Atheists and skeptics often ask Christians under what conditions they would give up their faith. In this video, I point out what is right and what is wrong with that question.
Can you be a Christian if you doubt?
I grew up in a Christian tradition that greatly valued the certainty of one’s convictions: the “man of faith” was the one who fully trusted God, not the one who doubted. As a result, I came to believe that doubt is the enemy of faith. But is that really true?
Conversations with Radical Doubt Part 1: How do you refute skepticism?
A few years ago I was contacted by a self-described skeptic seeking counsel. He was in a sorry state, epistemically speaking. Indeed, he doubted that he had any knowledge at all and was seeking aid in terms of a refutation of his skepticism. He was troubled by his deep and abiding doubts and was seeking […]
What’s wrong with this atheist meme?
A couple people told me they found my last run at this meme too cryptic. So I decided to delete my cryptic post and take another run at the meme to explain the problem. Let’s start with the meme: pic.twitter.com/EobVBLtTPO — Atheist Republic (@AtheistRepublic) September 9, 2017 Interpreting the Meme Let’s begin with the church […]
For the umpteenth time, certainty is not the problem
Epistemic humility is popular theses days. All things considered, that’s a good thing: it’s good to be epistemically humble. That forces you to keep in mind that you don’t know everything and to contemplate the fact that you could be wrong. On the downside, many people seem to believe that being epistemically humble entails taking […]
Exercises in Missing the Point: A Response to Counter Apologist’s Scorched Earth Review
I recently preached a sermon on faith and evidence and while it received a warm reception in the comments section of my blog, apparently the feelings were not universal: an absolutely scathing review was posted just today by the generally amiable Counter Apologist (henceforth CA). How scathing? Consider his opening (f-bomb and all). CA says of my sermon: “It […]
On Rejecting Expert Consensus: Don’t Blame Donald Trump
As of this evening, Donald Trump continues to challenge the consensus of 17 security agencies that the Russians were behind the DNC hacking to the end of influencing the 2016 election. Why does Trump deny this? Here’s his latest tweet: Need it be said that this is a foolish tweet? Trump knows nothing about the […]
Is there a better way to know than science?
A reader named “Oliver” posted the following questions in the thread to my article: “How the British Humanist Association undermines Humanism“: “Is there a better, more reliable, way of knowing what is and isn’t true than the scientific method? If so, can you describe it?” The first, relatively minor problem with the question is that […]
We’re not laying pipe! We’re talking about poetry.
There is a famous scene in “Dead Poet’s Society” where the teacher, Mr. Keating, deconstructs the introduction to his students’ poetry textbook. That introduction advises how to examine the worth of every poem mathematically by charting each poem on a graph relative to a set of objective, measurable properties. Mr. Keating balks at the very idea: […]
In fact, you don’t know everything: A lesson from John Loftus
The other day in his article “Daniel Dennett on Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently,” John Loftus made the following claim: “Most of the time I deal with the arguments of believers respectfully until it appears they are unwilling to think. Sometimes I can spot them quickly, on the first comment here. They will mindlessly quote-mine […]
Here comes the Sensus Divinitatis again!
One of my readers, Nate, offered a formidable response to my article “God and the Burden of Proof” which I’ve reposted below because (1) it’s too long for a comment thread, (2) it pushes the debate forward and (3) it’s well written. Following the comment I offer my own brief response. Nate’s comment is rendered […]
Can the saved lose their salvation?
The other day one of my readers, John, asked me to share my views on “whether or not someone who has had a genuine salvific experience can subsequently lose their salvation.” As you might have guessed, much depends on what one means by “a genuine salvific experience”. One could define it in many ways. Let’s go with […]
Atheists have lots of religious beliefs, and why it matters
It is very common these days to hear atheists (skeptics, agnostics, free thinkers, humanists, apatheists, antitheists, etc…) insisting that people who have “religious beliefs” have some special epistemic burden, some particular justification threshold, that they must meet in order to hold those beliefs rationally. It goes without saying that the folks (the atheists et al) […]
The Problem of Testimonial Underdetermination
One of our commenters, Nate, is a professional philosopher. And his comments reflect the fact. In the comment thread of “Testimony, God, and, er, a glass of milk” he offered an extended quote which is worth highlighting on the main stage. Please note that I’ve changed Nate’s text to red, I’ve added boldface in a couple […]