The Logic of the Resurrection – Part 1

In thinking about the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus, one needs to either determine an answer to this very basic question:Q1: Does God exist?Or else one needs to determine some sort of approach to how this question is to be dealt with in relation to the two key questions about the resurrection:Q2: Did Jesus rise from the dead?andQ3: Did God raise Jesus from the dead?If one determines that there is no God, then the answer to (Q3) is obviously: NO.  Also, i … [Read more...]

Religious Experience – Recognizing God

Sam said to me and our gathered friends:Give me someone who is willing to sit down and take a three-hour Chemistry test, and another hour to review the test after it is completed, then I will be able to give you a reliable estimation of how much that person knows about chemistry.This claim was plausible; it made sense to me, especially in view of the fact that the Graduate Record Exam Chemistry Test has about 130 multiple-choice questions, and students are given two hours and fifty … [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...........t21. 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 11

If I understand William Craig's third objection to AMR, then he is basically offering an inductive  teleological argument for the existence of God (similar to how Richard Swinburne argues for God)  based on the assumption that there are objective moral values plus the claim that humans and the circumstances in which humans find themselves are such as to allow humans to live morally significant lives (we have free will, are able to grasp moral principles, are able to reason from moral principles t … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 10

When I argue against the resurrection of Jesus, I generally take a two-pronged approach. First, I argue that there are various good reasons to doubt the claim that Jesus was alive and walking around on the first Easter Sunday. Second, I make a concession for the sake of argument; I grant the supposition that Jesus was alive and walking around on the first Easter Sunday. Then I point out that this assumption, an assumption that Christian apologists work very hard to try to prove, actually … [Read more...]