A Taxonomy of Interlocutors

This post is mostly addressed to nontheists who engage in online debate with theists. If you discuss a topic as controversial as religion in a public forum, you will get challenged. The resulting debates are sometimes intellectually stimulating, instructive, and fruitful. Other times…not so much. Here at SO I recently engaged in two discussions on the problem of evil. One debate was engaging and edifying, the other a pointless waste of time. If you want to avoid useless debates it helps, e … [Read more...]

Richard Swinburne’s newest book: Mind, Brain, and Free Will

This book will be published May 15, 2013. Here is the book’s description on Amazon: Mind, Brain, and Free Will presents a powerful new case for substance dualism (the idea that humans consist of two parts--body and soul) and for libertarian free will (that humans have some freedom to choose between alternatives, independently of the causes which influence them). Richard Swinburne argues that answers to questions about mind, body, and free will depend crucially on the answers to more general p … [Read more...]

Richard Dawkins finds Jesus

Hot news from Oxford, England: Noted atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins has declared that he is no longer an atheist and has become a Christian. Dawkins, author of The God Delusion was quoted as saying, "Really, there is just a bit too much evidence of design in living things to attribute it all to a blind process like natural selection." Dawkins, has long argued that science undermines religious beliefs and denied that the universe needs a creator. He has been one of the most … [Read more...]

Why God did not raise Jesus from the Dead

The evidence for the claim that Jesus was alive and walking around on the first Easter Sunday is weak. Overall, the evidence indicates that the first post-crucifixion appearances of Jesus probably occurred in Galilee several days after, perhaps several weeks after, the crucifixion of Jesus.Although there probably were  some sort of 'resurrection' experiences or visions or dreams by some of Jesus' followers, it is difficult to determine what those experiences consisted in based on the skimpy, … [Read more...]

On Dealing with Doubt

If you ever spent much time reading Christian apologetics, you’ve probably encountered writings which counsel Christians on “dealing with doubt.” (If you haven’t, do an Internet search on “dealing with doubt” and click on some of the links in the search results to see what I’m talking about.) The assumption seems to be that doubt is either intrinsically bad or, at the very least, potentially dangerous (insofar as it might lead to nonbelief). I have to confess I find myself slightly amused by the … [Read more...]

The Atheist named Richard Swinburne

I was reading the Martyrdom of Polycarp recently, which is “the oldest written account of a Christian martyrdom outside the New Testament.” (The Apostolic Fathers, updated edition, edited and revised by Michael Holmes, p.222; hereafter: TAF). Polycarp was killed between 155 and 160 C.E:The Martyrdom of Polycarp sets out quite clearly both the issue at stake--Lord Christ versus Lord Caesar—and the state’s (as well as the general population’s) view of Christians as disloyal atheists who threate … [Read more...]

A Simple Post about Transubstantiation

With all the news about the new Pope, I've been thinking about the doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants. I do not come from a Catholic background, but one thing I've never understood is the doctrine of transubstantiation.First, other than Catholic tradition or dogma, what reason is there to think the doctrine is actually true?Second, since Catholics do believe it is true, why don't they also consider themselves to be practicing cannibalism--the eating of the flesh of … [Read more...]

Bias in the Philosophy of Religion

An interesting post over at Prosblogion. … [Read more...]


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