/internet-infidels-articles/

June 17, 2024

Added Gospels, Classics, and the Erasure of the Community: A Critical Review Testing the Hypothesis of Robyn Faith Walsh’s The Origins of Early Christian Literature, Part B (2024) by John MacDonald to the Historicity of Jesus page under Christianity in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library. In Part B of a three-part […]

Horrendous Evil and Christian Theism: A Reply to John W. Loftus

In his recent article, "God and Horrendous Suffering," John W. Loftus argues that what he calls horrendous suffering is incompatible with traditional theism. The extent of horrendous suffering in the world, he says, "means that either God does not care enough to eliminate it, or God is not smart enough to eliminate it, or God is not powerful enough to eliminate it." For Loftus, however, the problem is not simply evil, but horrendous suffering, a particularly acute form of evil which renders theism completely untenable. Here I will argue in reply, first, that because horrendous suffering is itself a form of evil, it cannot be easily reconciled with naturalism, since naturalism actually precludes the existence of evil. Then I will argue that horrendous suffering is not only compatible with theism, but is best explained in the context of Christian theism in particular. Finally I will suggest that because God's work of creation is not yet complete, we have good reason for maintaining hope even in the face of horrendous evils.

Gospels, Classics, and the Erasure of the Community: A Critical Review Testing the Hypothesis of Robyn Faith Walsh’s The Origins of Early Christian Literature, Part B

In Part B of a three-part critical review of Robyn Faith Walsh's The Origins of Early Christian Literature: Contextualizing the New Testament within Greco-Roman Literary Culture, John MacDonald provides a literary application and defense of Walsh's hypothesis that the Gospels are not, as is usually thought, the product of literate spokespersons conveying the oral tradition of their community, but rather are birthed out of networks of elite Greco-Roman-Jewish writers in dialogue with one another, not downtrodden illiterate peasants. MacDonald aims to show that Walsh's approach makes good sense of the evidence, such as pervasive intertextual haggadic midrash (Jewish) and mimesis (Greek) going on in writing the Gospels, which seems less likely on the "oral tradition of the community" hypothesis. Walsh's critique of the community oral tradition model is important because that model is what bridges the gap from the opaque period of Jesus' life and death in the 30s through Paul (who is silent on the details of Jesus' life) to the destruction of the Temple in the 70s, when Mark's gospel appears. A few bare details aside, without this chain of sources, reconstruction of the events of Jesus' life is essentially impossible. In this second article, MacDonald shows how the narrative of the arrest and death of Jesus serves a theological agenda, not a historical one. Moreover, MacDonald addresses the problematic nature of the hypothetical lost Q source (the material common to Matthew and Luke that did not come from Mark), such as how McGrath's attempt to derive the relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus from Q is flawed.

June 4, 2024

Added To Alexandra Botez (youtube.com) (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Check out our vice president’s new track dedicated to the chess legend Alexandra Botez. This one might become a hit!

June 2, 2024

Added Prelude V Free Sheet Music by Edouard Tahmizian for Piano/Keyboard | Noteflight (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web.

June 1, 2024

Added Prelude IV Free Sheet Music by Edouard Tahmizian for Piano/Keyboard | Noteflight (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Our illustrious Vice President Edouard Tahmizian has written another hit. You can just feel the secular spirit when listening…

May 30, 2024

Added Prelude I Free Sheet Music by Edouard Tahmizian for Piano/Keyboard | Noteflight (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Tune in for yet another amazing work by Edouard Tahmizian, the vice president of Internet Infidels. Here he provides a piece that truly encapsulates what the secular spirit is.

