Secularisms

Secularisms, edited by Janet Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini, is a half-good book. The good parts contain a lot of valuable information about varieties of secularism worldwide and their problems. The bad parts, including the introduction by the editors, are overcooked postmodern drivel. It's a wonder I didn't give up on the book after a few pages of posturing about "the Other," or "alterity," or, well, you know.Short summary: Many forms are secularism are in trouble now. According to some … [Read more...]

Atheists have no ultimate explanation

"Atheists have no ultimate explanation for how the universe is. They have to leave it as a random occurrence." There's another common charge laid against the godless. And for naturalists, the accusation rings true. This need not, however, be a weakness.The ultimate explanations of traditional theism do not work. They all come down to "God did it." There is nothing intrinsically wrong with such a claim; if we had some independent idea of divine intentions or if we found a pattern of observations … [Read more...]

The thing that made the things for which there is no known maker

That's an Australian accent, I think. … [Read more...]

Faith-based nonbelief

In conservative America—the real America, as some would have it—nonbelief is a liability. Everyone is supposed to be a Protestant, though this might include Catholic Protestants or Muslim Protestants. You are free to go to the church of your choice, but it is very important that you do go to a church of your choice. Protestant individualism still requires public order and personal moral discipline. And this is best provided by a strong religious foundation.In liberal America, nonbelief … [Read more...]

Good philosophy, bad philosophy

I hadn't thought I would read Simon Blackburn's Truth: A Guide. For some reason, I had formed the impression that it was a pop-philosophy book. While I think such books are very good things, I do not feel compelled to read them any more than a book on the physics of superheroes.Then I happened to flip through a copy and found out it was based on Blackburn's Gifford lectures. That was a good sign, since Gifford lectures are a good way to look into some serious contemporary religious thought. But … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Trilemma – Symbolization & Proof

The Premises and Conclusion of the Trilemma in EnglishThe intermediate conclusion--Either Jesus was a liar, or Jesus was mentally ill, or Jesus was God-- is not itself a required assumption, because it can supposedly be deduced from the first three premises. So, McDowell’s Trilemma can be stated in terms of five premises and the main conclusion:1. Jesus claimed to be God.2. If Jesus claimed to be God, and Jesus was not God, and Jesus knew that he was not God, then Jesus was a liar.3. If Jesus c … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Trilemma

Here is the logic of Josh McDowell's version of the Trilemma argument found in Chapter 7 of Evidence that Demands a Verdict and Chapter 2 of More Than a Carpenter:1. Jesus claimed to be God.2. If Jesus claimed to be God, and Jesus was not God, and Jesus knew that he was not God, then Jesus was a liar.3. If Jesus claimed to be God, and Jesus was not God, and Jesus did not know that he was not God, then Jesus was mentally ill.Therefore:4. Either Jesus was a liar, or Jesus was mentally ill, or … [Read more...]

McGill Symposium on Islam and Evolution webcast

The McGill Symposium on Islam and Evolution, where I was one of the panelists, is now available as a webcast.The first half-hour lecture is mine. If you want to get a comprehensive picture of the creation/evolution wars in the Muslim world, watch them all. … [Read more...]


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