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June 16, 2022

Added the forty-ninth Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Bruno V on music produced for video games (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 25-minute interview with Bruno V., the world-renowned video game music remixer known for his use of diverse musical styles across artists […]

Interview with Bruno V on Video Game Music

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 25-minute interview with Bruno V., the world-renowned video game music remixer known for his use of diverse musical styles across artists and musical eras. Edouard and Bruno canvass Bruno's influences, his Metalltool project on social media, his guitar work and use of synthesizers, his remixing process, how composers can improve the quality of their music, the tracks that he covers, how he does the longer tracks, how he pays tribute to the soundtracks that he grew up with, and more. Take a peek into the behind-the-scenes world of video game music and keep an ear out for Bruno V.'s upcoming original compositions soon to be posted on his YouTube channel!

June 12, 2022

Added the forty-eighth Freethinker Podcast YouTube second interview with Vincent Torley on free will (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. 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 […]

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!

June 10, 2022

Added the forty-seventh Freethinker Podcast YouTube second interview with Keith Augustine on life after death (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this twenty-minute return interview with Keith Augustine, Executive Director & Editor-in-Chief of Internet Infidels, as they review the five main kinds of parapsychological […]

Interview with Keith Augustine on Life after Death

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this twenty-minute return interview with Keith Augustine, Executive Director & Editor-in-Chief of Internet Infidels, as they review the five main kinds of parapsychological evidence for life after death, the most persuasive of those sources and their weaknesses, and the chiefly (but not wholly) neuroscientific evidence against life after death. The interlocutors then canvass the importance of weighing the total available evidence rather than just some particular subset of it. Check out this succinct interview with our illustrious DMCA Agent!

June 6, 2022

New in the Kiosk: Jesus Would Hate Christianity (2022) by Michael D. Reynolds A probable idea of the “historical” Jesus is that he was a working man who propounded traditional Jewish values, adapted to his belief that the end of the world was near. Jesus left no writings, so those who regarded themselves as his […]

Interview with John Dominic Crossan on Source Criticism

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this half-hour return interview with esteemed Jesus Seminar scholar John Dominic Crossan as they canvass Crossan's thoughts on the 50s-60s CE Q source, why Crossan thinks that the later apocryphal Gospel of Thomas is reflective of an earlier oral tradition (e.g., the fact that roughly one-third of the sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas are also in Q, in different orders, suggesting a common 40s CE oral tradition informing both), how this hypothesized oral tradition approaches the earliest writings of Paul (30s CE), and what Crossan takes to be a good example of an authentic saying of Jesus (namely, the parable that God's kingdom on Earth is like a mustard seed, which is found in Q, Mark, and Thomas). Tune in for this fantastic interview with a leading biblical scholar about historians' attempts to reconstruct the origins of the Gospels!

Jesus Would Hate Christianity

A probable idea of the "historical" Jesus is that he was a working man who propounded traditional Jewish values, adapted to his belief that the end of the world was near. Jesus left no writings, so those who regarded themselves as his followers were able to modify his supposed precepts, and their ideas about his nature and significance, to suit their needs and circumstances. The question arises: if Jesus-as-he-really-was could in fact be reconstituted now and were shown the character, effects, and history of the religion that regards him as its founder, what would be his reaction? In this essay, Michael D. Reynolds demonstrates why Jesus would be horrified, disgusted, despairing, and angry.

June 3, 2022

Added the forty-fifth Freethinker Podcast YouTube second interview with Aron Ra on creationist arguments (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Tune in to Edouard Tahmizian’s 20-minute interview with Aron Ra about three common creationist objections to Darwinian evolution. First, Aron Ra surveys concepts of abiogenesis from the 1860s to […]

Interview with Aron Ra on Creationism

Tune in to Edouard Tahmizian's 20-minute interview with Aron Ra about three common creationist objections to Darwinian evolution. First, Aron Ra surveys concepts of abiogenesis from the 1860s to present as they show up in creationist arguments. Next, he responds to creationist arguments from information/complexity (e.g., that there is digital information recorded in our DNA that could not have arisen by natural causes). He then criticizes the claim that there are missing transitional fossils, or 'gaps' in the fossil record, as simply factually inaccurate, before turning to the biological implausibility of the Noah's Ark story. Check out this brief but informative interview!

