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Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder

Table of Contents

Metaphysical Naturalism

Christianity: Historical Criticism and Counter-Apologetics

Featured Editorials

Reviews

See Also


Metaphysical Naturalism

NOTE: Metaphysical naturalism entails, but is broader than, atheism.

Atheism and Society (1997)

A discussion of the position of atheism within today's society--including how it affects people's day-to-day relationships. Particularly recommended if you're an atheist or agnostic.

Is Atheism Presumptuous? A Reply to Paul Copan (2000)

Lowder refutes Paul Copan's claim that Antony Flew's "presumption of atheism" is itself presumptuous.

In Defense of an Evidential Argument from Evil: A Reply to William Lane Craig (2016)

In a popular article about general arguments from evil against the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good God, William Lane Craig raises objections to such arguments that are consistent with those he earlier raised against Paul Draper's evidential pain-and-pleasure argument from evil in an oral debate with Draper in 1998. In this article Jeffrey Jay Lowder considers whether Craig's points have any force in rebutting Draper's writings on his pain-and-pleasure argument, ultimately concluding that they leave Draper's argument unscathed.

Is a Proof of the Nonexistence of a God Even Possible? (1998)

A common objection to atheism--one stated by many scholars and laymen, theists and nontheists--is that it is impossible to prove the nonexistence of God. Yet there are actually two ways to prove the nonexistence of something. One way is to prove that it cannot exist because its very concept is self-contradictory (e.g., square circles, married bachelors, etc.). The other way is by carefully looking and seeing. Both of these methods can and have been used to disprove various conceptions of God.

The Empirical Case for Metaphysical Naturalism (1999)

Lowder argues that the physical dependence of minds upon the brain, along with the argument from evil, can be used to construct an empirical case for metaphysical naturalism.

David Noebel on Atheism and Biological Evolution (2000)

A critical notice of David Noebel's book, Understanding the Times. I assess in detail Noebel's objections to atheism and biological evolution. Along the way I discuss such diverse topics as the argument from reasonable nonbelief, cosmic vs. personal meaning, methodological naturalism, abiogenesis and the origin of life, whether natural selection is a tautology, beneficial mutations, the fossil record, and punctuated equilibrium.

Summary and Assessment of the Craig-Jesseph Debate (1998)

A summary and assessment of the 1997 debate on the existence of God between William Lane Craig and Doug Jesseph. Lowder concludes that the overall debate was a draw (in terms of quality of argument), but that Craig won as far as the effectiveness of presentation was concerned.

Summary of the Kurtz-Craig Debate (2001)

A summary of the 2001 debate between Paul Kurtz and William Lane Craig on ethics without God.

Christianity: Historical Criticism and Counter-Apologetics

NOTE: Includes critiques of both Christian apologists (Josh McDowell and William Lane Craig) and critics of Christianity (Dennis McKinsey and William Edelen).

Empty Defense of an Empty Tomb: A Reply to Anne A. Kim's Misunderstandings (2012)

William Lane Craig has argued for the historicity of Jesus' empty tomb on the basis of ten lines of evidence. In response, Jeffery Jay Lowder argued that Craig had not yet shown that any of his ten items of evidence make the empty tomb more probable than not. Anne A. Kim has attempted to defend some of Craig's arguments against Lowder's objections, but as Lowder shows in this response to Kim, Kim has repeatedly misunderstood his points and attacked caricatures of his arguments rather than his actual arguments.

Historical Evidence and the Empty Tomb Story: A Reply to William Lane Craig (2001)

Lowder provides a point-by-point rebuttal to Craig's case for the empty tomb. Along the way, Lowder defends a naturalistic explanation of the empty tomb. He concludes that historians should be agnostic about the empty tomb story.

Was the Burial of Jesus a Temporary One, Because of Time Constraints? (2002) by Glenn Miller (Off Site)

Miller rebuts the hypothesis that Jesus' body was only temporarily stored in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb.

Reply to Glenn Miller on the Burial of Jesus (2002) by Richard Carrier

Carrier concludes that, despite Miller's objections, the relocation hypothesis is still a plausible one.

