Quibbling over Semantics While Missing the Point

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm a linguistic relativist. I don't think words have objective meanings. I think the meaning of words is relative to time and place. So when I encounter someone who is adamant about defining a word in a different way than I do, I just shrug my shoulders. I'm much more interested in the concepts represented by certain labels than the labels themselves.I recently discovered (or re-discovered) an exchange on this site in which a Christian apologist … [Read more...]

The VICTIMs of Christian Apologetics

My latest video, "The VICTIMs of Christian Apologetics: The Things Apologists Falsely Say Depend on God, But, if God Exists, God Depends on Them," is now available on YouTube. It is a narration of some of the many hundreds of PowerPoint slides I created in preparation for my recent debate with Frank Turek on naturalism vs. theism.This video presentation is a (roughly) 2 hour 30 minute critique of Frank Turek's latest book, Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case. T … [Read more...]

Ethical Subjectivism and the Argument from Outrage

In arguing for the superiority of theistic ethics over secular ethics, apologists sometimes present some version of an argument like this:1. If theism is not true, then ethics is subjective. 2. Ethics is not subjective. 3. Therefore, theism is true.I think this is a bad argument because I think premise 1 is false. But I will not be arguing that point here. Instead, I want to point out what I think is a massive irony in the way premise 2 is usually defended. I call the  argumentative … [Read more...]

Omnipotence and the Actual Infinite

According to William Craig’s defense of the kalam cosmological argument, an actual infinite cannot exist. This claim is important not only for Craig’s main claim that the universe had a beginning, but also for a followup response to the suggestion that the universe cannot be part of a wider, infinitely regressive history wherein our universe is only one of infinitely many that have existed. Instead of actual infinites, Craig proposes that only potential infinites can exist. A potential infinite i … [Read more...]

How Theists Can Avoid God-of-the-Gaps Arguments and Still Argue for God

Background: In the context of a review of Dan Barker's book, Godless, Randal Rauser had a very brief, even cryptic, exchange in the combox for his about God-of-the-Gaps (GOTG) arguments. (See here and here.) That exchange led to his latest post, which you can read for yourself here. I've decided to post my response on my own blog here, with some edits for further clarification.I haven't read Barker's book, so I can only comment on what you have quoted: “Many of these [theistic] argum … [Read more...]

Correction to “Are Atheism and Moral Realism Logically Incompatible?”

The introduction to my post, "Are Atheism and Moral Realism Logically Incompatible?", probably gave readers an impression I did not intend, namely, that, in my exchange at Victor Reppert's Dangerous Idea blog, Steve linked arguments from moral ontology (for theism) and arguments from evil (from atheism).  Steve didn't do that there and I'm sorry if I created that impression. My introduction was aimed at other theists, not necessarily Steve, who I think employ a double standard when refuting so- … [Read more...]

Jerry Coyne Criticizes A.C. Grayling’s Handling of God Arguments, But Coyne Gets It Wrong Himself

Jerry Coyne is a Harvard-educated, brilliant professor of biology who is an expert on biological evolution. His book, Why Evolution Is True, is a "must-read" for anyone interested in, well, why evolution is true.He also likes to write about topics outside of his area of expertise, including the philosophy of religion. As I've explained before, non-experts have the right to write about topics outside their area of expertise, but they owe it to themselves and their readers to make sure they k … [Read more...]

Does God Exist? Part 3

I'm still working on development of an analysis of the question "Does God exist?" that would help to organize systematic investigations of the question.In the Part 1 post in this series I suggested an analysis in terms of logical possibility, logical necessity, certainty, and probability (click on image below for a clearer view of the diagram):        In that same post I suggested another possible way to analyze … [Read more...]