Interview with Dennis R. MacDonald on the Gospels

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this twenty-minute follow-up interview with New Testament scholar Dennis R. MacDonald on his forthcoming 2-volume reference work Epic Tragedy and the Gospels (on the literary background to gospels that were never intended to be read as histories), the scholarship of Robyn Faith Walsh on mimesis (mythologizing Jesus), the misappropriation of his work by fellow atheists, the Q source and the synoptic problem, and much more. Tune in for this engaging interview with a long-established man of letters!

May 31, 2022

Added the forty-third Freethinker Podcast YouTube second interview with Jason Thibodeau on the moral argument for the existence of God (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this half-hour follow-up interview with Cypress College philosophy professor Jason Thibodeau as they survey various moral arguments for […]

Interview with Jason Thibodeau on the Moral Argument

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this half-hour follow-up interview with Cypress College philosophy professor Jason Thibodeau as they survey various moral arguments for the existence of God and explain how arguments that chief features of morality point to the divine fall flat. First, Thibodeau notes that the argument that the existence of moral value presupposes the existence of God misfires. Next, he points out out that arguments that we cannot have knowledge of (presumed nonnatural) moral properties without divine assistance simply do not stand up to scrutiny. Finally, he considers a kind of Kantian moral argument that behaving morally only makes sense if good people are rewarded and evil ones are punished in a divinely organized afterlife. Both interlocutors agree that there has to be some independent standard of goodness, otherwise anyone could just define whatever one's nature happens to be as good, no matter how harmful that nature. Thibodeau then tries to flesh out this first kind of moral argument by suggesting that the 'odd' feature of morality that it exploits is that moral obligations are in authoritative, but notes that inserting God anywhere in the discussion does not provide the needed authoritativeness of morality. Both interlocutors then go on to note the ways in which all roads lead to moral subjectivism if God taken to be the source of morality. Tune in for this wide-ranging interview on the nature of morality!

May 19, 2022

Added the forty-second Freethinker Podcast YouTube second interview with Robert M. Price on Jesus Mythicism (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. In this first half-hour of a two-part follow-up interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price, host Edouard Tahmizian queries Price about his recent anthology edited with John […]

Interview with Robert M. Price on Jesus Mythicism (Part II)

Pick up where you left off at the end of Part I and return to host Edouard Tahmizian in the second 20-minute part of his two-part follow-up interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price. The interlocutors go on to discuss whether the earliest Christians also believed in something like Calvinist predestination and which New Testament typologies (correspondences between Old Testament figures and New Testament one), if any, Price prefers. The discussion then turns to Price's forthcoming book The Gospels Behind the Gospels, his response to C. S. Lewis titled Merely Christianity, his When Gospels Collide on contradictions between the Gospel accounts, his Judaizing Jesus, his forthcoming Not Peace, But a Sword, his dabbling in writing fiction, and much more!

Interview with Robert M. Price on Jesus Mythicism (Part I)

In this first half-hour of a two-part follow-up interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price, host Edouard Tahmizian queries Price about his recent anthology edited with John W. Loftus, Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist? They canvass the role of Jungian mythical archetypes as a kind of script for rituals/rites of passage, Price's take on the scholarship of Robyn Faith Walsh and the historical plausibility of her thesis that educated Hellenistic writers composed the New Testament, whether there were pre-Gospel narratives that were more consistent than the canonical Gospels and exploited by them (in themes like Jesus as the returned Elijah, Jesus as the new Moses, Jesus as a magician, and so on, and by portraying competitors to Jesus as servants of him), and the Gnostic understanding of salvation. Tune in to this animated conversation about fascinating ideas, and then be sure to tune in to Part II, too!

