False arguments

Shock! Horror! Turn off the Xmas lights! We shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas at all!

Xmas lights

In Australia they don’t call this the “silly season” for nothing. So we can expect a swag of Christmas stories, from the sentimental to the supposedly shocking. Which of course includes at least one “expose” of the shocking truth that Jesus probably didn’t exist.

And so right on cue we get Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’, published by Sydney University, no less, in The Conversation, End of Year Series which promises “Academic rigour, journalistic flair”.

Well, one out of two ain’t bad, I guess, and at least its journalistic flair was enough for the Washington Post to re-publish three days later.

So after almost two millennia, is this the end of christianity as we know it?

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Arguments against God based on what God ‘ought’ to do

Sign: religion is stupid

Not long after christianity began, a critic named Celsus argued that Jesus couldn’t have been divine, for he missed the opportunity to prove his divinity by disappearing from the cross.

I find this an unsatisfactory argument, because it assumes that Celsus knew what God’s purpose was. And I find similarly unsatisfactory arguments being used today.

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Evidence for atheism?

Sherlock

Why do you believe what you do – about religion, politics, ethics or life itself?

Many sceptics about religion are evidentialists, that is, they believe we should proportion our belief according to the evidence. Different disciplines (e.g. law, science, history, journalism and everyday life) require different types of evidence, but the principle seems reasonable.

But what if the sceptics are ignoring their own creed?

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