Showing posts from July, 2014

The Heart of Freedom (2014)

This week, the United States will celebrate our annual Independence Day (July 4th -- the day in 1776 we declared, a bit preemptorily, our independence from Great Britain). Freedom and independence are words with great political and cultural meaning for us; and not only for us, but for the numerous nations who (more-or-less following our lead) also declared their independence from sovereign rulers whom they believed were oppressing them, both socially and not-infrequently religiously. Sad to say, Christianity was just-as-not-infrequently the religious oppression the people were revolting against. To some extent this is even true of the United States: even though our own national revolution was grounded on a mixture of orthodox Christianity and nominal deism (such as Franklin’s and Jefferson’s), the history of our country’s settlement in the centuries before the revolution was typically based on fleeing religious (as well as financial) oppression in Europe. And it can ha

Answering Austin Cline's "Argument from Religious Experience:Do We Experience God's Existence?"

William James ( 1842–1910 ) Atheist pundit Austin  Cline can often be found pontificating about religion on He has an article around religious experience as a God argument, [1] his prejudicial dismissal of the argument is tailormade for my new book, The Trace of God: A Rational Warrant for Belief, by Joseph Hinman (paperback, soon to be e book available on Amazon ) to answer. First I want to clear the way by a knit pick. the phrase "Do we experience God's existence?" is an awkward and odd phrase. It's redundant because the only way we could actually experience God as a reality is if God is real, what we call "existing," thus even though this is a misuse of the term on his part according to Paul Tillich's theology [2] to experience God is to say that God is real and thus the idea that we are experiencing God's existence is just redundant. If we experience God as a reality then God must be real or we are not truly e
The Ideology of Scientism (part 2)    We left off talking about E.O. Wilson. Wilson started sociobiology and then it transmogrified into evolutionary psychology.             Evolutionary psychology seeks to explain psychological traits in terms of direct relation to evolutionary needs. Wilson didn’t just invent evolutionary psychology out of the air, there were other thinkers involved. From 1963 to 1974 William Hamilton, George Williams, Robert Trivers, John Maynard Smith pioneered in the sort of understanding we find in evolutionary psychology. [1] Wilson galvanized this trend with his work Sociobiology: the New Synthesis which has been said to mark the epoch. [2] In speaking of the spread of evolutionary psychology Wright says “a new world view is dawning.” [3] He uses the phrase world view literally. He says it’s a body of theory and fact, much like quantum theory, or molecular biology, but unlike that, “it’s also a way of seeing every day life. Once truly