James J. Buchanan of the Christ Life Church in Tempe, Arizona, defrauded 30-40 people out of over $5 million over the last ten years. He claimed to be a financial planner, and took many people’s life’s savings, as well as money from the church. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says it’s hard to tell where the money went, but it appears that he used some of it to pay off early investors in classic Ponzi scheme style, and spent the… Read more

In a Republican presidential debate, Newt Gingrich stated the following:I think if the question is does faith matter, absolutely. How can you have a country which is founded on truth, which begins, “We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights” — how — how can you have the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which says religion, morality and knowledge being important, education matters? That’s the order: religion, morality and knowledge. Now, I happen to think that none of us… Read more

I have been out of the loop; I completely missed this when it was news. Here’s a link to an announcement from the Vatican Information Service, dated March 18, 2011, about a formal dialogue between believers and non-believers. LINKElsewhere, courtesy of Hemant Mehta at The Friendly Atheist, we learn that the Vatican’s desire to debate atheists comes with one catch: they are not interested in debating “polemical atheists” like Hitchens or Dawkins.LINKI, for one, don’t have a problem with the… Read more

This is an old post by Alonzo Fyfe, but one not previously mentioned on The Secular Outpost, where he critiques atheists who have spoken about morality.Atheist Ethicist: Atheists Speaking about Morality Read more

Just discovered this and sharing the link without taking a position on its arguments.LINK — Fyfe’s comments are located near the bottom of the page (HT: Luke Muelhauser) Read more

I’ve created a new page, with a permanent link near the top of the screen, to a catalog of Bayesian arguments in the philosophy of religion, including Bayesian arguments for and against God’s existence. This is a work-in-progress, so please leave a comment on that page to let me know of any additions, edits, etc. I need to make. Read more

This is a re-post. Please pardon the shameless self-promotion, but the video of my 1999 debate with Phil Fernandes on naturalism vs. theism was uploaded to YouTube some time ago. If you haven’t already seen it, I invite you to view it here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl2lUIku-zo Read more

Victor Reppert has a short essay on his Dangerous Idea blog on the use of probability arguments in the philosophy of religion. Here I would like to offer my own take on the question. A principle often invoked by theists making probability arguments is what Robin Collins calls the “prime principle of confirmation (PPC),” which he defines as follows:Simply put, the principle says that whenever we are considering two competing hypotheses, an observation counts as evidence in favor of the… Read more

In his recent debate with William Lane Craig, Stephen Law presented his evil God challenge. Law had formally documented this challenge in a 2009 article in the academic journal Religious Studies. Here is the abstract:Abstract: This paper develops a challenge to theism. The challenge is to explain why the hypothesis that there exists an omnipotent, omniscient and all-good god should be considered significantly more reasonable than the hypothesis that there exists an omnipotent, omniscient and all-evil god. Theists typically dismiss… Read more

Matthew Flanagan has written a response to my post on Jerry Coyne and explaining morality. I am quoting his response in its entirety, with Flannagan’s permission. Hi Jeffery, I tried posting this on your site but couldn’t, feel free to do so. You write: ”I suspect that C.S. Lewis’ moral argument for God’s existence is probably much more influential among the average reader of USA Today than the work of Robert Adams. And Lewis does appeal to a variety of… Read more

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