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...]

Please Welcome Matt DeStefano to the Secular Outpost!

I'm pleased to announce that Matt DeStefano has joined The Secular Outpost as a contributor. Here is a quick autobiography by Matt.I grew up as an Evangelical Christian, but I began to seriously doubt the basic tenets of my faith after reading major philosophical works pertaining to religion. I eventually saw my faith as untenable, and abandoned it for a largely naturalist perspective. I have a BA in Philosophy (specialization in Logic & Philosophy of Science) from Sacramento State … [Read more...]


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