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The Most Famous Debate on the Existence of God

a_debate_on_the_existence_of_god__the_cosmological_argument_-_f__c__copleston_vs__bertrand_russell_-_youtube

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

Getting Morality Wrong

immoral

Back in April, Gail Dines, a sociologist at Wheelock College in Boston, wrote a Washington Post piece arguing that pornography is a public health threat, regardless of its (im)morality: The thing is, no matter what you think of pornography (whether it’s harmful or harmless fantasy), the science is there. After 40 years of peer-reviewed research, scholars can say with confidence that porn is an industrial product that shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy,... Read More

Learning Morality from Bill and Ted

BillTed

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... Read More

Atheism, Prot-Enlight, and the Schizophrenic Republic

People

Last week, I wrote about the longstanding Catholic drive to reinterpret the philosophy of Plato as realist. In actuality, Aristotle’s philosophy perfected Plato’s by connecting the material to the formal world—two separated domains which, in Plato, remain wholly alien to one another. Accordingly, it is quite a “stretcher,” I suggested, when Catholics talk about Plato as a realist. Any philosophy which divorces the material and the formal qualifies as anti-realism, because matter’s... Read More

What Do You Think of the Moral Argument for God?

Moral Argument

NOTE: We recently kicked off a new series of posts, each introducing a popular argument for or against God, followed by open-ended discussion. The goal is not to offer a thorough defense or refutation of the argument in the original post, but to unpack it together, as a community, in the comment boxes. The first argument we discussed was Alvin Plantinga's modal ontological argument for God, then we looked at the kalam cosmological argument. Today, we'll look at the moral argument for God.     The... Read More

Bill Nye the Unscientific Abortion Guy

This past weekend former-educational-TV-star-turned-science-advocate Bill Nye posted a video about abortion on Big Think. Nye attempts to use science to resolve the debate about abortion and arrives at the following conclusion: “When it comes to women’s rights with respect to their reproduction, I think you should leave it to women.” The video is a perfect example of Maslow’s Hammer, or the saying, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In this case, the... Read More

Why Your Life Does Not Belong to You

Harvard

It was revealed this week that, for the first time in its history, Harvard University, which had been founded for religious purposes and named for a minister of the Gospel, has admitted a freshman class in which atheists and agnostics outnumber professed Christians and Jews. Also this week, the House and the Senate of California passed a provision that allows for physician assisted suicide in the Golden State. As I write these words, the governor of California is deliberating whether to... Read More

The Death of God and the Loss of Human Dignity

PlannedP

I am sure by now that many of you have seen the appalling hidden-camera videos of two Planned Parenthood physicians bantering cheerfully with interlocutors posing as prospective buyers of the body parts of aborted infants. While they slurp wine in elegant restaurants, the good doctors—both women—blandly talk about what price they would expect for providing valuable inner organs, and how the skillful abortionists of Planned Parenthood know just how to murder babies so as not to damage... Read More

Does the Bible Support Same-Sex Marriage?

SSM-flowchart

A lot of people online are sharing flow charts that are supposed to show the ridiculousness of opposition to gay marriage. For example (click here to expand): There are several variations of this theme, almost all of which say the same three things: (1) Leviticus forbids homosexuality, but it also bans a bunch of other stuff, and nobody [a.k.a., no Gentile] actually lives by all those rules; (2) Paul seems to forbid homosexuality, but actually means something like temple prostitution;... Read More

Abortion, Souls, and the Atheist Conundrum

Fetus

In a recent post here, I asked, “Do You Need God to Know That Abortion is Wrong?” I was prompted by two things: on the one hand, a series of articles defending the idea that we can be moral without God; and on the other, articles like this one, suggesting that opposition to abortion can only be “because God.” Those two positions don't work together. As I explained in the post, The pro-life argument is simple: (1) human beings are alive from the moment of fertilization, and (2)... Read More

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