Sunday, December 29, 2013

Does God Exist? J.P. Moreland vs. Clancy Martin

Below is a debate between Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland and Atheist philosopher Clancy Martin on the topic: Does God Exist?

J.P. Moreland does an excellent job. I've always enjoyed listening to Moreland. I didn't realize he was also a terrific debater.

The video can also be viewed HERE or HERE

Mp3 audio versions can be downloaded at the following links:


J.P. Moreland Interviews 
(including one done by Robert Lawrence Kuhn on PBS show Closer To Truth)

J.P. Moreland on the Continuation of the Revelatory Gifts

Pascal's Wager

Christian Evaluations and Criticisms of Pascal's Wager

William Lane Craig's articles:
Pascal's Wager
Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant

Philosopher Clancy Martin and Philosopher J.P. Moreland's comments on Pascal's Wager (videos):
Martin  (the first to comment)
Moreland (responds afterwards)

Dr. Douglas Groothuis lecture on:
Pascal's Wager (audio)

Kenneth Samples Podcasts on Pascal and His Wager:
• Part 1: Man of Reason & Faith
• Part 2: Two Apologetics Insights
• Part 3: The Wager (part 1)
• Part 4: The Wager (part 2)

Kenneth Samples 6 part blogs on Pascal's Wager:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6


NON-Christian Evaluations and Criticisms of Pascal's Wager

Wikipedia's Artcle on:
Pascal's Wager

The Secular Web's webpage on:
Pascal's Wager
(multiple articles written by atheists)

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on:
Pascal's Wager

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's article's on:
"Pascal's Wager"
"Pragmatic Arguments and Belief in God"

Friday, December 27, 2013

Massive Debate between Calvinism and Arminianism

This debate took place between (mainly) Victor Reppert, Steve Hays, Paul Manata, and Dominic Bnonn Tennant. There are many other blogs at Triablogue that persuasively argue for Calvinism which are not included in this debate. But the links included in the following blog link are representative.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Scientific Evidence for the Christian Faith - Hugh Ross, PhD

Scientific Evidence for the Christian Faith

While I like him and his personality, one of my criticisms of Hugh Ross is that he often makes logical leaps in his argumentation. He doesn't have a philosopher's ability to make precise and modest claims that remain within the bounds of the actual evidence. Nevertheless, his fellow scientists who also happen to be atheists affirm Ross' informed and well rounded understanding of science in the related fields of his expertise (i.e. astrophysics). Because of that, the evidence he does present for design in the universe has some merit and weight. The above is just one of many lectures on YouTube where he presents some of the evidence.

Another staff member of Reasons to Believe, Fazale Rana, is able make careful arguments. Here's a link to a blog where many of the articles and podcasts are by Fazale Rana.

Latest Scientific Evidence for God's Existence
by Hugh Ross given 1/18/2014

 Hugh Ross vs Victor Stenger - Scientific arguments for a Creator?
Debate recorded at the 2008 Skeptics Society Conference entitled 'Origins and the Big Questions'.

Fine-Tuning for Life in the Universe by Hugh Ross

The Big Bang, Multiverses, and the Anthropic Principle Discussed by William Lane Craig

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Reviews of George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God

Here's the Wikipedia article on Smith's book.

Here's are links to Smith's book freely available online. HERE, or HERE.
Smith himself link to the online version of his book HERE.

 The Fatal Flaws of George Smith's Atheism: The Case against God by Anthony Flood
[↑↑↑↑↑ This is a devastating critique ↑↑↑↑↑]

Is Christianity Unintelligible? by Douglas M. Jones III

George Smith's "Atheism: The Case Against God" -- Critique by Tekton Education and Apologetics Ministries [article presumably written by J.P. Holding. Addendum by "Nick P."]

The following is a link to the radio debate between Greg L. Bahnsen and George H. Smith

The Case For and Against God: Greg Bahnsen & George Smith from shirley rose on Vimeo.

Transcript of the Debate HERE

Book Reviews of Recent Atheist Authors by Christian Apologists

I also recommend Greg Bahnsen's lectures reviewing Michael Martin's books Atheism:  A Philosophical Justification, and The Case Against Christianity. The lectures can be purchased at

Definitions of Atheism

In times past for the sake of clarity, precision and dialogue I had no problem with defining "atheism" as a lack of belief in God/Goddess/gods/goddesses. I'm still willing to use that definition for the sake of discussion. However, I'm not longer certain it aids in precision. In fact, I now lean toward that popular definition as making things less precise. See the podcast I link to below where Justin Schieber interviews "Ozymandias Ramses II". Contrary to that popular contemporary definition, in the European philosophical and theological tradition of the last few hundred years atheism was defined as a belief in the non-existence of gods. Only in recent years has it been defined as a lack of belief in gods. It was within that European tradition that atheist crusader Charles Bradlaugh first precisely defined atheism as a lack of a belief in gods in his "A Plea for Atheism" (1864). He had noted elsewhere that "no position is more continuously misrepresented" than atheism. He stated: "Atheism is without God. It does not assert no God." It was probably Thomas Henry Huxley who first to coined the term "agnostic" in 1869.

