In this contribution to an American Philosophical Association symposium on "God, Death, and the Meaning of Life," Evan Fales considers three responses to loss of faith in the Christian God: despair, optimism, and rebellion. Western culture is permeated by belief in an afterlife on religious grounds, shaping these responses in particularly anxious ways. Fales considers both how atheists can respond to the question of the meaning of life, and, in what is surely a surprising direction for some, whether Christianity even has the resources to provide meaning through doctrines as problematic as requiring another to pay for your own sins.
What does it mean to suppose that something is absurd? In the dictionary sense, to say that something is absurd is to say that it is ridiculously incongruous and unreasonable. Is Christianity absurd in the dictionary sense? Given standard criticisms of Christianity and certain plausible interpretations of it, Christianity is filled with ridiculous incongruities and unreasonable beliefs and practices. It can therefore be considered absurd.
Part of Gerkin's comprehensive review of Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith, Strobel's interview with Norman Geisler is analyzed and critiqued.
Part of Doland's comprehensive review of Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith, Strobel's interview with Norman Geisler is analyzed and critiqued.
Part of Gerkin's comprehensive review of Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith, Strobel's interview with Ravi Zacharias is analyzed and critiqued.
Objection #5: It's Offensive To Claim Jesus Is The Only Way To God (4th ed., 2006) by Paul Doland
Part of Doland's comprehensive review of Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith, Strobel's interview with Ravi Zacharias analyzed and critiqued.
Part of Gerkin's comprehensive review of Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith, Strobel's interview with J. P. Moreland is analyzed and critiqued.
Objection #6: A Loving God Would Never Torture People In Hell (4th ed., 2006) by Paul Doland
Part of Doland's comprehensive review of Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith, Strobel's interview with J. P. Moreland is analyzed and critiqued.
In this paper Richard Schoenig argues that Christianity "can't live with" its doctrine of original sin insofar as it is implausible and morally indefensible, and that Christianity "can't live without" the doctrine because it has, in the course of nearly 2000 years, become so entrenched within Christianity that removing it at this stage could be fatal to the host.
Christianity has elevated John's Revelation into a "sacred text" by including it in the New Testament canon. This has afforded divine legitimation to the cruelties contained within it, frequently cultivating a callous indifference towards (and often an outright enthusiasm for) the sufferings of "out-group" members everywhere whilst lumbering us with a tyrannical warrior god--a powerful "record keeper" desirous of unceasing worship.
In this review of Michael Martin's Atheism, Morality, and Meaning, John L. Perkins outlines Martin's responses to the theistic charge that atheists lack the motivation to be moral (in virtue of denying that rewards and punishments for earthly behavior exist after death), and the charge that atheists' lives are devoid of meaning. Martin first formulates and defends a version of secular ethics based on ideal observer theory, then turns to a critical analysis of religious ethics based on divine command theory. Martin further argues that, contrary to popular belief, it is theists--not atheists--whose lives lack real meaning. Christians in particular, Martin argues, ground meaning in a doctrine of atonement which actually undermines accountability for one's own actions. After noting a significant weakness of the book, Perkins suggests that the Golden Rule underlies an effective motivational constraint on undesirable social behavior.
The anthology Reason for the Hope Within aims to mount a broad defense of the Christian faith, in part by explaining how it can be reasonable for Christians to accept puzzling or paradoxical Christian doctrines, and in part by persuading nonbelievers that all of the core claims of Christianity are true. Oppy explains why he thinks that the book utterly fails to accomplish one of these aims, and thus fails to do much to advance the standing of Christian apologetics.
Former Catholic priest and Boston Globe columnist James Carroll's Practicing Catholic enlightens us about the evolution of Catholic teachings on salvation for non-Catholics, the growing support for progressive Catholic attitudes under Pope John XXIII, and the reactionary backsliding that has occurred under John Paul II and Benedictus XVI (Joseph Ratzinger). But Carroll barely defends his own pro-life stance on abortion and ignores altogether the moderate position that Catholic liberals have defended for decades. In theology, his view that God is unknowable conflicts with his claim that evidence-transcendent faith can count as knowledge, and he never explains (without begging the question) how faith that willfully goes beyond available evidence can be cognitively rational, let alone constitute knowledge. Nevertheless, though his faith is not cognitively rational because it is not well-grounded in evidence, it may well be practically rational to the extent that it plays an important role in his own overall well-being.
In this explanation of why he is not a Christian, Keith Parsons discusses the role that Christianity has played in perpetuating suffering throughout human history, the bizarre doctrine of inflicting eternal punishment on persons for having the wrong beliefs, the composition, inconsistencies, and absurdities of the New Testament Gospels, William Lane Craig's flawed case for the resurrection of Jesus, the role of legendary development and hallucinations in early Christianity, and C.S. Lewis' weak justifications for the Christian prohibition on premarital sex.
This is an online edition of the print book by the same title. It is the true story of a former evangelical missionary who gradually lost his faith, and the many reasons for his loss of faith. Daniels writes: "I invite Christian readers to consider the possibility that my apostasy is a result not of divine or diabolical deception but of a simple weighing of the evidence ... It might be that I am wrong. It might be that I have not sought God sufficiently or studied the Bible thoroughly enough or listened carefully enough to the many Christians who have admonished me ... Maybe. But the knowledge that billions of seekers have lived and died, calling out to God for some definitive revelation without ever receiving it, or receiving revelation that conflicts with the revelation others have found, contributes to my suspicion that there is no personal God who reveals himself to anyone."
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