Some Skeptical Thoughts on the Resurrection

I met a fellow skeptic at a Starbucks a month or two ago. We recently bumped into each other, had a brief chat, and I found out that he was also interested in questions about the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the historicity of Jesus. He was especially interested in my thoughts about the resurrection, so I did a quick brain dump of some of my skeptical thoughts about the resurrection. Here is what I jotted down as a quick summary of some of my thinking on this … [Read more...]

Slicing Up the Metaphysical Pie

16 types of gods

One basic question in metaphysics is this: How many gods exist? Atheism can be defined as the view that there are 0 gods. Monotheism is the view that there is just 1 god. Polytheism is the view that there are 2 or more gods. Thus all of the various answers to the metaphysical question above are included in these three categories. The term polytheism, however, is a very broad category that includes many different and conflicting answers to the question above. Manichaeism - the … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 4

Previously, I argued that it is not possible to become eternal. Recall that a person P is eternal if and only if P has always existed and P will always continue to exist. Here is a step-by-step proof showing that it is impossible for a person to become eternal: <------------|-----------|--------------> ................t1...........t2 1. At time t1 person P is NOT eternal AND at a later moment t2 P is eternal. (supposition for indirect proof/reduction to absurdity) 2. At time t1 … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 3

Richard Swinburne analyzes the concept of 'necessary being' into two implications (COT, p.241-242): 1. It is not a matter of fortunate accident that there is a God; he exists necessarily. 2. God is necessarily the kind of being which he is; God does not just happen to have the properties which he does. In his simpler and more popular book on God (Is There a God?), Swinburne clarifies these implications further in terms of the concept of 'essential properties': But theism does not claim … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 2

Although there is an extensive discussion of the meaning of the claim 'God is a necessary being' by Richard Swinburne in his bookThe Coherence of Theism (revised edition, hereafter: COT), the main passages that I'm interested in understanding are found in a shorter and more popular book: Is There a God? (hereafter: ITAG), also by Swinburne. In COT, Swinburne specifies two implications of the claim that 'God is a necessary being': However, most theists, and certainly most theologians, have … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 1

In his book The Coherence of Theism (Revised edition, hereafter: COT), Swinburne defends the claim that the sentence 'God exists' makes a coherent statement. In Part II of COT, Swinburne defends the coherence of the concept of "a contingent God", which is basically the traditional concept of God minus the attribute of 'necessary being'. In Part III, Swinburne analyzes, clarifies, and defines the attribute 'necessary being', but he concludes that when this attribute is added back into the … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 2

I am going to engage in a bit of logic chopping now.  But for those who do not have an appreciation for logic chopping, do not despair;  my close examination of the bark on one tree will lead me to make some broader points that have significance for philosophy of religion, ethics, and serious thinking about God.  The broader points might even have some relevance to evaluation of William Craig's argument from the Existence of Objective Moral Values (Let's rearrange those words a bit: "Moral … [Read more...]

The Atheist named Richard Swinburne

I was reading the Martyrdom of Polycarp recently, which is “the oldest written account of a Christian martyrdom outside the New Testament.” (The Apostolic Fathers, updated edition, edited and revised by Michael Holmes, p.222; hereafter: TAF). Polycarp was killed between 155 and 160 C.E: The Martyrdom of Polycarp sets out quite clearly both the issue at stake--Lord Christ versus Lord Caesar—and the state’s (as well as the general population’s) view of Christians as disloyal atheists … [Read more...]


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