When is a Debate “Win” Significant?

A reader asked me if I had watched the debate between William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg. Here is my reply. No, I haven't seen it. I've read some of Rosenberg's book, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, however.  My prediction is that WLC not only “won” the debate, but that Rosenberg did awful. Why would I make such a prediction? Three reasons. First, Rosenberg is not a specialist in the philosophy of religion. Here is how he summarizes his areas of focus: My interests focus on probl … [Read more...]

More on Bad Reasons to Reject the Christian Faith

John Loftus has written a reply to my last post. As we’ve seen recently, John seems determined to make a genuine philosophical disagreement into some sort of personal attack, which, of course, it isn’t. In spite of himself, he actually comes close to getting my motivation right. Because John is a prominent critic of Christianity, if I see him using an argument I think is weak, I think it’s valuable to point that out, for two reasons. First, it will help other critics of Christianity avoid embar … [Read more...]

Can There Be Bad Reasons to Reject a False Belief? A Reply to John Loftus

According to John  Loftus, “There isn’t a bad reason to reject the Christian faith.” Now such a claim seems to me not only false, but obviously false. Anyone who has taken an introductory course in logic knows that you can have invalid deductive arguments and logically incorrect (or weak) inductive arguments for a true conclusion. So why does Loftus claim that there isn’t a bad reason to reject the Christian faith? I want to quote Loftus at length. Keep in mind I’m also speaking of the r … [Read more...]

Jeff Lowder Speaking in London

I will be speaking to the Central London Humanist Group. Here are the details: Topic: Evidence about God: What Apologists Don’t Want You to Know When: Thursday, 28 March at 7pm Where: Conway Hall in central London LINK … [Read more...]

Hostility of the Universe to Life: Understated Evidence about Cosmic Fine-Tuning?

I've blogged before about the fallacy of understated evidence. Here I want to explore further how it applies to fine-tuning arguments.Let us define the "general fact of cosmic 'fine-tuning'" as follows.FT: some universe or other has the initial conditions, laws, and constants which make the existence of complex intelligent life of some sort possible. Even if we assume that so-called cosmic "fine-tuning" is evidence favoring theism over naturalism, that argument commits the fallacy of … [Read more...]

An Argument from Scale — Poster Style

HT: Adam TaylorAs a nitpick, theism by itself does not say anything about God having a personal relationship with anyone. Only sectarian versions of theism, such as Christian theism, make such claims.Putting that aside, another worry I have about this graphic is that it seems to attack a caricature of what theists believe. God could have multiple purposes for creating the universe; I don't see any reason to think that even Christian theism says that the sole reason for the universe's … [Read more...]

Scalar Connection to Meaning of Life?

Because I've written so much about arguments from scale lately, the following statement in Dennis Prager's op-ed on atheism and consolation caught my eye."'And we promise to work for more gun control. But the truth is we don’t have a single consoling thing to say to you because we atheists recognize that the human being is nothing more than matter, no different from all other matter in the universe except for having self-consciousness. Therefore, when we die, that’s it. Moreover, wit … [Read more...]

Atheistic Criticism of Atheistic Scholarship

Here are several examples of criticism of atheistic scholarship, by fellow atheists. Keith Augustine: “Moral Subjectivism Revisited” (1998): A rebuttal to Theodore Schick, Jr.'s "Is Morality a Matter of Taste?" Julian Baggini: “Review of Michael Martin and Ricci Monier, eds., The Impossibility of God” (2005) Richard Carrier: “Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity” (2002): This is a critical review of "The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Ch … [Read more...]