Because It’s True

A few posts back, in the context of Harrisian determinism / Galen Strawson’s Basic Argument, I asked:

Why embrace a worldview that necessarily commits one to a full abdication of ultimate moral responsibility, especially when it’s a philosophical position with no scientific grounding?

In a very long response, a commenter going by ThatGuyWithHippyHair (hereafter “ThatGuy”) replied:

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20,000 Sects Of Christianity

I’ve alluded to these sentiments before, but this short post is meant to clarify and summarize some of those ideas. I suggest reading Mike Gene’s wonderful posts on the subjectivity of evidence, here and here, then coming back to read what I’m about to say, which is only a single paragraph. Seriously, read his posts first! My words will make much more sense if you do, especially if you’re an atheist.

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My Current Thoughts On Halloween

A reader recently emailed asking my thoughts on Halloween, providing an article titled, Jesus With His Lights Out On Halloween. In the past, I was much more tolerant of Halloween than I am now, but I think this has much to do with how off-focus I was then, along with how much I’ve learned about Halloween since. Whatever you think about it, this issue is a must-discuss for all who call themselves Christians. Last night it became a topic of tension in my own family. My fiancé didn’t really feel there was anything wrong with letting our daughter go trick-or-treating. I disagreed, despite the fact that we both participated in Halloween before out daughter was born, and the fact that I reluctantly allowed trick-or-treating the first two years of her life. In this post, I’ll try to explain why I don’t want our daughter trick-or-treating this year. I wish I would have posted this earlier, but, better late than never. At least now I’ve got something written for next year.

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Exploring Orthodoxy 1: Christians, You Must Know Christ!

In an email, commenter Kwon Mega left me some links on the Orthodox Church. There is an Orthodox Church very close to my home, and on various occasions I’ve stopped by the bookshop and even chatted with a few people. Though I’ve never attended a service there, I’ve lately felt a desire to do so. It is probably a sign of my utter wretchedness that I’ve passed this Church daily, even drunk on occasion, for over six years without ever once attending a service. When I question why I never attended a service, I realize that until very recently, I wasn’t aware of the differences between Orthodox and Catholic. I simply assumed that the Church I was walking past was Catholic, and for that reason, I never really gave it much thought. In short, I suppose one could say I failed to worship with all of my mind.

This is the first post of a new series, Exploring Orthodoxy. I’d like to share my initial reactions to the first link Kwon Mega provided (and thanks, Kwon Mega, for providing the links, and the inspiration for this series).

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Taking The “Protestant” Test

So there’s a website that offers a quiz to test the extent of one’s “Protestantism.” I thought it would be interesting to take the test and post the results here. I’m using a “1” to denote “guilty,” and “0” to denote “not guilty” or “insufficient question.” I encourage you to take the test yourself, and report your scores at the end.

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Question #8: Are The 10 Commandments Still Bearing?

I intend to use replies to this post as a springboard for an upcoming discussion on dispensationalism, e.g., whether or not the Mosaic law still applies today (or to what extent). Since orthopraxy requires orthodoxy, I see this as an important question for all believers. Please note: I am not asking if anybody believes obedience to the Ten Commandments and/or the Law is necessary to effect salvation. Rather, I’m asking, despite the fact that Christ established a new covenant, do you believe the Ten Commandments still apply today? Why or why not? Do you believe the Mosaic Law still applies today? Why or why not? Do you believe that only certain Commandments or certain parts of the Law apply today? If so, why those parts, and not others? If you are inclined to run to Vatican for support, that’s fine, feel free, I just ask that you also include Scripture to support official Church statements (i.e., that you show how Scripture supports the official Church statements).

On Romney, Obama, Mormonism & More

I rarely write about politics, but over at Vic’s place, Matt DeStefano asked:

I’d be curious to hear how the Christians here feel about Romney’s Mormonism, especially given this video.

First, my general attitude towards voting for US presidents: I don’t. Unless I feel specifically called otherwise, I don’t pay attention to any of it. To brothers and sisters who vote, I respect your motive of civic duty, but the lesser of two evils is still evil. Second, I mean no offense to any denominationalists anywhere, but I cannot mince words: what I am about to say will be considered harsh, heretical and anathema to some. Third, if any professed believers feel the pressure of offense creeping up their soul while reading what I am about to say, I respectfully ask them to follow the “pray, wait, respond” strategy. Ask YHWH if there is any truth in what I am saying, then wait for at least five minutes. Please don’t just take offense and shoot from the hip. Lastly, please note that this is a response to Matt, so I’ll be addressing him personally hereafter. Since this is a supplement to a discussion that began elsewhere, glancing at the original thread will supply necessary context. It may also help to watched the linked video if you haven’t.

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The National Academies? Or Gnu Atheists? Who Do You Trust?

As is often the case when challenging their sacred dogmas, I’ve been battling an entire gaggle of Gnu atheists, led by Richard Wade over at Hemant Mehta’s blog. It all began when Wade left the following comment that, to me, perfectly articulates the central pillar of Gnu atheism. When I challenged Wade’s assertion that there is “no evidence” for God and asked him to define “evidence” for me, he said:

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Jeff Lowder Replies

Jeffrey Jay Lowder has replied to my critique, and I’ve realized that sometimes I talk too much. I suspect verbosity obscured the point because Jeff seems to have misunderstood my criticisms (though I might misunderstand his, only time can tell). I’m responding to his rejoinders elsewhere, but today I want to offer an alternative description of my objections to Jeff’s AHS. But first, a note on brevity.

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