JT Eberhard: Redefining Truth Alright

February 18, 2013

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

February 17, 2013

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?

January 17, 2013

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

January 14, 2013

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?

December 15, 2012

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

December 13, 2012

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?

December 3, 2012

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

November 1, 2012

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

October 31, 2012

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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