Whodathunk? A Religious Claim, Supported By Science!

From Yahoo News: Subatomic Calculations Indicate Finite Lifespan for Universe. This ties in perfectly with yesterday’s criticism of JT Eberhard’s “Redefining Truth” schtick.

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JT Eberhard: Redefining Truth Alright

Regular readers may remember the little fiasco with JT Eberhard from last year. After vowing a systematic takedown of his arguments, I pretty much took to ignoring the guy, but now that I’m playing around on Twitter and following his tweets I get a constant stream of illogic—and it’s time to do a little something about it.

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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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Why Don’t Atheists Criticize Things Like This?

Isn’t it funny how one-sided the average atheist meta-argument against Christianity usually is? By “meta-argument” I mean an overall case supported by other arguments, perhaps the POE, arguments from contradiction, stuff like that. In my experience, pop atheists limit themselves to a few failed arguments (ala Dawkins & Loftus) and the atheists who can’t muster that much intellectual fortitude just talk a bunch of crap (ala PZ Myers & Loftus). Notice how they never, ever, ever, you know… counterbalance their vitriol? For example, nobody will deny the damage that comes from bitterness and anger, and one could reasonably suppose a good God would have an interest in teaching us this. Get the drift? Here are some relevant Google search results. “But the Bible is a morally bankrupt book!”, they’ll try to convince whomever will listen. Point is, atheists shan’t just irresponsibly use a few cherrypicked proof-texts and mistake that as a commitment to reason. No, I mean really. The playing field is so much larger than what’s often played.

Thanks To My Readers

Belated greetings!

After a whirlwind of life changes and a crazy holiday season, I think I might be ready to ease into some “semi-regular posting” again (which basically reduces to ‘more than the current pathetic rate of 1 article per month’). To warm up, I just wanted to drop in, update the plugins, check the logs for suspicious activity and… give a big, warm “Thank You” to the folks who regularly read here even when there’s only one new post per month or less. I’m glad for the people who appreciate the articles. As always, suggestions for upcoming articles are welcomed.

Nothing Wrong With School Massacres?

By now I imagine most of us are familiar with the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. As a parent I anguish at the thought of what those parents must be going through. The thought of the never-to-be-opened Christmas presents is enough to bring tears to one’s eyes. It’s just so… wrong—unless of course you’re one of those atheists of the hard determinist type. If that’s the case, all you can say is that you don’t like what Adam Lanza did. Well, I guess you can say it was wrong, but that would be an equivocation of sorts because it could only be as “wrong” as a flood or hurricane. After all, on the hard determinist’s view, Adam Lanza is just another sack of matter blindly following the naturalistic laws of physics, no different than any other sack of matter. Right? That’s what Sam Harris is committed to: Lanza literally had no choice in the matter. It’s not just overconfident neuro-fetishists that espouse this view, either. This all follows from Galen Strawson’s basic argument.

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?

Darkness, Among Other Things

Discussions of scientific realism vs. anti-realism aside, it’s commonly accepted that fulfilled predictions increase the likelihood of any given theory being correct. This is one of the reasons I accept Christianity and reject most of the tenets of other religions.

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How would Jesus celebrate Christmas?

I hate to sound like the grinch but in many ways, Christmas bums me out. Not what it stands for, but what it’s become. I absolutely loathe the corporate usurpation of this holiday, and it saddens me to see people flinging themselves headlong into it. Of course, the companies simply respond to the people, so this usurpation really says more about the state of individuals than anything else. We wouldn’t be increasingly bombarded with consumer propaganda if we, as individuals, took more seriously Jesus’ command to love not the world. What follows is an updated version of a piece I wrote ten years ago.

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Open Thread For Questions, Comments, Etc.

Howdy all. I just wanted to take a moment to apologize for the lack of new posts around here lately. I’ve been quite busy with “real life” and don’t foresee things slowing down until the new year. That said, I want to invite anybody to leave ideas for new posts, holiday wishes, questions about old posts… anything. I miss the conversation with the few regulars that still read here, and I hope everyone is well.

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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