Tag Richard Carrier

Christianity is fundamentally opposed to freedom of speech

In reading Richard Carrier’s excellent chapter in John Loftus’ superb Christianity is not Great in which I have a chapter myself, there is much to glean concerning matters of democracy and the American Constitution in the context of the Bible and religion.download
It is funny how so many libertarians/right-leaners and political commentators in the US are fans of both religion and freedom of speech. Freedom of speech seems to be something which, though actually complex and problematic, is intuitively argued for by many who also favour free market economics and general human liberties.

Founding Father John Adams: Christianity, Atheism and Democracy

The Founding Fathers are still on the front line of debate amongst atheists and Christians, secularists and theocrats alike. All these years later there is still confusion abounding. Part of the reason why is that there are many misquotes (and this can happen on both sides). Here, for example, is a quote (A letter from Adams to Jefferson) sometimes used by secularists:

In defence of Methodological Naturalism

I am having a debate elsewhere with a fellow Tippling Philosopher and just rushed out this response. Might as well double it up here. He is arguing that science might not have the answer, that a supernatural explanation should not be ruled out. He stated:

Joseph of Arimathea; a rich prophecy fulfilment

I have spoken about Joseph of Arimathea before, in the videos linked below. Just reading a chapter by Robert M. Price in The End of Christianity, I came across this very simple aspect which shows, to me at any rate, that Matthew’s sole job seemed to be to contrive as many random prophecy fulfilments from the Old Testament as humanly possible.

The Problem with Divine Command Theory #1

Divine Command Theory (DCT) is the idea that morality is grounded in God or God’s nature such that what God commands is necessarily morally good. Historically speaking, the Euthyphro Dilemma has been used to combat such a position. DCT comes in several forms and is adhered to by a good many theologians and apologists.

Problems with the Fine-Tuning Argument

Here are some notes I made some time ago, based on various sources, some of which are linked below. Richard Carrier’s book “Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism” provided an excellent backbone to the first set of points.

The methodological and other problems:

Joseph of Arimathea – fact or fiction? Er, fiction.

Joseph of Arimathea used to be used by William Lane Craig as a pillar of his truth claims for the Resurrection, itself one of the four cornerstones of his apology. Richard Carrier, amongst others, has provided some very interesting viewpoints on the historicity of this figure (or lack thereof). Craig no longer seems to reference J of A, quite possibly the result of the weakness of any positive evidence and the strength of negative evidence for his historicity.

Did Jesus Exist?: An Historicist Defense of Mythicist Intelligence

There’s this damned of all sayings—‘a jack of all trades, the master of none’—which haunts me. It presents itself to me in moments of existential crisis. When I consider how so many fields feed into one another, I want to own them all; be the expert in philosophy, science, mathematics, history, theology, biblical exegesis, etc. But is it possible or even reasonable to assume that one can become at the least, say, ‘a master of most trades, a jack of few?’

The Pope on the Nativity Part 2

Continuing from my last post, I will take a look at some of the historical claims of the Nativity of Jesus from the Bible and see how Pope Benedict XVI defends them in his most recent book.

First, let’s make a note of an argument that His Holiness seems to use several times in defending the historicity of the stories from modern critics. Many scholars will point to the theological reasons as to why the author of a given Gospel would tell such a story, which in turn gives us reason to suspect that the tale make not be historically authentic. Benedict, on the other hand, says that that is not sufficient to consider the tradition inauthentic. Perhaps not, but it should make us suspicious. Besides, this is not the only reason scholars doubt things such as the birth in Bethlehem or the miraculous conception of Mary. There are other things to consider.