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January 16, 2022

Added the twenty-seventh Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Justin Ykema (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this roughly 15-minute interview with Justin Ykema, author of “A Critique of the Free Will Defense: A Comprehensive Look at Alvin Plantinga’s Solution to the Problem of Evil.” […]

Interview with Justin Ykema

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this roughly 15-minute interview with Justin Ykema, author of "A Critique of the Free Will Defense: A Comprehensive Look at Alvin Plantinga's Solution to the Problem of Evil." The discussion canvasses Ykema's main points of critique and motivation for writing his paper, such as the problem of evil casting doubt on any God being worthy of worship (since you would have to give up at least one of God's perfect power, knowledge, or goodness in light of the amount and kinds of suffering in the world). The discussion then turns to whether psychology is really a science, or whether it's closer to mathematics, given how heavily psychology relies on statistics, and given that the uniqueness of each individual makes it difficult, if not impossible, to replicate experiments across individuals. Ykema goes on to discuss what he's been doing since he got his philosophy degree before diving into what have been effective teaching styles in Ykema's experience. Check out this wide-ranging interview!

January 15, 2022

Added the twenty-sixth Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Jeana Jorgensen (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 10-minute interview with Jeana Jorgensen, a lecturer at Butler University (Indiana) with degrees in folklore and gender studies. In this interview their discussion ranges from her goal […]

Interview with Jeana Jorgensen

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 10-minute interview with Jeana Jorgensen, a lecturer at Butler University (Indiana) with degrees in folklore and gender studies. In this interview their discussion ranges from her goal to make intellectual histories more accessible to everyone (in her new book Folklore 101: An Accessible Introduction to Folklore Studies, for example), her accessible and inclusive teaching style, her blogging about Middle Eastern dance (including belly dancing), current events, and politics at Patheos on the Foxy Folklorist blog since 2017, her future collaborative pieces forthcoming at OnlySky, cooking, and her work on gender, sexuality, sexual education, folklore, fairy tales, and urban legends more generally. Check out this eclectic interview!

January 14, 2022

Added the twenty-fifth Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Josephine Jacob (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this quick interview with Josephine Jacob, a biochemistry and molecular biology major and president of the Secular Student Alliance chapter at Trinity University in Texas. Their discussion spans […]

Interview with Josephine Jacob

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this quick interview with Josephine Jacob, a biochemistry and molecular biology major and president of the Secular Student Alliance chapter at Trinity University in Texas. Their discussion spans her role on the board of directors of the Secular Student Alliance, the goals, projects, and charitable activities of the Trinity University SSA chapter, and the performance of the Trinity University choir. She even mentions how much she enjoyed reading Edouard’s 2020 Secular Web paper "God is Either the Efficient or Final Cause of Evil.” Check it out!

January 8, 2022

Added the twenty-fourth Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Darren M. Slade (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this half-hour interview with Darren M. Slade, a theological historian, systematician, and critical rationalist philosopher who serves as president of the Global Center for Religious Research (GCRR) […]

Interview with Darren M. Slade

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this half-hour interview with Darren M. Slade, a theological historian, systematician, and critical rationalist philosopher who serves as president of the Global Center for Religious Research (GCRR) and serves as editor of its flagship publication, SHERM Journal. Slade summarizes GCRR's groundbreaking work in the first and largest sociological study of the causes, manifestation, and treatment of religious trauma as a real mental health condition before turning to whether the supposed early witnesses to Christianity, like Pappias or Polycarp, actually knew any of Jesus' apostles, or whether claims of a lineage back to Jesus were more of a political means to establish the authority of the early Church. The discussion then turns to whether 2 Peter (and similar scriptures) were ad hoc scriptures written to preserve the second-century Church when the dominant theologies of the time began to fall into doubt (because John failed to live to see the Second Coming of Christ in his lifetime, for example), and which New Testament books should be in the official Church cannon (or whether the question itself is misguided).

The Threat of the Religious Right-Wing Majority on the Supreme Court

Tune in to Edouard Tahmizian’s two-hour-long interview with atheist debater Edward Tabash, a constitutional lawyer in Los Angeles who chairs the board of directors of the Center for Inquiry and has amicus briefs with the US Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court to preserve the separation of church and state. Tabash lays out how the new religious right-wing majority on the US Supreme Court (and other right-wing judges) are threatening government neutrality on matters of religion. The dangers posed to atheists' legal rights (such as religious organizations gaining the right to endorse candidates for public office while secular ones cannot) are compounded by those that flow from giving special legal privileges to religious special interests and no one else (such as churches being exempt from COVID restrictions placed upon all other establishments, or being able to bar same-sex couples from becoming foster parents who would otherwise be protected by antidiscrimination laws). What is particularly under threat today is the long-established principle that no branch of government can favor religion over irreligion, or aid all religions against nonbelievers, but there is also no shortage of attempts to allow religious individuals (and no others) to jeopardize the health and safety of the public or prevent government from meeting its obligations. In the second half of the hour the discussion turns to religious opposition to abortion rights, which if fully successful would represent the first time in history that the US Supreme Court has retracted a constitutional right that it had once granted.

