A Primer in Religion and Morality

My recent interview for the Atheistically Speaking podcast inspired me to compile this quick primer in religion and morality, in order to help clarify the many different concepts at play when we talk about morality with and without God. I consider this a work-in-progress so any constructive criticism would be appreciated.Update (5 May 2015): I have revised and massively expanded the document. I am treating this as version 1.0 of the document and the previous version as a 'beta release' of th … [Read more...]

Quote of the Day from Sean Carroll on Some People Who Mock Religion

People will mock religion as a fantasy for those who won't face reality, but think building warp drive is just a matter of can-do spirit. — Sean Carroll (@seanmcarroll) May 2, 2015 … [Read more...]

Debate Course Starts Today!

I am co-teaching an online course on debate with Richard Carrier. The course starts today but registration will remain open until May 6th. For details, see here. … [Read more...]

Eternal Accountability vs. Pascal’s Wager

I think I may have conceived of a novel response both to pragmatic moral arguments (such as Victor Reppert's recent post about eternal accountability) and Pascal's Wager, but I'm neither certain it is novel nor that it works.The basic idea is that these two arguments contradict one another. To the person who is uncertain about God's existence, Pascal says they have to place a bet on either atheism or Christianity. The risk of infinite loss (from atheism) compared to the opportunity for in … [Read more...]

Parody: Ben Affleck and Sam Harris Debate Scientology

In case you missed it, Goldie Hoffman and Ruven Klausner have a hilarious sketch parody out of the Ben Affleck vs. Sam Harris debate. Instead of debating Islam, however, this sketch has them debating Scientology. Enjoy.ETA: You can follow more of their work at http://goldiehoffman.com/ and http://ruvenk.com. … [Read more...]

A Very Rough Sketch of an Objection to Quentin Smith’s Argument for Moral Realism

In his book, Ethical and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language, Quentin Smith defends an argument for moral realism which he calls the argument from veridical seeming. (1)  Ordinary ethical sentences and commonsense first-level moral beliefs imply moral realism (or “Moral realism tacitly seems to be true in ordinary commonsense moral attitudes”). (2)  There are no empirical or a priori reasons to believe that first-level moral beliefs are all false.(3)  Therefore, it is m … [Read more...]

Praise from Matthew Wade Ferguson

My co-author Matthew Wade Ferguson just wrote an unexpected, very much appreciated, and very complimentary blog post about my work.LINKHe also had some comments about many Christian apologists, including Norman Geisler, Frank Turek, William Lane Craig, and C.S. Lewis. Check it out!Also, if you're not a regular reader of his blog, you should be. … [Read more...]

Geisler & Turek Rebuttal: Chapter 9 (Part 2)

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Chapter 9. Do We Have Early Eyewitness Testimony about Jesus? By Matthew Wade Ferguson and Jeffery Jay Lowder(This post continues where part 1 left off.)(ii) New Testament Textual Accuracy: “Textual accuracy” measures the degree to which copies of a document match that of the original document. Although none of the original New Testament documents have survived, Geisler and Turek argue that the textual accuracy of the New Testament documents is superior to that of other ancient docu … [Read more...]


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