The Historicity of Jesus' Resurrection (1995) [ Index ]

A critical assessment of the arguments used by Christians and skeptics about the resurrection of Jesus.

How Not to Refute Biblical Infallibility: A Reply to William Edelen (2000)

Lowder responds to a recent attack on Biblical infallibility by William Edelen, arguing that every one of Edelen's objections are fallacious.

How Not to Refute the Historicity and Resurrection of Jesus: A Critique of Dennis McKinsey's Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy (2001)

"Although McKinsey occasionally raises some good points concerning the Resurrection and the extrabiblical references to Jesus, they are often hidden within many more objections that are either irrelevant, fallacious, or both. Moreover, there are many important issues related to the historicity of Jesus and the Resurrection, which McKinsey ignores. ... Given these shortcomings in the sections on the historicity and resurrection of Jesus, I can't help but wonder what deficiencies exist in the rest of McKinsey's Encyclopedia. I do not recommend skeptics rely on McKinsey's scholarship without first independently verifying his claims in a reliable source."

Independent Confirmation and the Historicity of Jesus (1997)

Lowder argues that there is nothing intrinsically improbable about the mere existence of a man named Jesus; the New Testament alone should constitute prima facie evidence for the historicity of Jesus.

The Jury Is In: The Ruling on McDowell's "Evidence" (editor) [ Index ]

A comprehensive rebuttal to Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict, which many Christians mysteriously hail as a masterpiece of Christian apologetics. McDowell refuses to link to this critique.

Featured Editorials

Anti-Atheist Media Bias? (1998)

Many political and religious conservatives complain that American media is "liberal," "secular," or even "anti-Christian." But is this really true? Was the recent Wall Street Journal attack on the Campus Freethought Alliance just an anomaly? Or is the American media biased in favor of theism?

Government-Sanctioned National Day of Prayer? (1998)

On May 7, 1998, more than a million Americans reportedly observed the 47th annual National Day of Prayer. The theme was, "America, Return to God," and was based on Joel 2:12-13. In other words, we must repent of our sins and submit our lives to God. But what are the legal implications of government sponsorship of this religious observance?

The God of Terrorism (1998)

Pat Robertson recently predicted that Florida would get hit by a hurricane because it hosted "Gay Days." But what sort of God does Robertson belive in?

In Defense of the Original, Secular Pledge of Allegiance (2002)

Lowder defends the original, secular Pledge of Allegiance. He argues that inserting the words "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance was an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

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A Response to Jeffery Jay Lowder's "In Defense of the Original, Secular Pledge of Allegiance" (2003) by Donn Day (Off Site)

Day argues that "under God" is not an establishment of religion. Moreover, the First Amendment does not stop the government from endorsing belief over nonbelief.

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Is 'Freethinker' Synonymous with Nontheist? (2001)

Quoting Bertrand Russell, Lowder argues that theists can be freethinkers and that not all nontheists are freethinkers.

'Secular' Does Not Mean 'Atheistic' (2000)

Debate is raging through the country over the recent Supreme Court decision not to allowstudent-led prayer on the football field. Lowder challenges the opposition by clarifying the difference between a secular government and an atheistic one, thereby showing the fallacies of the arguments being raised.

The Pledge of Allegiance, the Courts, and Death Threats (2002)

Lowder discusses the recent public backlash against the Pledge of Allegiance decision, including death threats against the Plaintiff.

Reviews

Can Man Live Without God? by Ravi Zacharias (1999)

New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell (2001)

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (Updated: June 4, 2002)

Free Advertising Isn't the Point (2000)

Lowder responds to a recent Hanegraaff "Bible Answer Man" radio show segment with The Case for Christ author Lee Strobel. After a caller mentioned Lowder's book review on the Internet and asked Strobel to respond, he and Hanegraaff went to great lengths to avoid talking about it or mentioning "Lowder" or the "Secular Web" by name, claiming that it would be "free advertising" to do so. Why are these gentlemen afraid of us? What are they trying to hide from their listeners?

