Richard Carrier Responds to Uncommon Descent on Atheism and Suicide

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John Shook Enters the Fray on Defining “Atheism”

As I read him, John Shook's approach can be summed up in three, related propositions.1. One can be an atheist without believing that atheism is true.2. Following the OED, an atheist is "One who denies or disbelieves the existence of a god.”3. Atheism is the belief that "Believing that no god exists is reasonable, for any person.” Or, put negatively, “No one is reasonable for thinking that a god exists.”I, for one, have lost interest in debating the semantics of "atheism" and "athe … [Read more...]

Can the Arguments of the “New Atheists” be made Stronger?

Jeff Lowder notes Ed Feser’s critique of the “New Atheists” and indicates that his criticisms are cogent, perhaps fatal. Now, I do not read much of Ed Feser’s stuff, not even all of the two tirades he wrote about me—which outbursts made my day both times. However, I have read Alistair McGrath’s critiques of Dawkins and my assessment of his critique is below. This is from my Essay “Atheism: Twilight or Dawn” published in the book The Future of Atheism, Robert B. Stewart, editor Fortress Press, Min … [Read more...]

Do Christian Apologists Spend Too Much Time Focusing on their Weaker Opponents?

Refuting the "New Atheists" is all the rage among Christian apologists these days. Among professional philosophers of religion, however, it's well-known that the new atheists are not the best representatives for atheism. So why do Christian apologists continue to harp on the new atheists and ignore what atheist professional philosophers of religion have to say? For example, you'd think, after the 1,000th refutation of Richard Dawkins, that they would move onto something else.  You'd be wrong. … [Read more...]

Playing The Mystery Card (incl. McGrath vs Dawkins) from my book Believing Bullshit

 PLAYING THE MYSTERY CARD   Suppose critics point out that not only do you have little in the way of argument to support your particular belief system, there also seems to be powerful evidence against it. If you want, nevertheless, to convince both yourself and others that your beliefs are not nearly as ridiculous as your critics suggest, what might you do?   Perhaps Play The Mystery Card. As we will see, this sort of strategy is particularly popular when it comes to defending b … [Read more...]

Best of All Possible Persons – Part 2

What do you get if you cross 'the best of all possible worlds' (from Leibniz) with 'the being than which none greater can be conceived' (from Anselm)? You get: the best of all possible persons, which is another way to conceive of God.Here are two proofs of the non-existence of God, based on this way of understanding the concpet of God:DISPROOF OF GOD #11. Person P is the best of all possible persons only if P creates the best of all possible worlds.2. No person ever has or ever … [Read more...]

Slicing Up the Metaphysical Pie

16 types of gods

One basic question in metaphysics is this:How many gods exist?Atheism can be defined as the view that there are 0 gods. Monotheism is the view that there is just 1 god. Polytheism is the view that there are 2 or more gods.Thus all of the various answers to the metaphysical question above are included in these three categories.The term polytheism, however, is a very broad category that includes many different and conflicting answers to the question above.Manichaeism - the … [Read more...]

Best of All Possible Persons

Now this supreme wisdom, united to a goodness that is no less infinite, cannot but have chosen the best... If there were not the best among all possible worlds, God would not have produced any. (Gottfried Leibniz, Theodicy, translated by E.M. Huggard, 1951, p.128)According to Anselm, God is the being than which none greater can be conceived. In other words, God is the best of all possible persons. According to Leibniz, the best of all possible persons would have to create the best of all … [Read more...]


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