Unapologetic Review – Part 7: Two Definitions of “Faith”

The Two Main Definitions of "Faith" in UnapologeticThere are seven short statements in Unapologetic that appear to be definitions of the word "faith".  The definition given in Chapter 1 (p.37) is an incomplete version of the definition given in Chapter 2.  The definition given in Chapter 2 is clear and worthy of serious consideration:Faith is a cognitive bias that causes believers to overestimate any confirming evidence and underestimate any disconfirming evidence.  (Unapologetic, Ch … [Read more...]

Unapologetic Review – Part 4: More Effort Required

"Communication is Hard"My wife is a very intelligent woman.  I enjoy discussing religion, politics, and philosophy with her.  When I lay out an argument, either for my own viewpoint or (as the devil's advocate) for some alternative viewpoint, she almost always raises one or two sharp objections to the argument.  She is also a person of good common sense and practical wisdom.   One of her bits of wisdom that comes up often is this:"Communication is hard." This little mantra has a coup … [Read more...]

Unapologetic Review – Part 3: The Main Argument

I cannot recommend the book Unapologetic by John Loftus, because I have not carefully read the whole book yet.  But I have read Chapter 5, which I take to be the heart of the book, and I can recommend reading Chapter 5 of Unapologetic.  It is an interesting, informative, and thought-provoking chapter about the philosophy of religion.  I disagree with the main conclusion for which Loftus argues, but there are plenty of interesting ideas to ponder in Chapter 5, including the summary of ten reasons … [Read more...]

Unapologetic Review – Part 2: The Heart of the Book

A couple of the comments on my previous post (see Unapologetic Review - Part 1) were critical about my provision of details about the general physical characteristics of John Loftus' new book Unapologetic.  The commenters did not explain WHY this was objectionable, but I suspect it is a matter of childish impatience on the part of the commenters.  I think if they had been more honest and straightforward their objections would have gone something like this: What about the key ideas and the ma … [Read more...]

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Barry Leventhal thinks that Jesus appears to people in dreams. (http://www.christianpost.com/news/jesus-still-appears-to-people-in-dreams-even-god-haters-christian-apologist-says-170855/) His claim isn’t that people have dreams in which Jesus figures as part of the dream, but rather that Jesus, himself, appears in the dream. I suspect that Leventhal does not think that every dream involving Jesus counts as an appearance of him, though. If I were to dream that Jesus and Sherlock H … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 17: Worldviews as “Master Stories”?

James Sire comes from an Evangelical Christian point of view, so for him the miracle stories in the Gospels are crucial to the Christian worldview, especially the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Jesus.  Belief in such miracles are indeed part of ancient Christian Creeds that are still used in most Protestant and Catholic worship services and are part of many catechisms, both Protestant and Catholic.In Chapter 5 of Naming the Elephant (hereafter: NTE), Sire points to the Apostles' Creed … [Read more...]

Is Christianity True?

As indicated in a previous post,  for the next four or five years I plan to focus on the question:Is Christianity true?I plan to do most of my Christianity-centered posts on my old Cross Examination blog site, where I have set up the initial logical structure of interconnected blog posts (including a number that only have titles and no content):https://crossexamination.blogspot.com/For the question "Does God exist?"  I will do most of the posts here at The Secular Outpost and wi … [Read more...]

McDowell’s Trilemma – Part 3: An Eternally Omniscient Person

McDowell's Trilemma Argument (hereafter: MTA), can be found in The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (hereafter: NETDV) by Josh McDowell (see pages 158-163).  The first key premise of MTA is this:Jesus claimed to be God.There is no good reason to believe that Jesus claimed to be God.  None of the canonical Gospels report Jesus as having asserted the claim "I am God" nor the claim "Jesus of Nazareth is God" nor the claim "The Messiah is God, and I am the Messiah".  However, it is possib … [Read more...]