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Brandon Vogt

About

Brandon Vogt is a bestselling author, blogger, and speaker. He's also the founder of StrangeNotions.com. Brandon has been featured by several media outlets including NPR, CBS, FoxNews, SiriusXM, and EWTN. He converted to Catholicism in 2008, and since then has released several books, including The Church and New Media (Our Sunday Visitor, 2011), Saints and Social Justice (Our Sunday Visitor, 2014), and RETURN (Numinous Books, 2015). He works as the Content Director for Bishop Robert Barron's Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. Brandon lives with his wife, Kathleen, and their five children in Central Florida. Follow him at BrandonVogt.com or connect through Twitter at @BrandonVogt.

   
 

The Most Famous Debate on the Existence of God

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On January 28, 1948, the BBC brought together two of the century's brightest minds for a radio debate about the existence of God. To be sure, the debaters were not just lightweight showboats, blowing off steam. The two men represented the cream of the intellectual crop. Bertrand Russell was a renowned British philosopher, mathematician, historian, and perhaps the world's leading atheist at the time. He authored many skeptical essays and books, including the collection still popular today, Why... Read More

Book Giveaway (5 Copies) – “An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar”

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atheist-giveaway

Thanks to the generosity of the publisher, today we're giving away FIVE copies of the a great new book from Randal Rauser and Justin Schieber, titled An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar: Talking about God, the Universe, and Everything. Learn more and enter below! Read More  Read More →

Strange Notions is the #4 Ranked Atheist Blog on the Internet!

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bestatheist

I was alerted this morning that Strange Notions was just listed among the "Top 30 Atheist Blogs And Websites Every Atheist Must Follow." I was intrigued, partly because this isn't really an "atheist blog"—it's always been a discussion forum for atheists and Catholics—and partly because I follow many atheist blogs that seem to get wayyyyy more traffic and traction than we do. However, when I clicked over I was stunned to find Strange Notions not just on the list, but chosen as the #4... Read More

5 Shocking Plot Twists in the Story of Science and Faith

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In his excellent book, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003), physics professor Stephen M. Barr recounts the typical story of the the universe as told by scientific materialists. It's one of the best summaries of the naturalist worldview I've read, from any perspective: "The world revealed by science bears little resemblance to the world as it was portrayed by religion. Judaism and Christianity taught that the world was created by God, and that things therefore... Read More

Sean Carroll’s “Ten Considerations” for Naturalists

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This is the final post in our long series exploring physicist Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016). In the book's penultimate chapter, which in my view is the book's strangest, Carroll offers an alternative to the Bible's Ten Commandments, what he calls his "Ten Considerations." They read like a mushy collection of Oprah-isms: Life isn't forever. Desire is built into life. What matters is what matters to people. We can... Read More

Learning Morality from Bill and Ted

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Early in this review series, I mentioned how Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016), gradually becomes weaker as you move through the chapters. It starts off strong and invigorating as he talks about cosmology and fundamental physics, his specialities. But as he moves into the philosophy of mind, meaning, and morality, he gets a bit wobbly. Moving From Ought to Is That's evident especially in his chapter on "What Is and... Read More

Is Free Will Real or Are We All Determined?

A photo by Matthew Wiebe. unsplash.com/photos/tBtuxtLvAZs

Throughout Sean Carroll's best-selling book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016), Carroll seems comfortable holding two apparently contradictory views. This has been show throughout our review series. For example, he's fine both believing that causality is illusory (at the fundamental level of reality) and true (at the macroscopic level.) We see this again in the chapter he dedicates to free will, which begins with this assessment (emphasis mine): "There's... Read More

Why Does the Universe Exist? Atheist Physicist Sean Carroll Answers…

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I have to admit, when I first opened Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016) I immediately flipped to chapter 25, titled "Why Does the Universe Exist?" For many thinkers, ancient and modern, this is the philosophical question: why is there something rather than nothing? Your answer to this question drives your answers to most other big questions, including those about God, meaning, morality, and more. So I was interested... Read More

The Power and Danger of Bayes’ Theorem

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I've noted many flaws and points of confusion in Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016), but one of the strongest sections is its explanation of Bayes' Theorem. The Theorem is a quantitive way to express confidence in certain beliefs. It requires assigning credences (or probabilities) to events or statements, and then tweaking them based on new information. For example, suppose you're wondering whether a randomly flipped... Read More

Is the Passage of Time Real or Just an Illusion?

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One of the main targets of Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016), is causality. Like many naturalists, he sees where the causal chain leads—a series of contingent causes demands a necessary First Cause. So if you want to avoid a First Cause, you must get rid of causality. As discussed in an earlier post, Carroll's first attempt appealed to the conservation of momentum. It wasn't clear how that principle undermines... Read More

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