Showing posts from January, 2018

Cave Art and Animals - The Uniqueness of Human Beings

At my job, I regularly teach a class on safely assisting individuals with medications. During the class, I note that I have a dog. The dog will eat anything except for what the veterinarian gives it. For some reason, that dog can sense a veterinarian's pill and spit it out. So what do I do? I wrap the pill in cheese. That dog will eat anything wrapped in cheese. But then, I add, people are not dogs. You cannot hide medication in food because that deprives the individual of the right to know that she is receiving a medication and her right to refuse the medication if she so chooses. To most people, that statement that people are not dogs is not a particularly shocking statement. It seems unobjectionable that people are not dogs (and it is equally true that dogs are not people). But what if I had said, “People are not animals”? What do you suppose would be the reaction? In some very important ways, people are not animals. I am certain that some people who read this will immed

Real Contradiction in the Resurrection Accounts?

Our atheist friend the regular on the comment section "Pixie" has an argument about the Resurrection accounts that is interesting and deserves answering: Mark is clear that Jesus went on ahead to Galilee. This is in both chapter 14 and 16. The supposed appearances in Jerusalem contradict that. You page on harmonization fails to even mention Galilee, totally ignoring both Mark and Matthew!... Okay, I should have said oldest that we have, and therefore closest to the original. We know Luke and Matthew were based on Mark, and yet they chose to remove the claim that the women did not say anything. They (their respective communities) were adding their own embellishments, and it made more sense to have the women talk, so they changed the text. again: We have a whole bunch of facts that need to be pieced together to make a coherent narrative. The author of Mark wrote what he wrote for a reason. I suggest he wrote that Jesus went on ahead to Galilee because that is what h

Confirmation Bias Bias

This post was something I wrote in 2012, but needless to say, I still hear this excuse pulled up time and time again as a simple reason to wave away arguments. ** There are a number of ways people have to avoid arguments while appearing to actually be saying something of significance. One of these ways, I have noted, is to make an issue of what is called "confirmation bias". The way it runs is something like this: "Anyone who believes X, or has a vested interest in X being true, is more likely to seek and present evidence for X, while also ignoring or not reporting evidence against it." Some I've seen (notably atheists, but others as well) use this reasoning as a sort of magic wand giving them the freedom to wave off arguments -- with little or even no further rebuttal deemed necessary. Of course I won't deny that "confirmation bias" can and does happen. I will, however, deny -- rather strongly -- that I fall victim to it with a

William Lane Craig: Looking at the Interplay between Premise 1 and 2 of Liebniz' Cosmological Argument

I drive quite a bit for my job. As I drive, occasionally I will look in my rear view mirror and notice a car behind me which I would swear had not been there when I looked only seconds before. (Fortunately, it is rarely a police car with lights flashing.) Moreover, I don't remember passing any side streets or driveways where the car could have entered the road. When it does happen, I find myself wondering, "Where did that car come from?" In my more fanciful moments I speculate that perhaps it somehow materialized behind me, effectively created ex nihilo , and hadn't actually just pulled into place behind me from some street entrance I overlooked. (If no one has written this into a short story already, some enterprising science fiction writer could write a pretty cool story about how a person lives in a universe where stuff just pops into place out of nothing.) Naturally, I know that the car didn't just appear ex nihilo . However, I cannot prove it. Still, I

No one Expects the Spanish Inquisition!

In his most recent post on Cadre Comments BK writes: " There is no question that Christianity in the West is under attack from some in the public square." [1]  BK wrote a fine article and he identifies five areas of attack: " (1) Biblical patriarchy is little more than a mask for men’s will to power; (2) Christians view the Bible as something which allows them to keep their power and privilege – it’s a product of its times; (3) Christianity is the Enemy of Science; (4) the Spanish Inquisition was a bloodbath motivated by religious fanaticism; and (5) Christianity promotes Victimhood Culture." BK focuses on 4. He discusses a book by Dr. Foley and quotes him as saying: The Spanish Inquisition has become a favorite bludgeon to use against the Catholic Church in particular and against Christianity in general – to “prove” that Christians who care about sound doctrine are repressive, bloodthirsty, and insanely power-hungry. Reports of its atrocities are greatly