God’s plan and the Republican National Convention

This weekend has contained various news reports concerning the possibility of Hurricane Issac touching Florida and disrupting the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. While hurricanes may seem to be no laughing matter, many secular individuals have wondered how the Republican Party — often thought to have the favor, according to some Republicans, of God — would respond to their national convention being interrupted by a natural disaster which was the work of God and/or something God could prevent. Read More

Soul-building and the mystery card

Earlier today, prior to the NEPA Freethought Society‘s August meeting, I had a conversation with a member of Libertas Ministries — Allen — who believes, according to his business card and my discussion with him, that “the power of Jesus Christ” can “fight the epidemic of addictions.” Allen agreed to have a short recorded discussion with me while his ministry was preparing to leave. The discussion, embedded below, lasted a short 15 minutes. This post will focus on two elements of the discussion — common Christian apologetics — in regards to belief in God in respect to natural suffering which I will later explain in this post: soul-building and the mystery card.

During this discussion, Allen responded to a question that I posed which was inspired by the character Prince Prospero in the horror film “The Masque of the Red Death.” I asked, “How can you look around this world and believe in the goodness of a god who rules it?” This question is a formulation of a classic argument against belief in the Christian god known as the evidential problem of natural evil – namely that the evidence of egregious suffering resulting from natural causes provides a reason to not believe the Christian god exists. Read More

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.

Read More

An a priori rejection of miracles?

I uploaded a short Youtube video (rather than writing a blog post) concerning miracles.

Here’s the video description:

Do atheists/skeptics/secularists have an a priori rejection — one before any sort of experience of investigation — of miracle claims? If so, is this justified? Is this a bad thing? How do ‘believers’ of all stripes justifiably jump from “I don’t know/I can’t explain this” to “it’s a miracle” …and then ascribe the miracle to a specific source? I’m willing to accept miracle explanations if given good reasons, but what I have heard so far has been very insufficient.