Why I Do Not Equate Religious Belief with Mental Illness

I'm not a psychiatrist, but as a teenager I worked for an elderly woman who I later found out was a paranoid schizophrenic with organic brain decomposition. (As an aside, if you have any empathy at all, it's impossible to get to know someone like this and not find their situation heartbreaking.) I agree that you cannot talk the mentally ill out of their delusions, hallucinations, etc. But this would only be relevant to the claim that all religious belief is mental illness if it were the case t … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 13

Worldview as a Way of Life?The third objection that James Sire raises against his older conception of worldviews, is that it makes more sense to understand a worldview as being “a way of life” (NTE, p.97) rather than to understand a worldview as being “a system of thought” (NTE, p.98) because of “the practical, lived reality of worldviews…” (NTE, p.100).The sub-section of Chapter 5 where Sire presents this third objection is called “Worldview as a Way of Life” (NTE, p.98-100).  The first … [Read more...]

Science and Religion: The Clash of Ideals

In my previous post I argued that science and religion still can and do clash, especially concerning the implications of evolutionary theory and neuroscience. Specifically, an account of human origins that views Homo sapiens, like every other species, as the highly improbable end-product of a very long series of contingencies and accidents, cannot rest easily with worldviews in which humanity is an essential element if not the centerpiece of creation. Further, many if not most religions require … [Read more...]

The Resurrection: Types of Skeptical Views

The traditional Christian view of the resurrection of Jesus involves a number of beliefs or claims:Jesus existed. Jesus was crucified. Jesus died while he was on the cross. After he was crucified, Jesus was buried in a stone tomb in the evening on the day that he was crucified. The stone tomb where Jesus was buried (on the day that he was crucified) was empty on Sunday morning, about 48 hours after Jesus was crucified. On Sunday, about 48 hours after Jesus was crucified, some of … [Read more...]

William Lane Craig Admits that His Fine-Tuning Argument is Based Upon Speculation

In my last post, I reported that WLC has reached the same conclusion I have regarding the scale of the universe as evidence against theism. After re-reading his article, I realized I missed an even more important announcement. Although he would deny it, in the same article he also admits that his fine-tuning argument is based upon speculation. Here's the money quote: Indeed, once we launch into speculating about universes operating according to different laws of nature, then we have completely … [Read more...]

William Lane Craig Endorses My Argument from Scale against Theism!

He doesn't mention by name, of course, and may not have even had my argument in mind, but the sort of Bayesian considerations he raises support my Bayesian argument from scale, in two ways. First, he agrees with me about the "direction" the evidence points (against theism). Second, he agrees with me about the "magnitude" of that evidential support (very weak). (The words "direction" and "magnitude" are not Craig's words, but were inspired by David Schum, who pointed out long ago that evidence … [Read more...]

How Science and Religion Still Clash

“Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every new science, like the serpents strangled by the infant Hercules.” That is how T.H. Huxley classically expressed the “warfare” theory of the relationship between science and religion. On that theory, science and religion are playing a zero-sum game. One advances at the expense of the other. Eternal and irreconcilable opposites, science and religion only flourish by excluding the other.A number of contemporary writers, especially some of t … [Read more...]

Apologist Responds? Check. Uncharitable? Check. Uses Cheap Shots and Insults? Check.

I stopped reading Triablogue some time ago, but today I decided to make an exception. After I posted my comment about the twin hypothesis, I thought to myself, "I'll bet Steve Hays responds to this and uses the 'Village Atheist' tag." My prediction was accurate. (See his post here.)In my comment, I didn't defend the twin hypothesis. I didn't even lay out Cavin's case for the Twin hypothesis in his Ph.D. dissertation. All I did was define the hypothesis in order to prove the point that R … [Read more...]


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