What's New on the Secular Web?
June 12, 2013
New in the Kiosk: Craig, Kalam, and Quantum Mechanics: Has Craig Defeated the Quantum Mechanics Objection to the Causal Principle? (2013) by Aron Zavaro
Over the past three decades, Christian philosopher William Lane Craig has been appealing to the beginning of the universe in order to argue for the existence of God. This article quickly outlines a common objection (known as the quantum mechanics objection) to Craig's appeal and then examines Craig's typical rebuttal, concluding that Craig's rebuttal is not only irrelevant to the quantum mechanics objection--but comes with a whole host of other problems.
June 2, 2013
Updated the Call for Papers page for the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
Substantially updated the list of book reviews sought for publication in the Secular Web Modern Library.
May 25, 2013
Added On Mavrodes' Moral Argument for Adopting Religious Belief (2013) by Ryan Stringer to the Why Should Atheists Be Moral? and Without God, What Grounds Right and Wrong? pages under Morality and Atheism in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
In "Religion and the Queerness of Morality," philosopher George Mavrodes contends that morality provides good grounds for adopting religious belief because in a world where religion fails, morality is odd or absurd. Since morality is not in fact odd or absurd in the actual world, Mavrodes argues, we do not live in a world where religion fails. In this paper Ryan Stringer examines the claim that in a world where religion fails, morality is odd or absurd, and finds it to be unsubstantiated. Moreover, Mavrodes provides no grounds for thinking that morality is not in fact odd or absurd in the actual world, and it is plausible to think that it actually is.
May 21, 2013
New in the Kiosk: The Euthyphro Dilemma as it Applies to the Doctrine of Atonement (2013) by Brian Vroman
Is something good because it is pleasing to God, or is something pleasing to God because it is good? Is something good because God commands it, or is what is good inherently good regardless of what God or anyone else happens to think about it? If "the wages of sin is death," how does the death of an innocent satisfy such an obligation? How one answers these questions has profound implications.
May 1, 2013
New in the Kiosk: Evidence for Atheism (2013) by David Neff
A challenge often presented to Atheists by fundamentalist Christians and various Theists is that Atheists have no proof there is no God, therefore Atheism is just another faith. Although Atheists do not have the Burden of Proof, there are two main categories of evidence that can be used to provide philosophical justification for an atheistic worldview: evidential arguments and logical evidence against God's existence. I conclude that the mainstream concept of God is logically impossible; the problem of evil is proof positive for the nonexistence of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God; the demographics of Theism are better explained by Atheism; and Theism does not have a good explanation for the problems of suffering and the arguments for Atheism.
April 11, 2013
New in the Bookstore: The Existential Jesus (2013) by John Carroll.
Upending Christianity's popular notion of Jesus the comforter, the good shepherd, the Lord, and the Savior, this completely new exploration of Mark's Life of Jesus reexamines the image presented in this earliest of the New Testament gospels--the mysterious stranger, the singular, abandoned, and solitary figure--and rethinks the current role of Western culture through a radically altered view of Christianity. The existential Jesus has no interest in sin, and his focus is not on an afterlife. He is anti-church, anti-establishment, anti-family, and anti-community; a teacher, with himself his only student, he gestures enigmatically from within his own torturous experience, inviting the reader to walk in his shoes and ask the question, "Who am I?"
April 6, 2013
New in the Kiosk: The Faulty Logic Behind the Defense of Divinely Inspired Biblical Massacres (2013) by Dave E. Matson
Bible-believers obstinately argue that the divinely sanctioned massacres in the Bible were morally justified--even an example of God's goodness and mercy! If, however, we begin with the assumption that God did, in fact, order those biblical massacres, then let us ask if God is truly good. If this is to be a reasoned inquiry, then we must begin with the possibility that God may or may not be morally perfect. All possibilities must be on the table at the start of an objective inquiry; the evidence must decide, not preconceived doctrine. Are these massacres more likely the work of a morally perfect god or are they more likely the work of a morally defective god?
March 31, 2013
Added The Argument from the Existence of Nondeities (2013) by Horia
Plugaru to the Logical Arguments for Atheism page under Arguments for Atheism in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.
In this paper Horia Plugaru argues that if the traditional theistic God were to exist, then there are strong reasons to think that there would exist only deities. If the argument succeeds, then God would have no rational grounds for creating our present world, which contains nondeities. But since the present world clearly exists, it follows that God does not exist. After offering a formal presentation of the argument, Plugaru defends its crucial first premise before responding to five potential objections to the argument.
March 26, 2013
Resurrected from the past (not new, but appropriate for the season): Easter Quiz (2008) by Donald Morgan
Think you know the details regarding the New Testament Empty Tomb and Resurrection stories? Check your knowledge with this short, twenty-two question quiz. The answers may surprise you! You will likely find that the details are so inconsistent from one biblical source to the next that the picture that we are typically given of the events surrounding the alleged Resurrection is necessarily a composite of carefully selected verses which exclude other verses where the details differ.
March 18, 2013
New in the Kiosk: Baseball and the Fine Tuning Argument (2013) by James R. Henderson
Robin Collins argues for the existence of god based on the alleged fine tuning of the universe for life. To do so, he invokes the "Prime Principle of Confirmation." This principle is necessarily broad so that Collins may smuggle in supernatural agency as an explanation of the organized complexity of the universe, but it is so broad that all manner of completely implausible theories are deemed "supported by evidence." Further, the principle may be used to undercut parts of Collins' own argument.