Entries by michael

Speaking Rashly About Rationalism

I often find myself bemoaning the lack of reasoned debate in politics. Of course we need more rational debate. Yeah, right. This is like advocating nutritious food, or breathing in oxygen as opposed to carbon dioxide. I also soberly recommend conventional forms of transport rather than shooting oneself out of a cannon. We all think […]

Fallacy of the Atheistic Regimes

Straw Man:  20th Century Atheist regimes are responsible for the worst massacres in history. This argument has become a thought terminating cliché which serves both as a cautionary tale of what happens when we turn away from God, and also as an attempt to equal the ledger in discussions relating to religious violence. This argument erroneously […]

Naturalism vs Supernaturalism – the False Dichotomy

Critics of atheism and or naturalism/materialism often present the dichotomy of naturalism and supernaturalism as a false choice. Naturalism entails the closed system of the known universe and supernaturalism represents the realm beyond or outside the physical world. Theists too easily dismiss naturalism and materialism as unproven, since they cannot disprove immaterial worlds and other […]

Debunking the Witness of the Holy Spirit

From Aquinas’ sensus dei through to the modern Christian apology of Plantinga and Craig, God’s existence has been affirmed through the manifestation of his holy spirit. God has graced humans with a sensus divinitatis (a special sense) providing the individual with certainty of God without recourse to evidence.   John Calvin:   That there exists in […]

Beyond Empiricism

It’s not surprising after several millennia of culturally enforced piety that many people believe in transcendence; contact with phenomena beyond the empirical world; and not just the faithful. ‘There must be something…’ …‘This can’t be all there is.’ People say things like this all the time, as if an assumption becomes a deductive truth. Conversely, […]

The Burden of Proof  

(See also Debunking the Witness of the Holy Spirit)   In philosophical discussions the burden of proof or, Latin: onus probandi, is said to rest with the person making the claim.  It is invalid reasoning, an argument from ignorance or, Latin: argumentum ad ignorantium, to contend that because something cannot be proved false it is assumed to be […]

ATHEISM: TERMS, DEFINITIONS AND DISTINCTIONS  

In discussing atheism various terms are often employed as if their meaning is known by all. Further, the meanings of various terms are often conflated or muddled to suit a particular worldview. The following outlines some of the key terms. It’s important to recognise the distinctions which exist between different positions, and not to fall […]

What Sort of Non-Believer Are You?  

Non-Believers are the fastest growing religious demographic. Pew Survey 2014: in the US the unaffiliated grew from 16% to 22% concurrent with an 8% decline in Christianity.  Around the globe the highest numbers of non-believers are in China 30%, Japan 31%, Ireland 44%, France 34%, Australia 48%, Czech Republic 48% and the Netherlands 42%, according to WIN-Gallop. […]