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Proofs for the Existence of God (#AMA with Dr. Edward Feser)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Edward Feser just released a new book, titled Five Proofs of the Existence of God (Ignatius Press, 2017). You probably know Dr. Feser from his sharply reasoned posts here at Strange Notions, or from his popular blog, which mainly focuses on the philosophy of religion. Dr. Feser has written several other excellent books, including: Neo-Scholastic Essays (St. Augustine's Press, 2015) Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (Scholastic Editions, 2014) The... Read More

Naturalism’s Epistemological Nightmare

Metaphysical naturalism, usually identified with scientific materialism, is not to be confused with methodological naturalism, which maintains, at least in principle, that the scientific method confines itself to natural explanations without any philosophical bias against the supernatural. Metaphysical or philosophical naturalism insists that only entities empirically verifiable by natural science exist, which excludes all supernatural beings, especially God. The truth value of all scientific... Read More

Stephen Colbert vs. Ricky Gervais: The Late Show Atheism Debate

On February 1, comedian Ricky Gervais appeared on CBS’s The Late Show where he and host Stephen Colbert discussed God and atheism: .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Regardless of how you feel about his theological views, Colbert is probably the most famous U.S. celebrity... Read More

Would God Create Perfect Creatures? – A Christian/Atheist Dialogue

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today we share a conversation between Randal Rauser and Justin Schieber. Randal is a Christian author, apologist, and professor of theology at Taylor Seminary (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Justin is the founder and host of Real Atheology, a popular atheist Youtube channel, and he's the former cohost of the Reasonable Doubts Radio Show and Podcast. Together, the two just released a book-length dialogue titled An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar: Talking about God,... Read More

I was an Atheist Until I Read “The Lord of the Rings”

I grew up in a loving, comfortable atheist household of professional scientists. My dad was a lapsed Catholic, and my mom was a lapsed Lutheran. From the time that I could think rationally on the subject, I did not believe in God. God was an imaginary being for which there was no proof. At best, God was a fantasy for half-witted people to compensate their ignorance and make themselves feel better about their own mortality. At worst, God was a perverse delusion responsible for most of the... Read More

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Shows Why Science Can’t Build a Utopia

Atheist astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson recently tweeted, “Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence.” I did my best in 140 characters to show how this sentiment is the exact of opposite of profound. I said, “@neiltyson ‘Rationalia’ is as useless as ‘Correctistan,’ or a country whose constitution says, 'Always make the correct decisions.'" Obviously, public policy should rationally consider... Read More

Was Mother Teresa Really an Atheist?

As is now well known, Mother Teresa of Calcutta suffered severe spiritual afflictions through much of her remarkable life: “This terrible sense of loss – this untold darkness – this loneliness – this continual longing for God.” These first emerged in 2001, but were only fully disclosed with the 2007 publication of her private writings and correspondence in Come Be My Light, edited by Fr Brian Kolodiejchuk MC, the postulator of her cause for canonization. In these writings, Teresa... Read More

Sean Carroll, Determinism, and Laplace’s Demon

Today we continue our series looking at physicist Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016). After exploring whether the universe needed a cause to get started, Carroll next turns to the topic of determinism: is reality determined or free? Laplace's Demon Carroll's answer relies on a famous thought-experiment involving "Laplace's Demon". Pierre-Simon Laplace was an accomplished French physicist and mathematician.... Read More

Is Sean Carroll Correct That the Universe Moves By Itself?

Many theists, including myself, believe that some of the strongest arguments for God rely on the logical need for a First Cause of the universe (or First Mover, depending on which argument you use.) This sort of argument goes back at least to Aristotle, who thousands of years ago suggested that, "Everything that is in motion must be moved by something" (and by motion he meant any change whatsoever, not just locomotion, or spatial change). However, physicist Sean Carroll thinks Aristotle... Read More

The Big Problem with Sean Carroll’s “Poetic Naturalism”

Today we continue our look at Sean Carroll's anticipated new book,The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016). Carroll starts his book by diving right into the deep end. The first chapter in the first section concerns a huge topic: the fundamental nature of reality. Carroll explains that philosophers consider this the domain of ontology, but then he offers a strange definition. Ontology, he says, is "the study of the basic structure of the... Read More

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