May 17, 2024

Added Gospels, Classics, and the Erasure of the Community: A Critical Review Testing the Hypothesis of Robyn Faith Walsh’s The Origins of Early Christian Literature, Part A (2024) by John MacDonald to the Historicity of Jesus page under Christianity in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library. In Part A of a three-part […]

Open Letter to Dr. Adam Francisco, Editor of the Global Journal of Classical Theology

In the summer of 2023 retired lawyer Robert G. Miller invited legal apologist John Warwick Montgomery, then-editor of the Global Journal of Classical Theology, to participate in a truly legal assessment the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, but Montgomery declined citing time constraints. So Miller turned to systematically inviting as many other legal apologists as he could think of to demonstrate the resurrection of Jesus. Unfortunately, he could not find a single lawyer who would even discuss the possibility of facing an actual opponent in a procedure closer to a real adversarial process in court. Miller therefore took the initiative by drafting an unopposed brief providing three independent reasons why apologists cannot prove Jesus' resurrection by legal principles, in addition to critiquing standard legal apologetic arguments for the resurrection of Jesus. In this follow-up open letter, Miller invites the incoming editor of the Journal to respond to his unopposed brief, either directly or by slating editorial board members to do so, or to at least issue a call for papers responding to the brief. Will legal apologist continue to skirt their 1 Peter 3:15-16 mandate to answer the call to anyone who requests it?

Gospels, Classics, and the Erasure of the Community: A Critical Review Testing the Hypothesis of Robyn Faith Walsh’s The Origins of Early Christian Literature, Part A

In Part A of a three-part critical review of Robyn Faith Walsh's The Origins of Early Christian Literature: Contextualizing the New Testament within Greco-Roman Literary Culture, John MacDonald provides a literary application and defense of Walsh’s hypothesis that the Gospels are not, as is usually thought, the product of literate spokespersons conveying the oral tradition of their community, but rather are birthed out of networks of elite Greco-Roman-Jewish writers in dialogue with one another, not downtrodden illiterate peasants. MacDonald aims to show that Walsh's approach makes good sense of the evidence, such as pervasive intertextual haggadic midrash (Jewish) and mimesis (Greek) going on in writing the Gospels, which seems less likely on the “oral tradition of the community” hypothesis. Walsh's critique of the community oral tradition model is important because that model is what bridges the gap from the opaque period of Jesus’ life and death in the 30s through Paul (who is silent on the details of Jesus’ life) to the destruction of the Temple in the 70s, when Mark's gospel appears. A few bare details aside, without this chain of sources, reconstruction of the events of Jesus' life is essentially impossible.

May 16, 2024

Added Prelude Free Sheet Music by Edouard Tahmizian for Piano/Keyboard | Noteflight (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Our excellent vice president has written another cool, chill work called Prelude I. In essence, it truly captivates the secular spirit that we try our best to represent here at Internet […]

May 15, 2024

Added Rush (Original) | Dedicated to Stellar Blade #stellarblade (youtube.com) (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Our illustrious Vice President Edouard Tahmizian has written his finest work yet—dedicated to the new videogame that has been turning heads, Stellar Blade. It’s a short but energizing track that will make your […]

May 9, 2024

Added the eighty-eighth Freethinker Podcast YouTube Interview with Richard Schoenig on Where Christianity Errs (2024) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian and, for the second time, long-time Secular Web author Richard Schoenig for about half an hour on Schoenig’s (just published!) accessible yet wide-ranging […]

Interview with Richard Schoenig on Where Christianity Errs

Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian and, for the second time, long-time Secular Web author Richard Schoenig for about half an hour on Schoenig's (just published!) accessible yet wide-ranging Where Christianity Errs: A Fair and Clear Philosophical Assessment. The interlocutors canvass Schoenig's research in the philosophy of religion, his deconversion from Catholicism, and the wide variety of topics covered in his new book, such as original sin, petitionary prayer, faith in the absence of evidence, how a loving God could send people to Hell, a secular take on the meaning of life, the relationship between Christianity and atheism, and even the relationship between Christianity and politics. Schoenig then outlines his argument that the denial of opportunities for salvation to large numbers of human beings amounts to compelling evidence against the existence of such a God before Tahmizian turns to his argument that if biblical hard determinism is true, God would be the efficient cause of the sin that all humans supposedly inherited from Adam and Eve, and that if biblical hard determinism is not true, God would still be the final cause of that sin, making God the ultimate source of all evil. Next Schoenig outlines his Heaven World argument that he has previously defended in more detail on the Secular Web. Tune in for just a small taste of the inconsistencies that arise when merely combining indispensable Christian doctrines!

