Natural Selection in Action?

So that I'm not accused of attacking a strawman, let me say at the outset that I know this guy isn't representative of most theists. With that said, it continues to amaze me whenever people are this stupid: for some jaw-dropping video on this church, check this out: another one:What a … [Read more...]

Stirring the Pot

It has been quiet here at SO lately. A little TOO quiet—as they used to say in the old Western movies. Maybe we are not saying anything very controversial. Or maybe people are just too busy with real work to do. Anyway, I thought I would stir the pot with some claims that I would like to see debated. I do not necessarily endorse either of these claims, but I would like to see them argued out. Luther had 95 theses. I will make do with two:1) Further argument on theism vs. atheism issues i … [Read more...]

The Afterlife Broadcasting Company Presents

This is a portion of a dialogue I wrote for the benefit of students in my introductory ethics class. Since we have had some lively debates about ethical matters here at SO, I thought some readers might be interested. I imagined a discussion (in some sort of afterlife) between Aristotle, Locke, Mill, and Kant. Each of the characters in the dialogue are my inventions, based on my readings of the originals.They have all been updated and so, of course, much of what they have to say is completely … [Read more...]

TV interview in Tehran

I was at a philosophy of religion conference in Tehran, Iran last week - invited as an atheist to speak to and engage with assembled philosophers, cleric. etc.I appeared briefly on TV - unfortunately the bit of the interview they chose to broadcast was misleading as they cut the "but"...Go here: I was at a philosophy of religion conference in Tehran, Iran last week - invited as an atheist to speak to and engage with assembled philosophers, cleric. etc.I appeared briefly on TV - … [Read more...]

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...]