Thursday, March 20, 2014

A tidy little argument suggesting (news flash ...) that the Bible is not the word of God

American Philosopher Jason Thibodeau has come up with what I consider to be a tidy little argument as to why we can be certain that the Bible (at least in its entirety) is not the word of God. Here it is:

(1) God [at least as conceived by Christians] is omnibenevolent.

(2) An omnibenevolent being despises genocide, slavery, murder, etc. Thus,

(3) An omnibenevolent being would never command genocide. Thus,

(4) An omnibenevolent being would not want himself to be depicted as commanding genocide.

(5) The Bible contains passages in which God is depicted as commanding genocide. Thus,

(6) An omnibenevolent being does not want to be associated with the Bible (or at least those texts in which he is depicted as commanding atrocities or approving of them). Thus,

(7) The Bible is not the word of God.

Looks air tight to me. Anyone out there care to disagree?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What's the big deal with killing yourself if you're immortal?

If anyone is aware of the apologetic answer to the theological objection tidily summed up in the graphic below, I'd love to hear it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Childhood indoctrination

Christian analytic theologian Randal Rauser has recently posed the question Can You Be Indoctrinated into Atheism? While I don't think that there is any doubt about the fact that a person (particularly a child) can be indoctrinated into holding almost any belief, my assertion (admittedly, it's not an argument) is that the vast majority of Christian children have been indoctrinated. By this I mean that they have been taught by their parents not to question the supernatural factual underpinnings of Christianity.

If you have any doubt about the above assertion, please explain how you get any 10 year old child (assume an age where they are beyond belief in Santa Claus) to believe that it is more likely than not that [insert any supposed Biblical miracle you like but my favorite is the supposed virginal conception/birth] actually happened in the absence of parental indoctrination? By indoctrination, I mean encouraging a child to dispense with applying their ingrained BS-detector to conclude that the "miracles" that they see performed by magicians (for example, cutting an apprentice in half) aren't real.

Now, on the flip side of this coin, I contend that children are natural born atheists. Why? Because nobody has to teach them that the suspension of natural laws is improbable. Note that I haven't suggested that the supernatural is impossible. I'm not interested in what's possible. I'm interested in what is most likely.

As you will see from the following screenshot, Professor Rauser is not at all anxious to answer this question: