Sunday, June 30, 2024

Are you sure there's no god?

In today’s entry, I address the third question from Michael Brown’s 7 honest questions for atheists.

Earlier installments in this series can be found here:
1. Why are you an atheist? 
2. Can an atheist have purpose?
Brown’s third question has to do with certainty, and whether or not an atheist can be certain that there is no god. I will address this from my own standpoint – I do not presume to speak for all atheists. Readers are invited to share their own thoughts in the comments, either in reply to Brown’s question or in response to my own efforts to address it. 

Monday, May 27, 2024

Can an atheist have purpose?

In this entry I will offer a few thoughts in response to the second of Michael Brown’s 7 honest questions for atheists, which has to do with purpose. For my thoughts in response to Brown’s first question, see here. As with my previous entry, readers are invited to provide their own thoughts in response to Brown’s question.

In his article, Brown asks:
2. Would you say that even as an atheist, you still have a sense of purpose and destiny in your life, a feeling that you were put here for a reason and that you have a mission to accomplish? Or is it primarily people of faith who feel like this, since we are simply the products of an unguided, random evolutionary process?

Friday, April 26, 2024

Why are you an atheist?

Some time ago a reader asked me to take a look at Michael Brown’s 7 honest questions for atheists. I agreed to do so when I had time and said that if it interested me, I might post some thoughts in response to it. In this entry, I will address the Brown’s first question. Readers are invited to use the comments section to offer their own responses to the question.

Brown's first question is as follows:
1. Would you say that you are (or, were) an atheist based primarily on intellectual study or based on experience? Or did you never believe in God at all? 
Put another way, was it the lack of answers to prayer, failures within organized religion, or some other anti-faith experience that first caused you to question the existence of God? Or was it something you learned in school or your studies that caused you to doubt? Or were you raised without belief in God and you’ve never found a good reason to question it?

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Nineteen

It is that time once again to celebrate yet another year of this blog!

Today Incinerating Presuppositionalism turns 19! The better part of two decades is almost complete! And boy, time sure does fly when you’re having fun!

As I do each year rather unceremoniously, I list out all entries posted since the previous anniversary, and this entry will itself be accessible in the blog sidebar.

516. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Eighteen - March 26, 2023

517. - TASC: The Transcendental Argument for Square-Circles – April 1, 2023

518. Bahnsen’s Poof Revisited… Again - May 29, 2023

519. Frank Turek vs. the Laws of Nature - June 25, 2023

520. ”What are the odds…?” - July 30, 2023

521. Do the Senses “Distort”? - August 27, 2023

522. Jason Lisle on Sensory Experience and Epistemology - September 25, 2023

523. Vistor Questions on Jeff Durbin and Formal Debates with Apologists - October 23, 2023

524. Anderson’s Anti-Epistemological Argument Against Naturalism - November 1, 2023

525. Bahnsen’s “tremendous philosophical mistake” - December 27, 2023

526. Answering Objections to my ‘Horse’s Mouth’ Collection - January 3, 2024

527. Concepts and Induction - February 3, 2024

528. Is the Axiom of Existence “Ambiguous”? A Reply to Eli Ayala - March 3, 2024

529. Peikoff on the Invulnerability of the Axioms - March 6, 2024

As always, I want to express my gratitude to anyone who takes the time to read anything I post, and especially to those who take the time to post their own reactions in the comments. I read every comment and when I can, I do try to make time to reply.

I do have a number of entries currently in the draft stage – it will take some time to get them ready to post. The work never stops! In the meantime, if readers encounter new variants of theistic defenses that they’d like to share, you’re welcome to make use of the comments.

With that, we set off on our journey to a major new milestone!

by Dawson Bethrick

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Peikoff on the Invulnerability of the Objectivist Axioms

Since it is inevitable that Christian apologists will, when it is expedient to do so, dispute the truth of the Objectivist axioms, I thought it might be helpful to dedicate a single entry here on Incinerating Presuppositionalism showcasing Leonard Peikoff’s mock dialogue between a defender of the axioms and someone who denies their truth.

Here Peikoff shows how a denial of each of the axioms both exposes the detractor’s own absurdity as well as confirms the inescapability of their truth.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Is the Axiom of Existence "Ambiguous"? A Reply to Eli Ayala

I’m often fascinated at the lengths to which Christian apologists will go in order to salvage the wreckage of their worldview when confronted with Objectivism. The amount of energy they pour into creating ways of obfuscating and evading can be staggering. And throughout it all, it is ironic to observe how high they set the bar for non-Christian worldviews on certain topics while ignoring the fact that Christianity itself has no player to send into the arena to compete. A great example of this is when apologists assert that non-Christian worldviews lack the necessary preconditions for knowledge while Christianity itself has no theory of concepts to begin with. Apologists themselves seem oblivious to this enormous shortfall.

We have observed apologists trying to wrestle with the axiom of existence in the past. It’s clear that to the last one, they undoubtedly sense the threat that the Objectivist axioms pose to the Christian worldview, and yet they fail to grasp the power of their truth. What’s most bewildering is their insistence to deny the axioms all the while unaware that their own denials would not be possible if not for the truth of the axioms they deny.

Saturday, February 03, 2024

Concepts and Induction

Years ago I was in correspondence with a Christian apologist who presupposed that Christianity and only Christianity could solve the problem of induction. There were many Christians at one time who actually believed this. Perhaps some still do.

This apologist carefully demonstrated how a number of prominent academic treatments of the matter missed the mark, sometimes by wide margin, when it came to providing a justification for inductive presuppositions. The apologist of course claimed that the existence of a universe-creating deity which actively “ordains and sustains” the “created order” provides the rational justification which secular scholars could only miss due to their chronic “unbelief.”