Archives for January 2013

Atheistic Criticism of Atheistic Scholarship

Here are several examples of criticism of atheistic scholarship, by fellow atheists. Keith Augustine: “Moral Subjectivism Revisited” (1998): A rebuttal to Theodore Schick, Jr.'s "Is Morality a Matter of Taste?" Julian Baggini: “Review of Michael Martin and Ricci Monier, eds., The Impossibility of God” (2005) Richard Carrier: “Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity” (2002): This is a critical review of "The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Ch … [Read more...]

Did the Cosmological Principle Get Knocked Down?

This looks relevant to arguments from scale.LINK … [Read more...]

Theism, Atheism, and Tragic Loss

This is the response by one Dennis Prager to an earlier article published in the NY times by Susan Jacoby: Does atheism offer less to those who mourn than theism? Let’s start by asking what theism has to offer. Well, naturally, there is the hope of eternal life, right? Surely, mourners are deeply comforted by the promise that their bereavement is only temporary and that they will be reunited in heaven … [Read more...]

Atheism and Intraorganizational Free Speech

That is the title of a 1996 essay by Michael Martin on the Secular Web. Martin concludes: The suppression of expressions not only has harmful results but is inconsistent with atheists' criticism of religion's suppression of speech. It also defeats what is in the atheistic organizations' own best interests. I conclude therefore that atheistic organizations should not suppress expression of opinion in their ranks unless such expressions are defamatory, seditious, invasive of privacy, or incitive … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 2 (Revised)

(Note: the revised version of this post begins in the third paragraph after the section title, “The Ratio of Explanatory Powers.”) In part 1 of my series on the evidential Argument from Scale (AS), I concluded that Everitt's formulation of AS is unsuccessful. At the same time, however, I said that there is something about the AS I find intuitive and so I wanted to try revising AS as a Bayesian argument to see if I could make a stronger version. The purpose of this post is to attempt to do just t … [Read more...]

Is religious freedom threatened by gay rights?

Last year I was a participant in a conference on Religious Freedom at Magdalen College Oxford. The conference focused particularly on "the emerging conflict between new equal rights claims on behalf of homosexuals and existing claims of religious freedom." Cases such as the right to wear a cross at work, or to turn homosexual couples away from your B&B; were discussed, or of registrars to refuse to conduct civil partnership ceremonies, were discussed. Many religious people the conference … [Read more...]

Ontology 101 part 3

The following three criteria can be used to generate a set of categories of kinds of entities:C1. Is this entity a natural entity?C2*. Is this entity able to affect a natural entity?C3. Is this entity a person?We are looking at various pairings of these criteria to see whether some combinations can be eliminated as being incoherent.  In previous posts, I briefly considered the pairing of (C1) and (C2*),  and the pairing of  (C1) and (C3), and now I will consider the … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

You can't even tell where the religious weirdness ends and the political right-wing weirdness begins. … [Read more...]