The Evidential Argument from the History of Science, Part 3: Reply to Rauser on Defining Metaphysical Naturalism

Randal Rauser really doesn't like the argument from the history of science (AHS). After I refuted his initial objections to AHS, he seems to have abandoned those objections. Instead, he now takes issue with the definition of metaphysical naturalism itself, a point he makes over the course of no less than three separate, additional replies. (See here, here, and here.) According to Rauser, metaphysical naturalism "is a vacuous cipher that is consistent with belief in the existence of an … [Read more...]

Jehovah is a Sexist – Part 2

For those who want a syllogistic summary argument, here you go:I. If Jehovah is a sexist, then Jehovah is a false god and Judaism is a false religion.II. If Jehovah is a false god and Judaism is a false religion, then Christianity is a false religion.Therefore:III. If Jehovah is a sexist, then Christianity is a false religion.This doesn't completely do the trick, however, because there is still the question of whether Jehovah is a sexist.  I suppose one could summarize the full argument … [Read more...]

Jehovah is a Sexist

This is not a very philosophically sophisticated argument, but it is one that helped me to escape from the idiocy of Christianity:1. Jehovah is a sexist (if Jehovah exists).Therefore,2. Christianity is a false religion.This is, of course, a very condensed summary of an argument, and requires a bit of filling out to reveal the logic of my reasoning, and various assumptions required to get from (1) to (2).First, let's work from the beginning and head a ways towards the end:1. Jehovah is a sexist … [Read more...]

The Implications of Evolutionary Explanations of Religious Belief for Atheism

This is not new, but I just saw for the first time an interesting article by Alan Jacobs entitled, "The Future of Atheism: Damned If You Don't, Damned If You Don't."Jacobs expresses a viewpoint I haven't seen addressed by other atheists, but it's one I've often thought about myself.if the evolutionary account of religious belief that many atheists are now promoting is correct, then atheists don't have much of a future. Their own arguments, plus some elementary demographic data, show that … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from the History of Science, Part 2: Detailed Reply to Randal Rauser

IntroductionTheists hold that there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect person (God) who created the universe. Metaphysical naturalists, on the other hand, hold that the universe is a closed system, which means that nothing that is not part of the natural world affects it. Metaphysical naturalism (N) denies the existence of all supernatural beings, including God. Therefore, N entails that any true scientific explanations must be naturalistic (i.e., non-supernatural) ones.In my … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 6: Uta Ranke-Heinemann on Paul’s Silence about the Empty Tomb

In this post, I want to revisit an argument from silence used by Uta Ranke-Heinemann against the historicity of the empty tomb of Jesus.The empty tomb on Easter Sunday morning is a legend. This is shown by the simple fact that the apostle Paul, the most crucial preacher of Christ's resurrection, and the earliest New Testament writer besides, says nothing about it. As far as Paul is concerned, it doesn't exist. Thus it means nothing to him, that is, an empty tomb has no significance for the … [Read more...]

Migration to Disqus Complete

It appears the site's migration to the Disqus commenting system is complete. What this means to you:1. You now have the ability to edit a comment after posting it, a feature which is sorely lacking in Blogger's built-in comment functionality.2. Disqus provides a much more visually intuitive way of grouping comments with their replies, by displaying them in a nested tree hierarchy. Comments migrated from the old Blogger system will not be displayed in a hierarchy, but any new replies to … [Read more...]

Migrating Secular Outpost to Disqus for Comments

I'm going to be migrating The Secular Outpost over to Disqus tonight for comments on posts. This will cause all old comments to temporarily disappear from the site, possibly for more than 24 hours, until Disqus successfully imports the old comments from Blogger. Once the migration is complete, the end result should be a vastly improved experience for anyone who leaves comments on the site. In the meantime, thanks for your patience. … [Read more...]