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Vincent Torley

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Interview with Vincent Torley on Recent Apologetics

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this roughly 40-minute return interview with skeptical Catholic Vincent Torley, opening with his critique of recent defenses of long-popular Christian apologetics, such as his recent Skeptical Zone post on Gavin Ortlund's (unsuccessful) defense of C. S. Lewis' liar, lunatic, or lord trilemma on Cameron Bertuzzi's Capturing Christianity podcast in August 2022, an argument that actually goes back to its first formulation in the late 19th century by Scots preacher John Duncan ("Christ either deceived mankind by conscious fraud, or He was Himself deluded and self-deceived, or He was Divine"). Torley notes that there are, in fact, seven or so alternatives, including that Jesus' divine status was merely a legend, that Jesus was mistaken without being insane, that Jesus was simply a mystic, or that Jesus never even existed as a historical figure at all, among other possibilities. Torley summarizes Ortlund's responses to these alternatives, which claim that they are not genuine possibilities for Jesus, and Ortlund's reasons for maintaining that Jesus was neither a "liar" nor a "lunatic," either. Torley then outlines the unintelligibility of the theological concepts of incarnation or the Trinity, despite recent attempts to make sense of them, before returning to the point that neither the traditional "lord, liar, or lunatic" nor modified "cosmic judge, liar, or lunatic" trilemma will be convincing in light of scriptural sources. Tahmizian then turns the discussion back to the unintelligibility of the incarnation and the Trinity, and how the human disposition to sin could possibly fit into such concepts, before closing on lighter topics like what life is like for Torley in Japan. Tune in for this fascinating discussion of an often-repeated but not particularly compelling apologetic argument!

Interview with Vincent Torley on Free Will

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this twenty-five-minute return interview with Vincent Torley, the skeptical Catholic and former intelligent design proponent who wrote the blog series An A-Z of Unanswered Objections to Christianity, on the issue of whether or not the theological problems that arise from the existence of an inclination to sin under either compatibilist or libertarian notions of free will are insurmountable. The interlocutors canvass various unsuccessful attempts to solve the problem before focusing on whether introducing the notion of first- and second-order desires could give a theological out for why human beings have an inclination to sin in the first place. The discussion then turns to whether or not the way that we conceive of ourselves, or the inferiority of God’s creatures compared to himself, could dissolve the problem. Tune in for this in-depth analysis of attempts to get out of a central theological conundrum!

Dr. Vincent Torley and Edouard Tahmizian Interview

Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian for this just over one-hour interview with Vincent Torley, a skeptical Catholic and former intelligent design proponent who wrote the blog series An A-Z of Unanswered Objections to Christianity over at The Skeptical Zone blog, where he outlines 26 different areas where there is a crisis in Christian apologetics. Join Ed and Dr. Torley for a fascinating discussion of topics like the apologetic reliance on the existence of a problematic libertarian kind of free will, attempts to make room for this sort of free will using quantum mechanics, whether determinism rules out moral responsibility, the failure of apologetic attempts to respond to the problem of evil based on the assumption that God has no moral duty to intervene to prevent evil (particularly "soul-breaking" evil), as well as why Torley doesn't feel that this failure challenges his faith given the existence of beauty and the simple everyday miracle of being alive. Also check out their discussion of whether or not the accounts of the apostles provide evidence for the resurrection of Jesus given that the Gospel accounts were not written contemporaneously with the events that they recount.