Is it any wonder why we think apologists are nuts!

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J.A. Cover, who teaches at Purdue University, provides yet another example where I say, "If he doesn't think so, why should I?" One would think God's own apologists would agree the evidence is there to believe. But he says otherwise:
The divine authority of Scripture seems to me not something that one could really establish at all. Some of us came to believe it at our parents’ knee. (But then, how’d they come to know it?) To accept the authority of Scripture on the authority of my parents will work all right as an explanation of why I do believe it, but hardly works as a justification of the belief itself (why I should believe it). My own view is that no amount of historical scholarship can establish the inspiration and authority of scripture.
He asks,
what sort of evidence could there be about God inspiring the Gospel writers (say) or the selection of the Canon that would underwrite belief in those?...My suspicion is that Plantinga is right: our warrant in believing the Bible to be the authoritative Word of God owes to the work of the Holy Spirit. Full stop, pretty much. [Note 15, page 370, in Reason for the Hope Within, ed. Michael J. Murray.]
Later Cover admits the evidence can't even convince a non-Christian theist, saying: “We oughtn’t expect too much from an apologetic of miracles: there’s no forcing a theist to be a Christian.” [Ibid., Note 16, page 374].

Cover's views agree with what Christian apologist Vincent Torley recently said:
I believed that a Christian could make a strong case for Jesus’ having been raised from the dead, on purely historical grounds...I would no longer espouse this view....Whether one chooses to continue believing it (as I do) or not, one is forced to accept... that belief in the Resurrection cannot be built on the foundation of historical data, for it is a foundation of sand. LINK
Is it any wonder why the rest of us think these people are nuts! {Sorry, no I'm not!]

Quote of the Day By Aron Lucas On Faith

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Aron Lucas commented on something in the Keith Parsons vs William Lane Craig Debate. David Marshall and other apologists tell us faith is trust based on evidence. But we know differently.
Around 2 hours a Christian questioner defines faith as belief without evidence. Craig is very frustrated in his response. He defines faith as trust based on evidence. This shows a real disconnect between how academic Christians define faith and how common people define faith. In his debate with Peter Boghossian, Timothy McGrew speculated that the overwhelming majority of Christians would reject the idea that faith is defined as belief without evidence. I think this shows that he’s out of touch with regular Christian folk. The questioner in this video and many regular Christians have no idea that apologetics is even a thing and are happy to base their belief on “blind faith.”

Keith Parsons vs William Lane Craig On "Why I Am Or Am Not a Christian"

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I just realized I had only linked to an audio version of this debate earlier. Enjoy.

Why Don't YOU worship Durga, the goddess of valor, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge?

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If you were born into a different culture you would. And guess what? They're just as sure of their gods as you are your god. More religion photos of the week here.



Why I Write and Write and Write About the Religious Right

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I had a fairly close friend ask me the other day why I'm so preoccupied with the religious right. 

"Can't you write about something else?" 

Yes, dear friend, and I do. I write about long-term travel, philosophy, living debt free and alternative lifestyles, overcoming the restrictive limitations of cultural expectations, minimalism and more. I've even written two psychological murder mysteries and at least thirty plays, many of which have been performed on stage in front of  live audiences.

But, here's the deal. 

While everyone else gets sidetracked by all the other political issues, I've decided to keep my eye on the religious right. I know that's hard for most to understand either because they're religious and thus rarely speak out against religion on principle or they've completely forgotten how things used to be. 

Aron Lucas On "Hume's Maxim: How a 'Trivial Truth' is Too Strong for Christian Apologetics"

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Aron Lucas earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2016, and is using his sharp legal mind to defend Hume's Maxim against apologists Michael Licona, Stephen Davis, J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig and Timothy & Lydia McGrew. It's an excellent piece of counter-apologetics! David Hume's maxim is this: "That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish." John Earman faults Hume for basically stating the obvious, but Lucas shows that "if Hume is to be faulted for stating the obvious, many of today's leading Christian thinkers should be faulted all the more for failing to see the obvious." Excerpt below:

Christianity Is Beyond Redemption

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Apologists can’t help themselves…or the faith
When I look back, through a fog of nostalgia, at my own religious upbringing, it all seems like a harmless adventure. In rural Indiana in the 1950s we knew that religion was a great benefit to mankind; worshipping God was the decent thing to do, as was telling the world the good news about Jesus. It was a sheltered perspective.