Atheism, Morality, and Meaning by Michael Martin (2003)

On Two Reviews of Atheism, Morality and Meaning by Michael Martin (2003)

Michael Martin responds to reviews by Taner Edis and Jeffery Jay Lowder of his book Atheism, Morality and Meaning, answering Lowder's specific criticisms which, according to Martin, are based at least in part on "serious misunderstandings."

Reply to Martin on Atheism and Morality (2003)

Lowder responds to Martin's recent reply to his review of Martin's book, Atheism, Morality and Meaning, answering Martin's objections.

See Also

A Fond Farewell to Jeffery Jay Lowder (2000) by James Still

On January 15, after five years of building the Secular Web from the ground up, Internet Infidels President Jeffery Jay Lowder will retire. Jeff has decided it is time to move on and is interested in going back to school to study philosophy. He also looks forward to finishing several papers and other projects.

Internet Infidels: A Decade of Internet Infidels (MP3) (2005)

InfidelGuy (Reginald Finley) discusses the 10 Year Anniversary of the Secular Web with Internet Infidels founder Jeffery J. Lowder (Real Audio), Executive Director Keith Augustine, and Publicity Director Clark Adams. Topics discussed include the history, purpose, and current projects of Internet Infidels, the usefulness of religious debates, the online community fostered by the Internet Infidels Discussion Forum, and the future of the Secular Web. Questions and comments from callers are included.

The Lowder-Fernandes Debate: Naturalism vs. Theism: Which Way Does the Evidence Point? (1999)

Order your copy of the videotape of this debate today!

T.J. Walker's Radio Interview of Lowder (July 12, 1999) (Off Site) (16 minutes Real Audio file)

NOTE: You will need a Real Audio player to listen to this interview. To download a Real Audio player on your system, please go to http://www.real.com

T.J. Walker talks to Lowder about the history and purpose of Internet Infidels, Inc.; the meanings of terms 'atheism' and 'agnosticism'; Pat Robertson; whether we should ignore the Radical Religious Right; Margaret Downey's battle against discrimination by the Boy Scouts of America; whether having "In God We Trust" printed on all U.S. currency really matters; what the Secular Web has to offer; how the Internet offers freethinkers a level playing field in the marketplace of ideas; the fact that nontheists are the last minority in the USA which it is politically correct to hate; how freethinkers can support the Secular Web.


Jeffery Jay Lowder is the co-founder and past President of Internet Infidels, Inc., an international coalition of non-theists dedicated to promoting and defending a naturalistic worldview on the Internet.


Published on the Secular Web


Modern Library

In Defense of an Evidential Argument from Evil: A Reply to William Lane Craig

In a popular article about general arguments from evil against the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good God, William Lane Craig raises objections to such arguments that are consistent with those he earlier raised against Paul Draper's evidential pain-and-pleasure argument from evil in an oral debate with Draper in 1998. In this article Jeffrey Jay Lowder considers whether Craig's points have any force in rebutting Draper's writings on his pain-and-pleasure argument, ultimately concluding that they leave Draper's argument unscathed.

Nontheism Atheism Outreach

Atheistic Outreach Pro-Outreach Advice from an Agnostic Baptist Minister: Culture-Jamming Theistic Memes Effectively…but Respectfully (n.d.) by Anonymous “Culture jamming the theistic memes” is a perfectly legitimate enterprise if that is what one believes will make a positive difference in the world. Keep in mind, however, that it will be most successful reaching those not already […]

Metaphysical Naturalism?

Naturalism is an alternative to supernaturalism, which includes theism. Paul Draper, an agnostic philosopher at Florida International University, explains the difference between naturalism and theism well: “Naturalism and theism are powerful and popular worldviews. They suggest very different conceptions of the nature of human beings, our relationship to the world, and our future. Though I […]

The Rest of the Story

Updated: June 4, 2002 The following book review is a revised version of the original review published in Philo 2 (1999), pp. 89-102. Review of Lee Strobel The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998. Lee Strobel, an ex-investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune who […]

