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I’ve Decided to Leave SIN

Posted by on Jul 21, 2013 in Uncategorized Posts | 10 comments

After some thought I’ve decided I would rather maintain one blog rather than two. Interacting with the authors on this network takes time, sometimes a lot of it if I’m to do it right. I have too many irons in the fire, a book proposal I’m working on, a 50-60 hour a week job, and other issues I must deal with. It’s all too time consuming for me and something must give. So I’m leaving SIN. I think SIN is a wonderful place for you to visit, so continue doing so. Some really great people write great stuff here. After all, I invited most of them to write for us. ;-)

As I go you might see a gradual shift in emphasis toward the traditional notion of skepticism as opposed to atheism, which sounds fine with me, if so. I’m very happy to have been a part of starting this network as a co-founder of it. It was a year ago, almost to the day, when I first asked Ed Clint if he would be interested in co-founding this blog network, and he said yes. We first went with “Skeptic Blogs” then decided to change it to “Skeptic Ink.” It is a more catchy title with a better looking skin, thanks to Ed and a few others. I apologize profusely if I’ve let anyone down. I can only do what I can do. I wish Ed and this network all the very best. From now on you can find me right here. I’ll collect my things and be gone by the last day of the month.

One of the factors in leaving is that my target audience is Christians. It seems as though they don’t visit me here very much at all. I don’t like debating atheists, and that’s what has happened on my blog posts from time to time. So I must focus my efforts on the site where they visit the most, Debunking Christianity.

Don’t worry. I’ll only be a click away continuing to do what I do the best, debunking Christianity.

Cheers.

A Picture of the Blogging Skepticism Workshop Leaders

Posted by on Jul 21, 2013 in Uncategorized Posts | 0 comments

This is a picture of fellow SIN writers who helped to kick off TAM by presenting the “Blogging Skepticism” workshop on Thursday morning. From left to right is Jacques Rosseau, Russell Blackford, Ed Clint, yours truly, Derek Colanduno of the Skepticality podcast, Caleb Lack and Maria Myrback of Fledgling Skeptic/JREF. It was really well received, with about 60 people in attendance.

Embracing Guerrilla Skepticism: Another Review of a Christian Book by Pseudo-Intellectuals

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Uncategorized Posts | 3 comments

Susan Gerbic has spearheaded Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia:

The mission of the Guerrilla Skepticism editing team is to improve skeptical content on Wikipedia. We do this by providing noteworthy citations, and removing unsourced claims from paranormal pages. It is also our mission to improve the pages of our skeptic spokespeople. Why? Because evidence is cool. We train – We mentor – Join us. LINK.

I love this and encourage others to join her. For my part I’m going to embrace the same thing when it comes to reviewing Christian books on Amazon, as time permits. Here is another review I wrote this morning of the book, “Holy War in the Bible: Christian Morality and an Old Testament Problem.” Link. What I’m doing is evaluating the sources they use. I aim to hold them to a standard by which they must engage the best criticisms of their faith, or I will call them out on it. This time it has to do with ignoring both Hector Avalos’s book, Fighting Words: The Origins Of Religious Violence, and David Eller’s book, Cruel Creeds, Virtuous Violence: Religious Violence Across Culture and History Upvotes would be appreciated.

One of the Joys at TAM Was Meeting and Talking with Jerry Coyne and Peter Boghossian, Two of My Intellectual Heroes

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Uncategorized Posts | 5 comments

Okay, Okay, this is an unflattering photo of myself. [Never let it be said I always put my best foot forward]. Jerry, Peter and myself were talking about the relationship of science to philosophy, as well as the whether science can inform us about morality. They treated me as an equal and that was really refreshing. I especially made a really great connection with Peter. We hung out together. I don’t think I know another philosopher whose views are the same as mine (as far as I can tell). He’s down to earth, funny, a great communicator, and thinks like me that we need to reach out to the non-specialist with good strong arguments communicated simply, yet not simplistically. My problem is that since I lack a PhD some people (mostly non-scholars themselves) think I’m being simplistic (or vacuous). I’m not. I just think we need to take the scholarly arguments to the masses. This is something Dr. Robert Price noticed when reviewing my book, “God or Godless.” He said I wrote “with unpretentious clarity, common sense, and broad but inconspicuous erudition.” The last four words of his are key. He noticed I have a broad and deep understanding of the issues that are not easily recognizable. It takes a scholar to recognize this.

