Some Thoughts on Robert Gagnon’s “Secular Case against Cultural Endorsement of Homosexual Behavior”

I’ve often suspected that the only valid* reasons for opposing homosexual behavior were religious ones, so I was very interested to read Gagnon’s self-described “secular case.” I view it as a “good thing” that religious opponents even feel the need to offer a “secular case” because there was a time when a list of Bible verses probably would have been sufficient to settle the matter. So what are his secular objections to homosexual behavior? 1) The nature argument. Marriage is not just about … [Read more...]

Robert M. Price on Westboro Atheists

For the April issue of Zarathustra Speaks, Robert M. Price has published a well-written essay describing what he calls "Westboro Atheists." I agree with pretty much everything he writes, especially this: This is why I cringe every time I hear about the latest attempts of the Freedom from Religion Foundation to scour every expression of faith from the public square. He then goes on to write this: Just today I dropped by Town Hall to pay my utility bill, under the wire, I might add, and I was … [Read more...]

Skeptical Atheism and the Fine-Tuning Argument?

The multiple universes objection is a common objection to fine-tuning arguments for God's existence. Paul Draper once wrote an interesting essay comparing that objection to that argument to the same objection applied to arguments from evil. What I've often wondered is this: what if we tried to draw another parallel between fine-tuning arguments and arguments from evil, this time focusing on "skeptical theism"? In other words, I think it would be interesting to compare, on the one hand, skeptical … [Read more...]

Richard Swinburne’s newest book: Mind, Brain, and Free Will

This book will be published May 15, 2013. Here is the book’s description on Amazon: Mind, Brain, and Free Will presents a powerful new case for substance dualism (the idea that humans consist of two parts--body and soul) and for libertarian free will (that humans have some freedom to choose between alternatives, independently of the causes which influence them). Richard Swinburne argues that answers to questions about mind, body, and free will depend crucially on the answers to more general p … [Read more...]

On Dealing with Doubt

If you ever spent much time reading Christian apologetics, you’ve probably encountered writings which counsel Christians on “dealing with doubt.” (If you haven’t, do an Internet search on “dealing with doubt” and click on some of the links in the search results to see what I’m talking about.) The assumption seems to be that doubt is either intrinsically bad or, at the very least, potentially dangerous (insofar as it might lead to nonbelief). I have to confess I find myself slightly amused by the … [Read more...]

A Simple Post about Transubstantiation

With all the news about the new Pope, I've been thinking about the doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants. I do not come from a Catholic background, but one thing I've never understood is the doctrine of transubstantiation.First, other than Catholic tradition or dogma, what reason is there to think the doctrine is actually true?Second, since Catholics do believe it is true, why don't they also consider themselves to be practicing cannibalism--the eating of the flesh of … [Read more...]

Is It a Crock to Use Bayes’ Theorem to Measure Evidence about God? Part 2

I want to continue where I left off in part 1 of my response to Metacrock on the use of Bayes’ Theorem (BT) to measure evidence about God. Here is Metacrock: Bayes’ theorem was introduced first as an argument against Hume’s argument on miracles, that is to say, a proof of the probability of miracles. The theorem was learned by Richard Price from Bayes papers after the death of the latter, and was first communicated to the Royal society in 1763.[6] The major difference in the version Bayes an … [Read more...]

Is It a Crock to Use Bayes’ Theorem to Measure Evidence about God? Part 1

Over at the Christian Cadre, “Metacrock” has written a post entitled, “Bayes Theorum [sic] and Probability of God: No Dice!” Metacrock makes a number of points regarding the use of Bayes’ Theorem (BT) with evidence about God’s existence. I want to comment on many of those points. It is understandable that naturalistic thinkers are uneasy with the concept of miracles. I think I understand the point that Metacrock is trying to get across, but I disagree with this sentence as written. Metaphy … [Read more...]


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