Selfish morality

Over at the other blog, we’re up to Chapter 6 of William Lane Craig’s book On Guard. He’s trying to claim that we say some things are right and some things are wrong, and therefore God exists. What he actually ends up proving, however, is that he has a very conceited opinion about his own moral standards.

The complete schedule of Dawkins’ non-appearances

William Lane Craig is really hyping Richard Dawkins’ refusal to debate him on-stage in Oxford. But, as Dr. Dawkins himself points out, this is not just Craig’s, um, “victory.”

In the interests of transparency, I should point out that it isn’t only Oxford that won’t see me on the night Craig proposes to debate me in absentia: you can also see me not appear in Cambridge, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and, if time allows, Bristol.

I’m sure that believers ought to be able to find any number of opportunistic evangelists, in each of those cities, to stand up and boldly declare that they’ve out-argued the famous biologist on that night. Could be the most “successful” night apologetics has had in nearly 2,000 years.

And just by the way, is William Lane Craig as afraid to debate John Loftus as he pretends Dawkins is?

Godless govt. prevents Biblical justice

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the Dallas First Baptist Church, turns to the Bible for advice in how to deal with Harold Camping and his failed end-times prophecies.

Jeffress confirmed with The Christian Post on Thursday that he is still condemning Camping.

“The Bible says that if someone makes a prophecy that doesn’t come true he is to be considered a false prophet and stoned to death,” he told CP. “Harold Camping has made at least three false prophecies about the day of the Rapture. And so, if he’s not going to be stoned to death, he at least needs to be muzzled.”

Yeah, it must be really frustrating for a Bible-believing Christian to live in a godless nation that won’t even let you carry out Biblical commandments on how to treat your fellow Christians.

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Leibniz’ proof of Alethian deity

Our friend from last Monday, the “brick through the window” guy, has taken me to task for getting Leibniz’ cosmological argument wrong (though he’s really blaming William Lane Craig, who made the argument I was critiquing).

You (Craig?) misrepresent the Leibnizian cosmological argument. It should be summarized as follows (taken from Alexander Pruss’ chapter in The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology):

(1) Every contingent fact has an explanation.
(2) There is a contingent fact that includes all other contingent facts.
(3) Therefore, there is an explanation of this fact.
(4) This explanation must involve a necessary being.
(5) This necessary being is God.

The cool thing about being an Alethian is that Christian philosophers have a habit of setting out to prove the existence of God, and end up proving the existence of Alethea instead. Take Anselm’s ontological proof, by which he attempts to prove God’s existence by calling Him “something than which nothing greater can be imagined.”

And certainly that than which a greater cannot be imagined cannot be in the understanding alone. For if it is at least in the understanding alone, it can be imagined to be in reality too, which is greater.

Did you catch that inadvertent reference to Alethea? Alethea is just another name for Reality, and in order for God to be real, He must exist “in Reality.” Reality is therefore greater than God, or at least the Christian God, because if God were real, then Alethea would comprise all that God is, PLUS all real things that are not God. The Christian God, therefore, is not “something than which nothing greater can be imagined,” but rather Alethea is.

Isn’t that awesome? Anselm, in trying to prove his God, ended up proving mine instead. And Leibniz does the same thing, without meaning to.

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God’s “simple” mind

The “brick through a window” guy from last Monday has got me thinking some more about William Lane Craig’s rendition of Leibniz’ cosmological argument. Here’s what Craig has to say about God.

 As a pure mind without a body, God is a remarkably simple entity. A mind (or soul) is not a physical object composed of parts… Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas…but the mind itself is remarkably simple.

The more I think about it, the more I think he’s right about God’s simple mind.

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Physics and Philosophy

Over at the other blog, my coverage of William Lane Craig’s cosmological arguments has attracted the attention of a commenter whose URL is biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com. He has at least one comment on each of my posts starting with the one I published three weeks ago, and part of his first comment is this:

I see no reason to believe that the cause must occur before the effect. For example, if I throw a brick through a window, the brick does not pass through the window before the window breaks. At the precise moment the window breaks the brick is acting upon the window. Cause and effect are simultaneous.

He’s responding to my argument that time (and thus the material universe of space-time) must exist before cause and effect is possible, because cause and effect exist in a chronological order, and the cause has to happen before the effect. I know what I want to say in response, but perhaps some of you who know subatomic physics could comment on whether or not I’m on the right track.

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Christians risk reprisals for gay marriage support

You so often see stories about Christians trying to rob gays of their human and civil rights that it’s remarkable and refreshing to see a story like this one.

On Monday a group of United Methodists from New York and Connecticut will release a list of pastors who plan to perform weddings for homosexual couples despite the denomination’s ban on gay marriage.

The We do! Methodists Living Marriage Equality project consists of 161 clergy members, 703 lay people and six congregations representing 67 United Methodist congregations who will risk their standing and jobs with the church by announcing their support for equal rights for the LGBT community.

Credit where credit is due.