Friday, 24 April 2015

Estranged Notions: Why Materialism and Dualism Both Fail to Explain Your Mind

Today's post:

Why Materialism and Dualism Both Fail to Explain Your Mind

While the previous article in this series was useful—not in the sense of having correct and applicable positions, but in the sense of putting up clear targets to demolish—this one simply descends back into drivel by not merely failing to justify its position but actually resorting to the irrational and anti-intellectual appeal to “mystery”.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Estranged Notions: Is Religion Responsible for the World’s Violence?

Yesterday's post:

Is Religion Responsible for the World’s Violence?

A mixed bag. While Heschmeyer has some correct criticisms, especially of Sam Harris, he tries to make his case using the most ridiculous collection of sources—quoting for example that bastion of authoritative journalism the Daily Mail for some heavily inflated numbers for deaths attributed to Mao and Stalin, and climate-denialist novelist Michael Crichton on the inevitability of religion (taken out of context from a speech in which he repeats an entire litany of easily debunked anti-environmentalist myths).

Monday, 13 April 2015

Estranged Notions: Real Encounter: 13 Reasons Jesus’ Disciples Did Not Hallucinate

Today's post:

Real Encounter: 13 Reasons Jesus’ Disciples Did Not Hallucinate

Summary: the disciples did not hallucinate because the accounts in the NT—which are totally historically accurate right down to the last scrap of hearsay—aren't consistent with na├»ve ideas of how hallucinations work.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Estranged Notions: Debunking the Conspiracy Theory: 7 Arguments Why Jesus’ Disciples Did Not Lie

Today's post:

Debunking the Conspiracy Theory: 7 Arguments Why Jesus’ Disciples Did Not Lie

Another very poor showing from Kreeft. His response assumes from the start that everything in the Gospels and Acts about who the disciples were and what they did is unquestioned historical fact; it discounts the probability that the Gospel stories did not originate in the original circle of disciples (assuming for the sake of argument that this existed) but were at least a generation later; it assumes that those original disciples would have needed to make easily-controverted claims in public and in such a way that the Jewish authorities would have had to take note; and so on.

Kreeft even claims that no-one confessed under torture that it was a conspiracy—but we have absolutely no reason to suspect that anyone in the original group of disciples was ever tortured for any reason! We know nothing about the circumstances of any of their deaths; the “traditional” martyrdom accounts accreted over time and were never credible.

And who does he use as authorities? Blaise Pascal, Aquinas, and William Lane Craig...

Monday, 6 April 2015

Estranged Notions: Rejecting the Swoon Theory: 9 Reasons Why Jesus Did Not Just Faint on the Cross

Today's post:

Rejecting the Swoon Theory: 9 Reasons Why Jesus Did Not Just Faint on the Cross

The “swoon theory” is none too strong as an explanation, but Kreeft's attempts to refute it are quite pathetic. He relies heavily on the historical accuracy of GJohn—and even makes the untenable traditional claim that it was written by an eyewitness—and also makes unjustifiably strong claims about Roman practices.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Estranged Notions: 5 Possible Theories that Explain the Resurrection of Jesus

Today's post:

5 Possible Theories that Explain the Resurrection of Jesus

Kreeft starts a series attempting to prove the historicity of the Resurrection, and already he's in trouble; the idea that any of the alternative theories can be “refuted” in any strong sense is obviously foolish (nothing in history is ever entirely certain), so to justify the Resurrection theory by eliminating alternatives, he has to show that the probability of the disjunction of all alternative theories is low enough to overcome the low prior we must necessarily assign to a miracle claim.