Robert Kuhn’s Nine Levels of Nothing

If you've participated in many discussions about science or religion in which the word "nothing" plays a central role, you've probably noticed that "nothing" has different meanings for different people. Robert Lawrence Kuhn has put together a thought-provoking taxonomy of nine levels of nothing, which I think could be very useful for clarifying which "nothing" someone has in mind during such conversations.LINK … [Read more...]

Dr. Richard Carrier’s Rebuttal to My Commentary on His Exchange with Dr. Luke Barnes about the Fine-Tuning Argument

This is one of those debates where you really have to get into the details just to arrive at an informed position. I've read his rebuttal, but so much time has passed that I will need to re-read his book chapter (yes, I did read it), Barnes' posts, and my commentary before I can even decide what to make of his rebuttal. Because of other commitments, it's doubtful that I will be able to do that anytime soon. But that's no reason not to check out his rebuttal for yourself, if you're interested in … [Read more...]

Why Do So Many People Have a “Winner Takes All” Approach to Evidence about Gods?

If you've a regular reader of this blog -- or any other blog or website devoted to the existence of God -- you've probably noticed how often partisans for one side or the other have a "winner takes all" approach to the evidence. In the past, even I was guilty of making statements like, "There is no evidence for God's existence."It now seems to me that one should be very cautious before making such statements (or the theistic equivalent, "There is no evidence against God's existence.") The … [Read more...]

Atheist Scholar Phil Zuckerman: OK to Criticize Christianity, but Not Islam

You should read both the article and the comments.LINKI could be wrong, but my hunch is that Zuckerman is probably right. Also, I don't know this for a fact either, but I suspect that the same fear which stifles atheist criticism of Islam also stifles Christian criticism of Islam. Yes, there are atheist and Christian critics of Islam, but it seems very easy to believe that there are less critics than there would have been if Islam did not have the kind of reputation it does.Speaking o … [Read more...]

“Atheism” According to Matt Slick

Somehow I wound up on the website of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM). Since the website has a section on atheism, I decided to take a look. I found problems in the very first article I read, "What Is Atheism?"The Definition of AtheismI'll begin with something positive. Unlike virtually every other Christian apologist I have read, Slick seems to be willing to engage his opponents on their own terms. He accepts the idea that there are both strong and weak varieties … [Read more...]

WLC Denies That Anyone Has Ever Died a Sincere Seeker Without Finding God

Can anyone sincerely lack belief in God? And even if they can, can anyone sincerely lack belief in God for the rest of their lives? Many people, including nontheists but not just nontheists, think the answer to both questions is plainly "yes." But some (many?) theists, no doubt motivated by beliefs such as divine goodness, Biblical inerrancy, and Christian particularism, deny this for the second question and possibly the first.  We'll call people who deny a "yes" answer to the second quest … [Read more...]

Springer/Synthese Books Available for Free Download

For a limited time only, Springer is running some kind of promotion now with free downloadable books published in the Synthese library before 2005. For those of you interested in the philosophy of time, that would include Craig's The Tenseless Theory of Time and The Tensed Theory of Time.(H/T: Glenn Branch) … [Read more...]

Christian Philosopher Says the Popularity of Apologetics Book Shows Christians Care about Evidence

Victor Reppert, a Christian philosopher who is a friend of this blog and who has his own blog at Dangerous Idea, argues that Christians really do care about basing their beliefs on the evidence. How does Reppert justify this conclusion? Because of the popularity of Josh McDowell's book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict. In Reppert's words:It is interesting that atheists say Christians are not interested in evidence when one of the most popular Christian books of the last 50 years is Evidence t … [Read more...]