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March 26, 2007
"Science should not be a political tool, and nature is neither an excuse nor a license to thieve the life and liberty of fellow humans here in the 21st century nor anytime henceforth."
March 22, 2007
Added The Rivalry Between Religions (2007) by Raymond D. Bradley to the Arguments from Confusion, Argument from Miracles, and Pascal's Wager pages in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
In this highly original and challenging essay, Raymond Bradley develops an argument that all religions are probably false inspired by David Hume's famous discussion of the 'contrary miracles' of rival religions. According to Bradley's argument from contrariety, any one of the vast numbers of religions ever conceived (or to be conceived) makes factual claims contradicted by the claims of all of the other religions. Moreover, the claims of any particular religion are generally as well-attested as the claims of all of the others. Consequently, given the "weight" of the "evidence" of all of the other religions, the probability that the claims of any one religion are true is exceedingly low. From this it follows that all religions are probably false.
Added The Arguments from Confusion and Biblical Defects (2006) by Theodore M. Drange to the Arguments from Confusion, Argument from Holy Scripture, Christianity, and Biblical Errancy pages in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
Ted Drange develops two arguments for the nonexistence of the God of evangelical Christianity, an all-powerful and loving being greatly concerned about the fate of human beings and desiring a personal relationship with them. According to his argument from confusion (AC), widespread confusion between Christians over matters of ultimate importance entails that the God of evangelical Christianity probably does not exist. In particular, the rampant diversification of Christian sects on such matters entails that, even if any one of those sects is correct, large numbers of Christians must hold false beliefs about issues of ultimate importance--contrary to what one would predict if the God of evangelical Christianity existed. The argument from biblical defects (ABD) contends that if the God of evangelical Christianity existed, then the Bible would probably be perfectly clear and authoritative and without marks of solely human authorship; but since the Bible does not meet either of these criteria, the God of evangelical Christianity probably does not exist.
March 19, 2007
While there are many areas of dogma over which theists of even the same denomination will disagree, one thing that most believers agree upon is the notion that God is perfect. But is it reasonable to make that assumption? The author doesn't think so. He looks at the meaning of "perfection," and then proposes a conclusion about the feasibility of a God who is "perfect."
March 15, 2007
Expanded Endnote 1.1.3 on the case for Luke meaning Herod Archelaus when he says "Herod the king."
March 12, 2007
"Peppered throughout with enchanting quotations from other writers, philosophers and scientists, The God Delusion is an extremely read-worthy book which is very persuasive in supporting its basic thesis of a delusion about a God that does not exist."
March 1, 2007
Current Feature: The Meaning of Life: Reflections on God, Immortality, and Free Will (2007) by Raymond D. Bradley
Does reality include a supernatural realm, inhabited by God and, perhaps, other spiritual beings? Or is the familiar natural world all there is to it? If there is a supernatural world, how do we relate to it? Are we composite creatures with souls as well as bodies? Is it possible that our souls live on after our bodies are no more? Or is physical death the end? What is the nature of the free will that we commonly suppose ourselves to enjoy during our sojourn here on earth? Do we in fact have free will? Or are our lives little more than pointless scribbles on the fabric of the universe, as devoid of real significance as scratches on a piece of glaciated rock?
Is there life after death or do we simply cease to exist? Few questions wreak havoc with our deepest held beliefs and strongest emotions more than this one. The answers given over the centuries reach to the very core of who we are and what it means to be human. Cutting through the emotionalism to reach the central issue, Edwards has compiled a superb group of philosophical selections which address not only the topic of immortality, but also two of the most fascinating and difficult philosophical problems--the mind/body problem, and the nature of personal identity.
Is there life after death? This question has been asked since the dawn of civilization. It is arguably the most important and most personal question that can be asked in light of the realization of one's own mortality. This essay is an analysis of the philosophical arguments and scientific evidence against life after death which weighs the parapsychological evidence for survival of bodily death against the physiological evidence for the dependence of consciousness on the brain.