Atheists Say The Darndest Things

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Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 4.21.00 PMI recently had the pleasure of being on Atheistically Speaking, an atheist podcast by Thomas Smith, for the 2nd time! Last time it was a relatively informal discussion of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and I enjoyed myself. I don’t consider myself anything of an expert on the topic, but I enjoy having a good conversation.

This time, the topic was the horrible arguments used regularly by the atheist community. The conversation was at least as good as the KCA conversation, if not better. I know I enjoyed myself both times. Read the rest of this entry »

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God: The Ever Receding Pocket of Scientific Ignorance?

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Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 5.17.14 PMYou’ve probably heard it before.

God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance that gets smaller and smaller as time goes on” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Creationists eagerly seek a gap in present-day knowledge or understanding. If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default, must fill it.” – Richard Dawkins

Ignorance of nature’s ways led people in ancient times to invent gods to lord it over every aspect of human life.” – Stephen Hawking

Yes, people used to marvel at thunder and lightning and come to unreasonable conclusions. They did not know what was going on, and they concluded that God (or gods) must be responsible. This is a gap reasoning.

But when someone is looking at the available evidence and coming to a ‘therefore God exists,” it is not a God of the gaps conclusion. Many of the logical arguments concluding with “therefore, God exists” may be invalid, unsound or totally wrong, but they’re not gap-reasoning.

If someone says, “I don’t know… therefore X,” that is gap-reasoning.

If someone says, “Here are several reasons why it is reasonable to conclude that X,” that is not gap reasoning.

God: The Ever Receding Pocket of Scientific Ignorance? – Theology Mix

Announcement: The Live Christianly Podcast! (and some other stuff)

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I haven’t posted anything in a little while, even though there is a ton that I could write about (like 3 parent children, net neutrality, and a wide variety of comments on old blog posts), I’ve been a bit distracted by a large number of things. So, I wanted to update you as to what was going on in my life right now.

Outside of a whole bunch of random things happening in my life, I have recently started 1 major project (a podcast), a bunch of mini projects and continued with regular projects.

10862651_741992639219666_5714355882285142068_oMajor project: The Live Christianly Podcast!

My brother in law (Dan) and I have recently launched The Live Christianly Podcast, and we’re having a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately, podcasting (and everything associated with it) comes with a lot of previously unknown complications. If you like the stuff I write here, you’ll probably like the stuff we talk about on the show. Dan is
If you’re not a podcast listener, start with this one! And then look at my awesome podcast recommendations!

A bunch of minor projects

The first thing I want to tell you about is that I’m moving my apologetics blog posts from HashtagApologetics over to TheologyMix. I really like what they’re doing at TheologyMix (you can find my posts here and under the TheologyMix menu), and I plan on contributing more to their website. Because of this, I will be modifying the HtA posts slightly for ThM, and then removing them from HtA. The blog will still stay up because other people have content on that site, but I don’t plan on contributing to HtA anymore.
Side note: if you’re interested in contributing to HtA at all, let me know

I recently had the privilege of going on my friend Richard Bushey‘s new debate show/podcast and discuss the topic of abortion with 2 pro-choice guys, another pro-life guy and Bushey (who is pro-life). It certainly was… an interesting discussion. Here’s the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCpPjsn8pMk Read the rest of this entry »

Awesome Podcast Recommendation – Life Report!

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Its not very often where I will recommend a podcast that has [probably] stopped producing content. However, if you’re interested in one of the best pro-life audio resources available, allow me to point you to…

cover170x170Life Report
Pro-Life Talk. Real World Answers.
(iTunes link)

There’s so much that could be said about Life Report in terms of the valuable content, the character of those doing it, the value in the way they approach the issues… everything. This podcast is great.

While employed at Right to Life of Central California, Josh Brahm spear-headed Life Report with the help of several other people. Eventually, Josh ended up splitting with Right to Life of Central California and establishing the Equal Rights Institute, which ended Josh’s contribution to the Life Report podcast (you can read about that announcement here).

