The Perfect Goodness of God – Again

I have been struggling for weeks to try to re-state Richard Swinburne's argument concerning the coherence of the idea of there being a perfectly good person (from Chapter 11 of The Coherence of Theism, hereafter: COT). I think I can now at least point the way as to how to do this. The overarching argument goes like this:1. The statement 'There is a perfectly free and omniscient person' is a coherent statement. 2. The statement 'There is a perfectly free and omniscient person' entails the … [Read more...]

Religion in Human Evolution

I tried to read Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution. It should have been interesting—prominent social scientist writes ambitious, sweeping book about religion—but I abandoned it about a third of the way through. I rarely fail to finish books. But I couldn't stand this one any more.My impression: it's a profoundly learned but also profoundly superficial book, because it's so obsessed with finding transcendent depth in every religious and wisdom tradition. Bellah just seemed inc … [Read more...]

Tom Flynn on Dennis Prager

As always, Tom Flynn has written another spirited essay, this time in response to Dennis Prager on atheism and consolation.LINKI agree with pretty much everything he writes. Yet I find myself thinking, "Yeah, but ..." as I read it.I think the first thing that needs to be said is that what counts as "consolation" is inherently subjective: it's going to vary from person to person and from time to time. Some people will find it consoling to know that the dead cannot suffer, whereas … [Read more...]

Good and bad ways of influencing the beliefs of others

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Ted Rall comes out?

I've occasionally referred to Ted Rall, the cartoonist and author, as an example of an ultraliberal theist who was indistinguishable from a godless humanist (especially a left-wing godless humanist) on ethical matters. But in a recent column, he saysScience isn’t reconcilable with faith. Rubio knows that. But he also knows what would happen to his presidential aspirations if he admitted the truth.God is a lie.If you believe in God, you are stupid.If you think the earth is 6,000 years old, that h … [Read more...]

Swinburne on the Perfect Goodness of God

In Chapter 11 of The Coherence of Theism (revised edition, hereafter: COT), Richard Swinburne argues (among other things) that the following sentence makes a coherent statement: (PG) There is a person who is perfectly good.Perfect goodness is one of the divine attributes that theists use to define the word 'God'.  In order to show that the statement 'God exists' makes a coherent statement, Swinburne attempts to show that each of the divine attributes that are used to define the word … [Read more...]

Is materialism “known to be false”? (Rationally Speaking)

A great post on philosophy of physics gone awry by Massimo Pigliucci.LINK … [Read more...]

Hurting God’s feelings…

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