Theism, Naturalism, and the Total Evidence: Torley’s Reply to Me

About a year ago, I commented on the exchange between John Loftus and Vincent Torley. Torley has just posted his reply at Uncommon Descent. Check it out!LINKI hope to write a reply eventually, but it may be a couple of months before I am able to do so. … [Read more...]

What’s So Great about What’s So Great about Christianity? – Part 2

As we saw in my last post, Dinesh D'Souza's defense of the "moral laws presume a moral lawgiver" argument fails. In this post I want to comment on what D'Souza has to say about atheist "attempt[s] to meet this challenge" (232).1.Like many partisan diatribes, D'Souza's book says nothing about the strongest arguments and objections against his position. Instead, he gives unsuspecting readers the misleading, false impression that the only way an atheist might explain morality is "as a product … [Read more...]

What’s So Great about What’s So Great about Christianity?

A few years ago, Dinesh D'Souza wrote a book titled, What's So Great about Christianity? His book contains numerous arguments for theism and against atheism. Since I mentioned D'Souza's version of a moral argument for theism in my last post, I want to expand on it here.In chapter twenty, "Natural Law and Divine Law: The Objective Foundations of Morality," D'Souza argues for the following thesis: Morality is both natural and universal. It is discoverable without religion, yet its source is u … [Read more...]

How Not to Refute an Argument from Moral Law for God’s Existence

Jerry Coyne just posted an article titled, "Paul Bloom debunks the 'Moral Law argument for God.'" I found myself getting irritated as I read the article because it's obvious Coyne doesn't know what he is talking about. Before we get to Bloom’s findings, what is the “moral law argument”? It’s simply this: human altruism can’t be explained by any kind of evolution. What I mean is pure altruism, whereby an animal helps another animal not only unrelated to it, but not part of its social group, and h … [Read more...]

Playing The Mystery Card (incl. McGrath vs Dawkins) from my book Believing Bullshit

 PLAYING THE MYSTERY CARD   Suppose critics point out that not only do you have little in the way of argument to support your particular belief system, there also seems to be powerful evidence against it. If you want, nevertheless, to convince both yourself and others that your beliefs are not nearly as ridiculous as your critics suggest, what might you do?   Perhaps Play The Mystery Card. As we will see, this sort of strategy is particularly popular when it comes to defending b … [Read more...]

Slicing Up the Metaphysical Pie

16 types of gods

One basic question in metaphysics is this:How many gods exist?Atheism can be defined as the view that there are 0 gods. Monotheism is the view that there is just 1 god. Polytheism is the view that there are 2 or more gods.Thus all of the various answers to the metaphysical question above are included in these three categories.The term polytheism, however, is a very broad category that includes many different and conflicting answers to the question above.Manichaeism - the … [Read more...]

Best of All Possible Persons

Now this supreme wisdom, united to a goodness that is no less infinite, cannot but have chosen the best... If there were not the best among all possible worlds, God would not have produced any. (Gottfried Leibniz, Theodicy, translated by E.M. Huggard, 1951, p.128)According to Anselm, God is the being than which none greater can be conceived. In other words, God is the best of all possible persons. According to Leibniz, the best of all possible persons would have to create the best of all … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 22

I have argued that the agreement that exists between the seven gospel sources concerning the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis, could be explained on the basis of the common cultural idea of a 'Messiah'. I conceded, however, that the crucifixion of the Messiah was not a part of the expectation of first century Palestinian Jews, but pointed out that the crucifixion of Jesus and surrounding events are described only in Mark and the Gospel of Peter, and not in the other gospel sources that Ehrman points us … [Read more...]