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What's New Archive2004July

What's New on the Secular Web?

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July 21, 2004

Added "Critical Review of Victor Reppert's Defense of the Argument from Reason" by Richard Carrier to the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

"In C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason (InterVarsity: 2003), Victor Reppert has contributed what is surely the most extensive defense of the so-called 'Argument from Reason' yet to appear in print. In this critique, I will point out what I believe are the most important conceptual flaws in his arguments, and explain in detail how his arguments are ineffective against my own personal worldview."

July 8, 2004

Added "The Argument from Nonbelief : A Rejoinder by Paul Pardi to the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

In his book Nonbelief and Evil, Theodore Drange presents what he calls the Argument from Nonbelief against the existence of God: the fact that not all people believe the gospel message before they die provides grounds for denying that the Christian God exists. Pardi contends, however, that there are good reasons to deny that this inference goes through; he argues that given the nature of free persons, it is not within the set of logically possible states of affairs that God is able to actualize. Further, Pardi contends that Drange has an inadequate understanding of religious belief that should be rejected and replaced with a more robust formulation.

July 5, 2004

Updated the Secular Web Reference Desk with the addition of a link to the Religious Tolerance site (Off Site).

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. The Religious Tolerance site attempts to explain the full range of religious belief in North America, from Asatru to Christianity to Zoroastrianism. It discusses controversial religious topics, from abortion access to equal rights and protections for homosexuals and bisexuals including same-sex marriage, and attempts to do so in a fair and objective manner.

Updated the Modern Library Book of Mormon page with the addition of a link to The Skeptic's Annotated Book of Mormon (Off Site).

This site provides skeptical indexes and commentary to various passages of the Book of Mormon.

July 1, 2004

Feature article: "Predicting Modern Science: Epicurus vs. Mohammed," by Richard Carrier.

Michael Corey claimed in a recent debate that the Koran predicted the expanding universe. But did it? Only if you employ a liberal reading of the original text. Carrier uses the same interpretive methods on the poetry of Lucretius to show that Epicurus was a far more amazing prophet of modern science than Mohammed. Yet if Mohammed really had a pipeline to God, surely he would have done better than a mere mortal who used nothing more than human reason and observation.

Book-of-the-Month: The Impossibility of God, Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier (eds.).

Most people, believers and nonbelievers alike, are unacquainted with the variety and force of arguments for the nonexistence of God. Since 1948, however, a growing number of scholars have been formulating and developing a series of increasingly powerful arguments that the concept of God is logically contradictory, and therefore God not only does not exist but, more significantly, cannot exist. In short, God is impossible.

Video-of-the-Month: Touching the Void.

A critically acclaimed documentary about two British adventurers who climb the previously unconquered mountain, Siula Grande, in the Andes of Peru. By interspersing narration from the climbers themselves with a nail-biting reconstruction of their remarkable adventure in the Peruvian Andes, the film has the authentic stamp of factual storytelling and the edge-of-the-seat tension of a dramatic movie. One of the climbers breaks his leg and--left for dead inside a glacier--recalls that he had stopped believing in God many years before. He is an atheist in a foxhole, a very frigid foxhole.

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