May 5, 2024

Added Stellar Ecstasy Free Sheet Music by Edouard Tahmizian for Piano/Keyboard | Noteflight (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Tune in once again as our illustrious vice president has written another (longer) tune called Stellar Ecstasy (dedicated in part to Stellar Blade the videogame). He truly expresses the sentiments […]

May 2, 2024

This National Day of Reason: If you find our Library, Kiosk, Forum, Blog, Podcast, Kids site, or News Wire useful, please pitch in to help keep the Secular Web online today! If you don’t do it, who else will? Don’t forget to check out our volunteer opportunities at various levels of commitment, too! And while […]

May 1, 2024

Added Project Internet Infidels Free Sheet Music by Dreamcatcherlover for Solo | Noteflight (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Tune in for another great work by Edouard Tahmizian called Project Internet Infidels. This piece really encapsulates the essence of Internet Infidels and our striving for a better future for […]

April 29, 2024

Added Internet Infidel Theme Park Free Sheet Music by Edouard Tahmizian for Piano/Keyboard | Noteflight (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Tune in for another nice track by our Vice President Edouard Tahmizian called Internet Infidel Theme Park. He joked with Jeff Lowder over Twitter that if Internet Infidels […]

April 8, 2024

Added the eighty-seventh Freethinker Podcast YouTube Interview with Adam Taylor on Abortion Apologetics (2024) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian and first-time Kiosk author (hot off the press!) Adam Taylor for a 20-minute interview on the anti-abortion apologetics of long-renowned Christian apologists like Norman […]

Interview with Adam Taylor on Abortion Apologetics

Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian and first-time Kiosk author (hot off the press!) Adam Taylor for a 20-minute interview on the anti-abortion apologetics of long-renowned Christian apologists like Norman Geisler and Paul Copan. Taylor shares what motivated him to take on this topic, whether the Bible actually describes the unborn as persons protected under the sixth commandment, and whether—imagining that the Bible does consider the unborn as persons with a right to life—nevertheless abortion might be biblically permitted as one of many exceptions to the 'Thou Shalt not Kill' commandment. After chewing on the free will-determinism debate for a bit, the interlocutors turn to reconciling the belief that life begins at conception with the high miscarriage rate within the first trimester and Taylor's willingness to engage with criticisms of his critique. Check out this quick overview of the key issues that come up in Christian anti-abortion apologetics!

April 6, 2024

Added Questioning Miracles: In Defense of David Hume (2024) by John W. Loftus to the Argument from Miracles page under Arguments for the Existence of a God in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library. Hume is widely regarded as the most important English-speaking philosopher in history. He wrote significant works on empiricism, […]

Questioning Miracles: In Defense of David Hume

Hume is widely regarded as the most important English-speaking philosopher in history. He wrote significant works on empiricism, epistemology, and philosophy of religion. In the latter Hume offered several powerful arguments against miracles in section 10 ("of Miracles") of his seminal book An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. In this paper, John W. Loftus defends Hume against some of the most important objections to his critique of the rationality of belief in miracles.

Shall Thou Not Kill? The Sixth Commandment as an Insufficient Argument Against Abortion

Is abortion morally wrong from a theological standpoint? Christians of the pro-life persuasion certainly believe so, arguing that it constitutes the murder of an innocent human life. In this essay, Adam Taylor examines the various arguments leveled against abortion by prominent Christian apologetics like Normal Geisler and Paul Copan, showing that their arguments fail to justify their apologetic conclusions. Taylor goes on to explore how the very Bible that they appeal to for justification of their opposition may in fact provide any number of reasons why abortion cannot, from a Christian standpoint, be reasonably opposed.

