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Tag: logic

Apologetics Academy of Atheists, Seekers, and Christians (Fall Session with Habermas)

The ministry hosting this website (sntjohnny.com) also puts on an online apologetics academy.  The fall session is coming up.  Dr. Gary Habermas will be guest lecturing on the historical Jesus and the evidence for the Resurrection.  It is possible to attend these lectures without being enrolled in the academy.  Those enrolled in the academy, regardless of course, can attend his 90 minute lectures to be held in early November.

With the name of the facilitators listed alongside, here are the Fall 2011 courses offered:

  • The Historical Jesus: A Survey of Evidence & Arguments – Anthony Horvath
  • Defending the Faith:
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Arguing about the morality of a thing with an atheist is pointless

Everyone has heard the charge:  God is a moral monster.  Indeed, Christians themselves have often struggled to reconcile the goodness of God with some of the actions recorded in the Scriptures, not to mention the bloodiness of human history.  I have myself struggled with this.  What thoughtful person hasn’t?  Unfortunately, as soon as you open your mouth to charge God with evil conduct, you have proved he exists, and also that he is good, because unless there exists a good God, all moral statements are nonsensical.

Granted, how you get from one to the other requires some intermediary steps.  It … continue reading...

The Explanatory Fallacy

I am not familiar enough with formal logic to know if I am coining a new term or describing a fallacy for the first time.  Google was no help.  If you can help, I’d be happy to hear it, but first you ought to read further to make sure you know what I’m talking about.

In the nearly 20 years or so of debating with various kinds of non-Christians, I have often encountered a way of thinking that I think is self-evidently flawed, but oddly common nonetheless.  What I mean is this:  as soon as you press the point, they … continue reading...

The Living and the Dead and Rational Thought

One of the things I’ve come to realize is the truth of this statement:

As the dead do not know the living, or even that they themselves are dead, so too irrationality does not know rationality.

Augustine argued that evil was not a ‘thing-in-itself’ but always some good thing that has been corrupted.  Evil is a direction away from good.  I think he is right about that and I know now that there are many examples of the same principle.  Rationality and Irrationality are one example.  The Living and the Dead, another.  Morality and Immorality yet one more.  I’m sure … continue reading...

Is there such a thing as ‘Christian’ music, writing, art, etc?

I try mightily to keep myself from having unexamined beliefs.  I turned one up, though, in the last month or so, no doubt because of the writing contest and online apologetics conference I was working on.  The writing contest, for example, is labeled as a Christian writing contest.  I began to think about how an endeavor like writing, or any endeavor at all, could justify being termed ‘Christian’ and realized I had never really thought about it much before, and had rather accepted the presumptions that had been handed down to me.  I hate it when I do that!  Even … continue reading...

On Free Will, Fair Trials, and the Problem of Evil

A recent series of comments on an article of mine characterizing Obama’s desire to have the KSM trial in NYC as a ‘show trial‘ prompted me to ponder one of the claims made in those comments.  I noted what appears to be a parallel between “Mark’s” argument and atheistic objections to God along the lines of free will and the problem of evil.  In saying this, I don’t mean to imply that Mark is actually an atheist.  I have no idea if he is.  Nor do I mean to unduly pick on him, because in my view youngsters are … continue reading...

Atheists strain to demostrate my description of them is not a strawman

I have been hugely entertained by reading an extended forum discussion responding to my post yesterday which was a paraphrase of several conversations I’ve had in the last few months.  As one might expect, it was immediately objected that my protrayal was mere strawman and does not represent the ‘real atheist’ position.   This begs a very interesting question:  isn’t any argument put forward by an atheist a real atheistic position?  It begs another question:  if I did not represent the real atheistic position, why do so many atheists espouse it, engage in the same kind of tactics, and why did … continue reading...

A Conversation on Final Regress and First Causes

I recently had a conversation with some gents that I thought I would paraphrase for my blog.  I think I’ve had the same kind of conversation a dozen times in the last three months.  I have combined all the conversations into one paraphrase.  The Internet is filled with conversations like this.  If you have got one feel free to share.  Enjoy.

Them:  We believe science is the only way to learn about the world and religion is just faith-mongering superstition.  There is no scientific basis for believing in the existence of God.  Belief is just irrationalism.  I know what you’re … continue reading...

Herr Professor Strikes Back: atheist Deacon Duncan takes issue with my arguments

I noticed the other day that someone had taken the time to respond at length to my post discussing trancendence, immanence, logic and superlogic.  Then I woke up this morning to find out he had posted again on it!  Herr Professor, this is just too much! 🙂  Herr Professor, now going by Deacon Duncan, knows that I prefer to have extended discussions on my discussion forum but he has sufficiently stroked my ego that I think a post or two is warranted.  It is not every day that I am described as smart and sophisticated and that my arguments … continue reading...

Transcendence and Immanence, Logic and Superlogic- and Sublogic

Orthodox Christianity holds that God is both a transcendent entity and immanent.  If you understand what Christians propose to be true about God, you understand why both attributes follow necessarily.  All religions boil down to some expression of one of these two attributes, usually to the exclusion of one to the other.   Deism, for example, emphasizes transcendence and despises immanence.  Various forms of paganism emphasize immanence, that is they identify ‘God’ with the universe and reject that there is a God ‘outside’ it.  Even atheism takes a position here:  naturalism is just another variation on immanence and ‘God’ is just … continue reading...

Response to Curtis Clark on Naturalism- A Breath of Fresh Air

Recently an atheist stumbled upon my site and in the course of corresponding with him I have discovered that our different points of view aside, he is a gentleman that I can have a conversation with.  His site is called The Academy of Metaphysical Naturalism and he recently put up a post responding to a post on my own blog on the distinction between ‘natural’ revelation and ‘special’ revelation.   Normally I try to direct correspondents to my discussion forum but in this case, an atheist who has actually announced that I am a rational thinker, I must make an … continue reading...

The Need for an Absolute Frame of Reference For there to be Ultimate Meanings

When I was in college I made a nuisance of myself once by finding the slope of a vertical line (which, we are told, is ‘undefined.’)  Impossible, you say.  As did the math instructor.  But I ‘found’ it by rotating the grid beneath the line and recalculated, for now, of course, the line wasn’t perfectly vertical anymore.

You may say that this was a cheap trick and doesn’t really find the slope of a ‘vertical’ line.  You might say that we are required, by assumption, to take the graph in a certain way.  I might reply that that is only … continue reading...

The Growth of the Early Church: A Testimony Believed. Martyrs for what they saw not what they believed.

The Growth of the Early Church: A Testimony Believed.

This essay was written in response to challenges to demonstrate that the early Christians died because of their testimony, and their unwillingness to reject their testimony. In other words, they believed that they had actually seen certain events, and chose to die rather than deny what they had seen. Contrast with an event like 9-11, where we talk about 19 Muslims flying into the towers ‘because of their beliefs.’ I will contend in this essay that the early martyrs were driven on by what they witnessed with their own eyes- externally- continue reading...

Just how brave and courageous and free thinking is atheism?

If you spend as much time reading the writings of atheists as I do, you see many chest thumping descriptions of atheism as being brave, bold, and the logical position of any rational person.  One of the clearest and most sustained presentation of atheism in that sense is in Richard Dawkins’s “The God Delusion” where he spends a fair bit of time ranting that Newton and other great men would have been atheists if only their society had allowed it.   Antony Flew’s change of mind is put off as being a mark of old age.  Dawkins has to take this … continue reading...