Category Skepticism

Dealing with replies to my free market skepticism posts

This chap (to whom the series was directed), Scotty M, has replied to some of my points in the series on Free Market Economics. Unfortunately, he would rather rabidly bash away at You Tube than bring a civil discussion here.

The most common issue that Scotty faces is his predilection for straw manning positions by either misunderstanding them or wilfully employing some kind of bait and switch or intended mischaracterisation to fight against an imaginary foe.

On the Skepticism of Free Market Economics (part 1)

Free market economics seems to be the cornerstone of both right-wing and libertarian political ideology, broadly espousing that the companies and corporations and consumers of the world arbitrate supply, price and, in some way it is hoped, moral dimensions of product manufacture and consumption. In this article, I would like to dispel some of the myths perpetuated by libertarians and free marketeers, whilst rebutting some points made against me in a discussion on this topic elsewhere on the web (in part 2).

“True Islam” and violent extremism

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.

On the Skepticism of the Resurrection (part 3)

Having looked at points 1) and 2) it is time to see if there is a more plausible explanation for the data from a naturalistic perspective than the Christian claims. Before setting out the positive case, I want to spend a little time going over some of the data from the Gospels and how they are problematic. Really, this belongs in the first post under point 1), but it sort of required its own post for reasons of length.

Have Yourself a SINful Little Holiday Season!

Despite the fact that most scientific skeptics do not find themselves formerly associated with a religion, this time of year tends to nonetheless bring out the giving spirit in many of us. Although Tom Flynn wouldn’t approve, many of us celebrate (in a secular fashion) Christmas, or Kwanza, or Festivus, or the Solstice, or Hanukkah, or just like to give presents because it’s fun.

The Star and the Skeptical Christmas–The Star of Bethlehem

The holidays are approaching fast, and the first snows are coming over the United States. The ever-expanding day of Christmas will truly be here soon. And all around the world, both preachers and even some scientists will be talking about a perennial subject: the Star of Bethlehem and what it could have been

Summary of the Star of Bethlehem Conference

I am flying back home now from the amazing conference on the Star of Bethlehem at the University of Groningen. It was quite the success of collecting experts and scheduling events, including a trip to the oldest working planetarium in the world. This was also my first academic conference in the area of history and biblical studies, and I was surrounded by scholars in Iranian studies, Jewish astrology, Latin literature, ancient science, and of course New Testament studies. And it looks like I did well among this august group. Heck, after my talk a few whispered to me that it seemed like I already answered all the questions about the subject!

Why Skeptical Theism Fails

The Problem of Evil is a powerful argument which takes its form in various ways, both the logical and evidential format. I was watching a video debate on the problem of evil and animal suffering between Michael Murry and Daniel Breyer. I really enjoyed it. I don’t buy the skeptical theistic approach, but, as Breyer said, if I was a theist, that would have to be the approach I would take to the claim of gratuitous evil.

Real Deconversion Story #9 – Void

Here is another account in my series of real-life deconversion stories. They are often painful, psychological affairs, as you can see from the various accounts. Void is a frequent poster here, and it is great to get posters involved with the blog as a whole. I thank him for his contribution. The previous accounts can be found here: