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...]

LINK: Richard Gale’s Atheological Arguments

This looks like a nice one-page summary of the logical form of the various atheological arguments in his book, On the Nature and Existence of God.LINK … [Read more...]

Don McIntosh’s Reply to Keith Parsons on Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Internet Infidels just published the following on The Secular Web: "The Presumption of Naturalism and the Probability of Miracles: A Reply to Keith Parsons" by Don McIntosh.Abstract:In Chapter Four of Science, Confirmation, and the Theistic Hypothesis, Keith Parsons defends the dictum that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence as part of a general critique of miracle claims which aims to defend naturalism as a rational operating philosophy against potential defeaters. In this … [Read more...]

Please Support the Internet Infidels and the Secular Web

As the end-of-the-year approaches, now is a great time to consider making a charitable donation to support the Internet Infidels and The Secular Web.Hundreds of scholarly authors and other writers have donated time and effort to make their insights freely available and easily accessible to all by publishing on the Secular Web. Behind the scenes, others have donated substantial amounts of time and effort peer reviewing article submissions to ensure that they represent the best scholarship … [Read more...]

Atheistic Teleological Arguments, Part 6: Richard Dawkins’s Chapter Summarized

In chapter 4 of his book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins advances an argument for atheism he calls the "Ultimate Boeing 747 Gambit," in reference to Fred Hoyle's famous comment about a Boeing 747 arising by chance in a junkyard.[26] Just as Hoyle's argument appeals to the (alleged) improbability of evolution, Dawkins's argument appeals to the (alleged) extreme improbability of God. Indeed, the title of chapter 4 is, "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God."Dawkins is not a philosopher writing … [Read more...]

How to Be an Atheist Apologist, Part 2

Five years ago I wrote two satirical pieces: "How to Be a Christian Apologist" and "How to Be an Atheist Apologist." I'm now inspired to write part 2.11. Corollary to #2: Assume that all atheist biblical scholars are credible because they have no agenda, but zero Christian biblical scholars are credible because they do have an agenda.12. Corollary to #4: Loudly proclaim that all moral arguments for God's existence can be refuted by the Euthryphro dilemma, along with an appeal to Biblical … [Read more...]