Atheism

An atheist apologetic: PDF version; HTML version. Here I offer a brief comment on the meaning of atheism and set forth a summary of my reasons for accepting it.

Some observations about faith (PDF). Faith's defenders can't seem to make up their minds as to what they're defending.

P. Z. Myers vs. the dictionary atheists. The dictionary kind is the right kind.

From atheism, nothing follows. Some people say they're good because they're atheists. They are just as mistaken as the religious folks who say we must be bad because we're atheists.

The Bible

We're still waiting. More than two decades ago, Dan Barker challenged Christians to tell us exactly what happened, according to the New Testament's authors, between the time Jesus left the grave until he ascended into heaven. This "Easter Challenge" has never been met.

Followup on the Easter Challenge. The "long ending" of Mark seems to be the main obstacle to meeting Barker's challenge.

Fictional gospels . Even most skeptics assume that the authors of the canonical gospels intended them to be factual accounts of Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection. The evidence does not support that assumption.

No Bible contradictions? It's possible that there really aren't any. But apologists can't prove it without presupposing it.

Comments on inerrancy. A critique of three common apologetic arguments.

On the Bible's uniqueness. More analysis of some apologists' claims.

Documentary evidence: A case study. Our evidence for Caesar's authorship of the <i>Gallic Wars</i> is better than our evidence for Luke's authorship of the third gospel.

The man Jesus

Reflections on the historicity issue. I discuss some thoughts that have come to me while working on an update of my essay on Jesus' existence.

On S.J. Case's defense of historicity (PDF). Shirley Jackson Case's response to mythicists 100 years ago was better than most that we find today, but it was inadequate even then.

A FAQ on ahistoricism. My responses to certain common objections raised by defenders of Jesus' historicity.

Response to a critique of G.A. Wells. Robert Van Voorst attempts to defend historicity in his Jesus Outside the New Testament. The attempt fails.

What embarrassment?. Would the church have had a problem with statements attributed to Jesus that contradicted their orthodoxy? There is no compelling reason to suppose so.

Was there a real Jesus of Nazareth?. Maybe there was. My argument here is that it's reasonable to doubt it.

Critique of William Lane Craig's arguments for the historicity of Jesus' resurrection. One of today's foremost apologists for evangelical Christianity assumes his conclusion in order to prove it.

Socrates vs. Jesus: The evidence. Is the evidence just as good for one as for the other? Not quite.

Commentary on Doherty's "Sound of Silence". A discussion of objections raised by one of Doherty's detractors.

Apologetics in general

Miracles and reasonable belief Responding to a Catholic apologist with some Bayesian thinking. (Added March 12, 2016.)

Bayes on trial by fire (PDF). Some more Bayesian analysis applied to a miracle story. (Added March 12, 2016.)

Comments on "Wedge Document -- So What?" The Discovery Institute says that big wooden horse is really just a big wooden horse.

On the evangelists' testimony (PDF). Sometimes we hear that there is an open-and-shut legal case to be made for Christianity. It's not so.

On interpreting facts. I offer some miscellaneous comments on presuppositionalism.

The not-so-successful faith (PDF). An apologist offers 17 reasons why Christianity should not have succeeded. He fails to demonstrate that it did succeed during the time when the reasons would have made any difference.

Observations on Habermas's minimal facts. Calling something a minimal fact does not make it a fact, minimal or otherwise.

The problem of evil. It's not the killer argument that skeptics used to think it was, but it is still a problem.

Choose your master. Why is unbelief such a horrible thing, anyway? I speculate on a possible answer.

Comments on Josh McDowell's apologetics. Some Christians think McDowell is very persuasive. And he is, but only if you're already a Christian.

Are Christians lying?. I don't always attack Christians. Sometimes I defend them, like I do here.

Only one way?. Even if there is a heaven, and even if Christianity will get us there, it's reasonable to think there could be another way as well.

Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ. I was still brand-new to the Internet when a Christian told me that I just had to read this book. I did, and this is what I thought about it.

Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith. I bought this book when it came out to see if Strobel had gotten any new ideas. He hadn't.

Lee Strobel's alleged journalism. Strobel was a real journalist, but The Case for Christ is not real journalism.

Is doubt so unreasonable?. Obviously, an atheist isn't going to think so. Here are a few reasons why.

Is the naturalistic assumption unwarranted? Yes, it's an assumption. That doesn't mean there is no good reason to think it's true.

Christian taxonomics. Here I just clarify some of the terms I use in my essays.

On interpreting facts. Do facts speak for themselves? Not really. They're all subject to interpretation. Some apologists for religion think this works in their favor. They should think again.

Comments on creationism

No evidence for evolution? Some creationists say the evidence doesn't prove what scientists think it proves. That is debateable. Some creationists say there is no evidence. But there is evidence, and that is not debateable.

Responses to creationists. A few of my thoughts on some of the commoner objections.


(This page last updated on April 22, 2017.)

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