to be what everyone thinks [Read More...]

Writing a book chapter on William Lane Craig: what to say, what not to say?

In my currently-in-progress book, I’m planning on having a chapter on William Lane Craig. And I want people’s input on what exactly to include in it. I know I’ll be covering the various arguments for the existence of God he presents in the third edition of his book Reasonable Faith. But what else? [Read more...]

Moral beliefs don’t motivate much

Several months ago, there was a post on the NYT opinionator blog called “Confessions of an ex-Moralist” by philosopher Joel Marks, about moving from moral realism to moral nihilism. I don’t think the arguments Marks gives for moral nihilism are any good, but there’s a part at the end worth amplifying, even though the article [Read More...]

Let’s have another thread on the Catholics

After seeing Monday’s thread on Catholic leaders vs. Obama regarding birth control blow up, I’m figuring what the hell, let’s have another thread on that. (Yes, it mainly blew up because of one very persistent Catholic commenter. Whatever.) So: Dan did a great blog post on this titled “Religious Privilege and Grievance-Based Catholic Identity Politics [Read More...]

Losing your faith can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be

Another comment on the post criticizing Greta I talked about yesterday: Frodorr says that Greta wants to “make most of the world’s population suffer the trauma of losing their faith,” which assumes that losing your faith is traumatic for most people. And I realize that losing your faith is often very scary. But it doesn’t [Read More...]

From the archives: More on Luke’s endorsement of William Lane Craig

From May of last year. Discusses what it means to “win” a debate, and points out a number of dumb tactics Craig uses in his debates. Note that at the time I wrote it, I wasn’t totally happy with the use of the word “endorsement” in the title, and I’m still not sure what word [Read More...]

Dear Coke Talk: the best atheist blog you’ve never heard of

It doesn’t much resemble the blogs here at FTB, but Dear Coke Talk is still a totally awesome blog written by an atheist who frequently has great things to say about religion. Here’s an example from earlier this week: [Read more...]

On bizarre misinterpretations (also accomodationism)

One of the persistent frustrations of engaging in any kind of debate anywhere is when one person misinterprets what another has said, and then attacks it on that basis. Sometimes it’s understandable, if what was originally said was vague. Sometimes it’s done maliciously, just to make the targeted view easier to attack (with perhaps a [Read More...]

Religion deserves no special treatment under US law

So a bunch of Catholic leaders are complaining about how allegedly unjust it is to require insurance plans provided by large employers to include contraception. They think Catholic organizations should get an exemption based on their religious convictions, you see. Dan Fincke currently has parts one and two up of a debate with a friend [Read More...]