Presuppositionalist apologetics has gained popularity in the state of Arizona, where several of the author’s family friends attend churches led by presuppositionalist pastors. In this essay A. E. Wright presents a more informal account of the presuppositionalist position than what has been previously published on the Secular Web before subjecting presuppositionalist theology to several original rebuttals of his own.
One common expression of religiosity by candidates for government office in the United States is a statement that Judeo-Christian values are foundational for American society and government. Unfortunately, no one has the idea or the courage to ask candidates what they mean by “Judeo-Christian values.” In this essay Michael D. Reynolds attempts to determine what this phrase might mean.
The fundamentalist claim that the Bible is inerrant does not stand up to scrutiny. Just one error is sufficient to refute the claim. Given the quite inventive explanations that inerrantists have devised to explain away textual problems, it nevertheless takes a really choice error to flummox them. In “Establishing Errancy Beyond Error,” Stephen Van Eck presents just such an error.
Blaise Pascal is famous for, among other things, devising an argument for belief in God’s existence even in the absence of good reasons to believe in God. He proposed that a rational person would reason that if God does not exist, then either believing or not believing that He does exist would cost nothing. But a rational person would also reason that if God does in fact exist, then failing to believe that He does would cost personal salvation. Does Pascal’s wager really work? Would a rational person place greater value on a questionable promise of benefit than on intellectual rigor? How rational would a parallel belief in “Philo’s benefactor” be, and what does the answer to that question tell us about the reasonableness of forming beliefs on the basis of Pascal’s wager?
In “Why I Am Not a Christian (and Am an Atheist… and Antitheist),” David W. Smith first provides his basic reasons for rejecting Christianity, then his reasons for rejecting religion in general. In their place he offers a modified Apostle’s Creed.
“The Anthropic Principle: Too Clever by Half” argues that Christians’ effort to fall back on the anthropic principle to defend their concept of God falls short not only on scientific grounds, as Victor Stenger and others have pointed out, but on moral grounds as well.
Trinitarianism has had a long and colorful history, and belief in the concept was once rigorously enforced. Yet it seems to attract little critical attention today. An analysis of its tenets, however, does not withstand scrutiny.
“Banished from Eden” is the story of my efforts to find religious answers to the brutal murder of my son. It’s an in-depth emotional and intellectual journey from my struggles to reconcile religion with reality to my rejection of religion as an answer to anything.
Monotheists believe that a purposeful being (God) created the universe. But why did he create it? In this essay Michael D. Reynolds aims to show that there is no plausible answer, and that there are cogent reasons why God would not have desired to make a universe.
According to Collins Dictionary, secularism is “a system of social organization and education where religion is not allowed to play a part in civil affairs.” Among its fundamental principles are the separation of church and state, a secular court system, fully secular state organizations, and a fully secular education system grounded in modern science, psychology, and philosophy. As the winds of religious fundamentalism get stronger, discussion about secularism becomes increasingly important.
The problem of evil can be used in two different ways. It can be used offensively; that is, in an attempt to criticize and undermine theistic belief, to show that theism is false and that belief in God is unfounded–a very difficult task. But the problem of evil can also be used defensively, i.e., to show that atheism is epistemically warranted, justified, or reasonable. Such efforts can succeed even when the proffered arguments fail to convince theists that God does not exist.
“Oh, My God!” is a humorous anecdote involving a door-to-door Bible-thumper and a former minister.
Can an atheist take part in a religious celebration? Is there some alternative way in which an atheist can enjoy the good things about the Christmas season?
Is life meaningless without God and a divine plan? In this essay, Chege tackles the age-old question of whether the apparent lack of a divine plan for mankind necessarily leads to nihilism. He argues that man-made goals are capable of fulfilling the same role as the belief in a divine plan, but by promising a greater life in this world rather than in the next.
Description Killing Jesus, the bestselling blockbuster by Bill O’Reilly, claims to be a purely historical account of the events in the life of Jesus leading up to his crucifixion. New Testament scholar Robert M. Price (a member of the Jesus Seminar) shows how unfounded this claim is in this critical review of O’Reilly’s work. In […]
There are a lot of questions that I would like to ask god. The trouble is that god’s answers would lead to many more questions, so my questions would have to become a conversation, delving ever deeper into god’s answers. From what is said about god he might not like that. God seems to want unconditional obedience, not question and answer sessions. In any case, I here put forth my questions.
