Divine Commands and Informative Identity

Last week I had an exchange with Matthew Flannagan on divine command theory (DCT) in the comments section of the post “Does William Lane Craig Actually Believe in Evil?” I raised some standard Euthyphro-type objections and asked for his response. He graciously replied even though he has treated the topic in much greater depth and detail elsewhere, particularly in his book, coauthored with Paul Copan, Did God Really Command Genocide? (Baker Books, 2014), and in his article “Is Ethical Naturalism m … [Read more...]

Darwin the Philosopher

I have noted several unfortunate statements by scientists, some of whom I deeply respect, expressing disdain for philosophy. Their view, apparently, is that if you have science you have no need for philosophy. This attitude is doubly unfortunate. First, it betrays considerable ignorance, and, second, when scientists reject philosophy, they really, really should avoid philosophical questions, like the existence of God, because they say embarrassing things that a bit of philosophical insight would … [Read more...]

Craig on Appeals to Common Sense

Here is something written by a reader who asked not to be further identified. I think he makes a good point and raises the interesting question of when appeals to common sense are reasonable and when they are not. The author begins by commenting on a reply made to me by Craig in our 1998 debate. ….but I recently watched (and enjoyed) your 1998 debate with William Lane Craig and found myself rather irked by something Craig said.  The result is what you see below, which I thought you m … [Read more...]

Atheist Revival Meeting

Folks, it has come to my attention that some other atheists on other sites are indicating that we here at SO are not real atheists. We may even be crypto-Christians who appear in atheist guise to delude the unfaithful. So, I and Jeff and Bradley—and you atheists who frequently comment, like Scott, Ryan, and PDH—are all under a cloud of suspicion. Well, we might as well admit it. We are backsliders. We are lukewarm in our unbelief. We occasionally show respect to theists, whereas furious, ven … [Read more...]

New Fossil Proves Genesis!

A new fossil discovery supports the Genesis account that snakes had legs before God cursed them for enticing Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit:http://conservativetribune.com/fossil-proof-of-bibles-story/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=TPNNPages&utm_content=2015-07-28Call me a nitpicker, but I am still not satisfied!  After all, the serpent that "tempted" Eve was also quite loquacious, and not only loquacious, but, according to Genesis, was the most "subtle," i.e. cunning, of all … [Read more...]

Skeptical Theism and Evil Genius Arguments

When I debated William Lane Craig at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas in 1998, we also had an exchange in the Dallas Morning News on the problem of evil. Here is a key quote from Craig’s statement:“We aren't in a good position to assess with confidence the probability (or improbability) of whether God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting bad things. Suffering that appears utterly pointless within our limited framework may be seen to be justly permitted in God's wider framework. T … [Read more...]

Christianity: The Good Stuff

Naturally, an atheist site like this SO often focuses on the bad stuff about Christianity. Digging up the dirt is easy since, after 2000 years of Christian history, there are tons and tons of it just lying around ready to be shoveled. It is important to remember, however, that for all the holy warriors, fanatics, hypocrites, obscurantists, and sanctimonious little busybodies, Christianity has appealed to some of the noblest spirits that have graced human history (e.g. Pascal, Erasmus, St. … [Read more...]

Is the Religious Right Finished?

This week was a bad week for right-wingers. The Supreme Court (I hate the acronym “SCOTUS.” Sounds like a disreputable body part.) upheld the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) against a challenge that would have removed the federal subsidy for health insurance purchase in non-participating (red) states. Then, just yesterday, came an even crueler blow when the Court struck down state bans on gay marriage. State officials here in Texas were apoplectic or lachrymose, vowing no surrender. Speaking of … [Read more...]