My mother was a voracious reader, and everyone loved the local librarian, but had there been a conspiracy? Or was it just negligence: No one bothered to tell me about Thomas Paine, Robert Ingersoll, H. L. Mencken—or even Bertrand Russell, who, fifteen years before I was born, had delivered his famous Why I Am Not a Christian lecture. Criticism of Christianity was nothing new, but we were in a little cocoon. The 1950s are so long ago and far away: withering criticism of Christianity is now mainstream and in-your-face.

An Interview With Dr. Ralph Lewis On His Excellent Book, "Finding Purpose in a Godless World."

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Earlier I had written a blurb for Ralph Lewis's excellent book, LINK: Finding Purpose in a Godless World: Why We Care Even If the Universe Doesn't. I wrote:
The question of life's purpose is probably the main reason believers cannot bring themselves to reevaluate and reject the antiquated religions they've been indoctrinated to believe. Prompted by a personal crisis, Dr. Lewis has written a definitive answer to this question, one which I hope gains a substantial audience.
Below is an interview and an excerpt from his book. Enjoy. Then. Get. His. Book. Now!

In Defense of David Hume On Miracles

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I'm researching Hume's arguments against miracles in chapter ten of his Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, to be read here.

Christian apologists unanimously think Hume's argument in Part I fails. See Richard Swinburne in his books, The Existence of God, and The Concept of Miracle, along with other apologetical works by C.S. Lewis, William Lane Craig, Norman Geisler, and others too many to name.


What surprised me is that some significant atheist philosophers also think Hume's argument fails, like Michael Martin (Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, pp. 194-196), Michael Levine (The Cambridge Companion to Miracles, pp. 291-308), and Graham Oppy (Arguing About Gods, pp. 376-382), who strangely says "Hume's argument against belief in miracle reports fails no less surely than do the various arguments from miracle reports to the existence of an orthodoxy conceived monotheistic god" (p. 381). Agnostic/atheist John Earman thinks Hume's argument is an Abject Failure (as seen in his book by that title). And while J.L. Mackie defends Hume against some objections, even he thinks Hume's argument needs "improvement" (p. 25) by being "tidied up and restated" (p. 17) due to "inaccuracies" (p. 27), with one part he calls "very unsatisfactory" (p. 23).

I'm finding that only three atheist philosophers think Hume's argument in Part I succeeds, Antony Flew, Evan Fales and Nicholas Everitt (see his chapter 6 in The Non-Existence of God). As I study this issue out, I agree with them.

What is Hume Doing In His Essay “Of Miracles”?

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Much of the scholarship having to do with Hume’s argument against miracles has to do with trying to understand it. Philosopher Michael Levine claims Part I of Hume’s essay is an "a priori" case against miracles (The Cambridge Companion to Miracles, p. 302) based on considerations of natural law before there's a miracle claim--that the evidence of natural law outweighs any testimony to a miracle--whereas Part II is an a posteriori case against miracles, “even if miracles have occurred.” (p. 293).
About Hume’s principal argument in Part I, Levine says “it fails” (p. 296) as an “unsuccessful” (p. 292) “superfluous” (p. 302) “misadventure” (p. 292). “It is a gloss for understanding the underlying supposition that one cannot have an ‘impression’ of a supernatural event” (p. 302). This underlying empiricist supposition is a theme of Hume’s, in which he argues we don’t have empirical sense impressions of ‘cause and effect’ or any divine activity, or the self for that matter, which is nothing but a bundle of sensations. So “Given his view that divine activity is impossible to know, Hume’s argument in Part I is in a sense superfluous” (p. 302).
Part I presupposes naturalism, Levine says. Philosophers like him, who rule out the possibility of miracles “are in effect presupposing or else arguing for a thoroughgoing naturalism. Hence, Hume’s empiricism commits him to naturalism, and if that goes unrecognized, his a priori argument in Part I of his essay against the possibility of justified belief in miracles is impossible to follow.” (p. 292). All one has to admit is that “naturalism is possibly false.” Once this is admitted “miracles are possible.” (p. 292).
Hume is thus constrained by his empiricism in such a way that had he been on the shore of the Red Sea with Moses, and had the Red Sea crashed to a close the moment the last Israelite was safe, Hume would still be constrained by his principles to deny that what was witnessing was a miracle (p. 298).

Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho

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What follows is a short account of the brief history of archaeology, with the emphasis on the crises and the big bang, so to speak, of the past decade. The critical question of this archaeological revolution has not yet trickled down into public consciousness, but it cannot be ignored. By Ze'ev Herzog.

Religion Photos of the Week

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You too could have been a Buddhist monk, and other recent religion photos of the week.

When Will the Next President Be an Atheist?

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Did you know that John Adams once called Thomas Jefferson an ATHEIST as part of his negative campaigning efforts? All these years later, that label still horrifies the good citizens of America and has the potential to ruin a politicians chances of becoming President.

Philosopher Michael Levine On Miracles

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There are basically three philosophical questions of interest about miracles. The first is whether miracles are possible. The second is whether anyone can ever be justified, epistemologically speaking, in believing that a miracle has occurred. With regard to this question it is important to note that the fact one can imagine conditions in which belief in a miracle would would be justified does absolutely nothing to show that anyone has been so justified. The third question is whether anyone is or has been so justified.[1] These questions can be answered in short order. The first two questions have sheltered philosophers from dealing with the only philosophically significant question about miracles per se -- the third question.

The first two questions lead to various questions concerning the laws of nature, and naturalism versus supernaturalism. These issues may be worth pursuing in their own right, but they are of little consequence when it comes to the important third question about miracles. Is anyone epistemologically justified in believing in a miracle--for example, on the basis of Scripture and historical evidence? The question is not the modal one of whether one could be justified, but whether anyone is (or has been) so justified. It is this third question that Hume addresses in Part II of his essay, and it is this question that was of primary concern to him...In Part II he argues straightforwardly and on the basis of ordinary reasons--the kind used all of the time to dismiss such reports--that no one is justified in believing in miracles.

Philosophical discussion about miracles frequently ignores the question (Hume's central concern) of whether there exists historical evidence, testimony--including testimony in the form of Scripture--or first-hand experience, that justifies belief in the miraculous. Those who wish to champion miracles either argue that such evidence exists or else they merely assume it. But the question of whether such evidence does exist, by itself, is the crucial question about justified belief in miracles."

[1] A fourth question might be 'what is a miracle?' I do not, however, think that there is much of philosophical interest attached to this question. Aquinas' definition suffices: "Those things are properly called miracles which are done by divine agency beyond the order commonly observed in nature" (Summa Contra Gentiles, III). Following Hume, a miracle is frequently defined as a violation of a law of nature, but technically speaking this is a mistake. Laws of nature are meant to account for or describe natural events, not supernaturally caused events. Miracles, being outside the scope of laws of nature, cannot properly be seen as violations of them.

From The Cambridge Companion to Miracles, pp. 291-294.

What Is It with Christians and Violence?

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Christian soldiers, please give it a rest

A few days ago a Christian posted this comment on my book’s Facebook page: “I don't care if you're an atheist. Why should you care if I'm a Christian?‬‬” I responded, “Is it REALLY that hard to figure out?” and I provided the link to Richard Carrier’s recent article, “What’s the Harm? Why Religious Belief Is Always Bad.”

Within seconds—there had not been enough time for him to read the article—he responded, with no interest whatever in discussing the issue he had raised: “What a small and narrow-minded person you must be. You think you can paint millions of people with one tiny brush.‪ But you've got your own little cult, right here. And you're raking in the profits. Good for you!‬‬”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

A Miracle Is A Supernaturally Caused Extraordinary Event

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There have been a lot of definitions of the word "Miracle." In the pre-scientific biblical past the term "signs and wonders" sufficed. This term referred to the extraordinary actions of their God. But in the Bible everything that happened was due to God's working. The only difference that mattered was whether events were ordinary (that is, occurred frequently, or frequently enough) or extraordinary (that is, didn't happen much, or not at all). For people living in this era anything was possible, so they could even pray for a mountain to be uprooted and cast into the sea (Mark 11:23; Matt. 21:21; Luke 17:6).

[As an aside: What is considered possible has changed with the advance of science. God is doing less and less as science progresses. And so too, believers are asking for less and less. Let that sink in. Rather than making excuses for your deity try reasonably explaining why this trend is the case.]

