Friday, April 29, 2022

Tax fairness and the "free" market

 How free is our market, really? Let's look at that tax loophole mentioned in this article. Corporations have to be taxed one way or another. Why not tax them in such a way that they are encouraged to pay their executives in an ethical manner?

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Logic: An extra-sensory perception?

 The cat is on the mat. That's a relation. I perceive the cat on top and the mat below it. Now, without any of our five sense to produce this perception, we somehow perceive entailment relationships. We don't have science, mathematics, or philosophical arguments for naturalism unless we can do this. As Lewis puts it, it must be the case that one thought can cause another thought not by being, but by being seen to be a ground for it. That mean's the fact of A's being the ground for B, or even A's entailing B, has to be central to the production of our belief that B. But if look at the forces in the universe that physicalism allows, that kind of fact is ruled out as a possible cause for anything. We have a perception of logical relationship, and since it can't be a sensory perception, it has to be an extra-sensory perception. How is THAT naturalistically possible?

Thursday, April 21, 2022

C. S. Lewis on homosexuality

 C. S. Lewis never abandoned the belief that homosexual conduct was wrong from a Christian standpoint. But he also never accepted the idea that there is something particularly bad about homosexuality as opposed to other kinds of sin. To hear many Christians talk, this is the one sin that makes God really angry, so angry that he sent down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. 

A lot of people see the entire source of opposition to homosexuality as coming from Christian conservatives. Yet Lewis thinks that the really virulent opposition to homosexuality comes from other sources. 

This is from Surprised by Joy. 

And that is why I cannot give pederasty anything like a first place among the evils of the Coll. There is much hypocrisy on this theme. People commonly talk as if every other evil were more tolerable than this. But why? Because those of us who do not share the vice feel for it a certain nausea, as we do, say, for necrophily? I think that of very little relevance to moral judgment. Because it produces permanent perversion? But there is very little evidence that it does. The Bloods would have preferred girls to boys if they could have come by them; when, at a later age, girls were obtainable, they probably took them. Is it then on Christian grounds? But how many of those who fulminate on the matter are in fact Christians? And what Christian, in a society as worldly and cruel as that of Wyvern, would pick out the carnal sins for special reprobation? Cruelty is surely more evil than lust and the World at least as dangerous as the Flesh. The real reason for all the pother is, in my opinion, neither Christian nor ethical. We attack this vice not because it is the worst but because it is, by adult standards, the most disreputable and unmentionable, and happens also to be a crime in English law. The world may lead you only to Hell; but sodomy may lead you to jail and create a scandal, and lose you your job. The World, to do it justice, seldom does that.

For a discussion of this, see here. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Christianity's contributions

 The idea that Christianity has not made any contributions to science, mathematics, or medicine is puzzling. Of course, Christians have made enormous contribution to all three of these fields. Isaac Newton was no secular humanist. Of course, you can then say that just because Christians made a contribution doesn't mean that Christianity made a contribution, but you could make the same argument about atheism or agnosticism. The Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th Century happened on Christians' watch. Not on the watch of the Hindus or the Buddhists. C. S. Lewis said "Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator." Monotheism supplanted polytheism, and it is hard to imagine belief in a uniform system of natural laws if people really think the sky is run by Zeus and the sea is run by Poseidon.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

The Resurrection


  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-8: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance. Or you at the first: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas. That is, Peter and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."
Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Alvin Plantinga

This is a piece on Alvin Plantinga from Kelly James Clark. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Bronze Age Superstitions

 From Matthew Flannagan on Facebook: 

I often correspond with religious sceptics. Countless times I have been informed by people that they don't share my religious beliefs because, apparently unlike me, they are educated, intelligent free thinkers who don't believe in the bronze age stories found in the New and Old Testament.
I had another person inform me of this today.
Here is some friendly advice to people who confidently say things like that:
Suppose, I told you, that Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States during the renaissance period. Or imagine I told you that Martin Luther was a contemporary of Augustine of Hippo and lived during the fall of Rome. Would you take me seriously? I suspect you wouldn't. Comments like that would show I had no clue at all about historical events, didn't know the basic historical facts, and literally did not know what you were talking about.
In light of this, can you please take note of the following fact: the bronze age refers to the historical period which occurred from approximately 3300 BC to 1200 BC.

Friday, April 08, 2022

The value of money

Money is less valuable the more of it you have. The money you need to keep a roof over your head, food out your table, and keep your creditors paid contributes more to your well-being than the money you  have over and above that. So the money paid to wealthier people has less utility than it would have were it paid to people further down the economic scale. 

This helps to explain why Bernie Sanders is appealing to so many people. 

Political discomfort

 Political parties are coalitions of interests of various groups of people. Some of those interests coincide with Christianity and other do not. A politician who says, either explicitly (they normally aren't that stupid) or implicitly that "A vote for me (or my party) is a vote for Jesus" is blaspheming.

People need to read C. S. Lewis's Meditation on the Third Commandment. Over, and over and over, and over, and over.
Christianity will make you uncomfortable with the ideology of ANY party. If you are completely comfortable with the ideology of any party as a Christian, you are not thinking clearly.

Friday, April 01, 2022

Breaking News

 Breaking News: Biden admits election theft, will be vacating the Presidency in favor of Trump later today. Dominion CEO arrested on fraud charges.

Argument from explanatory vacuity

 On this old post I came up with an argument for atheism. It got over 300 comments. 

This is the argument. 

1) If Billy Graham were to fall ill, many Christians all over the world would pray for his recovery.
2) If Billy were to recover, they would all praise God and credit him with the healing.
3) If Billy were to die, they would say that it was not God’s will for Billy to recover.
4) But if God can be used to explain why something occurs but also why something does not occur, then it really does not explain it at all.
5) But if this is so, the appeal to God explains nothing.
6) If God explains nothing, then we should simply deny God’s existence.
7) Therefore, we should believe that God does not exist.