Tag Archives: apologetics

Thomas Aquinas for Beginners

Listening closely to theist arguments–and Aquinas. As an agnostic, I’m not sure whether God exists or not, nor whether Thomas Aquinas’s metaphysics is wholly correct, but I’m also not the sort of person who is interested in practicing confirmation bias … Continue reading

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Some Good Reasons to Think Adam and Eve Never Existed

First, there was never a bottleneck of two people that accounts for the diversity of humans living today. Second, geneticists tell us that the diversity of contemporary humans derives from no less than 12,500 black African ancestors, 2,500 of whom … Continue reading

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Who Shapes and Defines the Clay, and Who Cuts the Deck of Definition? Hylomorphism, Aquinas, Sartre, and Evolution

What is hylomorphism? Hylomorphism is a term out of classical philosophy (first used by Aristotle, later picked up by Aquinas) where a designer takes raw material and uses her mind and hands to impose purpose and form on it, as … Continue reading

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Is God Just? And Where is Jesus?

In Summa Contra Gentiles, Book IV, ch. 52, here’s what Thomas Aquinas says is the sufficient reason for God withdrawing and withholding his protection from the descendants of Adam and Eve, leaving them exposed to dissolution (coming apart), degeneration, death, and … Continue reading

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Confidence Theists, Confidence Atheists, and Bayes’ Rule

As an agnostic, I think that both theists and atheists have reasons, some of them good, for believing what they do. It’s not just thoughtlessness or blind faith that causes someone to declare for theism or atheism. My issue is … Continue reading

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Jesus, Original Sin, the Sufficient Reason for Suffering, and Thomas Aquinas

Jesus came and was crucified two thousand years ago. Wasn’t that supposed to quell God’s wrath against humanity? Jesus was supposed to have gone up to heaven in a cloud with the intention of being back quickly. He’s still not … Continue reading

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David Berlinski defends God’s role in the Holocaust: “God did not protect his chosen people…[but] did…smite their enemies, with generations to come in mourning or obsessed by shame.”

Here’s David Berlinski defending God’s role in the Holocaust (from page 31 of his book, The Devil’s Delusion): “[T]he thousand year Reich…lies buried in the rubble of German cities smashed to smithereens,…[I]f God did not protect his chosen people precisely … Continue reading

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If God is Rational, Whence the Holocaust and Competing Goods (Such as the Pursuit of Beauty over Ethics)?

Thomist philosopher Edward Feser prefers intellectualism (reason leading the will) to voluntarism (the will leading reason). He thinks that neither desire nor imagination should lead our wills, and claims that God, as the supremely rational being, ought to be our example: … Continue reading

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The Principle of Sufficient Reason and the Holocaust

Here’s the problem concerning the principle of sufficient reason. If one posits that God has a good and sufficient reason for having allowed the Holocaust, the follow-up question obviously becomes, “Well, what is it?” Any particular answer proves woefully inadequate, ludicrous … Continue reading

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Is God A Brute Fact Or Does God Not Exist?

If God exists, why is there some Being rather than no Being? Put another way, with regard to the existence of contingent beings (“Why is there something rather than nothing?”), God presumably functions as the necessary and sufficient cause for … Continue reading

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What I Believe

I’m an agnostic. No superstitions. No spooks. I think there’s one world. No evidence for minds apart from brains. The form of theism that seems vaguely plausible to me is simple deism. I think it’s logically possible that there is … Continue reading

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The Stockholm Syndrome and Religion

The Stockholm Syndrome is where love and threat are coming from the same source; it’s a form of hostage taking, and it’s what religions do emotionally with people when they make God the source of love and acceptance if you … Continue reading

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God and Evolution?

As an agnostic, I never have any problem with somebody who says, “13.7 billion year-old cosmos and evolution, yes, obviously, but not, ‘It all happened via the combination of chance and natural selection.’ Something more is up, and I think … Continue reading

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Un-Fricken-Believable

Seriously. __________ Okay, I have to comment. First, before you can even get this sort of logic going, Adam and Eve would need to have actually existed in a garden in Mesopotamia 10,000 years ago. They never did. Second, you’ve … Continue reading

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God Exists And Evil Is Always For The Best?

Sounding like Dr. Pangloss in Voltaire’s Candide, the Thomist philosopher Edward Feser recently made the following statement at his blog: [I]t is not just God’s existence but also divine providence which can be known via purely philosophical arguments.  Hence, even … Continue reading

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Edward Feser Thinks God Flashed Fire Upon Elijah’s Sacrifice

Given the level of sophistication that the philosopher Edward Feser brings to his defense of medieval Thomism, I was somewhat taken aback recently to see him write at his blog the following: I think a divine cause was the source … Continue reading

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God, The New Testament, And The Holocaust

It’s very, very hard to speak of God’s existence and of human history going according to a divine plan after the Holocaust. In 1945, Theodore Adorno famously said that it’s absurd to write poetry after the Holocaust, and it seems … Continue reading

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Bart Ehrman: The Upton Sinclair of Jesus Studies

Look at the title of Bart Erhman’s new book in contrast with the title of its “flea” (the apologetic book that piggybacks on it): http://www.amazon.com/How-Jesus-Became-God-Exaltation/dp/0061778184/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398779740&sr=8-1&keywords=bart+ehrman _________ http://www.amazon.com/How-God-Became-Jesus-Nature—-ebook/dp/B00I2P2OVS/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398748855&sr=1-2&keywords=how+jesus+became+god+ehrman __________ Notice that Ehrman’s book title invites the reader to explore something available … Continue reading

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Does the Truth Matter or Not?

Catholic Andrew Sullivan, in the context of reading the biblical scholar Bart Erhman’s new book, How Jesus Became God (Harper 2014), makes a crisp and refreshingly direct statement to his fellow biblical religionists who ignore expert consensus and the general … Continue reading

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God or the Multiverse: Who or What Banged the Big Bang?

Physicists Andrei Linde and Alan Guth “distorted by gravitational waves.” (HuffPost image.) __________ Cosmic background radiation has long been considered by physicists to be the smoking gun evidence for the big bang, but what about the recent discovery of bent … Continue reading

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