20 Loaded Questions

Peter Saunders has compiled a list of 20 questions for atheists. "He says he did not post these claiming atheists do not have an answer to these questions, but that there have not been any decent responses to them in the past 40yrs" (italics mine). It's one thing to say the responses were not persuasive; it's another thing to say that none of the answers are decent. Based on this description, Saunders sounds like a highly partisan apologist, not someone worth trying to convince.On the other … [Read more...]

Where is the Outcry from Theists Against the BSA’s Reason for Its Policy of Discrimination against Nontheists?

I want to begin by clarifying that I am not raising a constitutional or legal question at all. Let's assume that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have the constitutional right to associate or not associate with whoever they wish.I'm coming at this from a very different angle. Again, I'm stipulating that the BSA has the legal right to exclude atheists and agnostics from membership. But what if their reason for choosing to exercise that right is flawed? Let's conduct a thought experiment. … [Read more...]

Theist-Atheist Discourse: Some Thoughts on Victor Reppert’s Post

Victor Reppert and I have been having a productive and healthy exchange about the tone of theist-atheist discourse. If you haven't already seen it, I encourage you to read his latest post on the topic.Disclosure Before commenting on his post, I want to provide a sort of "disclosure" statement about biases, similar to what you might find in a peer-reviewed medical journal article about a new drug. I am not a so-called 'New Atheist.' In fact, I don't even care for that label, since I think there … [Read more...]

Do Atheists Concede the Ground of Death Too Easily? A Reply to Greta Christina

According to Greta Christina, atheists concede the ground of death too easily. She quotes or paraphrases the following sentiment.“Sure, atheism may have better arguments and evidence. But religion is always to going to win on the death question. A secular philosophy of death will never comfort people the way religion does.”In response, she writes,I’ve heard this idea more times than I can count. And here’s the weird thing: It’s not just from religious believers. I hear it from … [Read more...]

Reppert’s Clarification on KKK Rallies vs. the Reason Rally

http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2012/05/by-way-of-clarification-atheism-and.html … [Read more...]

Are Reason Rallies Analogous to KKK Rallies?

Victor Reppert links to an article at the Catholic League website entitled, "Atheist Rally Draws Haters." Reppert writes:OK, as Ricky Ricardo would say, splain. Explain to me the difference between this and a KKK rally, other than the fact that, primarily, Christians were the targets, as opposed to Blacks and Jews.Because I have so much respect for Reppert as a philosopher, I find it hard to believe he cannot tell the difference between a KKK rally and a Reason Rally. If I didn't know him … [Read more...]

Is Bayes’s Theorem Irrelevant to History?

On his blog, R. Joseph Hoffmann published an essay by Stephanie Louise Fisher which, among other things, argues that Bayes's theorem (hereafter, BT) is irrelevant to historical scholarship. In her words, BT is "completely inappropriate for, and unrelated to historical occurrence and therefore irrelevant for application to historical texts."Really?Whenever a historian argues that such-and-such an event probably did or did not happen, the historian is implicitly appealing to probability. … [Read more...]

Platonism vs. Divine Aseity: A Deductive Argument for the Non-Existence of God

The purpose of this post is to sketch an argument for the nonexistence of God based upon the logical incompatibility of divine aseity and the existence of God. In Martin's and Monnier's taxonomy of arguments for atheism (see The Impossibility of God, Buffalo: Prometheus, 2003), this argument would be classified as a "deductive disproof of the existence of God."The Doctrine of Divine Aseity FormulatedLet us begin by defining the doctrine of divine aseity as follows:(A1) God does not depend on … [Read more...]