Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Worst of All

A recent question was posed to a group of atheists on a forum about the worst bits of the Bible.  Among the common counterarguments that any nonbeliever has against the "objective morality" argument is that the Bible espouses some pretty darn vile moral lessons.  Rarely do we ever get into the topic of whether or not objective morality even exists, because that is a topic that can trail off on a wide variety of tangents that can't really be resolved that easily.  The reason the "Biblical morality is reprehensible" argument is used is because it at least points out that even if there is such a thing as objective morality, the Bible certainly isn't the source of it.  The other thing is that it's patently obvious to anyone who has bothered to read the darn thing that it has some pretty deplorable attitudes about just about everything from slavery to misogyny and rape.  That, and it is lacking sorely in even offering a position on several moral question that we know ought be addressed, such as pedophilia or domestic violence.

So the question that was posed partly split the case two ways between Old and New Testament.  Presumably, this is because of the argument about how the Old Testament was a lot meaner and harsher than the New Testament...  despite the fact that the New Testament is where the concept of Hell and eternal torment enters the picture.  It was to ask what people thought were the worst moral precepts of two sections of the Bible.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review : Richard Swinburne's Existence of God

Often times, it is easy to criticize the religious for not being fully abreast of the knowledge on a subject that they so easily reject.  Pretty much all creationists who reject evolution reject some caricature of it.  When those who are more knowledgeable about a subject try to explain these sorts of things to the ultra-dense monuments of ineffable stupidity like Ray Comfort, they will simply have no clue what you're talking about, and take their ignorance as the correct attitude...  because apparently, ignorance is a good thing in their world.

Still, there are always times when the apologist tries to lead you down a path of looking up various sources in favor of their position.  Now, most of the time, it's someone I'm actually already familiar with like Lee Strobel, Dinesh D'Souza, Ravi Zacharias, or William Lane Craig.  When someone points me to a source I haven't actually read, though, it would be hypocritical not to actually follow through while simultaneously demanding the same of others.  And if there's a halfway decent argument (which there typically is not), or at the very least, if it takes some effort to find the flaws, then I'll at least look for it.

So I was suggested to read one of the works of Richard Swinburne which I actually hadn't read before -- The Existence of God (2010).  At least insofar as Swinburne's antics in the public eye, I've not been impressed, but supposedly he applies more rigor when he's writing.  Fine, here's my review.