The (Epistemic) Floor is Made of Lava

I've been trying to be dilligent about following the trackbacks to people who have been discussing or critiquing my conversion post, and I found one I have to share.  Scott is linking in the context of a broader discussion about philosophy and the fundamental strangeness of finding really smart people who hold to improbable beliefs that you don't share.  He pretty much took the words right out of my mouth.  This is probably an egregious amount of blockquoting, and I apologize to Scott, but I ju … [Read more...]

Feser’s Typology of Atheism (Part 1)

Edward Feser, a professor at Pasadena City College has set out to create a typology of ways atheists feel about religion or particular religious traditions.  It's a two-dimensional description of attitudes, categorizing atheists by how they respond to religious metaphysics and religious practice.  I'll take a look at the metaphysics spectrum he proposes today and take a crack at the religion-in-practice one tomorrow.I found Feser's system helpful in clarifying my own stand on C … [Read more...]

The ‘Obvious’ Consequence

 In my last two posts about Jenifer Fulwiler’s controversial piece for the National Catholic Register (“Five Catholic Teachings that Make Sense to Atheists”), I mentioned that, although I thought it was a good approach to discuss the parts of Christian theology that seem most sensible and maybe even plausible to non-Christians, I thought the choice of some examples was misguided.When I try to think of the most intuitively appealing part of Christianity, it isn’t anything like venerat … [Read more...]

Playing the Consistency Game

When I posted earlier on the blogfight unleashed by Jenifer Fulwiler’s post “Five Catholic Teachings that Make Sense to Atheists,” I focused on how to gauge the sincerity of a convert’s discarded beliefs. That was an argument about the author, and now I want to focus on the dispute over the logic of her post. Jen wasn’t offering a proof of Catholicism’s claims, she was trying to show that the system held together pretty well. PZ Myers wrote two posts rejecting the validity of this approach Does … [Read more...]

Hail to the Cylinder God!

This is the second post in a series about math and morality. You can see all posts in the series here.I knew I’d get along with my soon-to-be friend Matt from our first discussion of theology. Matt was explaining why he saw paradox as the natural consequence finite humans trying to describe an infinite being, and he shifted right into the language of Flatland and topology. “So imagine one religious group claims that God is a rectangle. And a rival sect claims that God is a circle. But th … [Read more...]