Free Advertising Isn’t the Point

Related documents:  “The Rest of the Story” (2002) by Jeffery Jay Lowder Lowder’s review of Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ. On July 13, 2000, I happened to be flipping through radio stations when I stumbled upon a talk radio show with a voice familiar to me. As luck would have it, it was Lee […]

Jeff Lowder Jury Chap5

Josh McDowell’s “Evidence” for Jesus Is It Reliable? Jeffery Jay Lowder Last Updated: May 15, 2000 Overview: Christian Sources: New Testament | Church Fathers Non-Christian Sources: Josephus | The Talmud | Pliny the Younger | Tacitus | Suetonius | Thallus | Phlegon | Mara Bar-Serapion | Lucian | Hadrian Miscellaneous: Notes | Related Documents In the fifth chapter […]

David Noebel on Atheism and Biological Evolution

A critical notice of David Noebel's book, Understanding the Times. I assess in detail Noebel's objections to atheism and biological evolution. Along the way I discuss such diverse topics as the argument from reasonable nonbelief, cosmic vs. personal meaning, methodological naturalism, abiogenesis and the origin of life, whether natural selection is a tautology, beneficial mutations, the fossil record, and punctuated equilibrium.

A Reply to William Edelen

How Not to Refute Biblical Infallibility A Reply to William Edelen (2000) Jeffery Jay Lowder In his recent column, “The Bible and the Gullible,” William Edelen rails against anyone who believes that the Bible is without error or contradiction. I agree with Edelen that the Bible does contain both errors and contradictions. What I disagree […]

Is “Freethinker” Synonymous with Nontheist?

Updated: October 13, 2001 In this column, I want to consider two distinct but closely related questions: (1) can a theist be a freethinker?; and (2) are all nontheists freethinkers? I shall argue that the answer to (1) is “yes” and the answer to (2) is “no.” I shall then argue that nontheists should stop […]

The Rest of the Story

(1999) Eyewitness Evidence | Documentary Evidence | Corroborating Evidence | Scientific Evidence | Rebuttal Evidence | Identity Evidence | Psychological Evidence | Profile Evidence | Fingerprint Evidence | Medical Evidence | Evidence of the Missing Body | Evidence of the Appearances | Circumstantial Evidence | Concluding Thoughts | Addendum | Related Resources This review was […]

Atheism and Society

A discussion of the position of atheism within today's society--including how it affects people's day-to-day relationships. Particularly recommended if you're an atheist or agnostic.

Is a Sound Argument for the Nonexistence of a God Even Possible?

A common objection to atheism--one stated by many scholars and laymen, theists and nontheists--is that it is impossible to prove the nonexistence of God. Yet there are actually two ways to prove the nonexistence of something. One way is to prove that it cannot exist because its very concept is self-contradictory (e.g., square circles, married bachelors, etc.). The other way is by carefully looking and seeing. Both of these methods can and have been used to disprove various conceptions of God.

Jeff Lowder Jury

The Jury Is In The Ruling on McDowell’s “Evidence” Jeffery Jay Lowder (editor) Introduction (1997) by Jeffery Jay Lowder Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict (hereafter, “ETDAV“) is arguably one of the most influential Christian apologetic books today. The purpose of Jury shall be to evaluate how well it does. Chapter 1. The Uniqueness […]

Jeff Lowder Media Nonfiction

Media & Reviews Nonfiction Books The following are selected works for further study. While space constraints prevent listing every possible book under each category, this bibliography attempts to list what the editor considers the best contemporary books for each topic. While this bibliography is slanted in favor of atheism, the editor has selected one or […]

Atheism: Publishers & Booksellers

Media & Reviews Publishers & Booksellers American Atheist Press Carries books, booklets, bumper stickers, and videos on Atheist and freethought topics. Their catalog is available on their web page; a free hard copy is also available via snail-mail. Their books include critiques of the Bible, lists of Biblical contradictions, and so on. One such book […]

“Secular” Does Not Mean “Atheistic”

onday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in a Texas case that public schools cannot allow student-led prayer before high school football games. Reaction to this ruling among believers has been mixed.  While some believers (especially those who belong to minority faiths) welcomed the ruling as a reinforcement in the wall of separation of state […]
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