Based on the above considerations, my definition of miracle is not intended to apply to the period before the rise of modern science, since trying to do so creates many of the definitional problems. I think a good definition of a miracle is that it's a supernaturally caused extraordinary event, one that's scientifically unexplainable by natural processes alone. Any claim that an extraordinary event occurred requires more than just ordinary evidence before reasonable people should accept it. For the evidence required should be commensurate with the type of claim being made. So the more extraordinary the claim is then the more extraordinary the evidence required to accept it.

Ordinary testimony is sufficient to accept many claims of our experience. But when an extraordinary--out of the ordinary--claim is made, it demands stronger testimony, more evidence, and/or stronger evidence for it. Discuss.

So You Think You're Being Persecuted?

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I keep hearing a lot of talk these days about religious freedom. Apparently, many American Christians, even though they are in the majority, believe that they're being persecuted. I can't remember a time when atheists made these same claims. Atheists, in America at least, depend upon the separation of church and state to offer them protection. Yet, living as a minority in the Bible belt, I often feel that I'm expected to conform or shut up. And, while I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm being persecuted, I think that if most Christians were in my shoes, they'd feel deeply offended. 

The Latest from Ray Comfort

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In a recent YouTube interview, evangelist Ray Comfort somewhat surprisingly admitted that certain things in the Bible — things like the talking snake and Jonah and the whale — are “crazy,” and even “intellectually offensive.” This doesn’t mean he’s becoming more enlightened: Comfort fully believes that the stories involved are veridical. However, he has an explanation for why these things happened.

Am I "Totally Wrong" About Faith? *Sheesh*

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I wish atheists would do their research before claiming I'm "totally wrong" about something. This stuff is quite disconcerting.

The Need to Require Sufficient Objective Evidence

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This excellent essay is based on the facts of human nature. It explains why we need an FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh. It can also explain why religious hucksters have it easy on gullible people who don't require sufficient objective evidence before believing them. Don't trust your feelings. Don't trust subjective states of affairs. Seek sufficient objective evidence or you'll believe lies, many of which your parents and culture indoctrinated you to believe. LINK.

Made-to-Order Stories for the Jesus Cult

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But consistency was not a virtue
Every missionary who has ever lived has been inspired by the famous ‘Great Commission,’ spoken by the resurrected Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” Of course, we have a right to be skeptical that a dead man came back to life to give orders, but there are other reasons as well for suspecting that Jesus—even while he was alive—didn’t say this.

Christian Apologist Vincent J. Torley Now Argues Michael Alter’s Bombshell Book Demolishes Christian Apologists’ Case for the Resurrection

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Dr. Vincent J. Torley is no stranger to us at DC. We've dealt with him plenty of times before. To his credit he engages us in an intelligent and civil manner.

Not too long ago I challenged him to read Michael J. Alter's book Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry as the best book on the resurrection, by far. He read it. Alter's book changed his mind. Torley offered three reasons why he changed his mind about the resurrection and credited me with the first one! He now says:
It is not often that I encounter a book which forces me to undergo a fundamental rethink on a vital issue. Michael Alter’s The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry is one such book. The issue it addresses is whether the New Testament provides good evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Prior to reading Michael Alter’s book, I believed that a Christian could make a strong case for Jesus’ having been raised from the dead, on purely historical grounds. After reading the book, I would no longer espouse this view. Alter has convincingly demolished Christian apologists’ case for the Resurrection – and he’s got another book coming out soon, which is even more hard-hitting than his first one, judging from the excerpts which I’ve read.

Diehard skeptics will of course dismiss the Resurrection as fiction because they reject the very idea of the supernatural, but Michael Alter, a Jewish author who has spent more than a decade researching the Resurrection, isn’t one of these skeptics. Alter willingly grants for the sake of argument the existence of a personal God Who works miracles and Who has revealed Himself in the Hebrew Bible. Despite these generous concessions to his Christian opponents, I have to say that Alter’s book is the most devastating critique of the case for the Resurrection that I have ever read....reading Alter’s book will make you realize that what historians know about Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and post-mortem appearances to his disciples is very little: far too little for a Christian to base their belief in the reality of Jesus’ Resurrection on the historical evidence alone. I now believe that only the grace of God could possibly justify making such an intellectual commitment.
If you think that's stunning you won't believe what Torley says next, about the minimal facts and the maximal data approaches to defending the resurrection:

Religion Photos of the Week.

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These photos remind us again that the religion we adopt is the one we were raised with, and the need for the Outsider Test for Faith. See here for more.

