Jeff’s Picks — 7-Jul-12

I have a huge list of links to share this time.


Uncredible Hallq reblogs a really good comparison between God and an abusive boyfriend.

Dr. Peter Boghossian talks about the ethics of atheism on Freedomain Radio. (HT: The Morning Heresy)

Self-described atheist Jesse Bering has written an essay in Salon entitled, “Don’t Trust the Godless.”

Richard Dawkins argues, “Don’t Need God to be Good … or Generous

Editor’s Note (Lowder): Dawkin’s argument reminds me of Victor Reppert’s recent post, “The Moral Argument that Christians Don’t Use, But Atheists Always Rebut.” I think Reppert has a point. On the other hand, see my reply to Reppert.

Neuroskeptic has a fascinating post entitled, “This Is Your Brain on Ethics — Really.”

Wesley J. Smith argues, “Mother Theresa Was Compassionate, Buddha Was Not

Uncredible Hallq on “William Lane Craig vs. Cute Teddy Bear on Morality

Eli Horowitz on “Objective Morality: What Do You Mean, Objective Morality?

Mark Murphy reviews Walter Sinnott-Armstrong’s book, Morality Without God.

Editor’s Note (Lowder): Despite my disagreements with Murphy on various issues, I respect him as a philosopher and have always profited from reading his work.

Answers in Genesis answers the question, “What Kind of God Would Condemn People to Eternal Torment?

Tristan D. Vick (of Advocatus Atheist) has a great thought of the day regarding life, purpose, and meaning.

J.P. Moreland on “Michael Shermer on Evolutionary Accounts of Ethical Beliefs

Argument from Evil

John Danaher on “Dougherty on the Parent Analogy and Skeptical Theism

The Respectful Atheist discusses the idea of “Giving God the Credit.”


Randall Rauser: “See no Supernaturalism. Hear no supernaturalism. Speak no supernaturalism. A Response to Jonathan MS Pearce

Jonathan Moon on “Nomological Necessity and Theism

PZ Myers on “The Incompatibility of Science and Religion

Gary Williams (at Minds and Brains) on Herman Philipse’s New Book God in the Age of Science?


WinteryKinight on “Is the vastness of the universe evidence against God’s existence?” (My answer is “yes, but only a little bit.” See here for details, including my response to Hugh Ross.)

Greg Gorey on Nicholas Everitt’s version of the argument from scale. (For my critical assessment of Everitt’s argument, see here.)

Sean Carroll explains “After the Higgs Boson: What Scientists Will Do With the Discovery

Jonathan MS Pearce has written a blog post about fine-tuning arguments for God’s existence: “Heads You Win, Tails You Lose.”

Angra Mainyu on “The Kalam Cosmological Argument: Craig’s Reply

John Danaher on “Schieber’s Objection to the Kalam Cosmological Argument


Greg Gorey (Ivory Tower Metaphysics) on “Some Contemporary Atheist Philosophers of Religion.” On a related note, Kevin Timpe (Prosblogion) has written a post on “Women Working in Philosophy of Religion.”

PZ Myers has written a taxonomy of atheism.

Kyle Hill at JREF on “The Opposite of Debunking.”

R. Joseph Hoffmann on “The Sure-Fire Atheist Rapid Response Manual and Cookbook

John Loftus and Randall Rauser have a new debate book coming out.

Bruce Gerencser (Fallen From Grace) on “What Christians THINK They Know About Atheists

Atheist Acceptability?

Secular Coalition of America: “Atheist Acceptability on the Rise in America

Ron Bailey writes in Reason on “Are Atheists Worse than Rapists? Poll Finds that Godless Americans are (Still) Wildly Unpopular” (HT: The Morning Heresy)

Apologist Watch

Stephen Law criticizes apologist Wintery Knight’s practice of censoring and editing comments on his blog.

Editor’s Note (Lowder): I, too, have had comments censored on Wintery Knight’s blog. 

American Baptist Press is remarkably self-aware of Christianity’s failings. (HT: The Morning Heresy)

Ex-Apologist has a humorous proposed addition to the philosophical lexicon: “Craig

The Theistic Arguments: A Brief Critique
Interview with Prof. Axgrind
Critical Thinking is Bigotry
About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • Angra Mainyu

    Thanks for the interesting links, and thanks for linking to one of my replies.

  • John Danaher

    Ditto. Thanks for linking to a couple of things I have written too.

  • Steven Carr

    Self-described atheist Jesse Bering has written an essay in Salon entitled, "Don't Trust the Godless."

    Richard Dawkins argues, "Don't Need God to be Good … or Generous"
    Editor's Note (Lowder): Dawkin's argument reminds me of Victor Reppert's recent post, "The Moral Argument that Christians Don't Use, But Atheists Always Rebut." I think Reppert has a point.

    If Christians never use the argument that you have to believe in god to be good, why did you link to an article claiming that you have to believe in god to be good?

  • Jeffery Jay Lowder

    The fact that I link to an essay doesn't mean I agree with it. I agree with Reppert that many atheists have botched the moral argument in debates, by responding to an argument theistic debaters don't use.

    On the other hand, there are Christians and other theists who do use the argument. (The Boy Scouts of America is just one example.) It just happens to be the case that these theists are not philosophers or apologists. Therefore, I do think it's appropriate for atheists to make the point as Dawkins does, that belief in God is not necessary to be good or generous. They just need to avoid the mistake of thinking that that point is in any way relevant to the moral argument(s) theistic debaters do use.

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