January 4, 2022

Added the twenty-second Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Robert M. Price (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this hour-long interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price as they discuss Price’s early realization that the amount of effort needed to fill in the gaps […]

Interview with Robert M. Price

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this hour-long interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price as they discuss Price's early realization that the amount of effort needed to fill in the gaps between the ancient concerns of the biblical writers and the unaddressed modern concerns of today would not be expected of a straightforward revelation from God. Their discussion goes on to consider how the Haggadic midrash, a way to interpret the Old Testament used in the parables attributed to Jesus, undermines the historicity of any Gospel story (as virtually all of them just repurpose an Old Testament story), before finally turning to the ahistoricity of the New Testament characterization of Paul (even if the literary Paul had been inspired by the historical person Simon Magus), the case for Jesus mythicism and the absence of contemporaneous references to Jesus, the implausibility of the penal substitutionary model of atonement, and much more. Check out this fascinating interview with a biblical scholar who became a legend himself!

Interview with Jonathan M. S. Pearce

Tune in to host Edouard Tahmizian's nearly hour-long interview with Jonathan M. S. Pearce, a founding member of the Tippling Philosophers, a friendly group of believers and nonbelievers who regularly meet over a pint of ale to discuss life's big questions. Pearce is the author of several books and a speaker on philosophy, religion, and skepticism best known for his old popular blog A Tippling Philosopher. In this interview, Pearce outlines how William Lane Craig's rendition of the kalam cosmological argument presupposes an implausible Platonism about abstract objects and a particular notion of causation that, if rejected, deflates the force of the argument. The interlocuters also canvass how the only remaining phenomena challenging naturalism are the beginning of the universe and consciousness, whether Jesus would have ever been buried in a tomb at all, why there are contradictions between the Gospels on basic details about the empty tomb story, the flaws in Mike Licona's argument that Paul wouldn't have hallucinated a risen Jesus if he had then seen Jesus as an enemy, the rationality of belief in miracles, the role of motivated reasoning in apologetic arguments, much more! Check out this fascinating interview with a prolific author on the Gospels as more propaganda than history.

December 31, 2021

Added Inference to the Best Explanation and Rejecting the Resurrection (2021) by David Kyle Johnson to the Argument from Miracles, Resurrection, and Christian Apologetics and Apologists pages in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library. Christian apologists, like Willian Lane Craig and Stephen T. Davis, argue that belief in Jesus’ resurrection is reasonable […]

Inference to the Best Explanation and Rejecting the Resurrection

Christian apologists, like Willian Lane Craig and Stephen T. Davis, argue that belief in Jesus' resurrection is reasonable because it provides the best explanation of the available evidence. In this article, David Kyle Johnson refutes that thesis by laying out how the logic of inference to the best explanation (IBE) operates and what good explanations must be and do by definition, and then applying IBE to the issue at hand. Multiple explanations—including the resurrection hypothesis, the lie hypothesis, the coma hypothesis, the imposter hypothesis, and the legend hypothesis—will be considered. While Johnson does not attempt to rank them all from worst to best, he reveals how and why the legend hypothesis is unquestionably the best explanation, while the resurrection hypothesis is undeniably the worst. Consequently, not only is Craig and Davis' conclusion mistaken, but belief in the literal resurrection of Jesus is irrational. In presenting this argument, Johnson does intent to break new ground, as Robert Cavin and Carlos Colombetti have already presented a Bayesian refutation of Craig and Davis' arguments. But he does take himself to be presenting an argument that the average person (and philosopher) can follow. The average person (and philosopher) should be able to clearly understand how and why the hypothesis "God supernaturally raised Jesus from the dead" fails utterly as an explanation of the evidence that Christian apologist cite for Jesus' resurrection.

December 27, 2021

Added the twentieth Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Michael J. Alter (2021) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Check out Edouard Tahmizian’s interview with Michael J. Alter, author of What is the Purpose of Creation? (1991), The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry (2015), and A Thematic Access-Oriented Bibliography of Jesus’s Resurrection […]

Interview with Michael J. Alter

Check out Edouard Tahmizian’s interview with Michael J. Alter, author of What is the Purpose of Creation? (1991), The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry(2015), and A Thematic Access-Oriented Bibliography of Jesus’s Resurrection (2020), among other things. In this roughly hour-long discussion, after recommending a number of must-have works on the Resurrection and noting key points addressed in his forthcoming Global Center for Religious Research book (due May 2022), Alter explains why whether the Resurrection actually occurred is important to everyone, but especially important to Christians. Of particular interest is his explanation of why Jews and Muslims reject the Christian reading of 1 Corinthians 15 (which maintains that if there is no Resurrection, then you are still born of sin and pitiful). Who wrote the Gospels? When were they written? Where did Jesus’ disciples go after his crucifixion, and when exactly did it take place? There is little agreement among scholars on any of these questions due to various New Testament contradictions and omissions and the lack of multiple attestation (if Luke copies Matthew, and Matthew in turn copies Mark, then there is no independent testimony corroborating anything). Tune in to this fascinating interview with a world-class scholar who really knows his New Testament scholarship!

