Links and News — 19-Nov-11

Moment of Zen:"Best Statistics Question Ever" (be sure to read not only the question but at least some of the 700+ comments posted so far)Exchanges Involving Secular Outpost Contributors:Defending the Argument from ConsciousnessCf. Oppy's recent post regarding the exchangeStephen Law and Ed Feser have an ongoing exchange regarding Law's evil God challenge (EGC): see here, here, here, here, here.Cf. the recent post by a Christian apologist named Martin--who thinks Law won his debate with … [Read more...]

Help Wanted – Part 4

A key premise in Swinburne's (deductive) argument in defense of his inductive version of the Cosmological argument (TCA) goes like this:(TCA9) The probability that there will be a complex physical universe given that God does not exist is low. (EOG, p.151)Swinburne has provided an explanation of his reasoning in support of this premise (in email dated 10/24/11), and I am working my way through that explanation.P(e &~h&~c&k;) will be the probability that a complex physical universe … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 3

In part 2 of my series on the evidential Argument from Scale (AS), I concluded that neither metaphysical naturalism nor theism explain the evidence regarding the scale of the universe, if we restrict our background knowledge to the two propositions I identified as B1 and B2. In this post, I want to explore the effect of adding a new statement (B3) to our background knowledge:B3. God's purpose(s) include the creation of embodied moral agents.I want to emphasize that I don't claim theism … [Read more...]

Hume’s Beautiful Argument

In two of my classes this term we have been reading Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Whenever I read his Section X, “Of Miracles,” I am once again struck by the beauty, simplicity, and the power of his argument. Oceans of ink have been spilled by philosophers commenting on this argument, and many of those comments have been critical, often harshly so. Hume himself was rather proud of his reasoning on miracles:Nothing is so convenient as an argument of this kind, which must at lea … [Read more...]

Radio Think Atheist

Here is a link to a recent radio recording: may be of interest to some people who read this blog. … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 2

Originally published on 14-Nov-11; updated 20-Nov-11In part 1 of my series on the evidential Argument from Scale (AS), I concluded that Everitt's formulation of AS is unsuccessful. At the same time, however, I said that there is something about the AS I find intuitive and so I wanted to try revising AS as a Bayesian argument to see if I could make a stronger version. The purpose of this post is to attempt to do just that.PreliminariesLet us organize the relevant evidence into B, the relevant … [Read more...]

LINK: William Lane Craig and the Immorality of Apostasy

J. Quinton addresses William Lane Craig's response to a young Christian struggling with doubt, in which Craig called Internet Infidels websites "literally pornographic."LINK … [Read more...]

Jennifer Michael Hecht Has Joined The Secular Outpost!

I'm pleased to announce that Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht has agreed to join The Secular Outpost as a contributor. Dr. Hecht is the author of three history books and two volumes of poetry and she is currently serving as one of the five judges for the Nonfiction category of the 2010 National Book Award. Her bestseller Doubt: A History demonstrates a long, strong history of religious doubt. Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won the Phi Beta Kappa S … [Read more...]