Thinking Christian

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The High Ground

Are You Rationally Competent To Assess Your Rational Competence?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Observation: The one who is incompetent at rational argument will never be persuaded of his incompetence by rational argument; nor will he be persuaded rationally of his position’s irrationality.

Update: corrections made at comments 2 and 3.

Corollary 1: If I am rationally incompetent I may irrationally persist in thinking that I am competent. (See also the Dunning-Kruger Effect.)

Corollary 2: If I believe I am rationally competent it is no sure sign that I am.

Corollary 3: If I believe my arguments are rational it is …


We’re Not All Like That, Dan Savage

Monday, September 9th, 2013

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Dan Savage

Our old friend Dan Savage is at it again, this time with a website saying “Christians are not all like that.” (You can search for it yourself; I don't really care to link to it.) Not all like what? Here's how he put it in his introductory video:

… in my talks, Christians were forever coming up to me and saying, “We're not all like that. We don't all hate and condemn …


Morality and Human Nature: Why Atheists Get It Right and Wrong (Part 2)

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Atheists who believe it’s good to maximize human well-being cannot support that position with evidences or with reason, but only with prejudice and sentiment. In today’s post, the continuation of a topic I started two days ago on morality and human nature, I will try to explain and defend my reasons for saying so. I’ll begin by quoting some comments from recent threads, which I find to be typical among believers in naturalistic evolution.

I believe we can use a model of human needs …


Morality and Human Nature: Why Atheists Get It Right and Wrong (Part 1)

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

I thought you might be interested in these quotes concerning morality:

The first principle of morality is that “one ought always to choose … in a way that is compatible with a will towards integral human fulfillment…. Our integral good includes not only our bodily well-being but also our intellectual, moral, and spiritual well-being …. Principles of practical reason direct us to act or abstain from acting in certain ways out of respect for the well-being and legitimate interests of persons whose legitimate interests may …


Three Reasons Freedom of Religion Matters

Monday, July 1st, 2013

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion matters. It is unique from other freedoms. It wasn’t chosen ad hoc for inclusion in the Bill of Rights. Freedom of religion is not freedom-of-something-or-other.

I needed to say that when I saw urbanus’s comment today, in response to the statement that at least two people in the UK had lost their jobs for opposing gay marriage,

Okay, but that’s not the issue. If they lost …


Getting the Moral Argument Wrong — Again

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Atheists are forever getting the moral argument wrong. A.C. Grayling, in The God Argument, says,

The argument that there can be no morality unless policed by a deity is refuted by the existence of good atheists. Arguably, non-theists count themselves among the most careful moral thinkers, because in the absence of an externally imposed morality they recognize the duty to examine their views, choices, and actions, and how they should behave towards others.

Begging a Question

There are multiple problems here. I'll …


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