Atheism and Intraorganizational Free Speech

That is the title of a 1996 essay by Michael Martin on the Secular Web. Martin concludes: The suppression of expressions not only has harmful results but is inconsistent with atheists' criticism of religion's suppression of speech. It also defeats what is in the atheistic organizations' own best interests. I conclude therefore that atheistic organizations should not suppress expression of opinion in their ranks unless such expressions are defamatory, seditious, invasive of privacy, or incitive … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 2 (Revised)

(Note: the revised version of this post begins in the third paragraph after the section title, “The Ratio of Explanatory Powers.”) In part 1 of my series on the evidential Argument from Scale (AS), I concluded that Everitt's formulation of AS is unsuccessful. At the same time, however, I said that there is something about the AS I find intuitive and so I wanted to try revising AS as a Bayesian argument to see if I could make a stronger version. The purpose of this post is to attempt to do just t … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from Divine Hiddenness: The General Fact and 10 More Specific Facts

 The General Fact of Divine Hiddenness (aka Reasonable Nonbelief)Informal Statement of the ArgumentThere are many people, including myself, who don't believe in God but who wish that some sort of a theistic God did exist. Now the Apostle Paul, in Romans 1:19-21, implies that the existence of God is just obvious to everyone, even atheists and agnostics. But just think about that for a second. How do you prove that something is obvious to another person? Lots of nonbelievers claim … [Read more...]

Marcus McElhaney on Austin Dacey’s Debate with WLC

Marcus McElhaney responds to a recent blog post at Debunking Christianity which links to a video of Austin Dacey’s debate with William Lane Craig on God’s existence. Since I believe Dacey’s debate with Craig is one of the better debate performances by an atheist, this caught my eye. Here I want to comment on McElhaney’s critique. Topic: The Argument from Divine Hiddenness Here is McElhaney: This thought amazes me! God is not hidden too well if I and so many others have found him.  Just bec … [Read more...]

AdamHazzard’s Quick Parable Comparing Atheistic and Divine Command Theoretic Metaethics

I just read this in the combox on Randal Rauser’s blog. An atheist and a divine-command theorist are approached by someone who says to them, "God is telling me to kill my child. Am I crazy?"The atheist doesn't hesitate. "Yes! You need to seek help immediately!"While the divine-command theorist shuffles his feet and says, "Well, that depends. Is your name Abraham?" Is this parable a fair representation of divine command theory?ETA: I’ve posted this because I like the parable. It see … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 5: John Loftus on the Size of the Universe

In this post, I want to offer some preliminary observations regarding John Loftus’s claim that “the size of the universe leads to atheism.” Before I do so, I want to emphasize that I am going to comment on the linked blog post only. I will not discuss anything that Loftus has written in chapter 24 of his book, Why I Became an Atheist, where he discusses the issue in further detail. “Noseeum Arguments” Relating to God and the Size of the UniverseHere is Loftus: I remember thinking to myself how G … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s modal argument for the existence of the soul

By Agnieszka Rostalska and Rafal UrbaniakAbstract & Introduction: Richard Swinburne (Swinburne and Shoemaker 1984; Swinburne 1986) argues that human beings currently alive have non–bodily immaterial parts called souls. In his main argument in support of this conclusion (modal argument),roughly speaking, from the assumption that it is logically possible that a human being survives the destruction of their body and a few additional premises, he infers the actual existence of souls. After a … [Read more...]

Does Religion Cause More Harm Than Good?

I don’t know. To be more precise, it seems obvious to me that religion causes both harm and good. What I don’t know is whether the harmful effects happen more often than the beneficial ones (or if the former somehow qualitatively outweigh the latter). Allow me to explain. It seems to incredibly simplistic to say either "religion is always bad" or "religion is always good." There are clearly people who are motivated, by religion, to do good things, such as donate their money to charity, do vol … [Read more...]