The Brutal Facts!!!!

I just got notice about this: BRUTAL FACTS about Keith Parsons (Gasp! Shudder!).Woo. I must have really gotten to this guy. If he is gainfully employed his boss should really find some more work for him. Clearly, he has waaaaaay too much time on his hands. … [Read more...]

A Simple Statement of the Problem of Evil

I have been trying to come up with a statement of the problem of evil that is comprehensible to undergraduates. Below is my draft. It makes for a rather long post, but any comments, suggestions, or criticisms would be appreciated. A SIMPLE STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM OF EVILBelievers tell us that God is good. Not only is he good, he is perfectly good, supremely good, as good as can be. God is also powerful. Not only is he powerful, he is omnipotent, that is, all-powerful. Most theologians and … [Read more...]

I’m (In)famous!

My "retirement" notice posted on SO last Sept. 1 got MUCH more attention than I expected--or wanted. Religion Dispatches has an article about the announcement and the subsequent brouhaha: letters were written and a couple of questions were raised that I would like to address: 1) Q: If I no longer respect the "case for theism" sufficiently to devote professional activity (teaching, … [Read more...]

Say What???

For connoisseurs of theological gibberish, check this out (by Paul Wallace, in Religion Dispatches, from last Dec. 14): was particularly impressed by these two paragraphs:The third level is the most difficult but the most important. This is second-order negation, or the inversion of the inversion. Here we would say, “God is not a fire, but God is not a not-fire either,” and “God is not love, b … [Read more...]

Miracles and Antecedent Probabilities

Victor Reppert responded succinctly but thoughtfully to my posting on ECREE (the principle that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”):There is a sense in which I agree with the ECREE thesis, it is just that I don't believe that there is any objective way of proving that one set of antecedent probabilities is rational and another is not. So what is "extraordinary" is just what your antecedent probabilities tell you is improbable.I think that as you pull at the story of the f … [Read more...]

Extraordinary Claims and Extraordinary Evidence

Note: This will be my last post until after the holidays. I look forward to responding to comments in a couple of weeks.An online site called CARM—Christian Apologetics and Research Ministries—has posted an article titled “Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence.” Victor Reppert’s Dangerous Idea blog linked with this site and a lively discussion followed. Since I have defended the princ … [Read more...]

If Threatened, Call the Mounties

It is a real pleasure to be able via this medium to correspond with smart people in Britain, Australia, Greece, Finland, and all over. Though the exchanges sometimes get boisterous, they are usually thoughtful and informed. The downside is that you cannot completely exclude comments by the ignorant, the fatuous, the self-important, or the seriously deranged. In this latter category is Dennis Markuze of Montreal, Canada. He is an infamous troll of atheist and skeptical sites. He posts under … [Read more...]

Easter Week: What Really Happened?

In comments on earlier posts Bradley Bowen offers some speculations about what really happened at the crucifixion. In his view, Jesus might have survived the crucifixion, and so was discovered alive on Easter morning, prompting stories of a resurrection.As I have argued elsewhere (see my essay in The Empty Tomb), I do not think that we have enough information to establish ANY account about what really happened during "Easter Week."If I had to conjecture, I would imagine a scenario (and a … [Read more...]