Showing posts from June, 2012

"Morality just loves me, or something"

A few days ago I came across a fascinating blog post by a prominent atheist blogger, Leah Libresco...except that it was a post announcing her conversion to Christianity and specifically Catholicism (HT: Stephen Bedard).

This conversion account is worth noting for several reasons. For one thing, it was motivated entirely by intellectual concerns, as is clear from Libresco's About page on her blog. She has been contemplating Christian and other truth claims for a long time, taking them with the seriousness they deserve and with a clear-sighted acknowledgment of their evidentiary force, which is such a refreshing alternative to the usualignorance and laziness one encounters among atheists, who should look to Libresco as a model for the homework they have to do in order for their atheism to be even remotely rationally respectable. Her testimony shows conclusively that people do not convert to Christianity only for psychological reasons, atheist slanders to the contrary (and which sadl…

Common misconceptions about Moral Arguments

Common misconceptions about the statement “Objective morality cannot be grounded without a transcendent reality”

The idea of morality finding no 'grounding' without a transcendent reality (i.e. a reality that is more than just the natural, physical world, such as that which is postulated by theism) depends on what 'grounding' refers to. Defining it correctly changes the meaning of the statement drastically; I suggest that 'grounded' could be defined as 'made objectively true'. 'Objectively true' then refers to the idea that to say something like 'racism is wrong' is to make a statement about reality, which can be considered either 'true' or 'false' for all times and places, independent of what any contingent, physical mind believes about the matter. To say a moral maxim such as 'racism is wrong' is 'objectively true', is to say that it is true in the same way that the statement 'the moon exists' is…

The Most Real Reality and the Folly of the Cross

This is a bit of an in-house dispute among trinitarian theologians. But I don't much appreciate being lumped in with people who deny the transcendent omni-capable final reality of God as God, by a fellow trinitarian who appeals to concepts of impersonal classic theisms in order to defend his notion of the not-impersonal (??) theism of the Trinity of Persons from critiques that could only possibly have weight if God was in any way relevantly personal.

I know, that's... kind of spaghetti-ish. Sorry. If your eyes aren't crossing yet, and you dare to jump into 8-1/2 pages of some hardcore metaphysics, click here. Don't say I didn't warn you! {g}

Is Trinitarian Theism Necessarily No More Probable Than Basic Theism?

(Note: my original article title was inaccurate as to the position discussed, so I've changed it. The original title was "Is Trinitarian Theism Necessarily More Improbable Than Basic Theism?" The gist of the article was always disputing the notion that trinitarian theism must necessarily be no more probable than basic theism, however, i.e. necessarily as-or-less probable.)

Our friend David Marshall, author of several books on Christian cultural apologetics, writing at his blog Christ The Tao, has recently been responding to the "20+ Questions For Theists" asked by naturalistic atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder (another longtime correspondent of mine, from back in the days before weblogs) as part of Jeff's "Evidential Arguments For Naturalism" series at the Secular Outpost (i.e. Internet Infidels) blog.

(Whew, that was kind of a long provenance trail. Sorry.)

Since I don't already have enough large projects I'm working on, naturally I'm thinking …


Hey, remember the movie about the merely human Christ that pop-culture super-violent artistic director Paul Verhoeven (voting member of the more-or-less defunct Jesus Seminar) has been trying to get off the ground for the past 20 years or so?

It has a screenwriter now. (Also it finally has financial backing, which is rather more important than a screenwriter.)

No doubt this will provide everyone with an opportunity for yet another refresher course on lonnnng-outdated naturalistic Jesus theories (Mary was raped by a Roman soldier!!), but... well... remember that book he wrote after 20 years of research that he released a couple of Easter seasons ago (April 2010) and the important and relevant and dangerous and edgy controversy it stirred up that everyone thought they ought to try to answer or get on the bandwagon with?

No? Well, the reason you don't remember the firestorm of controversy isn't because the book didn't come out. Because it totally did. There was even a Kindle edi…

The 'objective' morality of P.Z. Myers

In a recent post on his blog P.Z. Myers insists that he makes moral decisions on the basis of an objective morality, and helpfully lays out the principles he uses in making those decisions. He emphatically denies that he rejects torture of toddlers (or anyone else) because he "thinks it is icky." Unfortunately, he does not succeed in demonstrating the feasibility of an "objective humanist morality" (as he describes it), and key supports in the foundation for that morality are missing. What's more, applying his principles consistently and with due regard for differences in people's inclinations and intuitions due to differences in upbringing would result in a truly nightmarish moral 'order', the very nihilism he is so concerned to distance himself and fellow secularists from.
The first factor Myers takes into account when making moral decisions is interest:
Am I even interested in carrying out a particular action? There’s a wide range of possible ac…