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July 30, 2022

Added In Defense of a Subjective Condition on Proving Religious Miracles (2022) by Alberto G. Urquidez to the Argument from Miracles page under Arguments for the Existence of a God in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

The argument from miracles is typically held to motivate not only the conclusion that God exists, but also that one should believe ‘in’ God. In other words, if God exists, so the argument goes, then we must also adopt whatever religious precepts and practices God happens to command. In this essay, Alberto G. Urquidez challenges that presumption. Even if successful—as dubious as that supposition is—an argument from miracles does not entail religious belief in God. Such belief requires further subjective ascription of strong religious significance. A religious miracle obligates religious conversion, which goes beyond rational assent to religious propositions. Since arguments from miracles are descriptive rather than normative, they are insufficient to obligate religious conversion. Once the the necessary conditions for establishing a religious miracle are laid bare, Urquidez shows that they render it impossible to objectively establish a miracle so as to be a just foundation for a religion.

New in the Kiosk: Did Jesus of Nazareth Rise from the Dead? (2022) by Robert Shaw

The resurrection of Jesus is a fundamental belief to Christians. But nonbelievers have to reconcile the fact that any resurrection occurrence would break the laws of biology with the fact that very early Christians had unshakeable beliefs that Jesus had risen from the dead. Two possibilities exist for those with a naturalistic worldview. Was the Resurrection a hoax to which they all subscribed, or did they genuinely believe in its reality? In this essay, Robert Shaw addresses this question with his characteristic sagacity.

Added the fifty-second Freethinker Podcast YouTube third interview with Bill Gaede on the train paradox and counterespionage (2022) to the Freethinker Podcast page under Resources on the Secular Web.

Join Freethinker Podcast host Edouard Tahmizian in this 40-minute interview with Rational Science podcaster Bill Gaede about what Albert Einstein’s train paradox reveals (or doesn’t reveal) about the nature of time and the measurement of it, how the standard physical concept of spacetime (e.g., in concepts like simultaneity, time dilation, time travel, and warping spacetime) reifies time, and how the mathematization of physics is divorced from physical reality. In the final three-quarters of the interview, Gaede turns to how his counterintelligence work against Cuba created a spy-versus-spy dynamic that the Cuban government unsuccessfully tried to exploit. Tune-in for any always-fascinating interview with a contender for the most interesting man in the world (with or without the Dos Equis)!