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Showing posts from August, 2012

Former creationist watches his former 10 year old self

Thanks to leavingfundamentalism (worth following).

Chat show stand up philosophy

Here's the latest episode of London Real, with Tim Freke. It's thought-provoking, which is not to say I am endorsing all or part of it. Much had me tearing my hair out (see Believing Bullshit ). Tim Freke describes himself as a "stand up philosopher" website here .

William Lane Craig's Resurrection Argument

Below is a transcript of what I said about William Lane Craig's resurrection argument for the existence of the Christian God (taken from our debate ). In case anyone is interested. My point is that we should expect quite a few baffling, exceedingly-hard-to-explain-naturalistically miracle and other extraordinary testimonies to crop up through the centuries, whether or not there's any truth to them. But then the fact that there are such testimonies provides no support to such miracle and other extraordinary claims. Several people have misunderstood my point (largely because they have tried to use one of the standard, scripted answers provided by Craig and other Christian apologists in response to doubts about the resurrection - but they don't work here). I do think Craig understood my point. In fact, I'm exploiting a point Craig himself often makes in connection with the maxim "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", namely: that evidence for

Recorded with Heavy Dexters on Saturday

At Littlemore recording studios which are very impressive, I thought. This is the small kit I took for the one track we did. Heavy Dexters .

Justin Vacula and John Murray

Very interesting conversation. Provides some nice insights into Murray's thinking and how his world view makes sense to him. Go here .

William Lane Craig debate - the dimwits strike back

This heavily edited video clip, drawn from this original , is interesting. In it I respond to the question "Why does the universe exist" by saying "I don't know" (I then left a pregnant pause which produced a round of applause - that's been edited out). The gist of the commentary is: "You, Stephen Law, don't know why the universe exists? Then you can't deny my God exists! I win! You're insane!" Unfortunately, this way of thinking is very deeply entrenched in the minds of some of Craig's more dimwitted followers (not all of his followers, of course - plenty of them will wince at this). The truth is an atheist might succeed in showing that Craig's God does not exist, whether or not that atheist knows the answer to the question "Why does the universe exist?", and whether or not they bother to refute Craig's Kalam cosmological argument. That's what I aimed to do in this debate, as I explained several times

My debate with William Lane Craig finally released on video

Yes, it's finally been posted up. Recorded last October in front of audience of 2,000 (largely, though not entirely Christian) at Westminster Central Hall. I usually watch any recording of myself with my head in my heads, cringing at what an idiot I am, but actually this went alright, I feel. I did wobble in my first rebuttal, partly because I forgot what I was going to say. But the rest of it goes OK. Especially the Q&A at the end. The point I make about evidence for the resurrection comes across fairly clearly on the video, to my surprise (I had suspected it was too quick to follow) - and I do think it a very strong point (and also original so far as I am aware). People have also previously complained that the audio recording was poor and I couldn't be heard, but I seem pretty audible on this. Still, I could certainly have done better. My debating skills are pretty poor compared to Craig's. There are also points I could have added that would have caused him

What is Humanism?

(From my OUP book - A Very Short Introduction to Humanism). One aim here is to nail various myths about what Humanism involves, which in turn lead to a whole series of strawman attacks from its critics. What is humanism? The word “humanism” has had, and continues to have, a variety of meanings. At its broadest, “humanism” means little more than a system of thought in which human values, interests and dignity are considered particularly important. Understood in this way, perhaps almost everyone qualifies as a humanist (including those of us who are religious). However, those who organize under the banner of “humanism” today, particularly in the UK, usually mean something rather more focussed. They embrace a particular kind of worldview that by no means everyone accepts. That worldview is the focus of this book. So what distinguishes the humanist outlook? It is difficult to be very precise. The boundaries of the concept are elastic. But I think most humanists would