I saw this over at Pharyngula and had to share it here:
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Brains are not reliable; they've been shaped by forces which, as has been clearly said, do not value Truth with a capital T. Scientists are all skeptics who do not trust their perceptions at all; we design experiments to challenge our assumptions, we measure everything multiple times in multiple ways, we get input from many people, we put our ideas out in public for criticism, we repeat experiments and observations over and over. We demand repeated and repeatable confirmation before we accept a conclusion, because our minds are not reliable.
- PZ Myers
[From Alvin Plantinga gives philosophy a bad name]
An amazing quote.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The martial arts class I attended Tuesday night marks the first time in 15 years I've stepped foot in a dojo to train. Sweet mother of Cap'n Crunch, that makes me sound old. I began studying karate when I was 10. By the time I was 18 I had earned a black belt, and my Sensei considered me one of the "gifted students." I had aspirations of traveling overseas to fight on our karate team after graduation, but I opted for college (for reasons which aren't relevant here). I continued training on my own in college, but soon life got in the way, and with it jobs and bills and a wife and children, and my martial arts training fell by the wayside. But my love for the arts never left me, and I always meant to return to it. Now I have my chance, and naturally I can't help but get reflective and write about it.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
This is the final installment of my response to Kolbe19:
The Fine-Tuning Argument: This is a variant of the Argument from Design that claims our world has been "fine-tuned" for life, which implies that this "fine-tuning" was done by a being interested in doing so (i.e., god). Granted, our planet is unlike other planets we've observed currently in that its physical constants make life possible (as we currently understand "life" to be). To say that this is indicative of "fine-tuning" is a stretch to say the least. No account is made of the fact that, while our world is capable of supporting life, life has to find a way to survive the conditions of the world. Yes, life is possible on our planet, but life must adapt and adjust accordingly in order to survive. In science, this is a process known as natural selection.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Still continuing my response to Kolbe19:
God and Morality: Kolbe19 used a quote that's often attributed (mistakenly) to Dostoevsky: "If God does not exist, everything is permissible." Kolbe is proffering the usual false dichotomy the Christian apologists present; namely, that there must either be a Transcendent Absolute Objective Moral Code or complete nihilistic moral relativism. They of course dress it up in theistic clothes, claiming that god is required for there to be any morality at all. If there's no god, they claim, then any moral stance is as good as the next, and we have no basis upon which to deem any action as wrong or evil (and here is another scenario where they can't help but mention Hitler).
Monday, December 13, 2010
Continuing my response to the comment posted by Kolbe19:
Adolf Hitler: The point I attempted to make in my video is that folks on either side of the "theism versus atheism" debate should leave Hitler out of the discussion. Instead of rehashing what I said in the video, I will instead refer you to the words (and video) of NonStampCollector:
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I created a YouTube video back in February titled Ramblings and Responses. It's my first video, and I don't know much about making videos, so the quality and editing sucks, but hey, at least I tried. In this video I discuss a list of topics John Loftus provided here in preparation for his debate with the ultimate used car salesman of Christian apologetics, Dinesh D'Souza. Yesterday I received the following comment on my video (on YouTube) from someone named Kolbe19:
Friday, December 10, 2010
22% of the world's population is Muslim, making Islam the second largest religion. Christianity is still in the lead, with 33% of the world's population (according to ReligiousTolerance.org). Wikipedia says it's "difficult to quantify the number of atheists in the world," but offers the results of a 2005 survey conducted by the Encyclopædia Britannica which says that "the non-religious made up about 11.9% of the world's population, and atheists about 2.3%" (source). This of course doesn't include atheistic religions like certain variants of Buddhism.
While this number seems small - and doesn't include those atheists who have yet to "come out of the closet" - I think we can look at these statistics another way...
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Here is yet another quote I found over at the Apologetics315 blog:
"A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being."
- James Sire
Critiquing the "Sunday Quote" over at Apologetics315 is starting to become something of a recreational activity for me. What makes this particular critique different from my previous two entries (in which I critique quotes by Lee Strobel and Peter Kreeft, respectively), is that I very much appreciate this quote by James Sire.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
This is technically the third installment of my "Conversations with Clayton" series in which I reflect on discussions I've had with Clayton, my best friend and Christian minister. The series began with Conversations with Clayton (part one). The second installment turned out to be an entry on only one topic, which also serves as its title: Salvation. Likewise, this entry deals with one topic: critical thinking.
Friday, December 3, 2010
"If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers."
- Carl Sagan
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This was supposed to be further reflections on my conversations with Clayton, but in the process of writing I ended up focusing primarily on the topic of salvation. (You may want to familiarize yourself with the terms inclusivist and exclusivist if you haven't already.)