The concept of an omnipotent being, namely a being with maximal perfection with respect to power, is sometimes believed to involve a contradiction. The most popular reductio ad absurdum case against the existence of omnipotent being is known as “the paradox of the stone.”
The paradox unfolds as follows:
1. If God exists, then He is omnipotent
2. If God is omnipotent then God can create a stone too heavy for anyone to lift.
3. If God can create a stone too heavy for anyone to lift, then God is not omnipotent since He cannot lift the stone He created.
4. If God cannot create a stone too heavy for anyone to lift, then God is not omnipotent since He cannot create the stone too heavy for anyone to lift.
5. Either way God is not omnipotent.
6. Therefore God does not exist. Continue reading →
The decision is in and the coverage – what there was of it – is done. A jury in Philadelphia found Dr. Kermit Gosnell guilty on three counts of first-degree murder. He was charged with killing four babies and a patient, but was acquitted of killing the fourth baby. The jury also found Gosnell guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the patient’s death. The 41-year-old woman died from an overdose of drugs given to her by members of Gosnell’s untrained staff. The jury also found Gosnell guilty for performing illegal, third-term abortions and failing to comply with a state law that requires a 24-hour waiting period before performing an abortion.
Gosnell could have received the death penalty for murdering the babies, but the judge in the case sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. That means Gosnell will most likely die in prison – at great taxpayer expense for feeding, clothing and housing him for the rest of his life.
In Philo, the Society of Humanist Philosophers published journal of Philosophy, Theodore M. Drange presented 10 incompatible properties arguments against the existence of God. In this article I explored Drange’s 7th argument, namely the incompatibility of a nonphysical person.
Drange outlined “The Nonphysical-vs.-Personal Argument” as follows:
If God exists, then he is nonphysical.
If God exists, then he is a person (or a personal being).
A person (or personal being) needs to be physical.
There are only a handful of religions rooted in historical events rather than in philosophy. When something is historical, we can examine it by looking at events, documents and other historical records. Out of all of the religions in the world, only one provides a concrete, objective means for testing to see whether or not it is true: Christianity.
Michael Palmer’s The Atheist’s Creed records the first article of faith, which characterizes what I call religious atheism, namely “I BELIEVE THAT the cosmos is all that is or ever was and ever will be.”(Palmer 2012:5, emphasis in original), which is contrary to modern cosmology. I recommend reading the first part: Cosmic Beginning And Grousing Of Religious Atheists, before reading its second.
In The Beginning And Religious Atheists’ Fear
Religious atheists’ fear, as echoed in Steven Hawking’s prerecorded speech played on his 70th birthday, is that “[a] point of creation would be a place where science broke down. One would have to appeal to religion and the hand of God.” (Grossman 2012: 6).
When I initially stumbled across Jesus and Muhammad by Mark A. Gabriel I was both curious and skeptical. I was curious to see how Gabriel would handle discussing these two men who represent the world’s largest religions; and I was skeptical, wondering if he would portray them accurately and with fairness. As I read, my curiosity was more than satisfied and my skepticism was laid to rest. Gabriel has written in a fair, balanced, and honest way, paying specific attention to the lives and teaching of Jesus and Muhammad. Continue reading →
The first article of faith in Michael Palmer’s “The Atheist’s Creed” is that he believes, echoing Carl Sagan, that “the cosmos is all that is or ever was and ever will be.” (Palmer 2012:5) “The fact of the matter is that the most reasonable belief is that we came from nothing, by nothing and for nothing” (Smith 1993: 135), so we are told by Quentin Smith.
Was Bertrand Russell correct in deeming that “the universe is just there, and that’s all” ? Why are some atheists repelled by the concept of the cosmic beginning? It is time to ponder. Keeping my post short, I have divided this article in two parts, part I Cosmic Beginning and part II Cosmic Genesis.
Eternal Universe: Religious Atheists’ Article of Faith
Michael Ruse quoted Ernst Mayr’s noteworthy observation: “People forget that it is possible to be intensely religious in the entire absence of theological belief.” (Ruse 2003: 335) To avoid painting all atheists with a single stroke, an explanation of what I mean by the oxymoron “religious atheists,” as used in this article, is required. Continue reading →
A retired elementary particle physicist Victor J. Stenger, contrary to contemporary cosmology, still stands firm in a possibility of eternal universe.
In his talk given on November 7th 2012 at the Boulder Socrates Café, “How Can Something Come From Nothing?”, Stenger echoed Bertrand Russell’s 1948’s objection rose in a debate with Frederick C. Copleston while discussing the cosmological argument. Stenger contended,
A common question I get from religious believers is “How can something come from nothing?” They seem to think it’s the final clincher proving the existence of God—or at least some form of supernatural creation. Of course, they don’t say how God came from nothing. Or, if they do, they claim God always existed and so did not have to come from anything. But then, why couldn’t the universe have always existed? In fact, modern cosmology suggests that it did—that the universe is eternal. (Stenger 2012: n.p underline original) Continue reading →
Charity and Christianity are married. Charity did not have its origin in the world of antiquity as sometimes alleged:
“Plato (427-327 BC) said that a poor man (usually a slave) was who was no longer able to work because of sickness should be left to die. He even praised Aesculapius, the famous Greek physician, for not prescribing medicine to those he knew were preoccupied with their illness (Republic 3.406d – 410a). The Roman philosopher Plautus (254 – 184 BC) argued, “You do a beggar bad service by giving him food and drink; you lose what you give and prolong his life for more misery” (Trinummus 2.338-39) Thucydides (ca. 460-44 BC), the honored historian of ancient Greece, cites an example of the plague that struck Athens during the Peloponnesian War in 430 BC. Many of the sick and dying of the Athenians were deserted.” (Alvin Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World, 128-29) Continue reading →
I already blogged about part 1 of the interview between two Christians and a Mormon on the Unbelievable radio program. I had some thoughts about the second half of the interview. In my view part 2 went downhill from part 1. They continued to treat each other with great respect but Dayton (the Mormon) started sidestepping major issues, avoiding giving straight answers and so on. Even though everybody was still cordial and respectful Dayton started sounding for all the world like a politician avoiding an issue instead of somebody defining and defending their views with clarity and confidence.