What's New Archive ● 2003 ● December
What's New on the Secular Web?
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December 15, 2003
Added "The Kalam Cosmological Argument Yet Again: The Question of the Metaphysical Possibility of an Infinite Temporal Series" by Arnold T. Guminski to the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
In "The Kalam Cosmological Argument: The Question of the Metaphysical Possibility of an Infinite Set of Real Entities" Guminski showed that the argument by Christian apologist William Lane Craig and others that real infinites are metaphysically impossible presupposes the standard version (SV) of how Cantorian set theory presumably applies to the real world. This is the case because it is the application of SV to the real world which generates counterintuitive absurdities. However, Guminski also showed that there is an alternative version (AV) of applying Cantorian set theory to the real world, the application of which does not generate counterintuitive absurdities. In the present article, he goes on to show that given AV an infinite temporal series is metaphysically possible, and in so doing he reaches a result that should be equally satisfying to both theists and nontheists who are loath to believe that a beginningless temporal world is metaphysically impossible. However much theists and nontheists may disagree about other issues, they are at least able to agree upon one important thing: the Kalam Cosmological Argument fails insofar as it is grounded upon the alleged metaphysical impossibility of an infinite temporal series.
December 11, 2003
At the core of Christian dogma is the faith-based belief that God exists. This faith-based belief and the foundation on which it stands constitute a cornerstone of the religion. This essay discusses the implications of belief in God, looks at whether this belief is logical or illogical, and analyzes how that determination affects Christian dogma and Christians who believe and obey it.
December 8, 2003
Daniel C. Dennett and Michael Shermer added to the list of Internet Infidels Supporters.
Daniel C. Dennett is the Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University (Medford, Massachusetts), and author of several books including: Consciousness Explained, Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life, and Freedom Evolves.
Michael Shermer is the Director of The Skeptics Society and author of numerous books including: How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science, In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace, The Borderlands of Science, and Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time.
December 1, 2003
Have you ever wondered what it is that trees, holly, and mistletoe have to do with the birth of Jesus or the Jewish Festival of Lights? This brief synopsis on the origins of Christmas customs will shed light on some of the more obscure references.
Book-of-the-Month: Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation, by Jennifer Michael Hecht.
This grand sweeping history celebrates doubt as an engine of creativity, and as an alternative to the political and intellectual dangers of certainty. Just as the history of belief features people whose unique expressions of faith have forever changed the world, doubt has its own saints, martyrs, and sages--people who drove history forward by challenging the powers and conventional wisdom of their time and heritage to come up with their own answers to life's big questions.
The beauty of this movie is more in the questions it asks than in the erotic relationship between two women who resort to a lesbian relationship due to their husbands finding satisfaction everywhere other than the marriage bed. Are not all sins equal? Is adultery not seen in the same light by religious people as desiring a person of the same sex? Why are people who desire love in the way two women do seen as more sinful than those who commit adultery?
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