The Slaughter of the Canaanites – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I outlined three main Christian responses to the stories of Jehovah commanding the slaughter of the Canaanites and of the Israelites carrying out this command.  There are significant problems with each of the three Christian responses, but the response with the most obvious and most serious problems is the Conservative one.1. The Conservative Christian response: The story of the slaughter of the Canaanites is FACTUAL, but Jehovah was morally justified in commanding … [Read more...]

God, Last Night’s Republication Debate, and Moral Disagreement

During last night's prime-time Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, Fox News host Megyn Kelly said this: after the break, we’re going to let the candidates make their closing statements, their final thoughts, and God. Stay tuned for that. After the commercial break, Kelly said:“An interesting closing question from Chase Norton on Facebook, who wants to know this of the candidates: ‘I want to know if any of them have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of fir … [Read more...]

Another Christian Apologist Tears Down a Straw Man of Atheist Morality

My friend Wintery Knight (WK) has written another blog post on the topic of morality. Like so many other theists (and a few atheists), he manages to completely botch the topic of atheist morality.Who Speaks for Atheists, Anyway?If you want to determine Christian beliefs about something, you can see what the Bible and various representatives of the (Christian) church hierarchy have to say. So if you're a Christian apologist trying to make sense of atheist morality, it follows that you sh … [Read more...]

What Are Objective Moral Values and Duties, Anyway?

The concept of "objective morality" is notorious for its ambiguity. You might even say that people--or, at least, philosophers--have a moral obligation not to use that expression unless and until they first give a very nuanced definition of what it means! Because the concept is often misunderstood, I'm going to try to offer a "layman's guide to moral objectivity" in this post.Morality and Moral ConceptsLet's start with "morality." The average person who is not a philosopher probably … [Read more...]

Jesus: True Prophet or False Prophet? – Part 1

In his book The Resurrection of God Incarnate, Richard Swinburne argues that the case for the resurrection of Jesus must include three major components:I. General Background Evidence - evidence for and against the existence of God, and evidence about whether and why God would be likely to perform a miracle, especially raising someone from the dead.II. Prior Historical Evidence - evidence for or against claims that Jesus had certain characteristics, characteristics which based on the p … [Read more...]

An Amazing Coincidence about God’s Commands

Isn't it amazing that God's commands as reported by holy books just happen to reflect the views of the culture in which they were written? It's almost as if the authors of those books took their own opinions about morality and said they were God's opinions. … [Read more...]

A Primer in Religion and Morality

My recent interview for the Atheistically Speaking podcast inspired me to compile this quick primer in religion and morality, in order to help clarify the many different concepts at play when we talk about morality with and without God. I consider this a work-in-progress so any constructive criticism would be appreciated.Update (5 May 2015): I have revised and massively expanded the document. I am treating this as version 1.0 of the document and the previous version as a 'beta release' of th … [Read more...]

Not this Again!

John Mark Reynolds, Provost of Houston Baptist University, has posted an essay reasserting the old canard that atheism is the cause of mass murder. Reynolds commits all the usual fallacies of those who make this claim. For instance, though he notes that correlation is not the same thing as cause, here is what he says in his opening paragraph: Atheistic regimes killed millions in the last century. Nobody denies this fact, though some deny atheism had much to do with the murder…Yet there is d … [Read more...]


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