Reader suggestion

One of my readers suggested that
this article, a discussion of a recent Pew study on attitudes toward religion, might be good fodder for my blog. I agree wholeheartedly… there is a lot that can be discussed here. I suspect that much if the distrust of atheists comes from a lack of understanding of where atheists might possibly get morals or ethics. This reader suggestion came close on the heels of the following image making it across my Facebook feed:

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1000 page views!

Definite milestone. Thanks for everyone’s interest!

Please, if you are stopping by, leave a comment letting me know what you think. While of course I’m thrilled to how’ve lengthy, deep conversations, I would also greatly value short notes indicating when you think I’ve done something well, or done something poorly. Or something you think I should expand on. Anything at all!

Thanks again for reading!

Debate listening on the road

Driving across several states is a fantastic opportunity to listen to archived debates, and I’ve been taking good advantage of it! One of the several that I’ve listened to was particularly exciting, so I thought I should link to it here. Andrew Copson was debating David Robertson on Justin Briley’s show, Unbelievable. I’ve come to greatly appreciate Briley’s style of moderating discussion, but he wasn’t even really necessary in this case… two debaters kept the discussion moving at a brisk, fascinating pace. Copson in particular was spectacularly lucid, particularly on the intersection of religion and education and on the middle ground between absolute and relative morality. This latter topic pointed me to some Popper that I need to read; as with several of my philosophical positions, I am simultaneously gratified and disappointed that I’m not the first to articulate them in quite the way that I do.

New Post (The Spiritual, A Secular Understanding)

This week’s post concerns a secular understanding of spirituality. It is probably less edited that I would like, but since I am not constructing a detailed argument, but rather just describing my own views on an issue, that’s probably ok. I am not certain if I will have a post next week or not. My family is crossing several states with multiple pets to get to a new house that will need to be unpacked. A great adventure, but not much free time will be in the offing.

New Essay (Argument from First Cause)

This week’s essay, uploaded a day early, is my first to tackle a common argument that purports to support the existence of God. The basic idea of the argument is that something cannot come from nothing, and so therefore the universe itself has to come from something, which we will call God. There are a number of problems with this argument, both philosophical and scientific, which I outline in the essay.

Next week’s essay and probably the one for the week following will probably be quite short, simply because I won’t have much time to devote to them. My family is moving to a new state, so free time will be at a premium.

New essay (miracles and the supernatural) and blog status

There has been some fantastic discussion in the comments on my previous essay, Belief vs. Faith. I am still intending to revise that document based on the feedback I have received, but am not sure when that’s going to fit into the schedule. There is a definite tension between revising published material and producing new material.

This week’s post concerns the concept of the supernatural, particularly with respect to claims of miracles. In this essay, I discuss the apparent lack of adequate evidence for anything supernatural ever having happened, which raises the bar in terms of required evidence for an claimed supernatural event. I further express discontent over the notion of the supernatural itself, which seems to be an incoherent concept. As always, I welcome comments, criticisms, and suggestions. Enjoy!

Update: My last few essays have been focusing on laying the groundwork for discussion (establishing that in order to convince me of anything, we’ll need to be talking on an evidentiary basis, and that claims of the supernatural are going to require extraordinary evidence). While there is certainly still plenty of groundwork that can be laid, I probably should start balancing out the content of this site by having my next essay specifically address one of the common arguments in favor of God’s existence. There are several good choices, which I will list below. I would welcome any suggestions about the ones you, my readers, would be most interested in me tackling first. The possibilities that come immediately to mind are:

Opinions? Preferences?

Update: The essay I wrote was on the argument from first cause, and is linked to above.

2nd Update: I have written some more of the essays mentioned above, and have added links to them.