Link: Russell Blackford on Charity to Those We Oppose

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Yahweh vs. Thor

On my Twitter timeline, I saw the following:“Atheism does not require certainty. But we can be as certain the Christian god does not exist as Christians are that Thor does not exist.”If I were to reword the tweet, albeit in a way that is too long for twitter, I would have offered something like this:"Atheism, when defined as the belief that God does not exist, does not require certainty. Rather, like any other belief, people can hold this belief with varyingdegrees of belief. The … [Read more...]

J.L. Schellenberg on the Philosophy of Religion

While searching on J.L. Schellenberg, I stumbled across the following comment in a combox for a post about calls to end the philosophy of religion as a discipline. I think it's worth quoting in full.Having done philosophy of religion as an atheist for more than twenty years, I find the idea that atheistic belief should lead one to view philosophy of religion as useless or pernicious a bit out of touch with reality. Theistic work in philosophy of religion is, for cultural reasons, getting the … [Read more...]

Luke Muelhauser: The Courtier’s Reply, the Not My Theology Reply, and Straw Men

The Courtier’s Reply is useless. It ignores the real target of an argument. The Not My Theology Reply is legitimate, though it may be beyond the scope of the present discussion. If someone’s argument does not apply to your philosophy but it does apply to the philosophy of others, then that argument probably wasn’t intended for you. But you might still want to make the Not My Theology reply just to clear things up for people. The Straw Man Reply is legitimate only if someone misrepresents the vi … [Read more...]

Michael Martin Has Died

mmartin

I just learned the horrible news that renowned philosopher Michael Martin (1932-2015) died unexpectedly yesterday. He will be missed.I hope to write a proper tribute to him at a later time. For now, I want to provide links to his books. (For links to his online essays on The Secular Web, click on his name above.)Atheism: A Philosophical JustificationThe Case Against ChristianityAtheism, Morality, and MeaningThe Cambridge Companion to AtheismThe Impossibility of God (with R … [Read more...]

Another Terrible Atheist Debate Performance

I originally planned to blog my thoughts about this oral debate while I was watching it. Then after I had a rather nasty exchange on Twitter with the atheist debater, I said I wasn't going to write about him anytime soon. Then I thought about it some more. I realized the only reason I was going to engage in self-censorship was to avoid all of the drama associated with criticizing anything to do with this individual's arguments, blog posts, books, or debates. "That's a really bad reason to say … [Read more...]

Old But Still Relevant: Phil Plait on “Don’t Be a Dick”

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How and When Should You Use Ridicule, If At All? It Depends on Your Goals

I think it's self-defeating for philosophers who want to engage in genuine inquiry to use ridicule. If one's primary goal is to be an apologist first and a philosopher second (such as William Lane Craig), then I think ridicule can change some minds while alienating others. (By mentioning his name, I'm not claiming that he does, in fact, use ridicule. I'm simply stating that he is a philosopher who primarily seems to act as an apologist.) I think it's an open question whether using ridicule as a … [Read more...]


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