God’s Big Screw-up of Intelligent Design

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He isn’t in the details after all

“This is the day that the Lord has made,” so said the ancient psalmist (118:24), “let us rejoice and be glad in it.” The certainty that God makes things is firmly imbedded in the religious psyche. The apostle Paul was sure he knew what God was like, and the beginning of this wisdom could be found by observing the world: “Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.” (Romans 1:20). If you push most people of faith to explain why they believe in God, sooner or later you’ll hear, “Well, this world didn’t just happen. Someone had to make it!” And, of course, Genesis 1 tells how it all happened.

Sometimes we’ll even be reminded of William Paley’s famous 1802 analogy of a watch found on the ground, “while crossing a heath.” Of course the complicated timepiece had a maker, so how can we not see that nature itself—so much more intricate—must have had a maker as well? These days, of course, Intelligent Design crowd is in our face to push the fine-turning argument.

The Modal Ontological Argument

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The ontological argument that is most touted these days is Alvin Plantinga’s modal version. There are several videos defending it on YouTube, and more than one caller to The Atheist Experience has used it to make his case. (One online defense of it can be seen here.)

The argument begins with the innocuous-sounding claim that it is possible that God exists. This is something most atheists would readily admit. After all, atheists — even positive atheists, who claim that God does not exist — don’t usually say that God couldn’t possibly exist. There may not be a God, but we can imagine a different reality in which there was one. And if it is logically possible for there to be a God, then there is a possible world in which God exists — even if in the actual world he doesn't.

But this of course depends on what is meant by “God.” Plantinga defines it as a being with “maximal greatness.” To have maximal greatness is to have every great-making property (power, goodness, and so on) to the greatest possible degree in every possible world. (After all, being perfect only in some possible worlds isn’t quite as outstanding as being perfect in every possible world.) In other words, a being that would be omnipotent, perfectly good, etc., in every possible world, would be maximally great.

But now, if it is possible for God (a maximally great being) to exist, then God exists in some possible world. But if God exists in some possible world, then it follows that he exists in every possible world — otherwise, he wouldn’t be maximally great in that one world. And if God exists in every possible world, then he exists in the actual world. Plantinga therefore contends that, given the possibility of God, you must accept that he exists.

This is a bit confusing, but perhaps what Plantinga’s claiming here can be better understood by means of an analogy. Consider Goldbach’s Conjecture, which is the most famous of all unsolved mathematical problems (it states that every even integer greater than two is the sum of two primes). Now, given that mathematical truths are necessary, it follows that if Goldbach’s Conjecture is true, then it is necessarily true — that is, it is true in every possible world. Suppose then that we claim it is possible that the conjecture is true — and that we mean, not merely epistemically possible (that for all we know it might be true), but logically possible. Suppose, in other words, that the conjecture is true in at least one possible world — say, that in World 435873, a mathematician has found a valid proof of it. If so, then, because what that mathematician has proved is a necessary truth — true for all possible worlds — Goldbach‘s Conjecture must be true in the actual world. Thus, the mere claim that the conjecture is logically possible implies that it is true. And that is what Plantinga is arguing for God’s existence. Given the way he defines things, the mere assertion that God is logically possible means that God exists.

As I said, the argument begins with an innocuous-sounding claim: that it is possible that God exists. However, as I also pointed out, the reasonableness of that claim depends on how “God” is defined. And so we need to ask whether as defined by Plantinga, God is possible.

In the YouTube video linked above, the presenter points out that one might argue against the possibility of God by claiming that the concept of God is contradictory — e.g., by raising the paradox of omnipotence. Can a God create a rock so heavy that even he couldn’t lift it? He then dismisses the paradox and concludes, at least provisionally, that God is after all possible — and therefore, given Plantinga’s argument, must exist. But that hardly touches upon the real problem. Plantinga defines God as maximally great — not merely as omnipotent — and the question is whether maximal greatness is possible.

Let’s consider Goldbach’s Conjecture once more. It may also seem innocuous to claim that it is possibly true — and it is, provided we mean epistemically possible. After all, it may be true. (In fact, there are good reasons for thinking it is.) But to claim that it is logically possible isn’t innocuous at all. For as we’ve seen, that is equivalent to claiming it is true. And yet that is exactly what Plantinga is doing with regards to the existence of God.

