Atheists’ Favorite Parts of the Bible

There is a link on Debunking Christianity to an interesting article by Valerie Tarico on the topic of atheists’ favorite Bible verses. I thought that they would be the really horrid ones like II Kings, Chapter 2, where we have the lurid story of the prophet Elisha, who was approaching the town of Bethel when a group of children began to mock his baldness. Elisha curses them in the name of The Lord and two she-bears come out of the woods and maul forty two of the children. Now being among the h … [Read more...]

Belated Response to Ed Feser

Ed, sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. All of May was taken up by final exam grading and then copy-editing and indexing my new book, due out in August, It Started with Copernicus (completely unabashed and self-serving plug). This is a response to your post of April 25, “A Second Exchange with Keith Parsons, Part I.”I am very pleased to see how much agreement there is between us. You say that a crude divine command theory would posit a cosmic dictator, a Saddam Hussein writ lar … [Read more...]

Craig’s “Historical Evidence” for the Death of Jesus – Part 4

Logic at end of Paragraph 3

William Craig asserts that "Jesus rose from the dead". In making this claim, Craig takes on a burden of proof. A crucial part of this burden is to prove that Jesus actually died on the cross, since a person can rise from the dead ONLY IF they have previously died. Unfortunately, in most of his books, articles, and debates, Craig simply ignores this issue.However in The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus (hereafter: TSR), Craig does make a brief attempt to … [Read more...]

Theism, Atheism, and Dismissive Attitudes

Here are two hypotheses about theism, atheism, and dismissive attitudes.H1: for (some / many / most) theists, how dismissive a theist is to atheism is inversely proportional to how familiar said theist is to the best, most robust arguments for atheism*H2: for (some / many / most) atheists, how dismissive an atheist is to theism is inversely proportional to how familiar said atheist is to best, most robust arguments arguments for theism* For purposes of this post, replace "atheism" … [Read more...]

Morality and Atheism: An Exchange with Prof. Feser

Note: This is my initial post of an exchange with Dr. Ed Feser on the topic “Can morality have a rational justification if atheism or naturalism is true?” My answer, of course, is “Yes it can!” I decided to address the issue by spelling out, in some detail, what I think a good naturalistic theory would be. In my second post I will directly address Dr. Feser’s post. I thought that I recalled that our initial post on this topic had a 5000 word limit. I was wrong; it was 2500 words, and Dr. Fese … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis on the Torments of Hell

This is a modified quote from my essay "Hell: Christianity's Most Damnable Doctrine" in The End of Christianity, edited by John Loftus, Prometheus Books, 2012. The page numbers in parentheses refer to Lewis's book The Problem of Pain. Now, I know, as my friend John Beversluis discovered when he wrote his wonderful book on Lewis, whenever you say anything about what Lewis said, a host of wrathful Lewisites will say that you took his words out of context, or that Lewis modified or retracted his … [Read more...]

Justin Schieber on Dogmatism

"Ignoring faults of arguments that agree with your conclusions is what leads to dogmatism." … [Read more...]

Forward into the Past

It looks like my home state of Jawja is going to follow Arizona's "lead" and is trying to pass legislation that would broadly permit discrimination against gay people: This news definitely induces a sense of deja vu for me. When I was a kid growing up in the Atlanta area in the 1960's there was a well-known noisy segregationist named Lester Maddox. Ol' Lester was a card. He ran … [Read more...]