My “Does God Exist?” debate with Dr. Ronda Chervin – now available on Youtube!

My recent recorded “Does God Exist?” debate (held on August 19, 2012 vs. Dr. Ronda Chervin) which was recorded for a special episode of the NEPA Freethought Society Podcast is now available on Youtube. A remastered high-quality downloadable and streamable audio-only file is scheduled to be released as a podcast on the first Wednesday of September. This was my second recorded debate of this kind.

Dr. Chervin presented variations of Aquinas’ third and fifth ways in her opening statement.
I presented the evidential problem of natural evil, Stephen Law‘s ‘Evil God Challenge,’ and the problem of theological fatalism.

(more…)

Debate/Discussion with Pastor John Murray – NEPA Pridefest 2012

I recently had a debate/discussion with Christian fundamentalist Pastor John Murray from Tree of Life Christian Fellowship Church at NEPA Pridefest 2012 (an LGBT festival) in Kingston, PA. Murray and fellow churchgoers arrived to preach to/protest at NEPA Pridefest 2012.

We chatted for about 45 minutes about homosexuality, faith, theological fatalism, free will, the problem of evil, Stephen Law’s ‘Evil God Challenge,’ the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus, miracles, cosmological arguments, the soul, sin, and much more.

Philosopher Stephen Law enjoyed the discussion and you might too.

Enjoy this lively discussion.

 

My protest of “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rally in Scranton, PA

Here I am at the “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rally in Scranton, PA with my protest sign also promoting the NEPA Freethought Society’s website. In this post, in a narrative fashion of sorts, I will provide some of my thoughts concerning the rally and recount some of my protesting experience. I can write for hours about the bad arguments (and responses to my arguments) posed to me, but I won’t do this and instead focus on some tidbits of my experience. Aside from my thoughts, the end of this post includes local print media coverage of the event via reporter Rich Howells writing for Go Lackawanna in which I was interviewed.

(more…)

Claims of Personal Revelation and Divine Hiddenness

I have what seems to be quite a novel idea that I would like to present here…

Months ago, I authored a post dealing with what is often called the problem of divine hiddenness or, more generally, why — if the Christian god exists — the Christian god remains hidden. Theists typically, at least from my experience, use personal revelation as reasons to believe in God (or otherwise justify their previously held belief in God) and thus — as it seems and should be guaranteed to follow if we accept their claims for sake of argument — increase the probability of God existing. Surprisingly though, as I will argue, if it is the case that theistic belief is conditional on a god not revealing himself, it seems to be the case that both claims of personal revelation undermine the reasoning of theists who maintain that God must remain hidden due to certain considerations and that claims of personal revelation (if accepted for sake of argument) actually seem to lead to a conclusion that the Christian god doesn’t exist.

(more…)

The vapid Christian response to the death of Tyler Winstead

5156065.jpg

For those who are not from Northeastern Pennsylvania — or otherwise do not know — a 14-year-old boy named Tyler Winstead was recently shot and killed while walking home from playing basketball at a Christian Youth Center by an assailant who is still at large and unknown. Local media has described Winstead as a “well-behaved church-going honors student” and noted that he was killed right outside of Mount Zion Baptist Church where he and his family attended. Tyler even sung in the church choir. As might be expected, many Christians — including members of Tyler Winstead’s family — have commented on the death.

(more…)