Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Highlights

So now we come to the time of year to review highlights. To make it more organized I’ve split it up into several categories: atheism versus theism, Christianity, the rationality of the supernatural, and one more topic that you’ll have to read on to find out (haha). First up is atheism versus theism.

Atheism versus Theism

  • Anything that Begins to Exist Has a Cause
    One argument for theism is this: anything that begins to exist has a cause, the universe has began to exist, so the universe had a cause. Further arguments are given to show that this cause of the universe is transcendent and personal. But why think that anything that begins to exist has cause? This article gives several arguments and rebuts several objections.
  • Rosenberg’s Argument from Evil Folly
    Rosenberg is an atheist who disbelieves in objective morality but also put forth the argument from evil. The problem is that in abandoning moral objectivism, one also undermines the argument from evil, and this article explains why.
  • Simplicity and Theism
    Some arguments for theism establish a designer of the universe or an enormously powerful creator, but why posit an omnipotent creator instead of a merely very powerful one, and why posit an omniscient designer over a merely intelligent one? Among other things, this article answers that question.
  • A Debate Over the Existence of God
    This was not really an atheism versus theism debate but rather a debate between a theist and a polytheist. That said, my polytheist interlocutor does disbelieve in the existence of the sort of God that is morally perfect, omnipotent, and omniscient. So I argued for this sort of theism and defended against objections. Unfortunately, my debating opponent has since deleted his blog for some reason, and thus his side of the debate is gone. Still, the debate was certainly among the highlights of the 2013 year, and for what it is worth my parts of the debate are still present.

Christianity

  • Abraham Sacrificing Isaac: Not What You Think
    The common perception of the story is that Abraham, convinced by God that he was going to lose his son, prepared the sacrifice. The problem with this perception is that it’s false. According to the Bible, Abraham knew he wouldn’t be giving up his son.
  • Why Evidentialism Sucks.
    Evidentialism is the idea that it is irrational to believe something unless one has sufficient evidence for it. While there is evidence for theism and Christianity, if we’re honest many if not most Christians really couldn’t cite much evidence for their faith. Some don’t have the time or the resources to do so. Are these Christians irrational for being Christians due to them not having substantial amounts of evidence for their beliefs? It turns out that evidentialism, reasonable as it may seem on the surface, has severe and fatal problems, and that there is a way the Christian can rationally be a Christian without evidence.
  • Bad Reasons to Abandon Christianity
    Curiously, someone commented on my article and appeared to give red herrings, as if to further bolster examples of bad reasoning that an internet atheist can use.

The Rationality of the Supernatural


I will admit that naturalism (the view that the supernatural is not real) has at least a superficial rationality and plausibility, but when you dig deeper, it has severe problems. Indeed, the rationality of naturalism is even threatened by the theory of evolution!

On the Media

  • Kermit Gosnell, Murdered Newborns, and the Media
    It should have been one of the biggest American news stories of the year: a clinic that murdered hundreds of newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors, stored jars of severed baby feet, and engaged in racist medical malpractice—with massive government oversight failures allowing this atrocity to continue for well over a decade. Why wasn’t this front-page news?

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