What's New on the Secular Web?
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June 22, 2004
Added a link to "The Moral Argument for God's Existence, the Natural Moral Law, and Conservative Metaphysical Naturalism" (PDF) (Off Site) by Arnold T. Guminski
This is a downloadable PDF of an expanded version of a lecture for the University of Colorado Theology Forum in which Guminski proposes to show why the moral argument for God's existence is unsound. Particular attention is given to the writings of Christian apologists J. P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, and Paul Copan.
June 21, 2004
Added "The Big Debate: Comments on the Barker-Carrier vs. Corey-Rajabali Team Debate" by debate participant Richard Carrier to the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
Richard Carrier offers his impressions of the team debate, in which he participated with Dan Barker, on the existence of God. Opponents were Hassanain Rajabali and Michael Corey, both respected Muslim scholars, the latter the author of The God Hypothesis. Carrier assesses the technical merit of the debate, and sets the record straight with regard to some of the relevant facts.
June 18, 2004
Despite his repudiation of atheism, Shaw may have died an unwitting atheist. Though he called himself a mystic, his credentials were suspect.
June 17, 2004
This is a rebuttal to "Trouble in Paradise?: Michael Martin on Heaven, (2003)" by Tom Wanchick, which, in turn, is a rebuttal to Michael Martin's "Problems with Heaven (1997)." Wanchick contends that Martin's arguments are aimed largely at conceptions of Heaven that the vast majority of the Christian community would reject, that the Bible is "brimming with practical import," and that the beauty of Heaven dims the hideousness of life. Martin contends that there are serious problems with the Christian concept of Heaven, and that although belief in Heaven may sometimes be liberating, it has more often been politically and socially repressive, hindering social change and making people complacent about poverty, political oppression, and injustice.
June 15, 2004
Updated the Secular Web Reference Desk with added and updated links.
The Secular Web Reference Desk provides links to some of the most useful and widely-used online research tools of interest to secular and religious scholars in their research.
June 12, 2004
Updated the Historicity of Jesus page in the Theism: Christianity section of the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library with the addition of a link to Brunner's Gottkoenigs & the Nativity of Jesus: A Brief Communication (Off Site) by Richard Carrier.
Carrier's essay discusses the relationship between the famous Luxor Inscription (from ancient Pharaonic Egypt) and the Nativity Story of the Gospels and finds that there is no significant connection.
June 10, 2004
Added "Defending Naturalism as a Worldview: A Rebuttal to Michael Rea's World Without Design" by Richard Carrier to the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
This is a rebuttal of Rea's claim that naturalism "is without rational foundation." This essay shows that adopting the "research program" of basic empiricism is universally appealing, and since naturalism as a "worldview" follows from adopting basic empiricism and applying it to the facts of the world, naturalism has a rational foundation. Rea's conclusion that naturalism must abandon materialism and realism about material objects and other minds because naturalism cannot "discover" intrinsic modal properties is also disproved.
June 1, 2004
Feature article: "Just-War Tradition, Pacifism, and Nonviolence : A Critical Review," by B. Steven Matthies.
Considering humankind's technological developments, war now has the potential to totally destroy life on our planet. Historically, Christianity has had three broad attitudes on war: pacifism, the just-war, and the crusade. Does present-day Christianity provide a viable system of guidelines for war and peace?
In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, Irshad Manji unearths the troubling cornerstones of mainstream Islam today: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God. In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks arresting questions.
Video-of-the-Month: The Magdalene Sisters.
"A movie guaranteed to make the blood boil," The Magdalene Sisters gives a lacerating account of life inside a Magdalene Laundry, one of the dismal asylums for "wayward women" run by the Catholic Church in Ireland. Inspired by a TV documentary, Magdalene Sisters follows the miserable fates of three young women who are institutionalized in the 1960s for flimsy reasons, their lives at the mercy of sadistic nuns. The film's rich sense of outrage and excellent performances make it consistently gripping. Magdalene Sisters won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival and went on to become a box-office hit in Ireland, where the Magdalene system was still a fresh memory; it had been abolished only in 1996.
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