Jesus Wants You to Starve the Poor

From Good Christian Michelle Bachmann: Jesus spake unto them saying, "Blessed are the rich, for they shall dine sumptuously. Verily, tiramisu and foie gras are their just rewards, for wealth is ever the product of godly diligence. But woe unto the poor! Bitterness shall be their meat and sorrow their drink, for, yea, the poor are but slothful and indolent, even though they be but … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 4

When Bart Ehrman asserts that "Jesus existed", he is asserting something like the following Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH): ====================== There was a flesh-and-blood person who was... 1. named 'Jesus', and 2. a Jewish man, and 3. living in Palestine as an adult in the 20s C.E., and 4. known to be a preacher and a teacher, and 5. crucified in Jerusalem by the Romans around 30 C.E., and 6. crucified when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea. ========================There was … [Read more...]

Randal Rauser Replies

His post: Do naturalists have more to lose? If not, why are they crucifying Thomas Nagel?  In order to prevent this from becoming a back-and-forth mess, I've replied in the comments there. He's a good guy, so I don't mind sending him more traffic. If you're interested, the discussion can continue there. … [Read more...]

MOVING THE SEMANTIC GOALPOSTS – theological sleight-of-hand with words

 From my book Believing Bullshit. Moving the goalposts The expression “moving the goalposts” refers to a certain disreputable strategy in an argument. Suppose I claim Fred has never been to Brazil. It’s pointed out to me that Fred went to Brazil on his honeymoon. My claim has been shown to be false, but rather than admit this I just switch claims: “Well, he’s never been to Brazil on business.” I have just moved the goalposts. The analogy is with football. It looks like some … [Read more...]

Do Christians have more to lose?

In a recent blog post, Randal Rauser wonders about the prospects that atheists (or anyone, really) are “simply after the truth”. He begins by noting that many Christians (such as the popular Christian apologist Lee Strobel), assume that atheists reject God in order to give license to their poor behavior. He’s not sold on this view, but he’s also skeptical of the alternative position that atheists are on a dispassionate quest for truth.He points to academia (well, a subset - philosphers and sc … [Read more...]

Alonzo Fyfe’s Alternative Answer to “Where Do Atheists Get Their Morality?”

Back in 2008 Alonzo Fyfe blogged about the question, "Where do atheists get their morality?" As an alternative to "the standard attempt to defend some moral theory," he proposes the following answer. "A lot of theists want to know where atheists get their morality because theists are bigots looking for an excuse to hate their atheist neighbors, and 'You are morally inferior to us' has long been a favorite dehumanization technique of the hateful bigot. Clearly, atheists do quite well when it … [Read more...]

Parsons is Mean

Someone named Randal Rauser thinks I am being mean to fundamentalists: am. I ain't a Christian. I don't turn the other cheek or love my enemies or pray for those that say mean things about atheists.What justifies ridicule? The ridiculous deserves to be ridiculed. Well, we should spare the innocent ridiculousness of those who cannot help it--the genuinely, pathetically dimwitted or … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 3

If Jesus did not EXIST, then Jesus did not EXIT this life by dying on a cross in Jerusalem. If Jesus did not die on a cross in Jerusalem, then Jesus did not rise from the dead. So, this question of whether Jesus existed has a direct logical connection to the question of whether Jesus rose from the dead.If the probability that 'Jesus existed' is .8, then the probability that 'Jesus rose from the dead' cannot be any higher than .8, and given that the evidence for the claim that 'Jesus was … [Read more...]