Showing posts from October, 2020

My Cosmological argument:

1. Something exists. 2. Whatever exists, does so either necessarily or contingently. 3. It is impossible that only contingent things exist. 4. Therefore, there exists at least one necessary thing. 5. If there is a necessary thing, that thing is appropriately called 'God.' 6. Therefore God exists. (revised 8/6/'18) This version understands Necessity and contingency largely in causal terms. The necessity that creates the universe must be understood as eternal and uncaused for two reasons: (1) The impossibility of ICR[1], there has to be a final cause or nothing would ever come to be, (2) empirically we know the universe is not eternal. See the supporting material. Atheists will often argue that this kind of argument doesn't prove that God is the necessity that causes the universe. but being necessary and creator and primary cause makes it the sources of all things we can rationally construe that as God. Finally, even if the cosmological argument is sound or

Is the Phrase "God Exists" a "Meaningful" Phrase?

The Internet Infidels blog Secular Outpost 6/09/10 A discussion is launched by Bradley Bowen over the concept of alleged incoherence of the statement "God exists." In The Coherence of Theism (original:1977, revised ed.:1993), Richard Swinburne argues that the sentence “God exists” is a meaningful indicative sentence that expresses a coherent proposition. He does this by raising objections to arguments that have been given against this view, and by also making a detailed positive case. For the negative or defensive case, Swinburne starts out by raising objections to some general arguments against this view, and later in the book he raises objections to more specific arguments that focus on the alleged incoherence of specific characteristics or combinations of specific characteristics that are used to define the word “God”. The main general argument against his position that is examined by Swinburne is a logical positivist argument about the sentence “God exists”,

Archaeological Evidence for Isaiah and Hezekiah

  We go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong Remembered forever As shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom ~Grease the Musical While I have no idea what it means to go together like “rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong,” there are certain people in history that are so closely associated that you can hardly think of one without thinking of the other. In the NFL, one might think of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice almost like a single person. If you are a fan of classic movies, hearing the name Ginger Rogers almost certainly brings to mind Fred Astaire.   In music, it is hard to say Darrel Hall without adding John Oates. They are connected in our collective minds. Thinking Biblically, there are similar groupings of people whose names flow off the tongue like they were meant to be together: David and Jonathan, Samson and Delilah, Cain and Abel (for bad reasons), Jacob and Esau, and on and on. One significant pair in the Bible from the period of the two kingdoms is King

Pillar And Ground Of The Truth

 "The word pillar (στῦλος, stylos) would have special significance to the Ephesians in that their city was the site of the Temple of Diana which had 127 marble pillars upon which announcements were regularly affixed. The local church was a pillar upon which the truth was to be held up that all might see it. By “truth” (ἀληθεία, alētheia) Paul means the full revelation of God in Christ as [1 Timothy] verse 16 makes clear...The church is a household called to manifest the truth in its message and to conform to it in its conduct. Paul adds that the church is the “support” or buttress (ἑδραίωμα, hedraiōma) of the truth. The church, the Apostle implies, exists to maintain the faith and protect it from all danger." Excerpt taken from Understanding the Church, by Joseph M. Vogl and John H. Fish III, p. 49

You cannot see God? So what?

  “Skydaddy - A big daddy in the sky in whom most people believe, but no one has seen. He's a really nice guy unless you fail to submit to his will and/or doubt his existence, because then he will punish you forever. He's also kind of nazi about who you have sex with. But hey, a buddy is a buddy right?” – Urban Dictionary It seems as if I regularly run into people who won’t believe in a God that they cannot see. Oh, they will cover it with lots of other objections, but there is too much focus on the “Invisible Skydaddy” (one of the many demeaning terms atheists use to refer to God) to believe that a lot of it has nothing to do with the fact that he cannot be seen. Of course, it would be nice to be able to see God. Certainly, it is much easier to believe in something that you can see or touch rather than something that can be neither seen nor touched. But a scientifically-minded friend of mine shared with me the following illustration which he says he regularly uses when discu

Abraham was a Hurrian

Pixie told us: Deuteronomy 32:8 When the Most High divided the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. He interprets like this: "This is referring to how the people of the world (as it was understood at the time) were divided up amongst the Gods by the head of the Pantheon, El, with the Hebrews being allotted to Yahweh (similarly: Melqart was the God of Tyre; Chemosh of Moab; Tanit and Baal Hammon of Carthage; Kaus of Edom; Moloch of Ammon; Dagon of the Philistines)." [1] Here he presents a view that reduces the OT to a set of ideological propaganda notes purpotrated by a group of zealots who serve one member of a pagan pantheon [the Gd of t

Monotheism And The Beginning Of World Religions

[Genesis] 1.1 Monotheism, or the belief in one God, has been shown to be a characteristic of the earliest religions. This concept runs counter to the modern notion that the idea of God was gradually evolved from primitive animism to polytheism, and then finally to monotheism. The researchers of Schmidt, Langdon, Petrie, and Zwemer strongly support primitive monotheism. The development of polytheism and lower views of God from a retrogression from monotheism may be explained by the advent of sin and the spiritual decline which necessarily ensued. In Rom 1.19-23 the Apostle Paul summarizes this tragic devolution from monotheism. Excerpt taken from Harper Study Bible [Revised Standard Version], p. 4

My original God Argument: From Natural Law

How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?"The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence."[2] The only rationale upon which the argument turns is the mystery concerning how laws work. That is a god of the gaps argument by definition, textbook. My argument begins by stating a rationale that, while it may be hard to prove, it is at least not a gap in knowledge, at least not only a gap. The problem with gaps is that they close up. Yet if we can demonstrate that mind is a more solid basis for the seeming law-like regul

Were the Early Christians Stoned?

  Let’s make it clear – There is no question that the earliest Christians were stoned, i.e., they had stones thrown at them in an effort to kill them. Acts describes the stoning of Stephen when a young Pharisee named Saul stood and watched. (Acts 7:54-60) Later, that same Saul (now named Paul) was himself the victim of a stoning which he survived. (Acts 14:19-20) So, I am not asking if the apostles were stoned in that sense. The question is whether they were stoned, i.e., drugged to the point of hallucinating much of what is reported in the New Testament. That, at least, is the gist of a new book described in an article on the Daily Beast website (the tagline of which should be, “We’ll publish anything that questions Christianity and Western civilization no matter how far-fetched”) entitled “ Did Early Christians Use Psychedelics? ” The subtitle says it all, “A new investigation into the spiritual life of the ancient world argues something different. Ancient people weren’t crazy or m