Showing posts from October, 2013

Reviewing Randal Rauser's "The Swedish Atheist.." Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Faith We come to the chapter on faith. Instead of covering three chapters all at once as I have been, I’m going to focus on dissecting the Faith chapter a little bit more in depth, as whenever a Christian, or for that matter theologian, begins to talk about faith you can be sure it’s not going to be a short walk in the park. After waxing on about how doctrines like idealism and solipsism have been well defended in the past, Randal uses this analogy to try to get Sheridan to see that such paradigms are generally accepted as sound paradigms without having to be explicitly based on evidence, mentioning “we  all take a step beyond the evidence.” Sheridan refuses to accept such a proposition and balks, “I believe based on evidence, not faith.” I would correct Sheridan and say most atheists tend to believe in things based on the reliability of the evidence, and that we also hold beliefs that aren’t based on evidence, but consider such beliefs provisional. That

Reviewing Randal Rauser’s “The Swedish Atheist…” Chapters 4-6

Chapter 4: “Reasonable” Scientists. “Deluded” Believers and the Quest for Objectivity. I begin reading this chapter with the strange feeling of anticipation, like I’m idling at the traffic light waiting for it to turn green, but suddenly having the feeling that I’ve been waiting at the light for too long—even though it’s been the standard amount of time. Ever have that feeling? Anyway, Sheridan seems to be a young atheist, and uses a polemical language calling Randal’s beliefs “weird” to his face and then informs him that the reason he prescribes to these so-called weird beliefs is because he isn’t being entirely objective. It seems that either Sheridan hasn’t had much experience talking to believers in person, or else, Randal has had too much experience talking with online atheists. Either way, Sheridan comes off as a rather unrefined atheist. Which is fine, there are such types, but in my experience well educated atheists, especially those who have their Masters or P

Reviewing Randal Rauser’s “The Swedish Atheist…” Chapters 1-3

Chapter 1: The Sacramental Properties of Caffeine After several pages of, well, talking about how great coffee shops are, Randal decides to hold his fictional dialog in, well, a coffee shop. I felt this whole introductory bit ran a bit long. It’s well written, and is good world building, but quite unnecessary for a book of this sort, in my opinion. Randal then likens his readers to Avatars, and invites the reader to actively take part in the imaginative exercise of make-believing along with him that we are in the coffee shop. Again, I felt it was an unnecessary, since any well written dialog would have the natural effect of drawing the reader in. Then suddenly there is a secret hidden chapter, the chapter between chapters 1 and 2, for no explainable reason. In the literary world this is what is called imaginative non-fiction writing. And I’m fine with imaginative non-fiction, but we’re already a dozen or so pages into the book (forgive me is I do not know the exact pag

Reviewing Rauser's "The Swedish Atheist..." Part 0 (Introduction)

Against my better judgment, I will be reviewing the Christian apologist and theologian Randal Rauser's book "The Swedish Atheist, Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails" from my Atheist perspective. Now a days I tend to steer clear of apologetic works as I have had my fill of them from my three long decades as a devout Evangelical Christian--during which I rarely read anything else, unless it was the Bible, naturally. Having come out of a devout religious background I am quite familiar with the majority of the standard fair apologetic arguments and really haven't had any reason to go back and re-consider any of them--until now. My recent online dealings with Randal Rauser have piqued my curiosity about his work as a Christian writer and apologist, and who seems (at least on the surface) to be more sophisticated than your average Christian apologists. Whether or not this impression is entirely true remains to be seen, but one thing that strikes me as

#Christian Logic #Nailed

Why are Atheists always Angry?

Why are atheists apparently always angry? Why is the internet filled with angry diatribes against religion? Why do atheists write out all of religion's failings longer than their laundry list? Why do atheists feel like criticizing religion instead of praising it for its merits? Why are atheists so obsessed with religion? Why can't atheists just get over it? I hear these sorts of questions a lot. Sometimes they even come from other atheists. But I think there is something crucial that those who ask these types of questions miss with regard to atheism in general. There is undeniably a psychological aspect to atheism they seem to be missing here. Needless to say, atheism is merely the antecedent to theism. At its core atheism is a belief assumption in the invalidity of the theistic position. It has often been described as a "lack of belief" for this very reason. But what doth compel one's atheism? This is where the psychological as