Response to William Lane Craig – Part 3

I have criticized William Craig's case for the resurrection on the grounds that he fails to show that Jesus died on the cross, and that apart from proving this to be a fact, his case for the resurrection of Jesus is a complete failure.Craig's primary response to this criticism is that the death of Jesus on the cross is uncontroversial among biblical scholars:The reason that I personally have not devoted any space to a discussion of the death of Jesus by crucifixion is that this fact is … [Read more...]

Response to Dr. William Lane Craig – Part 2

In my previous post on this topic, I argued that although I do not consider myself to be a scholar, I do have an extensive background in philosophy that qualifies me as being a well-informed intellectual (BA in philosophy from Sonoma State University, MA in philosophy from the University of Windsor, and completion of all requirements for a PhD in philosophy, except for the dissertation, at UC Santa Barbara).William Craig's Main PointI'm now going to respond to the main point made by … [Read more...]

Response to Dr. William Lane Craig – Part 1

Dr. William Craig –Thank you for reading some of my blog posts criticizing your case for the resurrection of Jesus.  Although you object to the tone of the blog posts as using “vitriolic language”, you nevertheless took the time not only to read what I had to say, but also to respond to some of my points: doing so, you demonstrate the virtue of scholarship and are following in the footsteps of Thomas Aquinas, who al … [Read more...]

What is Atheism? – Part 2

Levels of Analysis I'm going to make a second attempt to clarify and define the word "atheism".  This time, I will emphasize that the analysis and definitions exist at different levels.  Swinburne's clarification and analysis of "God exists" makes use of different levels of definition or analysis:Level 0:  "God exists."Level 1:  God exists IF AND ONLY IF exactly one divine person exists.Level 2:  X is a divine person IF AND ONLY IF X is a spirit who is eternally omnipotent, etern … [Read more...]

Happy Easter Dr. Craig

Last year I wrote several posts criticizing William Lane Craig's case for the resurrection.  Here are several excerpts from those posts (plus links, in case you want to read the full post from which an excerpt was taken):===========Some Skeptical Thoughts on the Resurrection[excerpt:]1. Geisler vs. CraigNorman Geisler makes an excellent point in his book When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences (co-authored with Ron Brooks):Before that we can show that Jesus ro … [Read more...]

Lessing’s Broad Ditch and Brad’s Lesser Ditch

LESSING'S BROAD DITCHQuotations are from Lessing's essay "On the Proof of the Spirit and of Power" from Lessing's Theological Writings (hereafter: LTW), edited by Henry Chadwick.Reports of Miracles are not the same as Direct Observation of Miracles"The problem is that reports of fulfilled prophecies are not fulfilled prophecies; that reports of miracles are not miracles." (LTW,p.52)"What is asserted is only that the reports which we have of these prophecies and miracles are as r … [Read more...]

“A Leap of Faith”

In a comment on my most recent post about Jesus' use of the word "faith", Stig Martinsen points to the phrase "a leap of faith" as evidence that Christians sometimes speak of "faith" in a way that implies belief that goes beyond reason or evidence.  I don't plan to reply to his point here, but I think this phrase has an interesting history that is worth reading and thinking about.According to the Wikipedia article on "Leap of Faith", this phrase is generally associated with the philosopher … [Read more...]

Critical Thinking and Skepticism

In a recent post advocating the end of Philosophy of Religion, John Loftus commented that PoR classes are often taught with the primary goal of teaching students to think critically,  and he objected that "Teaching students to be critical thinkers is very important but teaching them to have a skeptical disposition is more important."I would argue, however, that (a) skepticism is good and rational only to the extent that it arises out of critical thinking and conforms to the principles and sta … [Read more...]