Reppert on Theistic Explanation

Victor Reppert has chimed in on my reply to Wintery Knight.This is always an interesting issue. But does it really make sense to ask of an omnipotent being how they did something. For example, I once beat a Grandmaster in a chess tournament. Now, you might ask how I did that, since as someone whose rating has never gone above expert, you might wonder how I did that. (And the answer isn't all the flattering, was able to win because my opponent had had entirely too much to drink.) But if I … [Read more...]

Intelligent Design Arguments and Cumulative Cases

As we saw in my reply to Wintery Knight, he (like many other proponents of intelligent design or ID) propose that there are multiple, independent lines of evidence which favor intelligent design over its alternatives. Here is a partial summary of the evidence ID proponents offer."Cosmic Fine-Tuning," i.e., the initial conditions of the universe and the values of the constants of the fundamental laws "Biological Fine-Tuning," i.e., the biological information in the first replicator (origin … [Read more...]

The Blue Folders Story: How Not to Defend Objective Moral Values

I think I first heard this story while listening to a debate between Michael Horner and Henry Morgentaler, but since then I've seen it or heard it repeated many other times. The story is supposed to illustrate that even people who claim to be moral relativists really do believe that objective moral values exist. Here is how Victor Reppert puts it. Lewis's first argument is the argument from implied practice. People are, at best, inconsistent moral subjectivists. He writes:[quotation of C.S. … [Read more...]

Scientific Discoveries, Theism, and Atheism: Reply to Wintery Knight

I'm going to offer some comments on a recent post by Wintery Knight. He writes: When people ask me whether the progress of science is more compatible with theism or atheism, I offer the follow four basic pieces of scientific evidence that are more compatible with theism than atheism. [italics are mine] The following point is nitpicky, but it's worth mentioning just because so many non-philosophers, including both theists and nontheists, misuse words like "compatible" and "consistent." … [Read more...]

Brigham Young: Racist Prophet of the Mormons – Part 3

In January of 1852, Brigham Young encouraged the Utah territorial legislature to pass a law that prohibitted sex between white people and black people, and publically declared that black people (or people with a black grandparent or great grandparent) "Cannot hold the priesthood": ======================================= Mormon Anti-Miscegenation in Utah Law Brigham Young addressed the Utah territorial legislature on January 6, 1852 to push through a law that not only legalized slavery in the … [Read more...]

Brigham Young: Racist Prophet of the Mormons – Part 2

It is not clear why Brigham Young followed the racist pro-slavery views of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery from 1836 instead of the more liberal-minded abolitionist views of Joseph Smith from 1842 to 1844.  However, confronting the reality of mixed-race marriages and sex between black men and white women appears to have pushed Young further in the direction of racist beliefs and practices: ================================= One of the most significant, and simultaneously most obscure marriages … [Read more...]

Brigham Young: Racist Prophet of the Mormons – Part 1

Brigham Young was a racist white man who initiated racial discrimination into the official policies and practices of the Mormon church (more specifically: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement).One key racist policy of the Mormons was to exclude blacks from "the priesthood". In the Mormon faith "priesthood" was not limited to just a few select members of the church (as in the Catholic faith). Any adult male or boy who is … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 14

Fake and Real Jesus

Mitt Romney is a lying sack of human excrement. Which is one of the reasons why he lost the election.Among MR's many moral failings was his promotion of a racist religious tradition: Mormonism. MR grew up in a publically and openly racist Mormon church. As a young man he went to France to encourage French citizens to join his then openly and publically racist Mormon church.But MR is not the only believer in the USA who comes from a racist church background. The largest Protestant … [Read more...]


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