Interview with John MacDonald on the Gospels

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this half-hour follow-up interview with Internet Infidels President John MacDonald about why he thinks that the canonical Gospels do not support the idea that Jesus died as a kind of stand-in for us sinners (most clearly evidenced in the Gospel of Luke), what the historical Jesus would've thought about removing circumcision as a requirement for becoming a Christian, the alternative Gnostic understanding of salvation, how the gospel of Mark suggests that the historical Jesus would've had no inkling of the concept that his eventual death might serve as a substitute punishment for the sins of all humankind, and how the historical Jesus' understanding of love differed from the ancient Greek concept of it. MacDonald also compares the societal fall-out following Socrates' execution in Plato's dialogues to that anticipated by the historical Jesus, explains how the idea that Jesus died for our sins makes little sense not only because substituting one person for another's crimes is morally absurd, but because most of us haven't committed any sins that warrant capital punishment, and offers his take on Richard Carrier's defense of Jesus mythicism. Check out this historical and philosophical exploration of one of the core claims of modern Christianity (and the partial transcript of it on the Secular Frontier).

May 12, 2022

Added The Hiddenness of God: Notes on Schellenberg and Drange (2022) by Timothy Chambers to the The Argument from (Reasonable) Nonbelief page under Arguments for Atheism, and the Christian Worldview page under Christianity, in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library. In his Secular Web essay “Nonbelief as Support for Atheism,” Theodore M. […]

The Hiddenness of God: Notes on Schellenberg and Drange

In his Secular Web essay "Nonbelief as Support for Atheism," Theodore M. Drange raises objections to J. L. Schellenberg's formulation of the atheistic argument from inculpable nonbelief (sometimes called the divine-hiddenness argument), but no reply to those objections has ever been published. Are Drange's objections sound? Has he established that his own so-called argument from nonbelief (ANB) is superior to the argument put forward by Schellenberg? In this paper, Timothy Chambers attempts to address these questions in part using St. Anselm (and St. Augustine) as his muse. Chambers concludes that if the evangelical Christian worldview were true, we would find unequivocal evidence of God's existence—no intellectually honest inquirer would remain a nonbeliever—and that all nonbelievers would suffer a conspicuous existential "restlessness" or dissatisfaction that they do not in fact suffer. The fact that neither unequivocal evidence of the divine nor universal existential restlessness among nonbelievers are found invites the inference that God does not exist.

May 10, 2022

Added the fortieth Freethinker Podcast YouTube second interview with John Dominic Crossan on his Book Render Unto Caesar and How to Read the New Testament (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. In this half-hour follow-up interview with biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan about his just released book Render Unto […]

Interview with John Dominic Crossan on the Historical Jesus

In this half-hour follow-up interview with biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan about his just released book Render Unto Caesar: The Struggle Over Christ and Culture in the New Testament, host Edouard Tahmizian queries Crossan about what it meant for first-century Christians to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Crossan explains why he reads the Gospels as being constituted by parables that were originally composed in order to emphasize the points that the Gospel-depicted Jesus wanted to really drive home to his followers (e.g., that not all Samaritans are bad in the parable of the Good Samaritan), the idea being that a parable puts the mental work of thinking about the moral of a story on to the listener, forcing him/her to really engage an issue rather than simply passively register it. In the ancient world, Crossan explains, the penalty for failing to solve a riddle was standardly depicted as death (because getting the facts wrong can produce irrevocable catastrophic consequences); so likewise in the Gospels, the failure to understand a parable could cost a person his/her salvation from Hell. They also canvass how the medieval misunderstanding of the literal/metaphorical distinction led to outlandish readings of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, whether or not Jesus (or Paul) 'predicted' that the end of days would occur in the disciples' lifetimes, and much more! Check out this fantastic interview with a world-class biblical scholar framing a lot of these issues from a fascinating perspective!

