Archive for December 2010

Happy New Year

Wrapping Up 2010

Another year has come and gone. Where did all the time go? It seems like 2010 has flown by. But of course, as everyone always seems to do on New Year’s Eve, I’d like to take some time to reflect on the past year.

I guess that for me, 2010 was all about decision-making. I had to make some big decisions, the most important one being about grad school. Do I want to go to grad school? Should I go as soon as I graduate? Where should I apply? These were all questions that I had to answer this year, and I’ve now gone through that entire process. I’ve filled out the applications, done the GREs, sent out transcripts, got letters of reference. And now I wait. 2011 will be the year that I find out what happens.Continue Reading

Scroll

Contesting Christianity: Messianic Prophecies

Religion · · 28 comments

One of the arguments that Christians use to prove that Jesus was who he said he was is that he fulfilled all of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. As the argument goes, there are hundreds of prophecies that foretell of the Messiah and what he would do, and many of these were even prophecies that Jesus had no control over. He might have been able to control whether he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, but he couldn’t control where he was to be born! Usually the argument then states that the likelihood of one man fulfilling all these prophecies perfectly is extremely unlikely…Continue Reading

Christmas ornament

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Or Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus, if you prefer. I always enjoy this time of year. It’s a time to share time with friends and family, to show others that you care about them, and to exchange presents and, more importantly, love. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this time of year is a time where we all celebrate the wonderful things that come from being part of a community and part of a family.Continue Reading

Atheist Blogroll

Atheist Blogroll

This is just a quick note that Disjointed Thinking┬áhas been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the link to it in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information. Thanks!…

Creation

Contesting Christianity: Young Earth/Creationism

Religion, Science · · 25 comments

Creationism was always one of my favourite issues as a Christian. I spent time online debating people who defended evolution, and I enjoyed “poking holes” in their arguments. Of course, despite my zeal for debates and apologetics, I had never actually read any books by evolutionists or spent any time researching what evolutionists said—my information always came from creationist sources. So, I would hear what creationists had to say, and I would hear what creationists said evolutionists had to say, but I never heard what evolutionists themselves had to say (outside of the debates I had). Creationists, of course, aren’t going to bring up arguments that they can’t deal with, so I was clearly missing out on the best arguments for evolution. When I actually spent some time researching the issue, I realized just how much I had missed. So this post will attempt to summarize the arguments for a young earth and for creationism, as well as what I feel to be the best arguments against these views. Obviously I don’t have room to cover everything (this post is long enough as it is!), but there is plenty of information out there for those who are interested in learning more. I will put some links to further reading at the bottom of this article.Continue Reading

Philosophy - Plato and Aristotle

Contesting Christianity: Philosophical Arguments

As far as my experience has shown, philosophical arguments do not play a large role in the life of most believers. Most people seem to come to be a Christian either from growing up into a Christian family or through an intense emotional experience of “conversion”. Nevertheless, philosophical arguments for the existence of God and/or the truth of Christianity have a rich historical tradition, from Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo to Descartes and Kant. And while many philosophers have conceded that these arguments are ultimately unsuccessful, they still do have their supporters even today. So I’d like to take some time to examine a few of the most common philosophical arguments for God.Continue Reading

Praying hands

Contesting Christianity: Prayer and Miracles

Religion, Science · · 13 comments

Prayer and miracles are two more key aspects of Christianity. While it seems that the Christian faith could survive without these things, it would seem to be a pretty bland religion if it did. The efficacy of prayer is often touted in church services as evidence for the truth of Christianity. And miracles are a key element of some Christians’ defense of the faith as well. But do these arguments hold up to scrutiny? I would argue that they do not, and that the reason these arguments are used is because the individuals using them don’t adequately ask themselves what they might expect if God did not exist. Like any good scientist, in order to evaluate a hypothesis, we must establish what we would expect if the statement were true, and what we would expect if it were false. I am going to attempt to do just this in regard to prayer first, and then miracles, to determine whether these phenomena can reasonably be used as evidence of God’s existence.Continue Reading