Party Before Country? Which Republican Senators Still Support Trump

In a normal election, you'd think that a video of a Presidential candidate talking about sexual assault would fatal for the candidate's campaign. But this election cycle has been anything but normal. So, with Trump's campaign in crisis, I thought it would be interesting to maintain a roll call of which Republican Senators have said enough is enough and will no longer support Trump. I intend to update this table as new information becomes available.Most of the information in the initial … [Read more...]

Priests and Celibacy

Here is an interesting article sent to me by a former student. It is written by a psychologist who had a 30-year career counseling priests who had lapsed from their celibacy vows:http://www.vox.com/2016/4/7/11325336/priests-love-therapyI have never understood the celibacy requirement. Was Jesus celibate? We have zero evidence one way or another. It would seem highly unusual for a 30-year old man never to have had sexual relations. Who knows? Paul said, (I Corinthians 7:1) "It is good for … [Read more...]

The Damnable Thing about Damnation

Do you ever read the reviews on Amazon Books? Many are a waste of time, but some are interesting. I noticed one that reviewed The End of Christianity, Prometheus Books, 2011, ed. John Loftus. The review was written by one “Alex C.” I assume that this is not Alex Comfort, author of The Joy of Sex. Maybe he is a relative of Ray Comfort, the Christian apologist. At any rate, I was interested to see that he had some comments on my essay in that volume, “Hell: Christianity’s most Damnable Doctrine (pp … [Read more...]

Was The Buddha Enlightened? (Part 1)

Asking whether the Buddha was enlightened may seem like asking whether the Pope is Catholic. The answer would seem to be an obvious “yes.” At the core of Buddhism is the figure of the Buddha. The word “buddha” means “one who is awake” or “enlightened.” If the Buddha had not been enlightened, he wouldn’t have been the Buddha, would he? But things are not so simple. The concept of enlightenment in Buddhism is complex. If Buddhist enlightenment should turn out to be something that is implausible to … [Read more...]

Ethical Subjectivism and the Argument from Outrage

In arguing for the superiority of theistic ethics over secular ethics, apologists sometimes present some version of an argument like this:1. If theism is not true, then ethics is subjective. 2. Ethics is not subjective. 3. Therefore, theism is true.I think this is a bad argument because I think premise 1 is false. But I will not be arguing that point here. Instead, I want to point out what I think is a massive irony in the way premise 2 is usually defended. I call the  argumentative … [Read more...]

What Does Philosophy of Religion have to Offer Today?

PhilosophyOfReligion.org has posted a series of short essays on the question of what the philosophy of religion have to offer for today's university. My response has recently been posted:http://philosophyofreligion.org/ … [Read more...]

Gratuitous Evils: What are the Chances?

Gratuitous evil is evil that God would not permit. In Alvin Plantinga’s terms, God would not actualize such evils either strongly (i.e. by directly creating them) or weakly (i.e. by allowing free creatures to commit them). A gratuitous evil is one that God would have no morally sufficient reason for actualizing (strongly or weakly). God has a morally sufficient reason for actualizing an evil e in a world W if and only if e is necessary in W for some good g, and W, containing both e and g, is b … [Read more...]

OK, so That’s What he Really Means

The following are recent statements by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and the explanations of those statements by his staff.[Note: Yes, this is satire. I am explicitly noting this since the Trump candidacy is proving Poe’s law that reality can become so bizarre that it is indistinguishable from satire.] Trump: Yeah, shoot crooked Hillary. Shoot her now.Staff: He meant that photographers should make an effort to shoot candidate Clinton in a more complimentary way, si … [Read more...]