Theists hate moral relativism. They often accuse atheists and secularists of having it. For them, only the pseudo-moral absolutism of…
Category Philosophy of Religion
Skeptical Theism is an approach to the problem of evil that states that we just Index)can’t know the mind of…
I have put together some previous blog writing with a little bit of original stuff to create a hopefully narrative cumulative…
I was recently sent a book to review, by Franz Kiekeben, called The Truth About God which is a whistlestop tour, I think, through atheism and counter-apologetics to arrive at the conclusion not that God is improbable, but that God is impossible. I will be interested to see where that goes (click on the image to buy it).
I have had many discussions concerning Islam and my views pertaining to it. I would like to flesh out here some of the criticisms I have had and answer them properly, also offering this as a post that I can point people to when this undoubtedly pops up again.
Faith is a term which is bandied about with carefree abandon, but what does it really mean? As I wrote to Christian apologist David Marshall some years back:
Part of the problem is that you are extracting these issues from their real world application and in a sense making them irrelevant. Let’s apply the faith vs reason to real life instances:
An occasional commenter here, Ron Murphy (ronmurp), linked to one of his pieces in another thread. It’s a really good piece, with some thought-provoking stuff on the is/ought issue in moral philosophy. See what you think and comment as usual below:
Yet another moral philosopher (another religious one) makes a hash of morality. So I wanted to get this down as a summary of my position on how morality is nothing more than opinion elevated to nobility; a common man made special by simply calling him a lord or a bishop.
There is this prevailing ide that God has personhood and that humanity is somehow styled on his image. Atheists believes that the causality here works the other way such that humanity existed and styled God on the image of humanity. But who would want to let minor quibbles like that get in the way of a good god-design? These anthropogenic properties of God manifest themselves in different ways: looks, emotions, rationality and sentience.
This is always an interesting question because it challenges your own worldview, assuming you are an atheist. It’s the classic line of questioning you get when you are in an interview:
“So, Mr Pearce, what do you think your biggest weakness is?”
Of course, I have no weakness…
The classical theistic components of God, his characteristics of being all-loving, all-powerful and all-knowing don’t work very well together. This has been something which I have sought to elucidate over the years, so I thought I would compile a synopsis of where we are at with the idea of OmniGod, and what he has created. These are good arguments, I believe, and I would love to see my readers interact with them, and I would love to see theists of all natures take them to task to see if they stand up. Bookmark this page and return to it, if you will – there’s quite a lot here! I would like to see this as a growing compendium.
The Problem of Evil (why is there so much suffering in the world given an OmniGod?) is sometimes answered by theists that suffering has to exist so that people have a working knowledge of what bad or evil is in order to know what good is, or indeed that pleasure cannot exist without pain.
Just a reminder of this fantastic Google Hangout that Counter Apologist, Justin Schieber and myself had on the Evidential Problem…
What it says on the tin: A massive frustration in the lack of defining the terms led to a meandering…
It finally came to pass as the producers liked the cut of my jib when they phoned me to ask me about my views on free will; a sort of a test run to see if I sounded OK. I passed.
Having posted the Philpapers survey results, the biggest ever survey of philosophers conducted in 2009, several readers were not aware of it (the reason for re-communicating it) and were unsure as to what some of the questions meant. I offered to do a series on them, so here it is – Philosophy 101 (Philpapers induced). I will go down the questions in order. I will explain the terms and the question, whilst also giving some context within the discipline of Philosophy of Religion.
The Friendly Atheist has an excellent short piece which utterly destroys liberal and moderate Muslims in their case for Islam being a religion of peace. It is not that, as I have shown here, and due mainly to this. The problem stems from the core text, the Qu’ran. And you can’t really be a Muslim and drop the Qu’ran – they are inseparable.
Myself and author James A. Lindsay were both involved in contributing chapters to John Loftus’s recent excellent addition to his growing number of titles.
Just World Theory is a core reason as to why theists believe in God. It is this desire for balance and fairness which is psychologically ingrained into us, no matter what ancillary beliefs we have. As a result, we see the world, the universe, as a thing which must be, on balance, fair.
Here is a broad selection of claims and quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia article “The Nature and Attributes of God” compiled by my friend Julian Haydon:
God is infinitely perfect
He is infinitely good, intelligent, wise, just, holy, etc
no Theist of average intelligence ever thinks of understanding literally the metaphors he applies, or hears applied by others, to God
Thus God is said to see or hear, as if He had physical organs, or to be angry or sorry, as if subject to human passions
Before I get stuck in, I want to emphasise how I am a liberal commentator and am happy to be shown where I am wrong; I do not want to level accusations at Islam which are wrong and which have developed out of a biased media caricature of what Islam is. It is easy to fire from the emotional hip and to rely on emotional social identity theory of ‘us and them’ such that I present an attack on Islam which is either straw man or unwarranted.
Moreover, there is an issue here with the while notion of causality, something which I have looked at in the post “Have I ever killed someone?” I will not so much deal with that in huge depth here as I want to look at the two ideas in unison in the next post on this matter.