LINK: Existence of Atheists Offends Christians

LINKI find it difficult to find fault with the logic in the second paragraph at that link: "Since there is absolutely nothing even remotely offensive about this billboard, the inevitable conclusion is that many Christians are offended by the fact that there are atheists. If that isn't bigotry and hatred, I'm not sure what would be." … [Read more...]

In Defense of Moral Non-Cognitivism, a Response to Neil Shenvi

I found Neil Shenvi’s interesting article entitled “Do Objective Moral Values Exist?” while reading Dangerous Idea. In his article, Shenvi argues for the position that objective moral values exist, which he defines as “moral values that are true independent of the beliefs of human beings”. This piece started out as a comment on the blog, but I quickly realized that in order to properly address it, I would need quite a bit more space. In arguing for this position, Shenvi puts forth five pieces of … [Read more...]

Peter van Inwagen’s Miracle Monkeys

Let me preface this by saying that in most other aspects of philosophy, I have an enormous respect for Peter van Inwagen. His work is extraordinarily insightful and often brings a great deal of relevant discussion to the topic at hand. This is precisely why I find his attempt to rectify our understanding of the evolution of human beings with Christian theology so puzzling. Here's van Inwagen in the Gifford Lectures series:“The following story is consistent with what we know of human p … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 5: W.L. Craig on the Absence of Competing Burial Traditions as Evidence for the pre-Markan Burial Tradition

In this post, I want to revisit an argument from silence used by William Lane Craig in his case for the historicity of the empty tomb. According to Craig, the absence of competing burial traditions (to the pre-Markan burial story) is evidence for the historicity of the pre-Markan burial story. Craig then argues that the historicity of the pre-Markan burial story is, in turn, evidence for the historicity of the empty tomb of Jesus.For the record, Craig does not present his argument as a … [Read more...]

Tax Atheists!, if it comes to that, atheists should go to church! They should go to the local fundamentalist barn and sit on the front row in gym shorts and T-shirts. The T-shirt will read: "I won't teach evolution in your church if you don't teach creation in my school." Or maybe: "Jesus, protect me from your followers." They should laugh very loudly and scornfully at every stupid thing that is said, snicker … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 4: Absence of Denials of Jesus’ Historicity as Evidence for Jesus’ Historicity

When one thinks about the historicity of Jesus and arguments from silence, one usually thinks of various arguments from silence against the historicity of Jesus. In this post, I want to sketch an argument from silence for the historicity of Jesus.The Argument Formulated B: The Relevant Background EvidenceB1.Both Christian and non-Christian sources in the first and second centuries refer to Jesus.E: The Evidence to be ExplainedE1. There is an absence of evidence that the historicity of Jesus was … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence: Related Resources

(Note: this section will be updated over time.) Academic PublicationsBrooks, E. Bruce. "Arguments from Silence." Warring States Papers 4 (2013).Carrier, Richard C. "Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity" The Secular Web (2002).---. Proving History. Buffalo: Prometheus, 2012, 117-19. Garraghan, G.J., S.J. A Guide to Historical Method. J. Delanglez, S.J. (Ed.). New York: Fordham University Press, 1946.Duncan, Mike. "The Curious Silence of the Dog and Paul of Tarsus: … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 3: Peter Kirby’s Second Argument from Silence Against the Empty Tomb

Now that I have evaluated Peter Kirby's first argument from silence against the historicity of the empty tomb of Jesus, I now want to consider his second argument from silence against the historicity of the empty tomb of Jesus (hereafter, "Kirby's second argument"). According to that argument, the absence of evidence that Christians venerated Jesus' burial place is evidence against the historicity of the empty tomb.Kirby's Second Argument Formulated (as an Explanatory Argument)We are … [Read more...]