LINK: My Guest Post at Randal Rauser’s Blog

UPDATED: Part 2 is now available.Randal Rauser was kind enough to allow me to write a guest post for his blog. The post is about the consequences of skeptical theism and is going to be published in two parts. The first part is available now, the second will be available in a couple of days.Here is Part 1And Part 2I know that he is frequently the recipient of this kind of praise, but it bears repeating: Randal is to be admired for seeking out and interacting with people who hol … [Read more...]

Chad Gross’s Review of my Debate with Frank Turek

Chad Gross at Truthbomb Apologetics has written a fair, open-minded review of my debate with Frank Turek: "Lowder's debate style is very similar to that of William Lane Craig. He begins with the contentions he intends to defend and then supports them with his arguments. This should be modeled by all those who desire to debate successfully.... It was obvious, especially in the case of Lowder, that the debaters were familiar with their opponent’s position and written work.... Lowder majored on con … [Read more...]

If Jesus had been a Republican…

It seems like a good time to re-post and update this.If Jesus had been a Republican...He would have said:“Render unto Caesar. And if thou catchest an illegal immigrant, render him also, yea, limb from limb.”“Blessed are the rich, who are the ones who REALLY inherit the earth.”“Love thy neighbor, unless he criticizeth thee. Then shouldst thou treat him scurrilously, yea, even unto mocking his disability.”“Woe unto ye parasites who work in the public sector—ye instructors of … [Read more...]

Science and Religion: Four Models

I recently spoke at Christ the King Lutheran Church near the Rice University Campus. The topic was “Science and Religion.” This, of course, is a very big topic. How to deal with it in a single short presentation? I think the first thing to do is to some models for simplifying the multifarious complexities here. Also, by “religion” I will mean “monotheistic religion.” I offer the following four models:1) Warfare: This is the view given classic expression by T.H. Huxley (paraphrasing): “Extingu … [Read more...]

Unapologetic Review – Part 10: Evaluation of Reason #9

REVIEW OF ANALYSIS OF REASON #9In Part 9 of this series, I asserted that  the main argument in  Unapologetic is Reason #9, and I argued that Reason #9 invoved the following assumptions: 5. ANY claim that is based on faith cannot be reasonably defended. 6. Philosophers ought NOT recognize and participate in an alleged sub-discipline of philosophy that uses reason to examine ONLY claims that are based on faith. Premise (5) is a reason in support of premise (6), and premise (6) is a reason in … [Read more...]

The True Cost of Fundamentalism: Women’s Health

In an editorial titled “Women at Risk,” today’s Houston Chronicle presented some very alarming facts:Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world according to a report in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Between 2010 and 2014 the rate at which Texas women died from complications related to pregnancy doubled…” Texas has the highest number of people without medical insurance in the country. In Texas, Medicaid, for the few that qualify for it, only covers a wo … [Read more...]

A Puzzle About Morality and Rationality

NOTE: This post has been edited since it was originally published in light of a very important observation from commenter Angra Mainyu. His comment revealed that I made an error in my original presentation of the puzzle. If you would like more information about this issue, please see the third footnote at the end of this post.In the comment thread for my post about Derek Parfit, many of us have been talking about whether a person can ever deserve to suffer. In one comment, Keith Parsons made … [Read more...]

Retributivism, Punishment, and Moral Value

In the comments on another post http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2017/01/05/memoriam-derek-parfit-1942-2017/ , the contrast between retributivist and consequentialist models of punishment came up. Here is a thought-experiment I present to my classes on this contrast.Suppose that in lieu of life-imprisonment for major crimes, the technology exists to plug offenders into a Matrix-like situation: they are to be imprisoned for the rest of their lives in a completely virtual reality. … [Read more...]