Reply to Wintery Knight’s Review of the Craig-Law Debate

(Redated post originally published on 26 October 2011)I recently submitted the following feedback to WinteryKnight's review of the Craig-Law debate. Wintery Knight -- You must have listened to a different debate than the one I did. For example, in summarizing Stephen Law's first rebuttal, you write:"Craig thinks that you need an objective standard in order to judge things as objectively good or evil. But that’s false. I can use my subjective opinions to claim that some things are o … [Read more...]

Darwinian Morality and Rape?

(Redated post last published on 3 November 2011)According to Nancy Pearcey and biologist Jeffrey Schloss (see here), Darwinian evolution implies there is nothing ethically wrong with rape. Why? Pearcey argues that Darwinian evolution and moral realism are logically incompatible: In the words of sociobiology's founder, E.O. Wilson, "the basis of ethics does not lie in God's will"; instead, ethics "is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes" because of its survival value. Those who accept Da … [Read more...]

Is God’s Existence Obvious to Everyone?

(Redated post originally published on 26 October 2011)As a 'friendly atheist,' I believe that theists can be fully rational in believing that God exists. I know that some theists are 'unfriendly theists' in the sense that they believe(1) The existence of God is obvious to everyone.But why believe (1) is true? I'm aware that Romans 2 is often quoted in this context. Notice, however, that there is no logical contradiction between believing(2) There is a supernatural creator of the … [Read more...]

Do Proponents of the Argument from Evil Try to Have it Both Ways? A Reply to David Wood

(Redated post originally published on 26 October 2011)According to David Wood (see here), atheists who appeal to the argument from evil are logically inconsistent. Why? Wood offers the following explanation: For instance, atheists seem to be arguing (1) that human beings are so good that God shouldn’t allow us to suffer, and (2) that human beings are so bad that God shouldn’t have created us (or given us free will, etc.). That is, atheists are simply shocked that a good God would allow hum … [Read more...]

Hostility of the Universe to Life: Understated Evidence about Cosmic Fine-Tuning?

(Redated post originally dated 22 January 2013)I've blogged before about the fallacy of understated evidence. Here I want to explore further how it applies to fine-tuning arguments.Let us define the "general fact of cosmic 'fine-tuning'" as follows. FT: some universe or other has the initial conditions, laws, and constants which make the existence of complex intelligent life of some sort possible. Even if we assume that so-called cosmic "fine-tuning" is evidence favoring theism over … [Read more...]

Bibliography on Arguments for Atheism

(redated post originally published on 7 November 2011)The purpose of this bibliography is to provide a comprehensive listing of academic resurces which contain presentations, formulations, or defenses of various arguments for atheism. The bibliography currently omits any references to resources which criticize those arguments; I hope to fix that in the future as time allows.As always, I don't claim this bibliography is perfectly accurate or complete; if spot any errors or omissions, … [Read more...]

Paul Draper, the Fallacy of Understated Evidence, Theism, and Naturalism

(Redated post originally published on 23 November 2011)Paul Draper has usefully identified a fallacy of inductive reasoning he calls the "fallacy of understated evidence." According to Draper, in the context of arguments for theism and against naturalism, proponents of a theistic argument are guilty of this fallacy if they "successfully identify some general fact F about a topic X that is antecedently more likely on theism than on naturalism, but ignore other more specific facts about X, … [Read more...]

Apologist Josh McDowell: Internet the Greatest Threat to Christians

(Redated post originally published on 19 November 2011)This is old news, but cries out for a comment. According to The Christian Post, Josh McDowell has declared the Internet to be the greatest threat to Christians. As the editor of an Internet anthology rebutting McDowell's book Evidence That Demands a Verdict, I naturally found this announcement to be of great interest. McDowell has steadfastly refused to even acknowledge our rebuttal, much less learn from it. Speaking at the … [Read more...]