The Real Problem with Miracles

Here is a simple representation using Bayes’ Theorem of how a miracle claim would be assessed, where m is the claim that a miracle has occurred, e is the evidence for the claim, and k is background knowledge: p(e/m & k) × p(m/k) p(m/e & k) = -------------------------------- p(e/k) So, the credibility of a miracle claim given certain evidence and background comes down to three factors:(1) p(e/m & k), the likelihood that we would ha … [Read more...]

Stupid Atheist Meme #1: If You Could Reason with Religious People…

After my post Apologetics Infographic #1, I planned to do a related series titled, "Stupid Atheist Memes." I see, however, that Ed Brayton had the idea first. (See here for the latest in his series; the others so far are here, here, and here.) I trust he won't mind if I do my own series with the same title.For the inaugural entry, I'd like to discuss this. If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people. The meme is attributed to the fictional atheist Dr. … [Read more...]

Temporarily Blacklisted a User

I have never before banned a user from any site I've moderated, but I have temporarily (for 30 days) blacklisted one user who has been dominating the combox with repetitive comments (and questions) that have been answered repeatedly by others. I asked the user to voluntarily take a break, but that request was ignored by the user, who then proceeded to post another repetitive comment.I expect this decision will have both supporters and critics. I'm okay with that.Because Disqus doesn't … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Resurrection – Part 4

General Background Evidence

One of the neglected aspects of the case for the resurrection of Jesus is what Swinburne calls General Background Evidence.  I have summarize this part of the case this way:        (GTE) The God of traditional theism exists.(GPR) God, if God exists, has purposes P1, P2, etc. that are relevant to whether God would be likely to raise someone from the dead.(GLR) God would be likely to raise someone from the dead … [Read more...]

Link: “The End of the Teapot Argument for Atheism (and All Its Tawdry Imitators)” by Mark F. Sharlow

Abstract: Atheists sometimes use Bertrand Russell’s teapot argument, and its variants with other objects in place of the teapot, to argue for the rationality of atheism. In this paper I show that this use of the teapot argument and its variants is unacceptably circular. The circularity arises because there is indirect evidence against the objects invoked in the arguments. LINKDisclaimer: I haven't read, much less evaluated this paper. Feel free to debate in the combox! … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Resurrection – Part 3

Logic of Resurrection Apologetic

The logic of the resurrection apologetic goes roughly like this: NOTE: This does not represent Swinburne's case for the resurrection.  It is a rough representation of a case for the resurrection that follows the general logic laid out by Swinburne (constituting a three-legged stool).==============KEY TO DIAGRAM(DOC) Jesus died on the cross on the same day he was crucified.(JAW) Jesus was alive and walking around (unassisted) about 48 hours after he was … [Read more...]

Link: Massimo Pigliucci’s “Reflections on the Skeptic and Atheist Movements”

LINK … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Resurrection – Part 2

Case for Resurrection

The two most important writings on the resurrection of Jesus are, IMHO, Richard Swinburne's book The Resurrection of God Incarnate (Oxford University Press, 2003; hereafter: ROGI), especially the Introduction (pages 1-6), and Theodore Drange's short article "Why Resurrect Jesus?" in the collection of skeptical essays The Empty Tomb, edited by Robert Price and our fearless leader Jeff Lowder (Prometheus Books, 2005; hereafter: TET).   [Please feel free to disagree, and/or to offer your own … [Read more...]