Showing posts from August, 2016

Understated Evidence and the Resurrection of Jesus

[ Below is a somewhat reworked version of a post from many months ago  here .] In addressing the viability of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, Jeffery Jay Lowder has argued that pretty much any naturalistic explanation is better than the explanation that Jesus rose from the dead, and suggested that arguments to the contrary are based on the fallacy of understated evidence. By this fallacy he means, following Paul Draper , to "identify some general fact F about a topic X that is antecedently more likely on theism than on naturalism, but ignore other more specific facts about X, facts that, given F, are more likely on naturalism than on theism." Here I will briefly rebut some of Lowder's statements (his original post in full along with subsequent comments here .) He says, Since we're dealing with inductive logic, what matters is prior probability and explanatory power. C&C [Greg Cavin and Carlos Colombetti, in  "The Great Mars Hill

Bi-Weekly Apologetics Report: New Atheism

This week, I would like to share some recent posts that were made on the Shadow to Light blog that deal with New Atheism. Post 1: This is Michael’s most recent post about the collapse of new atheism. On this link, there is a video from the world famous Aron-Ra about the Atheos app. About 10:30 into the video, a former student of Peter Boghossian (Sarah Paquette) had this to say about Peter’s new atheism class: He had a seminar New Atheism but unfortunately I don’t think it’s coming back next year simply because the attendance was not high enough which is pretty…sad. It’s a loss. Speaking of the Atheos app, here is a post from that site that talks about that more: This is supposed to be the goal of this app: Boghossian, author of “A Manual for Creatin

Have Tomb, Will Argue part 1 of 2

In response to the empty tomb book published by the ensemble of internet infidels. My arguments are found in several pages that disprove any assertion of a late developing tomb myth. I have two major arguments both of which demonstrate the historicity of an early claim of an existing empty tomb. (1) The pre Markan redaction includes story of empty tomb as early as AD 50 (2) archaeological evidence indicates the tomb is under the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the second argument: One of the major skeptical arguments against the Resurrection of Christ states that no tomb was ever venerated as the site of the Resurrection until Constantine arbitrarily chose one in the fourth century; that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the oldest traditional site, was just a fabrication. None of this is true. While it cannot be proven conclusively that the CHS is the actual tomb site, there

Using Titus to Answer Jehovah's Witnesses on the Identity of Jesus

Yesterday, a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door. They were very nice people. They smiled a lot, and carefully explained to me that according to the Bible, the Kingdom of God is coming. They were people who I would happily invite out to dinner because they were very pleasant and loving. They gave me a copy of their latest addition of The Watchtower Magazine (every true Christian should always accept The Watchtower when offered by well-meaning Jehovah's Witnesses to keep it out of the hands of those who do not already have a relationship with God) and another little booklet called "Good News from God." I thanked them for both.  It may surprise some people to learn that I don't automatically turn into "super-apologist" when Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door. I intentionally choose to refrain from using my years of reading and study in the area of apologetics to reveal their errors by hammering them on doctrine. I don't do that b

Were the Canonical NT Authors Bowing to Popular Pagan Converts? (1 of 2)

This past January (gosh, it is almost September already??), I saw an interesting question asked on a Facebook group against Jesus Mythicism: "Could the gospels (and particularly the infancy narratives) be, in part, orthodox responses and redactions of stories by early pagan converts that simply got out of hand and became too popular to ignore? Could this be a fair compromise between mythicism and historicism?" FB being FB, after I posted a reply, I never noticed that Alexander, who asked the question, replied to a basic answer from me with a further question, and that particular thread soon dropped out of sight. I think it's a respectable question, and I meant and still mean no disrespect in giving a short answer there and a longer consideration of it here. It's a somewhat vaguely broad question, of course, but it's still precise in the basic concept being proposed, and its broadness allows a lot of flexibility for fulfillment options: perhaps it could be tru

Is God Incoherent? A Reply to Dan Barker

    In what he terms the "Freewill Argument for the Nonexistence of God" (FANG), atheist Dan Barker contends that the very definition of the Christian God is logically incoherent, and therefore the Christian God is nonexistent. Like many unsound arguments atheistic and otherwise, Barker's appears fairly convincing at a glance. In this case Plato's dictum bears repeating: "Arguments, like men, are often pretenders." The following is the main body of Barker's argument:   The Christian God is defined as a personal being who knows everything. According to Christians, personal beings have free will.   In order to have free will, you must have more than one option, each of which is avoidable. This means that before you make a choice, there must be a period of potential: you cannot know the future. Even if you think you can predict your decision, if you claim to have free will, you must admit the potential (if not the desire) to change your

Against Infinite Causal Regress

The Infinite causal regress is an important issue in dealing with the cosmological argument, especially the Kalam version, and the argument form final cause. It basically means that any infinitely recurring causality for any event is impossible, since one never actually arrives at a cause. The importance of this argument applies not only to the now largely abandoned notion of an oscillating universe, but to any finite causes of space/time. This is because in light of the impossibility it means that the ultimate cause of the universe must be a final cause, that is to say, the cause behind all other causes, but itself uncaused and eternal. These are two major issues because they indicate why the ultimate cause of the universe has to be God. Since arbitrary necessities are impossible, the ultimate cause cannot be something which is itself contingent, such as an eternal singularity. The ultimate cause, or "final cause" must be God, since God is a logical necessity. But la