Perceptronium and Consciousness as a State of Matter

LINK … [Read more...]

Evidential Asymmetry, Scientific Confirmation of Prayer, and Horrific Evils

1. The General CaseOne of the most important (and equally most often forgotten) lessons that Bayes's Theorem can teach us about evidence is that the strength of evidence is a ratio. To be precise, let H1 and H2 be rival explanatory hypotheses, B be the relevant background information, and E be the evidence to be explained. Now consider the following ratio: Pr(E | B & H1) ----------------- Pr(E | B & H2) If Pr(E | B & H1) > Pr(E | B & H2), then this ratio is greater … [Read more...]

Two Thumbs Up for John Loftus’s Book, Why I Became an Atheist

I just read John Loftus's book, Why I Became an Atheist. I hope to write something a bit more substantial later on, but for now wanted to mention my initial thoughts.I give this book two thumbs way up. In addition to courageously sharing his personal story, Loftus applies his considerable training and expertise into developing a cumulative case against Christianity and for atheism. I cannot think of another book like it on the market. Loftus is clearly familiar with the work of evangelical … [Read more...]

Stan Stephens’s Categorical Misunderstandings of Atheism, Part 3

I'm now going to comment on Stan's post, "What I Learned at Patheos." Stan's Integrity-Challenged Description of His Interactions at the Secular Outpost My foray into patheos–land is over. I don’t usually venture into other blogs because they are commonly infested with nasty hangers-on (PZ anyone?), but this one seemed different… at first. And it is different, but really only in the politeness of their same old refusal to actually engage in any analysis of atheism. After I posted a number of co … [Read more...]

Stan Stephens’s Categorical Misunderstandings of Atheism, Part 2

In my last post about Stan Stephens, I documented how he fundamentally misrepresents the purpose and nature of my evidential case for naturalism, in turn because he seems to fundamentally misunderstand inductive arguments.Let's continue reviewing Stan's post on empirical evidence. Now we can more readily see that not a single line item is a defeater for the question being asked, which again is this: “where is the material, empirical, falsifiable but not falsified, replicable and r … [Read more...]

Stan Stephens’s Categorical Misunderstandings of Atheism

Stan Stephens has finally decided to respond to my list of sixteen (16) lines of empirical evidence which favor naturalism over theism. Here is the first sentence of his reply. Jeffery Jay Lowder provided a list of empirical proofs. (emphasis added) I've emphasized Stan's use of the word "proofs" because it exposes a fundamental misunderstanding of the arguments. The word "proof" has the connotation of certainty. But I've never claimed that my list of arguments are "proofs." Rather, my list of … [Read more...]

Input Requested: Facts about Mental Properties Which Might be Relevant to Theism and Naturalism

I'm interested in collecting a list of mental properties which might be relevant to theism and naturalism. Examples:Consciousness Intentionality Reliability of Cognitive Mechanisms Mind-brain dependenceWhat else have I missed? … [Read more...]

Must Atheists Have Deductive Proofs for God’s Nonexistence to Justify Atheism?

Yet another objection to the possibility of a sound argument for the nonexistence of a god can be found in the writings of Bertrand Russell. In order to understand the basis for Russell's objection, we must first understand how Russell defined the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic': An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying … [Read more...]