Modern atheists distinguish between positive atheism and negative atheism (also called strong and weak atheism). Positive atheism is the positive belief that there are no gods. Negative atheism is merely the lack of a belief in gods. Depending on one's perspective, negative atheism can be seen as a form of agnosticism or agnosticism a form of negative atheism. While some positive atheists claim they can disprove ALL gods, knowledgeable positive atheists deny that one must be able to prove the non-existence of all gods and supernatural entities (even if one can disprove some). According to some estimates there have been over 2,500 different gods and supernatural entities believed in and/or seriously described and recorded in human history. To disprove all of them would be an enormous inductive task. But even if, hypothetically, one were successful at disproving all those that does nothing to address unknown, unrevealed or un-thought of supernatural entities. In many cases it's very difficult to prove universal negatives. This is especially true when it comes to supernatural entities because they have a wide variety of claimed attributes, powers, characteristics and personalities. For example, one can easily disprove the existence of gods that actually live on Mount Olympus. But what if Mount Olympus is symbolic of something spiritual and immaterial? When it comes to atheists, for all they know the finite god Zeus does exist but doesn't literally and physically rule from Olympus.

In recent years George H. Smith's book Atheism: The Case Against God was one of the most influential books to disseminate and make popular the definition of atheism as merely a lack of belief in God/Goddess/gods/goddesses.

Here's a link to an article by Smith on Defining Atheism

It is only ignorant atheists who claim that atheism only ever meant a lack of belief in gods. The following will be a list of definitions from reputable (sometimes even authoritative) sources which demonstrate that atheism can mean and has (at least in the past) meant a belief in the non-existence of gods. Some of these sources are contemporary rather than antiquated works. Apparently, these sources are still influenced by the European philosophical and theological tradition I mentioned earlier.

"According to the most usual definition, an atheist is a person who maintains that there is no God, that is, that the sentence "God exists" expresses a false proposition." - Paul Edwards in Encyclopedia of Philosophy Volume I page 175

"Atheism is the view that there is no God." - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

" 'Atheism' means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God." - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

...Therefore, in philosophy at least, atheism should be construed as the proposition that God does not exist (or, more broadly, the proposition that there are no gods). -Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Atheism is ostensibly the doctrine that there is no God." -- Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2005)

"Atheism (from Greek: a + theos + ismos "not believing in god") refers in its broadest sense to a denial of theism (the belief in the existence of a single deity or deities)."- New World Encyclopedia

"atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings. As such, it is usually distinguished from theism, which affirms the reality of the divine and often seeks to demonstrate its existence. Atheism is also distinguished from agnosticism, which leaves open the question whether there is a god or not, professing to find the questions unanswered or unanswerable."- Encyclopædia Britannica

"ATHEISM (from Gr. ἀ-, privative, and θεός, God), literally a system of belief which denies the existence of God. The term as generally used, however, is highly ambiguous." - Encyclopædia Britannica 11th edition

“Atheism is the deliberate, definite, dogmatic denial of the existence of God. It is not satisfied with appropriate truth or relative truth, but claims to know the ins and outs of the game being quite clearly the absolute denial of the absolute.” - Etienne Borne

Atheism, from the Greek a-theos ("no-god"), is the philosophical position that God doesn't exist. It is distinguished from agnosticism, the argument that it is impossible to know whether God exists or not (Academic American Encyclopedia).

Atheism, system of thought developed around the denial of God's existence. Atheism, so defined, first appeared during the Enlightenment, the age of reason (Random House Encyclopedia-1977).

Atheism (from the Greek a-, not, and theos, god) is the view that there are no gods. A widely used sense denotes merely not believing in God and is consistent with agnosticism. A stricter sense denotes a belief that there is no God, the use has become the standard one (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy-1995).

Atheism is the doctrine that there is no God. Some atheists support this claim by arguments, but these arguments are usually directed against the Christian concept of God, and are largely irrelevant to other possible gods (Oxford Companion to Philosophy-1995).

Atheism is disbelief in God (Introduction to Philosophy, Perry and Bratman, Oxford University Press-1986).

Atheism from the Greek a (not) plus theos (god). The doctrine of disbelief in a supreme being (Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion, William Reese, HumanitiesPress-1996).

Atheism (Greek, a- [private prefix] + theos, god) is the view that there is no divine being, no God (Dictionary of Philosophy, Thomas Mautner, Editor-1996).

Atheism is the belief that God doesn't exist (The World Book Encyclopedia-1991).

Atheism, Greek atheos-Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of God (Oxford English Dictionary-1989)

Atheism, commonly speaking, is the denial of God. Theism (from the Greek theos, God) is belief in or conceptualization of God, atheism is the rejection of such belief or conceptualization.In the ancient world atheism was rarely a clearly formulated position (Encyclopedia Americana-1990).

Atheism, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings. Atheism is to be distinguished from agnosticism, which leaves open whether there is a god or not, professing to find the question unanswerable, for the atheist, the non-existence of god is a certainty (The New Encyclopedia Britannia-1993).

According to the most usual definition, an atheist is a person who maintains that there is no god…(rejects eccentric definitions of the word) (The Encyclopedia of Philosophy-1967).

Atheism is the doctrine that God does not exist, that belief in the existence of God is a false belief. The word God here refers to a divine being regarded as the independent creator of the world, a being superlatively powerful, wise and good (Encyclopedia of Religion-1987).

Atheism (Greek and Roman): Atheism is a dogmatic creed, consisting in the denial of every kind of supernatural power. Atheism has not often been seriously maintained at any period of civilized thought (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics-Vol II).

 Atheism is the rejection of theism: a-theism. Atheists maintain some or all of the following claims: that theism is false; that theism is unbelievable; that theism is rationally unacceptable; that theism is morally unacceptable. G. Oppy, "Arguments for Atheism," S. Bullivant & M. Ruse, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism (OUP, 2014), 53.
See also how these three intelligent atheists Justin Schieber, Ben Watkins and Ozymandias argue for why the new definition is inappropriate.
I've archived this podcast HERE.

Some quotes taken HERE

See this YouTube audio with William Lane Craig

Reasonable Faith podcast with William Lane Craig on the definition of "atheism"

Book Reviews of Recent Atheist Authors 
by Christian Apologists