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On the Skepticism of the Resurrection (part 4) – naturalistic explanations

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in Atheism, Featured, Jesus, Miracles, Naturalism | 3 comments

As mentioned in my previous posts, someone in Malawi is about to have a debate on national TV with a Christian about the Resurrection accounts and I have been asked to help provide some ideas for the debate, so here goes.
There are three aspects to the debunking of the Resurrection:

1) The Gospels are not reliable sources of information; they are poor quality evidence

2) The claims of the Resurrection are incredible claims which require very good quality evidence

3) If the Christian claims of the Resurrection are not true, then what, if anything, actually took place, and what hypothesis can better explain the data?

Quote for the Day: D Rizdek on naturalism

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Evolution, Naturalism, Philosophy, Science | 2 comments

Over on another post and thread, D Rizdek is doing a fantastically erudite job of mounting a solid case for naturalism. Here are two of his quotes from that thread which are well worth replicating – indented quotes belong to whom he is debating:

Unfortunately the debate is asking “Does science embrace all in the universe?” In other words what is the status of scientism?

and

I certainly don’t consider all of what I am to be “in science”

These tell me two things.

A little Ingersoll for you

Posted by on Jan 25, 2015 in Agnosticism, Atheism | 0 comments

Robert Green Ingersoll was a truly great thinker. You can find a great deal of awesome content from him on the superlative theingersolltimes.com website. Please check it out, and send its curator your appreciation for putting it together. Something for your Monday:

My colleague is forced to go to Mass by the UK courts

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Atheism, Featured, Morality, Secularism | 51 comments

Yes, you heard it here. My colleague on the Skepticule podcast, Anonymous Steve, has been instructed thusly. It is just an incredible story. For those of you in Britain, such stupidity must change. Here is how Paul Orton (thanks to him for this piece), one of the hosts of the show where we do our segments, puts it, from his blog Missing God Gene. If you can help, or know someone who can, then let us know. Please spread the word, spread the link and let’s get this sorted:

What’s the problem?

Steve, a British citizen of my acquaintance, has been instructed by a British judge to attend Roman Catholic mass with his children when he has custody of them, as part of a divorce settlement.

Tory MPs must pretend not to be “atheists and gay”

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Atheism, Politics, Prayer, Religion and Society, Secularism | 2 comments

This is from The Independent, though what is equally as depressing in this day and age, is that the Bill to allow prayers at the beginning of Council meetings seems to have got through the House of Commons unopposed:

Tory James Arbuthnot comes out as an atheist, claiming MPs must pretend to be religious

A Conservative MP has said Tory MPs are under pressure to pretend they are religious and he could only confess that he was an atheist because he was standing down at the next election.

Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Atheism, Extremism, Featured, Islam, Politics, Religion and Society | 2 comments

Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.

In a string of royal decrees and an overarching new piece of legislation to deal with terrorism generally, the Saudi King Abdullah has clamped down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could “harm public order”.

“True Islam” and violent extremism

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Atheism, Epistemology, Extremism, Featured, Islam, Philosophy, Politics, Religion and Society, Secularism, Skepticism | 80 comments

I am engaged in many conversations and debates across multiple platforms on the internet. At the moment, and in general recently, I have been wrapped up in many debates with my fellow liberals. The subject has been Islam and as to whether it is in some culpable proportion responsible for the violent extremism which is taking place across the globe. From the Middle East and ISIS (incorporating a number of different countries) to France and the Charlie Hedbo events; from Nigeria and Boko Haram to Kenya and Somalia with al Shabaab, things are not looking good.