Tuesday, November 28, 2017

“Where did morality come from?”

I often find theistic apologists asking this question to non-theists. While some individuals may be genuinely interested in finding an answer to this question, apologists tend to pose it in an effort to stump people who do not hold that morality is sourced in a supernatural consciousness which issues commands and demands obedience. Sadly, this “Gotcha!” tactic is all too often successful as a sparring device, as the kinds of responses many non-believers give to this question often leave the unmistakable impression that either they had not considered the question before, or that they had considered it but never came to any satisfying answers.

Of course, theists gravitate to questions of this sort because in the final analysis, their theistic worldview depends on having no answers. What this means is that believers are hoping for responses that essentially reduce to “Gee, I donno!” revealing a gap of knowledge in which the believer’s inflatable god can be made to fit quite comfortably. As such, the purpose of this question is not to probe an important philosophical area of inquiry, but to corner thinkers into surrendering their minds to a primitive belief system.
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Monday, October 30, 2017

Do Atheists Face a Dilemma Inherent in Atheism?

Steve Hays of Triablogue has yet again come out with another hit piece to malign “atheists” generally. He must really resent people who don’t believe in the god he has set up in his fantasies. Equally fantastic seems to be the paradigm case he paints of the average atheist, plagued by scandalous internal deficiencies and haunted by inescapable quandaries. If Hays’ dark characterizations of atheism and atheists were so true, one wonders why anyone would ever be an atheist!
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Christian Hope

There’s nothing like the hope offered by Christianity:
There’s a lot there to look forward to when you’re a believer.

I’m reminded of Richard Noone’s predictions for May 5, 2000 in his book 5/5/2000: Ice.

I know what you’re thinking: that didn’t pan out quite as predicted. But don’t worry, I understand that there’s a revised edition.

Oh, wait, that dates from before the failed predicted date.

But I’m sure David Meade’s nailed it this time! Planet X is here with a vengeance, and it’s going to X us all out of existence.

So, nice knowin’ y’all! It’s been great. Have a cold one and enjoy your precious last moments.

by Dawson Bethrick

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Monday, August 28, 2017

D'oh!

Christian apologist: I don’t understand why atheists make such a big deal about God when they say God doesn’t exist. Why make a big deal about something that doesn’t exist?

Me: I don’t understand why Christian apologists make such a big deal about neutrality when they say neutrality doesn’t exist. Why make a big deal about something that doesn’t exist?

by Dawson Bethrick

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Do Gardens Imply the Existence of Invisible Magic Beings?

Christian apologist James Anderson has posted another fun little blog entry, this one titled On Fairies and Gardeners, over on his site Proginosko. In this entry Anderson objects to overt comparisons of the Christian god to fairies while implicitly comparing man’s cognitive faculties to a garden implying the existence of a gardener. Anderson opens his blog with the following announcement:
I’ve been revisiting Richard Dawkins’ best-seller The God Delusion in preparation for an apologetics class I’ll be teaching next week.
Anderson is writing this in July 2017. And yet, back in April 2009, more than eight years ago if I have my math right, Anderson announced his conclusion (referring specifically to The God Delusion, mind you) that “Dawkins’ case against theism is philosophically inept” (see here). With such a condemning assessment, I’m wondering if Anderson has changed his mind, or whether he prefers to spend his time sparring with low-hanging fruit before a captive audience in his classroom. Consider the impressionable young minds who have chosen to take on the burden of a heavy student debt at so early a time in life as to sit through such a course. Indeed, just what kind of living does one set out to achieve with an education in “apologetics”? Perhaps if one confuses a career with a living, it could be said that Anderson may be doing fairly well as a vested member of the professoriate.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Andy Bannister on Atheism

I’ve always been amazed, sometimes terrifyingly so, at how routinely, how matter-of-factly, how unquestioningly, persons who are otherwise demonstrably intelligent will gleefully repeat and deliberately spread misinformation. And yes, I’m sure I have many detractors who think similarly of me – though they may not grant that I’m at all intelligent! It’s as though societal norms were inherently stacked against facts, reason and evidence in favor of unexamined assumptions, false narratives and elaborate pretenses, all shielded from scrutiny in a way that would put a mother bear protecting her cubs to shame. What is this apparent gravitational pull that empowers deceit and dupery to draw adult minds like fresh droppings attract flies?

I’m sure readers here can think of dozens of examples of this frightening phenomenon right off the top of their heads, but the case in point I have in mind today comes from a short video I recently saw on YouTube. The video is titled Is atheism a belief? and I found the link to it on this entry of the same name posted by Steve Hays over on Triablogue.

Now by posting a link to the video, I can only suppose that Hays approves of its content, for he offers no criticisms or disclaimers in linking to it. And although it’s not surprising to find Christian apologetics blogs spreading propaganda, I’d like to think that Hays would have at least some regard for consistency given his own expressed understanding of what atheism is when he wrote "technically, atheism is just a statement of what an atheist doesn't believe rather than what he does believe" (see the comments section of this blog). (I went back and forth about this with one apologist late last year – see here for some of the juicier tidbits from that exchange as well as for a link to the full discussion.)
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Monday, May 08, 2017

Anderson on the Lowder-Turek Debate

James Anderson recently published his review of the Lowder-Turek Debate

Over the past several years I haven’t been watching a lot of these debates – maybe two or three a year, if that. I did watch the debate between Sye Ten Bruggencate and Matt Dillahunty earlier this year, and I did in fact draft up some thoughts on it that I wanted to share on my blog. My notes are still sitting on my hard drive waiting for me to revisit them. Maybe later I’ll get back to them.

Then I saw Anderson’s dust-up on the Lowder-Turek Debate. After reading Anderson’s review, I thought I’d like to watch the debate. At two hours and twenty-some minutes, that takes a chunk out of my day, so an investment like that better be worthwhile. So I watched it.
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