Atheism and the Meaning of Life, Again above article by Jennifer Fulwiler, who converted from atheism to Catholicism, raises the perennial issue of the meaning of life for atheists. For me, the most engaging part of the piece is the quote from Ross Douthat. Douthat apparently concedes that an atheist’s joys and sorrows can feel as intensely meaningful as they do for the theist. However, he proposes an interesting analogy. In warfare, the motivation f … [Read more...]

Critical Thinking and Skepticism – Part 3

John Loftus did a short post on this topic back in May.   Based on that post, it is clear that we agree there is a close connection between critical thinking and skepticism.  Here are two of his statements along those think critically is to think skeptically, and vice versa....there is no distinction between critical thinking and thinking skeptically. They are one and the same. Although Loftus views critical thinking and skepticism as being "one and the same"  he says thin … [Read more...]

Questions Concerning the Existence of God

It does not look like I can retire this year, maybe next year (it could happen!).  But I think I will start my ten-year plan to develop a multi-volume critique of Christianity in January, even if I'm still working my 9 to 5 job.Part of evaluating Christianity is evaluating the fundamental metaphysical claim that 'God exists'.   If there is no God, then, obviously, there is no Son of God or God Incarnate, so the truth of most of the other basic Christian beliefs depends on the truth of t … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Argument from Religious Experience – Part 1

In The Existence of God (2nd edition, hereafter: EOG) , Richard Swinburne presents a careful and systematic case for the existence of God.  Eight of the arguments (that he considers to be significant) are presented as bits of empirical data each of which increases the probability of the hypothesis that God exists a bit (with the exception of the Problem of Evil, which he believes decreases the probability a bit).These eight inductive arguments are supposed to make the hypothesis of the e … [Read more...]

Do the Bee Police Enforce God’s Law? Or Are They Darwinian Nihilists? by Larry Arnhart

I want to a link to another terrific blog post by philosopher Larry Arnhart.One worry--perhaps the worry--about basing morality on the biology of human nature is that it makes morality species-specific. Darwin himself voiced this concern in The Descent of Man: "In the same manner as various animals have some sense of beauty, though they admire widely different objects, so they might have a sense of right and wrong, though led by it to follow widely different lines of conduct.  If, for inst … [Read more...]

The Amalekites and Options for Apologists

I have been having a very interesting discussion with a Christian correspondent who calls himself “Veritas.” Discussions of this sort all too often generate far more heat than light, so let me first note that in our interactions the contributions by Veritas have been consistently intelligent, courteous, and candid. The focus of our conversation has been a particular scriptural passage, I Samuel 15: 1-3. For convenience, let me quote these verses:“Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoi … [Read more...]

Biblical Genocide and Village Atheists

This post springs from an interesting discussion I had with Scott Scheule in the comments section of an earlier post. The issues there are important enough to deserve a deeper look.Quoting the Bible against believers is one of the hoariest weapons in the freethinker’s war chest. It has been done many times, never more cogently or eloquently than in Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason. Robert Ingersoll’s Some Mistakes of Moses is another fine instance of the genre. The tactic cites cruelties, hor … [Read more...]

Embarrassed by Some Atheists

I don't feel like naming names, but recent behavior by some prominent atheists (plural) has me feeling somewhat embarrassed to be associated with them. … [Read more...]