Question about the Templeton Foundation’s $3M Grant to Biola University

The blog Why Evolution is True commented on the Templeton Foundation's decision to award a $3,030,000 grant to Biola University to setup a "Biola University Center for Christian Thought."Stereotypes about Christian institutions of higher learning aside, I received my undergraduate degree from a Christian university. I met a lot of bright students and professors there who certainly seemed to think deeply about the "big questions." If asked, I would have described it, like many other … [Read more...]

Horia George Plugaru’s Argument Against the Abundance Theory of Creation

The Internet Infidels just published a new essay by Horia George Plugaru in the Secular Web's Kiosk, "Why the Abundance Theory of Creation Fails." From the opening paragraph:How can God be both a perfect being and the creator of the universe? Doesn't the fact that he created the world imply that he had a need or want? Otherwise, why would he bother creating anything at all? But then, if he had a need that implied the existence of the universe in order to be fulfilled, it seems he is not perfect: … [Read more...]

Tyler Wunder Has Joined The Secular Outpost!

I'm pleased to announce that Dr. Tyler Wunder has joined The Secular Outpost! Here is a short bio he provided to me for this announcement:I received my PhD in Philosophy from Boston University; my dissertation was a critique of Alvin Plantinga’s Warrant trilogy. My publications are: “Anti-Naturalism and Proper Function” [Religious Studies 44(2)], “Critical Study of James K. Beilby’s Epistemology as Theology: An Evaluation of Alvin Plantinga’s Religious Epistemology” [Philo 10(2)], and “Critical S … [Read more...]

Tom Flynn, the Anti-Claus

Should non-believers celebrate a secular version of Christmas as a sort of winter holiday? According to Tom Flynn, the answer is "no." If you haven't heard of Flynn, he is the Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism, editor of Free Inquiry, and the author of The Trouble with Christmas. (As Flynn points out, his book makes an excellent holiday gift!)Flynn was touring the U.S. speaking to atheist groups on the topic, "The Trouble with Christmas." (He calls his tour the … [Read more...]

Links and News — 19-Dec-11

Housekeeping"Secular Outpost Revamped"Ex-Apologist favorably mentions recent changes at The Secular Outpost.[Editor's Note (Lowder): Thanks!]"The Skeptic Awards 2011"The Skeptic Magazine plans to give awards for several types of skeptical activity, including "Best Blog." [Editor's Note (Lowder): Please consider voting for The Secular Outpost!]Miscellaneous"Bellingham Lectures in Philosophy of Religion"These lectures, which will be streamed online, will include talks by Jeffrey Schloss and … [Read more...]

Louise Antony’s NYT Editorial on Good without God

LINK (HT: Ex-Apologist) … [Read more...]

The Definition of Atheism, the Anal-Retentive Defense of Etymological Purism, and Linguistic Relativism

Back when I was the moderator of the USENET newsgroup alt.atheism.moderated, I used to debate the definition of atheism and I used to defend the atheism as the lack of belief position. I'm persuaded, however, by Ted Drange that by default we should define our terms in a way which matches ordinary usage. Ordinary usage of the word "atheism" is that it means the belief that God does not exist. I see no benefit whatsoever to the proposal that nontheists should spend their limited time on trying to … [Read more...]

Recent Discussion of My Old List, “How to be an Atheist Apologist”

I haven't been a regular, active participant on message boards for years, but I recently decided to participate in the thread at Rational Skepticism about my 2006 post, "How to be an Atheist Apologist." The topics we've discussed include:Is the concept of an "atheist apologist" even coherent or is just a contradiction in terms?Where was the sarcasm in my post? Was there any sarcasm in my post?Introduction to basic terminology in Bayesian confirmation theory, e.g., prior probability, explanatory … [Read more...]


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