Did Jesus Exit? – Part 15

Part of MJH (the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis) is that Jesus was a Jewish male. Jesus was "Jewish" in both senses of the word: he was an adherent of the religion of Judaism, and a male descendant of the Hebrew people, according to MJH.We saw in Part 14 that Mark represents Jesus as both a follower of Judaism and as a male descendant of the Hebrew people. What aboout Q? Does Q also represent Jesus as a follower of Judaism and as a Hebrew man?I will use the International Q Project … [Read more...]

Reppert on Theistic Explanation

Victor Reppert has chimed in on my reply to Wintery Knight.This is always an interesting issue. But does it really make sense to ask of an omnipotent being how they did something. For example, I once beat a Grandmaster in a chess tournament. Now, you might ask how I did that, since as someone whose rating has never gone above expert, you might wonder how I did that. (And the answer isn't all the flattering, was able to win because my opponent had had entirely too much to drink.) But if I … [Read more...]

Intelligent Design Arguments and Cumulative Cases

As we saw in my reply to Wintery Knight, he (like many other proponents of intelligent design or ID) propose that there are multiple, independent lines of evidence which favor intelligent design over its alternatives. Here is a partial summary of the evidence ID proponents offer."Cosmic Fine-Tuning," i.e., the initial conditions of the universe and the values of the constants of the fundamental laws "Biological Fine-Tuning," i.e., the biological information in the first replicator (origin … [Read more...]

The Blue Folders Story: How Not to Defend Objective Moral Values

I think I first heard this story while listening to a debate between Michael Horner and Henry Morgentaler, but since then I've seen it or heard it repeated many other times. The story is supposed to illustrate that even people who claim to be moral relativists really do believe that objective moral values exist. Here is how Victor Reppert puts it. Lewis's first argument is the argument from implied practice. People are, at best, inconsistent moral subjectivists. He writes:[quotation of C.S. … [Read more...]

Scientific Discoveries, Theism, and Atheism: Reply to Wintery Knight

I'm going to offer some comments on a recent post by Wintery Knight. He writes: When people ask me whether the progress of science is more compatible with theism or atheism, I offer the follow four basic pieces of scientific evidence that are more compatible with theism than atheism. [italics are mine] The following point is nitpicky, but it's worth mentioning just because so many non-philosophers, including both theists and nontheists, misuse words like "compatible" and "consistent." … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 14

Fake and Real Jesus

Mitt Romney is a lying sack of human excrement. Which is one of the reasons why he lost the election.Among MR's many moral failings was his promotion of a racist religious tradition: Mormonism. MR grew up in a publically and openly racist Mormon church. As a young man he went to France to encourage French citizens to join his then openly and publically racist Mormon church.But MR is not the only believer in the USA who comes from a racist church background. The largest Protestant … [Read more...]

Initial Impressions on the Andrews-Schieber Debate: Part 4

In this post, I'm going to comment on Schieber's' first rebuttal.Schieber's First RebuttalIn defense of his argument from divine lies, Schieber writes: As to my argument against Christian knowledge, Mr. Andrews replies that he knows God is essentially truthful – that it is impossible for God to lie because it logically contradicts his moral perfection. The problem here is that nothing about moral perfection logically entails always telling the truth. While lying is usually seen as a m … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 13

I have taken a quick look at the L-source passages in Luke, and my conclusion is that the L source does represent Jesus as a flesh-and-blood person. So, Bart Ehrman is clearly the winner of the first round. But there are several more rounds to go before I will have enough facts and data to make a reasonable general conclusion about whether and to what extent the sources of the canonical gospels support the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH), and then after that we need to look at the non-canonical … [Read more...]