Debate: The Evidence for Jesus from the Talmud – Wrap-Up Comments

I summarized Joe Hinman's argument from the external evidence of the Talmud this way:1. There are MANY references to Jesus in the Talmud that were censored but that were preserved in some texts. 2. There are A FEW references to Jesus in the Talmud that were not censored. 3. ALL of the references to Jesus in the Talmud speak of Jesus in a way that assumes or implies that Jesus was a flesh‐and‐blood historical figure. 4. IF (1), (2), and (3) are true, THEN the external evidence from the Talm … [Read more...]

Worldviews as Problem-Solving Proposals

Can a worldview be true (or false)?  I have been thinking of a worldview as a set of basic assumptions that contitute a philosophy of life, or a logical structure that approximates a philosophy of life.  On this conception of a worldview, it seems that a worldview is the kind of thing that could be true (or false).However, I have also been thinking, for many years, that worldviews can be understood in terms of problem solving, especially as analogous to problem solving for medical issues.   … [Read more...]

Is Christianity True?

As indicated in a previous post,  for the next four or five years I plan to focus on the question:Is Christianity true?I plan to do most of my Christianity-centered posts on my old Cross Examination blog site, where I have set up the initial logical structure of interconnected blog posts (including a number that only have titles and no content): the question "Does God exist?"  I will do most of the posts here at The Secular Outpost and wi … [Read more...]

One Christianity or Many Christianities?

I know this is a controversial topic for the people who frequently comment on blog posts here at The Secular Outpost, and my view seems to be the minority view.  Perhaps I am the only person in this crowd who thinks that there is some hope of being able to define "Christianity" in a way that is both reasonable and that is specific enough to allow for an answer to the question "Is Christianity true?"Most of you, I believe, think that there is not just ONE Christianity, but that there are MANY … [Read more...]

My Twelve-Year Plan

In October of 2013, I came up with the idea of a Ten-Year plan to write a four-volume critique of Christianity: Plan for a Multi-Volume Critique of Christianity Some of my posts here at the Secular Outpost have been closely related to the Ten-Year plan and the topics it will cover.In January of this year, I did a short post outlining the high-level logic of my critique of Christianity:Ten-Year Plan: Revised ScopeI thought this plan was a bit ambitious, but I am now considering an … [Read more...]

Off Topic: Trump is an IDIOT – Part 1

I realize that many atheists and skeptics are not liberals, so there is no liberal agenda shared by atheist and skeptics.However, I am a left-wing atheist and skeptic, and so I have been blogging (elsewhere) about my preference of Hillary Clinton over the twit Donald Trump. Today, just in time for the upcoming big debate, I have published another blog post about Mr. Trump:Donald Trump is an IDIOT - Part 1: Trump's Stupidity on ScienceI hope that you liberal atheists and skeptics … [Read more...]

Skepticism and Conjunctions

Belief in God and belief in the Christian faith are both vulnerable to skepticism in view of the fact that both beliefs consist in conjuctions.Some of the key divine attributes are:eternally bodiless eternally omnipotent eternally omniscient eternally perfectly morally good the creator of the universeIn order for God to exist, there must be one and only one person who has all five of these divine attributes.If there is an omnipotent person who is evil or morally flawed, … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Wrapping up the Debate

Josh McDowell and various life events have distracted me from the debate with Joe Hinman about the external evidence for the existence of Jesus. (Sorry for the delay, Joe.)I wrote an introductory post about the debate:Introduction to the DebateHinman presented five arguments for the existence of Jesus based on external (non-biblical) evidence:Arguments 1 Through 4 (Talmud, Papias, Polycarp, Josephus)Argument 5 (Web of Historicity)I criticized the five arguments, typically … [Read more...]