New Comments Moderation Policy in Effect

In order to maintain a high quality of discussion in the comments box, I have made the executive decision to moderate all comments on all posts.  This decision is effective immediately. The following policies are in effect. Anonymous comments are prohibited. Only registered users with verified email addresses may comment. There is no word limit on comments other than whatever limitations of the Disqus commenting software (if any). You are welcome to link to other sites, including your own, so… Read more

Why the moral argument fails

Of all the arguments for the existence of God, there is one argument (or one style of argument) that I have never had any sympathy with and never understood why anyone has any sympathy with, and that is the moral argument. It seems to me and has pretty much always seemed to me (at least as long as I have reflected on the issue) that the claim that moral phenomena depend for their existence on God is pretty clearly false…. Read more

What Atheists Do Not Believe

In a recent discussion here at SO one commentator posted some claims about what atheists must believe. These claims are commonly made, not just by this particular individual, but by many theists, including some who should know better. I quote some of the claims from those posted comments below, in bold, and reply by stating what atheists need and need not think. The atheist worldview largely includes beliefs: – In effects without causes (e.g. a Big Bang with no known… Read more

Podcast 5: How Should We Evaluate the Christian Worldview?

In Podcast 5, I briefly review some key points from Podcast 3 and Podcast 4, and then I discuss how to evaluate the Christian worldview: Some key points in Podcast 5: Religions are basically systems of religious beliefs. The core of a system of religious beliefs is a worldview. A worldview can be understood in terms of a general problem-solving scheme. A worldview can be understood as the answers to four basic worldview questions. Although there are many versions of Christianity,… Read more

Hinman’s REMEC Argument: DOA

Joe Hinman has (allegedly) posted a second argument for the “existence of God”: Although Hinman believes that the claim “God exists” is NOT literally true (but is only “metaphorically true”, whatever that means), he has included the phrase “existence of God” in the title of this latest post, implying that his second argument is an argument in support of the existence of God: Bowen-Hinman Debate (Existence of God) my argument 2 But his second argument is NOT an argument… Read more

God’s nature does not make his commands non-arbitrary

Many modern defenders of the divine command theory frequently claim that God’s commands are not arbitrary because they flow from his essential nature. Their argument is bad. That a commander issues consistent commands based on his/her own character does not mean that those commands are not arbitrary. Whether a command is arbitrary depends on whether there are reasons for the command. That commands are based on the commander’s nature tells us nothing about whether there are reasons for the commands…. Read more

The Physical Realization of the Mental

Here is a handout for one of my classes. Readers here might find it interesting as well. The class read the “Great Debate” on the Secular Web between Andrew Melnyk and the two Christian philosophers Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliafero. This is my explanation of Melnyk’s idea of the physical realization of the mental, which to me is quite plausible. Mind is defined functionally. A Functional Definition is a definition of something not in terms of its constituents, but in… Read more

Hinman’s ABEAN & REMEC Arguments: INDEX

1. Joe Hinman’s ABEAN Argument for God 2. My Criticism of Hinman’s ABEAN Argument for God 3. Joe Hinman’s Responses to My Criticism of His ABEAN Argument 4. Joe Hinman’s REMEC Argument for God 5. My Criticism of Hinman’s REMEC Argument for God 6. Joe Hinman’s Responses to My Criticism of His REMEC Argument 7. My Rebuttal to Hinman’s Replies to My Objections about ABEAN and REMEC arguments Read more

Hinman’s ABEAN Argument – Part 3: More Objections

ABEAN Contains Twelve Statements Although I cannot provide a comprehensive critique of Hinman’s ABEAN argument in just two blog posts (of reasonable length),  I can at least briefly touch on each of the dozen statements in that argument. [NOTE: ABEAN is an acronym that refers to the claim that “some Aspect of Being is Eternal And Necessary”.] The statements in ABEAN are numbered (1) through (11), but there is an additional statement that Hinman should have made, but that he did… Read more

Link: Matthew Ferguson on “Understanding the Spirit vs. the Letter of Probability”

A while back, I wrote a brief commentary on William Lane Craig’s critique of Bart Ehrman on the probability of miracles. Matthew Ferguson recently weighed in. He agrees with my conclusions, but greatly amplified them by writing an entire essay expounding on supporting points. I highly recommend his essay to anyone interested in the topic of the probability of miracles in general and the probability of Jesus’ alleged resurrection in particular. Read more

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