Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Estranged Notions: How Richard Dawkins Helps Prove Biblical Inspiration

Today's post (well, it was today's when I started, probably yesterday's by the time this is done):

How Richard Dawkins Helps Prove Biblical Inspiration

The ‘bronze-age goat-herders / desert tribes / whatever’ dismissal of the Bible is probably the atheist meme that I find most annoying. It's true that the Old Testament portrays itself—and of course not merely the Protestant fundamentalists but also a substantial Catholic traditionalist contingent concurs in this—as containing a record of bronze-age events and individuals; but this position has long since ceased to be tenable.

As usual, though, Heschmeyer fails to make any kind of credible response.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Estranged Notions: An Agnostic’s Assessment Of New Atheist Attitudes

Today's post:

An Agnostic’s Assessment Of New Atheist Attitudes

The agnostic in question is John Humphrys, veteran BBC presenter and journalist (and terror of politicians). One might possibly have hoped for a bit less of the strawman approach when dealing with the ‘New Atheists’, but I'm not sure how much of this is down to Nelson's reporting.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Friday, 18 September 2015

Estranged Notions: Is God Too Complex To Be The Creator?

Today's post:

Is God Too Complex To Be The Creator?

This is just the old canard about ‘divine simplicity’. Unfortunately, these days we have better definitions of simplicity, and handwaving by defining God as a mind with no parts is no longer a believable approach.

(Also, it's worth noting that the idea of an absolute beginning to the universe is if anything less strongly supported now than in the past; the latest results are consistent with theories of eternal inflation—which, contra some apologetic claims, are not ruled out by the BGV theorem, and indeed Guth (the G of BGV) is on record as regarding eternal inflation as the most likely result.)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Estranged Notions: St. Christopher, ET, and the Middle Ages

Yesterday's post:

St. Christopher, ET, and the Middle Ages

This is a Flynn post from 2009, which, fascinatingly, appears to be substantially copied from the Quodlibeta blog post (not actually by Hannam but one of his co-bloggers) linked in the text.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Estranged Notions: Mother Nature is One Unreliable Lady

Today's post:

Mother Nature is One Unreliable Lady

Now newly endowed with a fancier hat, Barron takes a dim view of nature-worship, rightly agreeing with the statement that nature really doesn't care about humans. But inevitably he takes this in the wrong direction, revealing the deep root of Christian anti-environmentalism: the belief that one can worship a powerful creator-god that does care about humans, that created nature for humans.

Of course not all Christian denominations develop this explicitly into an anti-environmental position; but even those that emphasize ‘stewardship’ theology still, at bottom, retain the dangerous belief that nature is for us, rather than that it simply is the environment that we happen to have evolved in. If we modify the environment beyond our own ability to survive, there will be nobody to blame but ourselves, and more importantly, there will be nobody else to appeal to to fix it.