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.

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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.