Archive for April 5th, 2012

April 5th, 2012

If God is Necessary Should His Effect, the Universe, be Necessary as Well?

by Max Andrews

For if God’s causal activity is necessary, then God’s causing this universe is necessary, and hence this universe is a necessary being, which is absurd, besides being contrary to the assumptions of typical cosmological arguments. But this objection commits a de re/de dicto fallacy. Consider the argument written out:

 

  1. C1 is God’s causal activity and is a necessary being. (Premise)
  2. C1 is God’s causing E. (Premise)
  3. Therefore, God’s causing E is a necessary being.
  4. Therefore, God necessarily causes E.
  5. The F is a necessary being
  6. Therefore, necessarily, F exists.

The fallacy is in the last steps 5 and 6.

April 5th, 2012

Parallelomania: The Source Fallacy

by Max Andrews

The Source Fallacy

  • Need to discover the specific source of the alleged parallel
    • Is it found in the actual sacred texts of the religion which predate Christianity or is it found in a later source?
    • Primary or secondary?
    • Can they quote the specific source: book, volume, verse?
    • Many ancient religions evolved over time and there is no one authoritative source or narrative of their myths
    • Most copycat theorists simply do not know the source of their claims.
    • Most often when you look at the original source it does not come close to what copycats claim.

Pagan Copycat Theory: The story of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels is a myth incorporating various aspects of other ancient pagan religions.

April 5th, 2012

Parallelomania: The Dependency Fallacy

by Max Andrews

The Dependency Fallacy

  • Two kinds of dependency: weak and strong
  • Weak: Use of accommodating language or appeals to similar beliefs (Paul’s “Mars Hill” speech in Acts 17)
  • Strong: A concept originated first in pagan religion and then was brought into Christianity
  • There is no evidence of any strong dependency of Christian beliefs on pagan religions
  • No evidence of pagan mystery religions in first century Palestine
  • While mystery religions are highly syncretic that is not the case for Judaism and Christianity – they are both highly exclusivistic.

Pagan Copycat Theory: The story of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels is a myth incorporating various aspects of other ancient pagan religions.

April 5th, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Kyle

by Max Andrews

I was raised by a nominally Christian family.  We went to church every Sunday, but that’s about the extent of our Christian devotion.  Outside of those church walls on Sunday mornings, it wasn’t an important thing.  I was a kid at the time.  I didn’t read the Bible or pray, nor was I encouraged to.  I wasn’t even taught that sex outside of marriage was wrong.  Honestly, I didn’t even see the point in going to church.  When I got a job and started working on Sundays at 16, I stopped going to church.  I was pretty relieved, because I hated going.  It was always incredibly boring!  Just get the service over with so I can have some lunch, I always thought.

In that time Christianity wasn’t part of my life.  Though I never became an atheist, religion wasn’t important to me.  I lived as if God wasn’t there.

Back in 2008 when I was about 20, I began suffering from major loneliness and depression.  I wanted to love and to be loved, but all of my friends were off to college, I wasn’t getting along with my roommate, and there were no potential girlfriends in town.  I wanted my life to have a purpose, but I was stuck in a dead end town with a dead end job.