Showing posts from December, 2013

Swedish Fish Book Updates: Book Blurbs

My friend and long time supporter The Atheist Missionary has provided a nice back cover blurb for my forthcoming counter-apologetics book The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver and Working the Rabbits Foot. Thanks to TAM for being an avid reader and one of the dozen people who compelled me to do this project. “An Essential Reading Companion to Randal Rauser's The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails . If Rauser's version of tentative Christian apologetics is the virus, readers will find this enjoyable retort to be the cure.” –The Atheist Missionary Of course, the back cover synopsis will be: Skeptic and best selling author Tristan Vick doesn't have a theology degree, yet he knows just as much about God as any theologian. However, don't be fooled as it's not as impressive of a claim as it sounds. Anyone can theorize about God. In this detailed rebuttal to Christian apologist Randal Rauser, Trista

How I Spent (Part) of My Xmas

Because education is important. 

My Response to Randal Rauser will be a published book!

Almost as soon as I had finished reviewing Randal Rauser's apologetic book The Swedish Fish, The Scuba Diver, and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails , I began receiving emails by those who were following the series and wanted to know if I'd be collecting the reviews into book form. At first I really didn't give it much thought. But by the third email, I realized there was enough of an interest. So, yes, I will be publishing an edited version of the reviews, with ADDED content, more sources and citations, and an slightly more condensed version of the reviews. It will be called The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver, and Working the Rabbit's Foot. Of course, it's an obvious spoof on Randal's title. Besides the interest in this book, I also hope that people can use this counter-apologetics as a way to introduce their Christian family and friends to other ways of thinking that they may not have heard before, and also as a conversation starter. Needless

Merry Xmas from Japan

I live in Japan. Christmas is practically non-existent. Sure, the stores still have all the sales. Some houses put up lights (I counted five this year). And the department stores have all the sales. But it's just not Christmas. First off, everyone works. I'm on break at work writing this, and its Christmas Eve. After work, I most likely will do some last minute Christmas shopping. I wanted to do Christmas up right this year, but after having just recuperated from a bronchial infection that kicked my ass for two months, a flu bug, and a bout of pink eye before that, oh, and having put my back out for a week, I really had nothing in me to give. All this on top of being financially strapped from paying back loans for a last minute trip to America back in May. So presents are meek this year. One per person. Nothing fancy. We don't even have a Christmas tree. There's no decorations up. For the most part, it's just a normal day in Japan. And so tonight I

Duck Dynasty Debacle

I've written extensively on the freedom of speech. About the Duck Dynasty guy... whatever his name is... what he needs to realize is that the First Amendment makes it so the U.S. government can't censor him. But being a bigoted asshole, and saying hurtful things about gays (not to mention showing an overall ignorance and intolerance of prostitutes--who may be good people stuck in a dire situation) demonstrates that this person needed to shut the hell up. We should allow for the free exchange of ideas--as long as we are responsible with our words and don't use them to try to harm others.  The goal of free speech should always be to enlighten, bring forth new ideas, and gain new perspectives through our words and conversation. But the moment a person starts rattling off bigoted claims left and right, then you're not practicing free speech, because freedom of speech CANNOT thrive when you oppress others by holding them to outmoded stereotypes and unfair accusations on t

Reviewing Randal Rauser’s “The Swedish Atheist...” Chapters 30-33 [finis]

Chapter 30: The Taliban and the Serenity Prayer Unable to simply accept things on faith, Sheridan launches his attack and challenges Randal to make a valid connection between any faith-based experience and his brand of faith. Sheridan says: “How can you really know all the claims of Christianity are true? The kinds of evidence that apologists provide—like the historicity of the resurrection or religious experience—that may be nice for you, since you’re predisposed to believe it, but it seems to me to be a very slim reed on which to build a whole system of faith.” Randal responds in a strange way, by informing: “If we want absolutely secure, irrefutable proofs that establish as true only one set of beliefs about reality, we are bound to be disappointed. All of us.” So if we have irrefutable proofs in things about reality that support our beliefs, we’re bound to be disappointed. What? Gravity works. The equation for gravity was written in a proof demonstrated

Reflections on a Suicide

Christmas time is practically upon us and, sadly, for those that know about my personal life you will know this will be the first Christmas I have without my father. Just a little over half a year ago I lost my father to suicide. I still don’t know what to think about it all. What caused him to be so miserable that he poisoned himself, put a noose around his neck, and shot himself in the head? Some people “try” at suicide and fail. If anything is certain, my father really, really wanted to die. That was his choice. But here’s the thing though … for years I had thought of suicide as a purely selfish act. Think of all the loved ones who will be devastated, I thought. Think of the burden you’ll place on them. Think of all the broken hearts and the devastating holes you’ll leave in the lives of those closest to you; of those who depend on you; of those who’d never be the same without you. What about all of us?! What about our feelings. Our needs? 

Reviewing Randal Rauser’s “The Swedish Atheist” Chapter 29

Chapter 29: The Lights Cast by Little Amazing Moments of Providence What to expect, what to expect? Randal’s penchant for using  non-standard terminology without explaining it (i.e., defeaters and acquaintance of knowledge, just to name a couple), [1] a love for starting entirely new topics in the middle of an ongoing one, and his consistent ability to forget to sum up previous questions and points raised at the beginning of one chapter leaves us often in a state of confusion and anticipation. What to expect, what to expect? Sheridan, who continue to proves he is an overly simplistic stereotype of an atheist at best, informs that he is  confused as to how a Christian can know they are being “Christlike” or not, and Randal said that the Christian will know through signs. Sheridan inquires: “Signs?... Like what kind of signs?” Randal informs: “I’m talking about the experience that real, everyday people have of God working in their lives, and specifically how tha