Embracing Guerrilla Skepticism on Amazon

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Uncategorized Posts | 1 comment

Susan Gerbic has spearheaded Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia:

The mission of the Guerrilla Skepticism editing team is to improve skeptical content on Wikipedia. We do this by providing noteworthy citations, and removing unsourced claims from paranormal pages. It is also our mission to improve the pages of our skeptic spokespeople. Why? Because evidence is cool. We train – We mentor – Join us. LINK.

I love this and encourage others to join her. For my part I’m going to embrace the same thing when it comes to reviewing Christian books on Amazon, as time permits. Here are two books I recently reviewed: Four Views on the Role of Works at the Final Judgment, and In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture. Notice the down-votes? Of course they don’t like it. Join me by up-voting my reviews, please.

Michael Shermer vs Jacques Rousseau On Morality

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 in Uncategorized Posts | 0 comments

I had a wonderful time at TAM, especially meeting up with some fellow SINners. It was pure joy. Ed Clint did a superior job of setting up shop. I look forward to some great things from him in the future.

While there I had a bit of a dispute with one of my colleagues, Jacques Rousseau, over Michael Shermer’s half hour talk on morality. I said how much I liked it, and Jacques retorted that it was vacuous, which denotes “empty” of substance, but also connotes “mindlesss” and “unintelligent.” Someone who makes an empty claim doesn’t know what he’s talking about, you see. At the time we were all sitting together, and I didn’t want to get into an argument (that is, a reasoned discussion, or debate) with Jacques, so I merely informed him that I had talked with Shermer and he was genuinely interested in criticisms, since he was writing a book on the subject and wanted to get it right. I told Jacques he should go talk to Shermer. I don’t know if he did. Nonetheless, given the definition of the word vacuous (see below), and the fact that since I liked what Shermer said, by extension I must accept vacuous arguments too. So I want to respond. Never let it be said SIN is a hive-mind. Never let it be said that people who disagree must not like each other either, for I think Jacques is a super nice guy. No one agrees about everything. But the word vacuous bothers me greatly, especially since he decided to argue for this on his site.

An Open Letter to Chris Hallquist: Stop Embarrassing Atheists Before a Watching Christian Audience

Posted by on Jul 6, 2013 in Uncategorized Posts | 3 comments

The debate over whether Christian apologists are dishonest has been raised again by Chris Hallquist. Stubbornness is good in some cases but his continued ignorance isn’t. I think I’ll return Hallquist the favor and assert he is dishonest to continue arguing for this, since his case is that bad. (No, for the record I don’t think Hallquist is dishonest either). He and Jeff Lowder have been debating this back and forth for years now. New to the mix is Randal Rauser, a Christian apologist. I side with Lowder and Rauser most emphatically, no if ands or buts about it. However, I don’t think either Lowder or Rauser know how to answer Hallquist. To catch my readers up to speed you can start with Lowder’s summation and argument right here. Look what Lowder is doing. He’s trying to reason with Hallquist as if Hallquist can be reasoned with. He can’t. Hallquist is reasoning exactly like a believer would. He has his mind made up and nothing can change it. Hallquist thinks (rightly) that the case for Christianity is bad, really really bad. But he wrongly concludes that since it’s so bad Christian apologists like Ray Comfort, Josh McDowell and even William Lane Craig are being dishonest in defending it. Pfffft. Become informed Chris. Stop embarrassing atheists before a watching Christian crowd with this argument, even if many uninformed atheists, especially those who were raised as atheists, will applaud you.