March 25, 2024

Added the eighty-sixth Freethinker Podcast YouTube Interview with Bill Gaede & Jason Thibodeau on the Rope Hypothesis (2024) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian, Rational Science podcaster and ex-Cuban-spy Bill Gaede, and Cypress College philosophy professor Jason Thibodeau for over an hour as they […]

Interview with Bill Gaede & Jason Thibodeau on the Rope Hypothesis

Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian, Rational Science podcaster and ex-Cuban-spy Bill Gaede, and Cypress College philosophy professor Jason Thibodeau for over an hour as they debate the scientific tenability of Gaede’s rope hypothesis. Many multifaceted issues come up in the discussion, such as the special circumstances under which the atoms that are usually connected by the electromagnetic threads (according to the hypothesis) pass through each other, the failure of standard mathematical physics to provide any mechanism through which a magnet or gravity acts, what the concepts of black holes, dark matter, and dark energy actually refer to in physical reality, what happens to anything that enters a black hole, what the hypothesis’ electromagnetic threads and ropes are composed of, how magnetic attraction actually works, and many other technical details of the hypothesis. Tune in for a far-ranging interview on a number of core, fundamental issues with contemporary physics!

March 5, 2024

Added Piece for Alexandra Botez (2024) by Edouard Tahmizian to the Videos category on the Secular Web. Check out this amazing tune by the Internet Infidels Vice President, Edouard Tahmizian. He wrote it for Alexandra Botez, the famous Canadian chess player who gambled on Poker After Dark.

March 4, 2024

Added the eighty-fifth Freethinker Podcast YouTube Interview with Robert M. Price on Paul, Lying Spirits, and Acts (2024) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Check out Edouard Tahmizian’s latest just over an hour interview with long-time biblical scholar Robert M. Price on Price’s reasons for thinking that St. Paul was […]

Interview with Robert M. Price on Paul, Lying Spirits, and Acts

Check out Edouard Tahmizian's latest just over an hour interview with long-time biblical scholar Robert M. Price on Price's reasons for thinking that St. Paul was actually Simon Magnus and why Price does not believe that Paul wrote any of the thirteen letters attributed to him, among other things. After Price outlines his grounds for these conclusions, the interlocutors turn the discussion to how far back Price dates the Pre-Pauline Creed in 1 Corinthians 15, how he interprets 1 Kings 22's apparent reference to God working with evil spirits, why God allows demonic possession to occur at all if he wants to eliminate sin, which account provides the clearest example of New Testament mimesis, whether we should date 2 Peter to the 2nd century CE, whether it makes any sense to think that Jesus would've "abolished" the 650 laws of the Jewish Torah, and much more. Tune in for an in-depth discussion of Price's insights into what contemporary biblical scholarship tells us about these fascinating issues!

March 1, 2024

Added Causes and Reasons: The Argument from Reason and Naturalism (2024) by Miklós Szalai to the Argument from Reason page under Arguments for the Existence of a God in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library. Arguments from reason are philosophical arguments against naturalism that claim that if we held the human mind […]

God and Horrendous Suffering

The evidential problem of horrendous suffering is one of the most powerful refutations of the theistic God as can be found: if there's an omni-everything God, one who is omnibenevolent (or perfectly good), omniscient (or all-knowing), and omnipotent (or all-powerful), then the issue of why there is horrendous suffering in the world requires an explanation. The reason why is that a perfectly good God would want to eliminate it, an all-knowing God would know how to eliminate it, and an all-powerful God would be able to eliminate it. So the extent of horrendous suffering means that either God does not care enough to eliminate it, or God is not smart enough to eliminate it, or God is not powerful enough to eliminate it. The stubborn fact of horrendous suffering means something is wrong with God’s goodness, his knowledge, or his ability. In this paper John Loftus argues that horrendous suffering renders this omni-everything God unbelievable.