The Argument from Silence, Part 2: Peter Kirby’s First Argument from Silence Against the Empty Tomb

Now that I have provided a Bayesian interpretation of arguments from silence, I want to evaluate my friend Peter Kirby's argument from silence against the historicity of the empty tomb of Jesus (hereafter, "Kirby's argument"). To be precise, in his essay, Kirby considers two arguments from silence. The first is based upon the silence of various writers regarding the empty tomb. The second is based upon the lack of veneration of the empty tomb. In this essay, I will be referring only to the … [Read more...]

Index: The Argument from Silence

The purpose this post is to provide an index for all of my Secular Outpost articles regarding the argument from silence."Part 1: The Bayesian Interpretation": the logical form of an explanatory argument from silence "Part 2: Peter Kirby's First Argument from Silence Against the Empty Tomb": a formal analysis and critique of Kirby's argument based upon the (alleged) silence of early Christian sources (other than the canonical gospels) regarding the empty tomb "Part 3: Peter Kirby's Second … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 1: The Bayesian Interpretation

I want to provide a Bayesian interpretation of the argument from silence.Let S be some truth about the silence of a potential source of evidence fact and H1 and H2 be rival explanatory hypotheses.(1) S is known to be true, i.e., Pr(S) is close to 1. (2) H1 is not intrinsically much more probable than H2, i.e., Pr(H1 | B) is not much more probable than Pr(H2 | B). (3) Pr(S | H2) > Pr(S | H1). (4) Other evidence held equal, H1 is probably false, i.e., Pr(H1 | B & S) < … [Read more...]

Jeff’s Picks — 7-Jul-12

I have a huge list of links to share this time. Morality Uncredible Hallq reblogs a really good comparison between God and an abusive boyfriend. Dr. Peter Boghossian talks about the ethics of atheism on Freedomain Radio. (HT: The Morning Heresy)Self-described atheist Jesse Bering has written an essay in Salon entitled, "Don't Trust the Godless." Richard Dawkins argues, "Don't Need God to be Good ... or Generous"Editor's Note (Lowder): Dawkin's argument reminds me of Victor Reppert's … [Read more...]

Review of The Privileged Planet by William Jefferys

LINK … [Read more...]

D Rizdek’s Objection to Fine-Tuning Arguments for God’s Existence

D Rizdek at Debunking Christianity tries to turn the tables on defenders of fine-tuning arguments for God's existence; he says that apparent fine-tuning only makes sense if there is no God.LINK (HT: The A-Unicornist)It's a short post, so go read it. Then I'd love to read your answers to this question: is that a good defeater to fine-tuning arguments? … [Read more...]

Girl Guides in Australia drop their promise to serve God and the Queen

Something tells me we won't see similar changes at the Boy Scouts of America anytime soon.LINK … [Read more...]

From Victor Stenger: Higgs and Significance

(Reblogged on behalf of Victor Stenger. This article was originally published on The Huffington Post here.)As the world knows, on July 4 it was announced that the Higgs boson, or a reasonable facsimile, has been seen by two independent experiments at CERN. The statistical significance reported was expressed as "5-sigma." Let's look at what this means.When subatomic particles are smashed together at high energy, they create a complex mix of secondary particles. Before you can claim a new … [Read more...]