Category: literary apologetics

Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Bonaparte by Richard Whately against David Hume and Skepticism

Over the last three hundred years unbounded skepticism has been applied to religion and Christianity especially. Atheist philosopher David Hume was one of the prominent voices calling for stringent criteria in evaluating miracle claims, and the like. Not everyone thought very highly of this criteria. One such person was the Reverend Richard Whately, who skewers Hume’s reasoning by showing how if it were applied consistently, one could not be reasonably certain that Napoleon existed- a public figure that was said to be alive and roaming Europe even as he spoke!

This playful little book is not a treatise by any means, but it provides a glimpse into the conversations of the 1800s and challenges the ‘enlightened’ skeptics to decide: If they won’t apply their principles thoroughly and consistently, but choose only to apply them to certain claims (and how did they choose which ones?), are those principles worth their salt?

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Story and Evidence, a Response

I think it goes to my larger point. Story moves. Yes, Story can move more than evidence. And yet even if that is the case, nowhere do I suggest that I think that is good! Indeed, this whole event illustrates just how unfortunate it can be when evidence is divorced from Story. Oh yes, there is a Story here. There is a Narrative. This Narrative is one that Myers and his many fans are drenched in, so much so none of them actually need evidence to know that me and my stories are [fill in your favorite pejoratives here]. The Narrative fills in the gap. It is the skeptical storyline: Christians, dumb. Christians, blind faith. Skeptics, geniuses. Skeptics, reason and evidence. Nothing more needs to be said because everyone is already agreed on how the story ends, anyway. The ‘evidence’ ends up being just a ‘literary’ flourish that adds little to the accepted Narrative.

This Narrative appears to be driving Dave’s response, though to his credit, he is exceptionally mild and measured compared to many of the other responses I observed.

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Reader’s Guide to “Richard Dawkins Goes to Heaven.”

Third in a series of reader’s guides for my short story collection, “Richard Dawkins, Antony Flew, and Mother Teresa Go to Heaven.”  This one is for the Richard Dawkins story primarily, but may be applicable to the others.  For more details, see previous posts. How Not to Read Imaginative Literature What follows is an extreme […]

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Reader’s Guide to “Antony Flew Goes to Heaven.’

For background on why I believe that this reader’s guide might be helpful, please see the posts immediately prior to this one.  This guide pertains specifically to the story “Antony Flew Goes to Heaven” but the principles it discusses will likely be useful for the other stories, and interpreting literature in general. Reader’s Guide to […]

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PZ Myers Reviews “Antony Flew Goes to Heaven.”

The brilliant PZ Myers has ‘reviewed’ the second story in my short story collection, “Richard Dawkins, Antony Flew, and Mother Teresa go to Heaven.”

As before, I have no interest in responding in any detail, although I might say some things when he is done. I will say: “PZ, what makes you think Antony awakes in a garden?”

After reading the last review and the comments it spawned it became apparent that a little extra help on my part is needed. There seems to be difficulty understanding the texts in question. Therefore, a reader’s guide for each story has been composed.

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Readers Guide to story “Mother Teresa Goes to Heaven.”

Following the recent ‘review‘ of this short story of mine it was evidence that this reader’s comprehension guide could be of use.  Now, it ought to go without saying- but clearly has to be said, anyway- that it will be of no use to anyone who hasn’t actually read the story for themselves or doesn’t […]

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PZ Myers Posts his Review of “Mother Teresa Goes to Heaven.”

PZ Myers posted his review of one of the stories in my recently released short story collection today. This one is of “Mother Teresa Goes to Heaven.” I have no interest in responding to it, though perhaps when he is done may respond to them all. At any rate, if you want to read his ‘review’ for yourself you can check it out.

However, it goes a bit without saying- although, apparently it must be said- there is no way you can possibly know if his review has any merit at all unless you read it for yourself.

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