Archives for November 2011

The Evidential Argument from Scale — Index

Opening Scene from Contact The purpose this post is to provide an index for all Secular Outpost articles regarding the evidential argument from scale (AS) for naturalism. "The Argument from Scale Revisited" by Jeffery Jay Lowder Part 1: a critical assessment of Nicholas Everitt's version of the AS, as formulated in his book The Non-Existence of God Part 2: an attempt to strengthen Everitt's argument by restructuring it as a Bayesian argument and appealing to a modified … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 4

In this version, I am going to make a subtle switch in the emphasis of the argument from the scale of the universe to the fact that humans don't have a privileged position (spatially or temporally) in the universe.[1]PreliminariesB: The Relevant Background Evidence1. A physical universe, which operates according to natural laws and which supports the possibility of intelligent life, exists.2. Human beings are a type of intelligent life and exist only on Earth.3. God's purpose(s) include the … [Read more...]

Is China Blocking the Secular Outpost?

I just became aware of a report that China is blocking The Secular Outpost. I have absolutely no idea why the Chinese government would want to block The Secular Outpost or its parent domain, infidels.org, but I would be most interested in hearing from anyone who is in a position to confirm or disconfirm this.Aside: many years ago the Internet Infidels learned they were being blocked by software used by members of the Church of Scientology to access the Internet. … [Read more...]

Quote of the Day

But even if we take this argument to be an argument not for God's existence, but just for supernaturalism, it still fails. I agree with [William Lane] Craig that some moral judgments (such as 'rape is wrong') are not relative to society or culture. What I don't understand is why Craig believes this position is coherent only if supernaturalism is true. He says very little about this in the debate. In fact, instead of responding to the most serious thinkers (both theistic and atheistic) who … [Read more...]

Post the First, by Jennifer Michael Hecht

Dear Bleaders,Hecht here. I’m new in these parts so will start with a few introductory introductions. To wit, I call anyone reading any blog I write my “bleader” for the obvious wordscrunch and also because I like reminding us that we are mortal. Also while often “breeder” means nesting heterosexual, blood is something many artists symbolically gush on the blank canvas of existence. So that’s you. I’m Jennifer. Jennifer Michael Hecht.I used to blog a lot, over on the Best American Poetry site, an … [Read more...]

Links and News — 19-Nov-11

Moment of Zen:"Best Statistics Question Ever" (be sure to read not only the question but at least some of the 700+ comments posted so far)Exchanges Involving Secular Outpost Contributors:Defending the Argument from ConsciousnessCf. Oppy's recent post regarding the exchangeStephen Law and Ed Feser have an ongoing exchange regarding Law's evil God challenge (EGC): see here, here, here, here, here.Cf. the recent post by a Christian apologist named Martin--who thinks Law won his debate with … [Read more...]

Help Wanted – Part 4

A key premise in Swinburne's (deductive) argument in defense of his inductive version of the Cosmological argument (TCA) goes like this:(TCA9) The probability that there will be a complex physical universe given that God does not exist is low. (EOG, p.151)Swinburne has provided an explanation of his reasoning in support of this premise (in email dated 10/24/11), and I am working my way through that explanation.P(e &~h&~c&k;) will be the probability that a complex physical universe … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 3

In part 2 of my series on the evidential Argument from Scale (AS), I concluded that neither metaphysical naturalism nor theism explain the evidence regarding the scale of the universe, if we restrict our background knowledge to the two propositions I identified as B1 and B2. In this post, I want to explore the effect of adding a new statement (B3) to our background knowledge:B3. God's purpose(s) include the creation of embodied moral agents.I want to emphasize that I don't claim theism … [Read more...]


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