Josh’s last episode was episode 199.
Who ends on 199?! That would kill the completionist in me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Abortion 101 – Laying a Pro-Life Foundation

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Yesterday, January 22nd, was the anniversary of the famous Roe v. Wade decision made by the US Supreme Court in 1973, which was effectively a federally signed permission slip for women to get abortions. But many people, including myself, do not agree that the issue of abortion is settled by court fiat because… well, the court was wrong.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 9.52.54 PMAbortion is an issue fraught with emotionally and rhetorically powerful arguments, so we have to make sure that we handle this issue with care. However, we are discussing an issue of great importance; if the pro-lifers (those against abortion) are correct, then we have been allowing the systematic destruction of the most helpless member of society for the last 42+ years. And if the pro-choicers (those in favor of abortion choice) are correct, then pro-lifers are looking to take away a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

Most of the ‘street-level’ arguments for and against abortion are a combination of assuming what they’re trying to prove (begging the question), personal attacks, accusatory motivational assumptions, straw men, loaded questions, and any number of other logically fallacious ways of thinking. How often have you heard a discussion on abortion where the pro-lifer is accusing the pro-choicer of hating babies and wanting to use abortion as birth control? …and in response, the pro-choicer accuses the pro-lifer of misogyny and being against women’s rights?
In fact, if you’re trying to hone your skills in logical fallacy identification, watch a popular level debate (on Fox News or CNN or something, those are almost always hilariously bad) and count the number of fallacies used by both people. That’s some hardcore on-the-job training, so be warned.

When we are approaching the issue of abortion, we have to ask two vitally important questions – one scientific and one philosophical.
What is the unborn? This is a scientific question.
What gives us value? This is a philosophical question. Read the rest of this entry »

Awesome Podcast Recommendation – Bad Christian!

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What’s up you leather-jerkin, crystal-button, knot-pated, agatering, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish POUCH!

Welcome to another podcast recommendation post!

Three…podcast-cover
Two!
ONE!!!

The Bad Christian Podcast.

Matt, Toby, and Joey are not trying to be theologians with all the answers, but that does not mean they cannot be a voice of reason within the broader Christian community. Far too often, the Christian community tends to stay away from things like racism, pornography, divorce, masturbation, and other uncomfortable topics. But these Bad Christians dive into these topics without hesitation. They also discuss other [more stereotypically-Christiany] topics like theology, church and culture, salvation and repentance.

I don’t want you to think that my recommendation of this podcast is a explicit agreement with its entirety of its content. Far from it. I actually think they get a fair amount wrong. For example, the apologetics Q & A with Joey’s brother Jared (about 1 hour in)… oh my. Read the rest of this entry »

Annihilationism 101 – An Introduction to Conditional Immortality

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I do not hold to the ‘traditional doctrine’ of Hell; the doctrine of eternal conscious torment. I am an advocate of “annihilationism”, otherwise known as “conditional immortality”. My disbelief puts me in a minority amongst Christians, but I don’t exactly know why. I think all evangelicals should hold to annihilationism, and my hope is that this post will be the first step in you embracing annihilationism.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 10.50.12 AMFor those of you new to this discussion, the advocates of the ‘eternal conscious torment’ view of hell are known as ‘traditionalists’. The advocates of annihilationism are usually known as annihilationists or conditionalists.

A little while ago, a group of friends and I ordered some pizza, hung out for a while, snagged a movie off of Amazon and sat down to watch it. This movie was “Hellbound”, and it was a fairly decent examination of the doctrine of hell and the various views on it. It seemed to be primarily focused on the debate between ‘eternal conscious torment’ (ECT) and universalism, brought about by Rob Bell’s statements questions about the existence and/or nature of hell. While annihilationism was given some time in the movie, it was largely unconsidered and left as something worth thinking about… but less interesting than the other two options. It wasn’t off the table, it was just sorta pushed aside.

With my minimal online influence, I’d like to place annihilationism back in the middle of the theological table, to be considered with the other two. I am confident that annihilationism will emerge on top as the most biblically, theologically and philosophically accurate understanding of the doctrine of hell. Read the rest of this entry »