The Biblioblog Reference Library

[«] Posts by the Author "Franz Kiekeben"(#906)

March 14 2018, 7AM

As most people reading this probably know, Sam Harris claims that morality is concerned with well-being, and thus that science can, at least in principle, determine which are the correct moral values. However, some critics have claimed that Harris is talk...

March 6, 10AM

“God won’t force you into Heaven against your will. If you don’t want him now here, you’re not going to want him in eternity.” — Frank Turek The above is an increasingly common idea among Christians: God is merely giving you the freedom...

February 28, 3PM

[The above question came up in the comments section today. The following, adapted from one of my old blog posts, looks at Eric Hovind's use of it in debates with ex-believers.] Eric Hovind uses the “you were never a real Christian” strategy to gre...

February 22, 10AM

One common type of near-death experience is the out-of-body experience, which often involves seeing one’s own body from above. But even though they’re common, how good are they as evidence that a non-physical mind or spirit can actually exit the body?...

February 12, 3PM

So far, we have looked at three arguments against the existence of free will, each one based on a different type of determinism. But there is another reason for denying freedom of the will: the concept itself appears to make no sense. In this fourth and f...

January 29, 9PM

So far, I’ve written about two arguments for determinism which, though not completely conclusive, present serious challenges to belief in free will. The same cannot be said of this next type of determinism. There actually is no reason for accepting it, ...

January 22, 8PM

As I mentioned last time, there are both causal and non-causal varieties of determinism. Most people think of determinism only in terms of the former: events are determined, they might say, if they are the result of prior states along with strict laws of ...

January 16, 8AM

The most common Christian view holds that human beings are free in the usual libertarian sense of the term — meaning that we can choose from among different courses of action (this is what I’ll mean here by “free will”). Eve and Adam chose to...

January 9, 1PM

One often hears the claim that the worldview of atheists is based on faith, so that we have no more reason for our beliefs than the religious have for theirs. (Though many who say such things strangely enough consider their own faith to be perfectly justi...

December 11 2017, 10AM

It is from the Bible that Christians learn many of the specific characteristics of their god. They may say that they believe in God as a result of some direct experience of him, but when it comes to the belief that this is specifically their “three for ...

December 4, 9AM

A common objection to Darwin’s theory is that it depends on a truism and therefore fails to make a scientific, empirical claim. Darwin argues that those who are the fittest survive long enough to reproduce. But who are the fittest? According to creation...

November 15, 11AM

This may be beating a dead horse, but some people are convinced the horse is alive and well. So here’s something else that's wrong with the Boethian attempt to escape theological determinism. According to Boethians, God doesn’t have foreknowledg...

November 13, 10AM

I have little doubt that last week’s mass shooting in Sutherland Springs made even many religious people question their faith. How could such a thing happen in a church, to people who were worshipping? Where was God? One preacher, however, explained it ...

November 9, 3PM

The first commandment doesn’t say “Thou shalt not have no gods,” but rather “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The main concern there is not with atheism, but with competing religious beliefs. And at first it does seem that belief in riv...

October 31, 7AM

Many theists believe both in a god with infallible knowledge about the future and in libertarian free will, and thus face the problem of how to reconcile these two ideas. An attempted solution which has come up in the comments section here more than once ...

October 16, 7AM

A common criticism of atheism is that we atheists “just want to sin.” Dinesh D’Souza, for example, said that “the perennial appeal of atheism” is that it “liberates us for the pleasures of sin and depravity,” while Lee Strobel claimed that p...

October 4, 7AM

It’s a common claim that if God does not exist, then everything is permitted. In particular, those who accept some form of the Divine Command Theory (DCT) tend to say this. It’s not true, of course — but given what their theory implies, it is ra...

September 27, 10AM

Roy Moore, the controversial former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, famous for his refusal to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building, is now a nominee for the U.S. Senate. In case some here aren’t all that fa...

September 19, 7AM

Split-brain patients are individuals who have had the corpus callosum (which connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain) severed. This causes the individual to have two centers of both perceptual and motor activity. Each side of the brain may gi...

September 13, 8AM

Loftus’s observation that faith makes smart people say stupid things reminded me of two instances I’d previously come across. The first involves Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and the author of The Language of God: A Scientist Prese...

September 6, 11AM

A couple of years ago, I published a blog post showing that if one accepts the explanations offered by apologists like William Lane Craig for some of the terrible things Yahweh commands, then one should want there to be as many abortions as possible. Sinc...

September 2, 5PM

As a sort-of follow up to my previous post, one more comment related to the problem of evil: According to some believers, God can do anything – and that means literally anything. He can make square circles, married bachelors, and even non-Catholic Popes...

August 23, 5PM

The problem of evil is well known: How can there be an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly good god if there is evil? The kind of reply most theists give is also familiar to most: Evil is not incompatible with God provided there is some reason for allowi...

August 16, 9AM

Orthodox Christianity holds that those who don’t “make the cut” end up suffering for all of eternity, and this has of course been the cause of much criticism of the religion. Something that is rarely considered, however, is what this doctrine says a...