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May 30, 2009
"The new atheism" refers to a recent revival of popular atheist books, particularly in the United States, which critique both the grounds for belief in God and the detrimental effects of religion on society. The popularity of these books has naturally spawned a religious counteroffensive, the latest installment of which is John F. Haught's God and the New Atheism. Though Haught laments the new atheists' indifference to theology, a case could be made that theological nuances are irrelevant to the views held by most ordinary believers, and that this is the real target of critique. Moreover, Haught completely misses the main point of the new atheists: that all religious doctrines lack reasonable justification. In the end, their central point is untouched: that faith requires belief without evidence, and that in the absence of evidence, any imaginable (self-consistent) belief is as credible as any other—so there is no good reason to adopt one unevidenced belief over any other.
May 23, 2009
"The only way that Craig can criticize the account I have given is by arguing that his theory, that Jesus was raised from the dead, is to be preferred because it is simpler than proposing a theory to account for the empty tomb and proposing an independent theory to account for the post-mortem appearances of Jesus. The 'simplicity' of Craig's theory is only skin deep. My account of Craig's 'four facts' involves well-known and well-documented cultural phenomena, whereas his account proposes a God which intervenes in human affairs, for which I have yet to see any convincing evidence."
May 2, 2009
Added Job Opening: Creator of the Universe—A Reply to Keith Parsons (2009) by Paul Herrick to the Theistic Cosmological Arguments page under Arguments for the Existence of a God in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
In "No Creator Need Apply: A Reply to Roy Abraham Varghese," Keith Parsons argues that the success of science in explaining the world makes belief in God logically unnecessary, as science is fast approaching a point where everything has been explained by a completed and well-confirmed physics. As science progresses, he argues, we are left with less and less need to hypothesize the existence of a Creator. But to the contrary, Paul Herrick argues that philosophical theism rests on a rationally satisfying and philosophically attractive logical basis that cannot, in principle, be overturned by the continued progress of natural science.