To claim that a maximally great being is logically possible is to claim that such a being actually exists. If a maximally great being doesn’t exist, then it isn’t even possible for it to exist (just as if Goldbach’s Conjecture isn’t true, then it isn’t even possible for it to be true). Thus, the question whether it is in fact possible cannot simply be ignored. Furthermore, unlike with Goldbach’s Conjecture, there are good reasons for claiming that it isn’t true that such a being exists. For it can only exist if in fact there is no possible world without an omnipotent, perfectly good being in it. And why would that be? Why isn’t there a possible world with nothing in it except, say, Alvin Plantinga’s beard?

The funny thing about all this is that Plantinga himself has admitted that his argument doesn’t prove there is a God. Even though the argument is valid — that is, the conclusion follows from its one premise — and Plantinga believes it is sound (since he believes the premise that God is possible is true), he admits that it is not a good argument. For, as we’ve just seen, an atheist who understands it is just going to deny the possibility of such a God. Plantinga has even compared it with arguing “Either 7+5 = 13 or God exists; 7+5 ≠ 13; therefore, God exists.” This, too, is a valid argument. In addition, Plantinga believes it is a sound argument (since he believes God exists, and thus regards both premises as true). But even if it is sound, it is not a good argument. After all, an atheist isn’t going to accept the first premise.

You might think that Plantinga himself admitting his argument doesn’t prove God’s existence would be enough to make theists stop using it. But you'd be wrong.



Franz Kiekeben is a former lecturer in philosophy and the author of two books on atheism, The Truth about God, and Atheism: Q & A. He has also written for Skeptic magazine and published academic articles on determinism and on time travel.

Religion Photos of the Week -- We Could Be Indoctrinated Differently

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Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week’s gallery includes images from Rosh Hashana, Ganesh Chaturthi, Muharram and more.

LINK: "Religion News Service Photos of the Week"

Must Watch! This is Why Believers Refuse to Look At Their Own Religion As Outsiders Do!!

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God’s “Emotions” … Are They Actually a Thing?

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So many wrong guesses about God
It’s my hunch that sitting in church in the 18th century was not much fun. I doubt if there were cushions on the pews, there was no air-conditioning, the preachers were long-winded and dour. One of the classic sermons of that era is Jonathan Edward’s “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” He wanted folks to know how mad God was…at almost everyone, it would seem.

“The reason why [wicked men] do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in the hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath. Yea, god is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell.” 


Yes, you read that right. Reverend Edwards said that God was angrier with some of his parishioners than he was with many of the folks already in the ‘flames of hell.’ He had read the New Testament accurately, of course. In Matthew 25:45, for example, Jesus seethed against people who failed to show sufficient compassion: “And these will go away into eternal punishment…” Talk about harsh. His cousin John the Baptist was good at seething as well: “John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’” (Luke 3:7) The apostle Paul was confident that God’s default emotion was wrath. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness…” (Romans 1:18) That wrath was permanently in place, and only the select few will escape: “…now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:9)

Two questions should come to mind.

Look At What You Could've Been Raised to Believe and Ask How You Could Come To The Truth?

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Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week’s gallery includes images from Indian celebrations, an Orthodox Christian conference and more. My question to honest believers is this one: Look at what you could've been raised to believe, then ask yourself how you could come to know the truth if you were raised incorrectly? I'm here to remind you there's a way to know which religion is true, if there is one. You can find it explained right here if you dare.

Do Christians Consider Curiosity a Sin?

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The impact of “…distrust for deep thought…”
A Christian recently posted a comment on the Facebook page for my book: “You seem to have prayed for something and didn’t get it. Isn’t that the main reason people turn atheist?” There are certain situations in which unanswered prayer could be a reason—and I’ll get to that in a moment. But this suggestion about the ‘main reason’ was a clue that this guy remains inside a hard plastic bubble to protect the faith. If he had made serious inquiries about atheism, he would have discovered many other reasons for which people reject belief in God. But why bother? He wasn’t that curious.

This is a common pattern. During the last six years Christians have dropped by the Facebook page to offer their protests and objections—as well as amateurish analysis of my critiques of their faith. One thing has stood out, constantly: They don’t know much about their own religion. I see so little evidence that serious investigation of faith has been attempted. Life inside their hard plastic bubbles doesn’t include curiosity. They know what they know, and that’s enough.