Showing posts from July, 2012

More on the moral argument

The latest comment on my post documenting Leah Libresco's conversion to Catholicism is from an atheist with username "PhaseVelocity" (hence PV). By his tone he seems to be a typical strident, angry New Atheist (not to mention his sloppy grammar and usage) but he does trot out some standard objections to the moral argument so I want to take this opportunity to say a bit more about the grounds and strength of this argument.

Before going into that, let me just note the double-edged bulverism PV uses to dismiss Libresco's testimony:
Claiming you converted to a religion for rational arguments is common. Few people are willing to admit they converted for irrational arguments. Still this is usually the case. Humans base around 80% of their decisions on non-rational grounds. When somebody starts to accept faith for emotional reasons cognitive dissonance kicks in. A posteriori rationalizations are collected and most of the time the individuals involved actually genuinely beli…

Plantinga Critiques The God Delusion

Perhaps you have already seen this, but I hadn't until last night. Alvin Planinga may be the smartest living philosopher on the face of the planet. He is a guy who thinks about thinking, and when he makes an argument (as opposed to a throw away thought) it is usually something to sit up and note. When he discusses philosophy, he normally doesn't take the time to condescend to the level of the New Atheists.

Which is why I was surprised to see Alvin Plantinga wrote a brief review/rebuttal of the awful book by Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion. His review, entitled The Dawkins Confusion, does a wonderful job of reviewing Dawkins' arguments against the existence of God. For example, in discussing Dawkins' argument that God is extremely improbable, Plantinga makes a great observation about the actual nature of that argument. 
His detailed arguments are all for the conclusion that it is biologically possible that these various organs and systems should have come to be by ung…

Learning Apologetics from a Skeptic

The last time I posted, I cited an article on News 24 which stated that the James Ossuary had been proven to be a forgery. As my post pointed out, the article was dead wrong because the Biblical Archaeology Review had just published an article confirming the authenticity of the inscription. Now, I had never heard of News 24 before, but suddenly it has come up again when I came across another blatantly anti-Christian and ill-informed article that I want to comment upon.

The article is entitled You Want To Be An Apologist For Christianity? posted by someone using the pen name of Rodins Thinker. The article is a rather poor attempt to make light-hearted fun of some of the tactics used by some Christian apologists. To that extent, it is an attempt (a juvenile attempt, at best) to use the same type of humor that worked so effectively in The Freethinkers' Guide to Debating Christians on the Internet. However, whereas the Freethinkers' Guide was clever, this News 24 piece simply atte…

Have Tomb, Will Argue

This is in response to the last post by BK. BK defended the idea of the James 'ossuary as legitimate, but skeptics contended that no artifact has gone unexposed as a hoax. While this may be true of small personal items, such as Jesus' comb or face cloth or whatever, it's not true of major locations in archaeology such as the tomb of Christ. Long consider a forgery of pilgrims the archeological evidence supports the notion that we have the tomb and it was the actual tomb.

Professor Biddle (The Tomb of Christ) proves the site of the current Church of the Holy Sepulcher (CHS) is the very sight selected by Constantine for his chapel because he believed it to be site of the tomb of Jesus, the one that turned up empty, and the near the cross of Golgotha. It's only a few yards from the site of the crucifixion (so some believe). In the past atheists have become very angry over this point and gone to great lengths of deception and hostility to avoid the obvious conclusion…

Has the James Ossuary been Found to be a Forgery?

Those of us involved in apologetics are all familiar with the James Ossuary. For those who may be late-comers to the conversation, here's a brief description about the ossuary from an article published today on some website called News 24 entitled The Jesus Artifacts.
In 2002, the news that an ancient ossuary might be associated with James, the brother of Jesus of Nazareth, created great excitement in the world of biblical archaeology as well as among Christians and those of other religious faiths. The ossuary, or burial box, purportedly had an Aramaic inscription reading "Ya'akov, son of Yossef, brother of Yeshua," translated as "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" This article, written by someone calling himself "VillageIdiot" puts a very negative spin on the James Ossuary because as his opening paragraph (reproduced below) makes clear, he has no faith that any of the evidence supporting Jesus is true. The archeological evidence for the…

Post-mortem on the 'Bloodline' hoax

Some readers may remember (or not, it's been four years already) that a sensationalist documentary, Bloodline, came out in 2008 claiming to reveal new evidence that Mary Magdalene traveled to Southern France, that she and Jesus married, and most damning of all that the resurrection was a big hoax. There was just enough to the story to make me worried that this might actually be the real deal, so I did quite a bit of research and wrote a substantial critique soon after the documentary came out. Even back then, the story was already starting to crumble under the weight of very substantial criticisms, which I documented in my critique (not all of the links are still working, this was four years ago after all, nearly a century in Internet time!). But the 'explorer' who had unearthed these 'artifacts', who went by the pseudonym Ben Hammott, kept stringing people along, promising that a full investigation was underway by the French authorities, which however never came t…

The Heart of Freedom (2012)

My yearly Independence Day link back to my 2008 Cadre article on the philosophically unique connection between trinitarian theism and freedom.

God’s hope to all our readers, around the world, this holiday season!