December 24, 2021

New in the Kiosk: Jesus as Model Husband: Christian Marriage Advice and Why my Wife Ain’t Down (2021) by Daniel June A Christian friend gave Daniel June some solid advice on how he should be building up his marriage, and that advice inspired him to write this informal critique of the Christian bestseller This Momentary Marriage by John Piper. With […]

Jesus as Model Husband: Christian Marriage Advice and Why my Wife Ain’t Down

A Christian friend gave Daniel June some solid advice on how he should be building up his marriage, and that advice inspired him to write this informal critique of the Christian bestseller This Momentary Marriage by John Piper. With a bit of humor, June argues that Piper's "Jesus-and-his-bride-the-Church" model of a modern marriage, where the wife is subservient to a husband who can do no wrong, is a completely absurd model on which to base any respectful modern marriage.

December 17, 2021

Added the nineteenth Freethinker Podcast YouTube talk with Keith Augustine (2021) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. In this half-hour talk, Edouard Tahmizian chats with Keith Augustine, Executive Director & Editor-in-Chief of Internet Infidels, about why the future looks bright for secularism and the adoption of a naturalistic worldview in […]

December 14, 2021

Added the eighteenth Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with William Lane Craig (2021) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this interview with the esteemed William Lane Craig, visiting scholar of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and professor of philosophy at Houston Baptist University, among many […]

Dr. William Lane Craig Talks with Edouard Tahmizian

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this interview with the esteemed William Lane Craig, visiting scholar of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and professor of philosophy at Houston Baptist University, among many other things. In this roughly 15-minute talk, Tahmizian and Craig canvass what constitutes the chief goal and substantive criticism of the kalam cosmological argument for the existence of God, whether or not Christ has both a human will and a divine will, whether God is the efficient cause of sin or author of evil, whether theistic evolution is biblical, and whether or not intelligent extraterrestrial life exists. Tune in for a fascinating discussion with a world-renowned Christian apologist and prolific writer and debater.

December 13, 2021

Added the seventeenth Freethinker Podcast YouTube talk with John W. Loftus (2021) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 15-minute talk with John W. Loftus, a former apprentice of William Lane Craig who has authored or edited a dozen counterapologetics books since 2010, as they […]

John W. Loftus Talks with Edouard Tahmizian

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 15-minute talk with John W. Loftus, a former apprentice of William Lane Craig who has authored or edited a dozen counterapologetics books since 2010, as they discuss Loftus' past work, Jesus mythicism, and what Loftus sees as the primary shortcomings of the free will defense that apologists sometimes invoke in response to arguments from horrendous suffering against the existence of an all-good God. Check out this quick and engaging discussion!

December 5, 2021

Added the sixteenth Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Dr. Vincent Torley (2021) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. 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 […]

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.

Let’s Keep this Secularization Going!

Thanks to the Internet, access to unfiltered knowledge has exploded since the 1990s. Without sectarian gatekeepers, we’ve trended in the right direction. Help us combat religious misinformation by shining a light on facts on the Secular Web. Please pitch in what you can to keep the Secular Web online today.

November 29, 2021

Added the fifteenth Freethinker Podcast YouTube interview with Steve & Tally Cass of Monster on Sunday (2021) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web. Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 20-minute Freethinker Podcast interview with Steve Cass and Tally Cass of the rock band Monster on Sunday as they canvass their […]

Monster on Sunday Interview!

Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this 20-minute Freethinker Podcast interview with Steve Cass and Tally Cass of the rock band Monster on Sunday as they canvass their current projects to empower nonbelievers, their forthcoming album Black Sheep, raising children as freethinkers, feeling gratitude in a purposeless universe, atheist rock songs and the inspiration for the name of their band, living life by rational principles, free will vs. determinism, and more! Tune in for a taste of the impact of freethought on the music scene.

Euthyphro Dilemma: Why There is No Third Option

William Lane Craig has frequently claimed that the Euthyphro dilemma is a false dilemma because there is a third option. In this video, I explain why Craig is wrong about this. I explain the dilemma, explain why it is a dilemma, and show that Craig's alleged third option is not an option at all.