God is a Person

INTRODUCTIONJoe Hinman wants to debate the existence of God with me, but before we can have an intelligent debate on this issue, we need to come to some sort of mutual understanding about the meaning of the word "God".In my view God is a person.  In Hinman's view God is NOT a person.  He can, I suppose, stipulate a definition of "God" that asserts or implies that God is NOT a person, but then I might not have any interst in debating the existence of such a being (we will see how that g … [Read more...]

McDowell’s Trilemma – Part 2: An Eternally Omnipotent 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).=================...Jesus definitely claimed to be God (see below and in Chapter 6).  So every person must answer the question: Is His claim to deity true or false?   (NETDV, p.158)=================The first key premise of MTA is this:Jesus claimed to be God.This first premise appears to be false.  Jesus did NOT cla … [Read more...]

A Catholic Blogger Offers a Very Thoughtful Reply to my Question about Prayer and Government

Dr. Gregory Popcak is a fellow Patheos blogger who blogs at "Faith on the Couch" in the Patheos Catholic Channel. He's written a very thoughtful reply to my previous post, "Question for Theists: Why Is It Important to Begin Governmental Meetings with Prayer?” His reply is titled, "Prayer Works: A Psychological Case for Public Prayer and Graceful Governance." What I like about his reply is that (a) he presents a secular case for prayer; and (b) he actually provides evidence for his p … [Read more...]

Evidential Asymmetry, Scientific Confirmation of Prayer, and Horrific Evils

1. The General CaseOne of the most important (and equally most often forgotten) lessons that Bayes's Theorem can teach us about evidence is that the strength of evidence is a ratio. To be precise, let H1 and H2 be rival explanatory hypotheses, B be the relevant background information, and E be the evidence to be explained. Now consider the following ratio: Pr(E | B & H1) ----------------- Pr(E | B & H2) If Pr(E | B & H1) > Pr(E | B & H2), then this ratio is greater … [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...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 2

Here is another argument for God, based on answered prayers:1. If God exists, then it is very likely that prayers to God for healing from injury or disease would usually be immediately followed by instantaneous and complete healing, except when the injury or disease was the result of self-destructive, foolish, or morally wrong actions on the part of the person who is suffering from the injury or disease.2. If it is NOT the case that God exists, then it is very unlikely that prayers to … [Read more...]

Atheist Prayer Experiment

Justin Brierley reviews the results of an experiment in which atheists pray for 40 days for God to reveal himself to them. Go here.Thanks to The Atheist Missionary for drawing attention to this on twitter.This is a win-win experiment to set up for the purposes of evangelizing of course.Reasons why you should perhaps expect some positive reports include:(i) Atheists who agree to sign up to this fairly onerous prayer regime are more likely to think there might be something to religious belief (one … [Read more...]

Flowchart on the Futility of Prayer

  HT: Atheist At Large … [Read more...]