Ian’s Review of Carrier’s Proving History and Carrier’s Reply

An atheist named Ian with a deep background in math and science has written a critical review of Carrier's Proving History.A Mathematical Review of "Proving History" by Richard CarrierAmong other things, Ian complains that Carrier uses a version of Bayes's Theorem (BT) that is "unduly complex" and "highly idiosyncratic." I disagree. I think one's assumptions can play a huge role in historical Jesus studies, so it valuable to use a version of BT which explicitly includes background knowledge … [Read more...]

dangerous idea: Corduan replies to Carrier on miracles

dangerous idea: Corduan replies to Carrier on miracles … [Read more...]

Three Amazingly Good Books

I am currently reading three amazingly good books. J.L. Schellenberg's, The Wisdom to DoubtColin Howson's, Objecting to GodHerman Philipse, God in the Age of Science? I can sum up all three books in one word: "Wow."If you are interested in the philosophy of religion (and, if you're reading this blog, you probably are), then you should run, not walk, to the nearest bookstore to get your own copies.If any theists read this post and are looking for a change of scenery from rehashing the problems … [Read more...]

Prosblogion: Physicist Sean Carroll on God and Modern Physics

Kenny Pearce at Prosblogion comments on Sean Carroll's essay, "Does the Universe Need God?", which we linked to a couple of days ago.The article is a model of constructive dialog between philosophy and physics. Carroll shows engagement with the major philosophical arguments under discussion, and does not come off as condescending or dismissive. He also provides concise and helpful summaries of the relevant physics. Additionally, the article shows an admirable degree of epistemic humility, … [Read more...]

Open Question to Muslims

Let me preface this post by saying I know very little about Islam.After reading the news about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the U.S. embassy in Egypt, I'm really starting to wonder about how the attacks fit together with "mainstream" Islam. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here are the facts as I understand them.Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Christian who lives in  the U.S., made a movie which shows the prophet Muhammad having sex and calling for massacres. At the risk … [Read more...]

Eric Russert Kraemer’s Darwin’s Doubts and the Problem of Animal Pain

This paper interacts with (and appears to defend) Paul Draper's version of the evidential argument from evil, the argument from the biological role of pain and pleasure. From the introduction:  It is a truism that the influence of Darwin’s work on evolution is profound and ubiquitous. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the first chapter of Frans de Waal’s book, Good Natured, is entitled “Darwinian Dilemmas.” In this chapter, which sets the stage for his splendid discussion of observa … [Read more...]

Paul Draper’s Review of Goetz and Taliaferro’s Naturalism

There are many gems in this review; here is one.To begin with, the alleged advantage that metaphysical theists have because they attribute necessary existence to God is not real, since there is no more reason to believe that a concrete non-natural divine person can exist necessarily than there is to think that nature can exist necessarily. The ontological argument, almost everyone agrees, is a failure, and we cannot just "see" the necessity of the statement "God exists" in the way that we … [Read more...]

Atheist Ethicist: Morality and Questions Belonging to Science

Over at the Atheist Ethicist, Alonzo Fyfe comments on Baggini, Krauss, and Coyne on science and morality. In this field, among these people, it would seem that somebody would start weeding out the nonsense claims. Yet, I continue to find statements that would embarrass a student in Philosophy 121: Introduction to Ethics. If there is going to be progress made in this field, then those who dedicate themselves to talking about this subject need to make some minimal effort to clear out the junk … [Read more...]


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