Jesus on Faith – Part 6

Here is the "Doubting Thomas" story from Chapter 20 of the Gospel of John:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, t … [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...]

Paul Copan’s Noseeum Argument Against Ethics Without God

Over the last fifteen or so years, Paul Copan has written a variety of articles, chapters, and books which argue against ethics without God. (To be precise, Copan argues against atheistic or naturalistic metaethics.) As I interpret him, Copan offers several independent arguments against ethics without God. I call one of those arguments "Copan's Noseeum Moral Argument" and that is the argument I want to discuss here.The basic idea of the argument is this. since we see no ontological … [Read more...]

An Incompatible-Properties Argument against Objective Values

In this post I want to sketch an argument against objective values (moral or otherwise).I shall first analyze the noun “value” and then the expression “moral value.” Finally, I will use these definitions to explicitly formulate an argument that objective values, so defined, have logically incompatible properties. In other words, the concept of an "objective value" is self-contradictory in the same way that "a married bachelor" or "a four-sided triangle" is self-contradictory.The Objecti … [Read more...]

Faith and the End of PoR

 John Loftus has advocated the End of Philosophy of Religion as a discipline.  In his post defending this proposal, Loftus repeatedly talks about “faith”. The word “faith” occurs 23 times in the post, and it occurs in 7 out of the 13 paragraphs that constitute the post.  Some paragraphs have multiple references to “faith”: the word "faith" occurs six times in paragraph 4 the word "faith" occurs six times in paragraph 8 the word "faith" occurs four times in paragraph 9 the word … [Read more...]

Next Year

I wanted to retire this year, but that did not work out.   I might be able to retire a year from now, though.There are a number of topics from this year that I plan to carry over into 2015:1. The End of PoR?John Loftus has argued that public colleges and universities should stop offering classes in the Philosophy of Religion.  I disagree.  But I have not yet evaluated his argument for the End of PoR, nor have I made my case in support of PoR.2. Swinburne's case for GodI fi … [Read more...]

Christian Apologist: Theists Care About Science but Naturalists Don’t

Christian apologist Wintery Knight has written an unintentionally funny post against naturalists in which he attempts to turn the tables on those who would use science to argue against religion.Linking to an old article which explains how the planet Jupiter deflects comets and asteroids that might otherwise hit Earth, Wintery Knight argues that this shows our habitat was fine-tuned to be life-permitting. This would make sense if, say, we were talking about a junior deity (call him "Bob") who … [Read more...]

Don’t Criticize What You Can’t Understand

Recently, I found myself defending William Lane Craig's reformed epistemology.   I was defending it NOT because I believe it to be true or correct, but because his views were being presented as 'stupid' and obviously false.  My impression was that those who were making these strong claims did NOT understand Craig's views on epistemology, and therefore were objecting to a Straw Man.  There was little interest in my points about reformed epistemology--apparently philosophy is too boring and co … [Read more...]