Atheism and the difference between consistency and entailment

(redated post originally published here on 20 November 2011)At Jeff Lowder's suggestion, I'm re-posting this 2008 post from my own blog here.  Although the referenced blog, The Country Shrink, no longer exists, I have replaced the links to refer to copies of the posts at the Internet Archive.---A Christian rural psychologist has posted on his blog about "some psychological aspects of atheism," where he claims that: [Atheists] tend to not be able to understand that their position … [Read more...]

Open Combox for Debating Objective Morality

Feel free to debate in the combox as your heart desires. I have just one suggestion: make sure you clearly define your terms. Notoriously polysemous words to define include"objective" "morality" "values" "obligations" "atheism" "naturalism"  … [Read more...]

Is There a Problem of Evil for Atheism?

In response to various arguments from evil for atheism, some theists attempt to turn the tables on atheists and argue that evil is at least as much of a problem for atheism as it is for theism. I've argued repeatedly that this response completely misses the point that the problem of evil can be understood as a reductio against theism (see, for example, here). And what has the response of those theists been? Silence. Or, at the very least, if they have responded, I'm unaware of it. (Please feel … [Read more...]

“Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe” by Erik J. Wielenberg

(redating post originally published on 18 March 2006)This is the tile of a new book published by Cambridge University Press: is the book description: Suppose there is no God. This might imply that human life is meaningless, that there are no moral obligations and hence people cando whatever they want, and that the notions of virtue and vice and good and evil have no place. Erik J. Wielenberg believes this … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? – Part 1

Since I am planning to invest the next ten years (or more) of my life in an effort to investigate and answer the question "Is Christianity true or false?",  I need to start out by clarifying and defining the word "Christianity".There are those who would argue that Christianity is not the sort of thing that could be true, and is not the sort of thing that could be false.  If Christianity is not the sort of thing that could be true, and is not the sort of thing that could be false, then I wo … [Read more...]

“Atheism” According to Matt Slick

Somehow I wound up on the website of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM). Since the website has a section on atheism, I decided to take a look. I found problems in the very first article I read, "What Is Atheism?"The Definition of AtheismI'll begin with something positive. Unlike virtually every other Christian apologist I have read, Slick seems to be willing to engage his opponents on their own terms. He accepts the idea that there are both strong and weak varieties … [Read more...]

What is the Connection between Moral Values and Moral Duties?

I found this in my notes. I'm sure the idea isn't mine, but my notes don't indicate where I got the idea from or if this a quotation or merely a paraphrase. If an act A is forbidden, then doing A is bad and not doing A is good.If an act A is obligatory, then doing A is good and not doing A is bad. This seems right to me. Notice, however, that doing an act can be good but not obligatory. In such a case, we would call the act supererogatory. So A's goodness is a necessary but not a … [Read more...]

The Irrelevance of Naturalistic Metaethics to Arguments from Evil Against God’s Existence

Consider the following exchange between Christi, a Christian, and Natty, a naturalist, on the problem of evil. Natty: If God exists, then why is there so much evil and suffering in the world?Christi: Well, if God exists, it's logically possible that so much of the evil and suffering in the world is due to the free choices made by humans exercising their free will. At this point, astute readers will notice that Christi has just invoked the Free Will Defense (FWD). Let's continue: Natty: … [Read more...]