What is humanism?

  What is Humanism?   “Humanism” is a word that has had and continues to have a number of meanings. The focus here is on kind of atheistic world-view espoused by those who organize and campaign under that banner in the UK and abroad.   We should acknowledge that there remain other uses of term. In one of the loosest senses of the expression, a “Humanist” is someone whose world-view gives special importance to human concerns, values and dignity. If that is what a Humanist is, then of co … [Read more...]

I Seem to be Thinking about Alex Rosenberg

Here are some preliminary thoughts about Alex Rosenberg's Atheist's Guide to Reality, particularly his claim that we do not think about things (hence the snarky title to this post). Sorry for the inordinate length. Once again, the writing is meant for the general, educated reader rather than the professional philosopher, though, naturally, I want to make sure that it is philosophically sound.Rosenberg freely embraces the label “scientism," generally regarded as a pejorative term. His tone is … [Read more...]

Wielenberg’s Divine Lies, and McBrayer and Swenson’s response – my comments for feedback

  Skeptical Theism and Divine Deception: The McBrayer/Swenson response to Wielenberg   1. Skeptical Theism   Evidential arguments from evil often[i] take something like the following form:   If God exists, gratuitous evil does not exist. Gratuitous evil exists. Therefore, God does not exist   Gratuitous evil is evil for which there is no God-justifying reason. Why suppose gratuitous evil exists? Well, we observe great evils for which we can identify no God-justifying reason. Thu … [Read more...]

Darwin Proofing

Students say the darndest things. In their exams, no less. In one of my classes students were required to read selections from Darwin's Origin and Descent of Man. Here are some comments from one exam: "I found Darwin's The Descent of Man hard to read and hard to understand. As a Christian I have always been taught to just ignore Darwin's work and I believe that played a large part in why I had trouble understanding what I was reading."Wow. I think it was H.L. Mencken who said … [Read more...]

Pressing Your Buttons (from my book Believing Bullshit)

  PRESSING YOUR BUTTONSOne way in which we can shape the beliefs of others is by rational persuasion. Suppose, for example, that I want someone to believe that Buckingham Palace is in London (which it is). I could provide them with a great deal of evidence to support that belief. I could also just take them to London so they can see with their own eyes that that’s where Buckingham Palace is located.But what if these kinds of method aren’t available? Suppose I have little or no evi … [Read more...]

Response to Randal Rauser’s response to my response to his shoddy review…

Randal Rauser has responded to my suggestion that his review of my book Believing Bullshit was pretty shoddy (though not as shoddy as Martin Cohen’s in the THES). Go here. Understandable, I suppose. By combining selective quotation, misdirection and quite a lot of bluster, Rauser is quite successful at generating the impression I have been unfair to him. A preliminary point re not responding to Rauser’s entire review. After disclaimers about what follows being nothing pe … [Read more...]

Traditional Marriage and the Bible (REALLY!)

Note to readers: Last week, I posted the link below on marriage in the Bible, but in my own remarks I passed on to other topics. I naively thought that if readers were not interested, they would just stop reading. No big deal. However, some readers reacted with furious indignation, protesting that they had been trapped with a bait-and-switch and forced to read something they did not like. So, to make amends, I promise in future posts strictly to adhere to the topic of the title. Also, I am … [Read more...]

Traditional Marriage According to the Bible

In a comment a couple of weeks ago I wondered aloud what "traditional marriage" actually was according to the Bible. This clears things up. Be sure to turn on your pop-up blocker before going to this site.http://www.upworthy.com/the-top-8-ways-to-be-traditionally-married-according-to-the-bible?g=2&c=la2I once heard that an atheist speaker was asked what readings he would recommend that would support atheism. He recommended the Bible. The Bible, honestly read, really is the best … [Read more...]