“Liberals and leftists have acquired a reputation of shying away from any criticism of Islam. We liberals are well trained to be sensitive to whether our speech sounds appropriate. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, many liberals condemned the blasphemy and the imagined racism of the murdered cartoonists as well as the violence. People who complain about “political correctness” have begun to speak of a “regressive left” that attempts to shut down any speech that may offend minority identities, particularly the religion and politics of Muslim immigrants. All this frustrates those of us who come from a Muslim background, but identify as secular liberals. If I had my way, liberals and leftists would start doing things differently.”
Anyone who has ever bumped into a theist has probably heard of the supposed miracles that come about through prayer, faith, and devotion to a particular deity. Miracles are important to the believer because they, in the theist’s mind, help to prove the reality of the supernatural. That is, if miracles can occur today then they certainly could have happened in the 1st century. Still, this belief in the magical, as a method to justify faith in a deity which cannot be proved to exist, has and does persist in our culture. This article examines “miracle” workers, namely faith healers and exorcists, who have used religion to scam millions of people out of money.
“I discuss some of the implications of Intelligent Design, implications that may not have occurred to its believers. Putting aside, for now, the validity or otherwise of Intelligent Design, I argue that–using the believers’–own arguments, it is possible to show that God is not the Creator. I do this by showing that the human body, rather than being the creation of a perfect god, is in fact a sign of engineering incompetence.”
Richard Dawkins is in his mid-seventies, as of this writing. He’s been an atheist for most of the previous century AND the entirety of this one. Likewise Daniel Dennett, who is nearly as old as Professor Dawkins. Christopher Hitchens (Jefferson rest his soul) would have been about 65 this year. Sam Harris, the youngster in the bunch, is nonetheless greying and middle-aged. The “New” Atheists Aren’t. Meet The REAL “New” Atheists: Seth Andrews, AronRa, and Matt Dillahunty…
Rather than being the main problem with Islam, jihadism is just the most prominent symptom of a deeper problem which has been worsening for a long time. Over the last thousand years, Muslim societies stagnated as religion took over and stifled everything else, and they gradually fell behind both economically and technologically. The last remaining part of their identity which they still can see as truly their own is religion.
Fundamentalists use the creation stories in the Bible to construct what they misname as “Creation Science” in opposition to Evolution and the known, long history of the universe. However, there are two creation stories in the Bible–and they differ in significant details. These differences in the two accounts have some important implications for the fundamentalist’s belief in the literal truth of the Bible. In fact, these differences prove that belief to be wrong.
Description Raymond Bradley is probably the most important atheist you’ve never heard of. 16 years before the release of Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene, Professor Bradley was completing his Ph.D. regarding the theological problem of free will, setting off a long, esteemed and distinguished career. As a veteran professor of philosophy back in 1994–long before […]
Jesus is presented by Christians as the greatest moral teacher, as “God made man,” yet some of his alleged teachings are so highly objectionable that it would take a warped mind to consider them “good.”
The conventional notion about the character of Jesus is that he was an extraordinary person: unique, grand, captivating, a paragon of virtue, and a teacher of concepts that all human beings should use to govern their lives. But is this true? The biographical material shows that Jesus was not a peace-maker, did not offer socially useful ideas other than being charitable, possessed no ethical concepts more advanced than those of his society, and did not have original thoughts. The evidence does not prove that he was charismatic. The prevalent notions that Jesus was the perfect human being, a great teacher, or the perfect moralist are constructs created because of the belief that he was divine.
Whatever benefit religion is to emotional stability, religion works (when it works) by coincidence or the placebo effect because god, heaven, and the soul do not exist. Faith is unreasonable in light of scientific truth and historical fact.
Today nobody would believe in the ancient Egyptian religion because it contradicts what we understand about the world around us: gods don’t swallow the sun and birds can’t bring anything back to life. These blatant misinterpretations of Nature discredit the validity of the pagans’ core Super-Natural beliefs–a Supreme Being, a human soul, and heaven and hell. Yet curiously people today do believe in these four superstitions of religion: god, soul, heaven and hell. Apparently their origin has been erased by time. Would modern day Jews, Christians and Muslims discontinue belief in them if they realized their dubious origin: Ice-Age cavemen, wandering hunter-gatherers, and pagans? Or is faith an unreasonable emotion?
After the terrorist strikes in Paris on November 13, 2015, it was said that young Arabs in urban ghettos radicalize themselves because they live at the edge of society and have no future. This is little more than an apology. Other ethnic groups live under similar circumstances everywhere and they do not react this way. Only Muslims turn mass murderer and suicide bomber.
This article attempts to show the logical implausibility of an omniscient God and concurrent human free will by first examining the traditional approach, theist rebuttals, and then by introducing the macro approach.