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...]

Jesus Wants You to Starve the Poor

From Good Christian Michelle Bachmann:http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/11/08/michele-bachmann-says-if-you-are-unemployed-you-should-starve/And Jesus spake unto them saying, "Blessed are the rich, for they shall dine sumptuously. Verily, tiramisu and foie gras are their just rewards, for wealth is ever the product of godly diligence. But woe unto the poor! Bitterness shall be their meat and sorrow their drink, for, yea, the poor are but slothful and indolent, even though they be but … [Read more...]

Randal Rauser Replies

His post: Do naturalists have more to lose? If not, why are they crucifying Thomas Nagel?  In order to prevent this from becoming a back-and-forth mess, I've replied in the comments there. He's a good guy, so I don't mind sending him more traffic. If you're interested, the discussion can continue there. … [Read more...]

MOVING THE SEMANTIC GOALPOSTS – theological sleight-of-hand with words

 From my book Believing Bullshit. Moving the goalposts The expression “moving the goalposts” refers to a certain disreputable strategy in an argument. Suppose I claim Fred has never been to Brazil. It’s pointed out to me that Fred went to Brazil on his honeymoon. My claim has been shown to be false, but rather than admit this I just switch claims: “Well, he’s never been to Brazil on business.” I have just moved the goalposts. The analogy is with football. It looks like some … [Read more...]

Patheos is Great. The Ads Suck

I have greatly enjoyed posting and commenting on Patheos. The look is great and the organization of posts and comments is first-rate. However, I am finding the ads increasingly intrusive. It always irritates me when I am trying to read a page and the ad is jumping around trying to get my attention. I've gotten kind of used to that though. Lately, when I am trying to read a post or comment, an ad will briefly intrude into the reading space. Something about dairy products. A while ago when … [Read more...]


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