May 8, 2022

Added the thirty-ninth Freethinker Podcast YouTube second interview with Dan Barker on his Freethought Activism and Religious Arguments (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 40-minute interview with Dan Barker, co-director of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and co-founder of The Clergy Project, about […]

Interview with Dan Barker on Freethought Activism & Religious Arguments

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 40-minute interview with Dan Barker, co-director of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and co-founder of The Clergy Project, about his over 35 years of freethought activism, his forthcoming projects, what improbable events would meet the theological definition of a miracle, how to weigh evidence and what extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence actually means in the context of miracle claims, the tendency of some Christian debaters to argue for a generic "mere theism" rather than the existence of the Christian God, and more! Check out this easygoing discussion with a funny and all-around personable freethought icon.

May 5, 2022

This National Day of Reason, give knowledge a chance in a world inundated with misinformation by pitching in to help keep the Secular Web online today! Stand up to the purveyors of falsehoods & the damage that they inflict. Promote critical thinking. Life’s challenges are unforgiving without it. Demand reasons for beliefs. Why do you […]

May 1, 2022

Added the thirty-eighth Freethinker Podcast YouTube third interview with Richard Carrier on Evil and God’s Goodness (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian for about 45 minutes with historian and freethinker Richard C. Carrier as they canvass whether God is the origin of evil per Edouard’s […]

Interview with Richard Carrier on Evil and God’s Goodness

Join host Edouard Tahmizian for about 45 minutes with historian and freethinker Richard C. Carrier as they canvass whether God is the origin of evil per Edouard's Secular Web Modern Library paper "God is Either the Efficient or Final Cause of Evil," the astonishing new trend among some Christian apologists called equal ultimacy, which maintains that God is still perfectly holy even if he is the direct cause of sin, how God could hardly be perfectly good if he knowingly imbued his creatures with a disposition to sin, and how atheists derive their moral principles. Tune in for this fantastic interview with a long-time freethought activist!

April 25, 2022

Added the thirty-seventh Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Jason Thibodeau on the Euthyphro Dilemma (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this nearly one hour interview with Jason Thibodeau, a philosophy professor at Cypress College who’s on the board of directors of Internet Infidels, about […]

Interview with Jason Thibodeau on the Euthyphro Dilemma

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this nearly one hour interview with Jason Thibodeau, a philosophy professor at Cypress College who's on the board of directors of Internet Infidels, about Plato's famous Euthyphro dilemma to the classic divine command theory of ethics, in which morally right actions are identified with those actions that are commanded (or otherwise approved) by God. After briefly stating a simple version of the Euthyphro dilemma and explaining its history, Thibodeau discusses the difference between (deontic) moral rightness and (axiological) moral goodness, how Robert M. Adams defended a deontic, but not axiological, kind of divine command theory, how the arbitrariness objection to divine command theory arises, and the sophisticated (but unsuccessful) attempts by Edward Wierenga and William Lane Craig to forge a middle way between the two mutually exclusive options of the traditional Euthyphro dilemma (which boil down to whether or not God has reasons for his commands). The discussion then turns to the implausibility of libertarian free will, whether a person who has no knowledge of good and evil can, in that state of ignorance, commit sin, whether a being that is admittedly causally responsible for giving human beings an inclination to sin is in any way morally responsible for their sinful behavior, and whether a being (any being) simply telling someone not to do something can ever really make a forbidden action morally wrong. Check out this wide-ranging yet deep interview!

April 17, 2022

Added a substantially revised edition of The Justified Lie by the Johannine Jesus in its Greco-Roman-Jewish Context (2nd ed., 2022) by John MacDonald to the Biblical Criticism and Character of Jesus pages under Christianity in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library. In this article John MacDonald examines the possible lie by Jesus […]