Monday, March 25, 2013

Law Wars: A Muslim Student Challenges Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias
Cover of Ravi Zacharias
Is Islam superior to Christianity because it lays out detailed rules for every aspect of life? Is "Love your neighbor" simply too nebulous? Did Jesus wipe out Judaic law and in doing so wipe out a good thing?

A Muslim Student Challenges Ravi Zacharias -- worth a look.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Lost Atheist: Thomas Nagel's "Cosmic Authority Problem"

Atheist-No-Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A committed atheist wanders off the materialistic reservation and gets smacked-down by fellow tribesmen. What a read!

It's a review in The Weekly Standard of atheist Thomas Nagel's new book Mind and Cosmos with its provocative sub-title: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.

It says some things I've been saying for years (just does it 10X better). One is that materialistic atheism -- because atheism is our day and age is materialistic --  is unlivable and nobody behaves like a materialistic atheist in practice.
Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath. 
Another is that when the atheist "kills" God, he kills himself, by which I mean one loses access to what makes us truly human -- the authenticity and reality of noble ideals, aspirations, love, hopes, dreams, etc. We are nothing more than animals scavenging for survival, the product of nothing more than cosmic burps, of no more value or significance than a rock or potato. Yet this contradicts deeply held intuitions about ourselves, intuitions upon which, e.g., the entire Western human rights apparatus has been built.

Nagel's depiction of the philosophically committed materialist-scientist sticking to his beliefs in the face of the evidence before us -- the primary evidence being "us" -- reminds me of the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy or whoever it is pulls back the curtain on the Wizard. All huff and bluff!

His explanation for this? A "cosmic authority problem".

“The priority given to evolutionary naturalism in the face of its implausible conclusions,” he writes, “is due, I think, to the secular consensus that this is the only form of external understanding of ourselves that provides an alternative to theism.”.... 
He calls this intellectual tic “fear of religion.” .... 
“I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear,” he wrote not long ago in an essay called “Evolutionary Naturalism and the Fear of Religion.” “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.” 
Nagel believes this “cosmic authority problem” is widely shared among intellectuals, and I believe him. It accounts for the stubbornness with which they cling to materialism—and for the hostility that greets an intellectual who starts to wander off from the herd. Materialism must be true because it “liberates us from religion.” 

The article even references my favorite philosophers, Ed Feser and Alvin Plantinga.

The question atheists must ask about Thomas Nagel, who has wandered so far from the materialistic fold, is this: Can Thomas Nagel be saved?

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Breaking: BallBounces World Exclusive -- New Pope Named!!!!!

We have a new Pope.

In a world exclusive, the BallBounces reveals his name to the world.

It is, reliable sources tell us, Habemus Papam.

We wish Habemus all the best.

We are told that growing up the beloved Habemus was known by all as "Honest Habe".

And that's the way the papal Ball bounces.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Florida's Hairy-Legged Females

Who wants to go to the beach and be confronted with hairy-legged females? Call me a chauvinist, but I say Florida's hairy-legged females bite.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Giant Mutant Arctic Camel Latest Result Of Global Warming !!!!!!!

Camel (Photo credit: @Doug88888)
This should give Al Gore lots of ammunition. Do we really want hordes of giant mutant camels coming down from the Arctic defoiling our beautiful southern Canada neighborhoods, scavenging for, er, camel food, defecating, and terrorizing our maidens? Well, do we???!!!

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the photo on the right remind you of someone, in a self-satisfied Al-Gorish just-nailed-a-big-money-deal kind of way?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Civilization: In Praise of the West

I recently needed some hospital treatment and marvelled at the cooperative, coordinated nature of Western culture that brings us modern healthcare. Ben Stein offers a similar sentiment here:
I really cannot get over that I can just open the fridge, take out a bag, get a fresh, delicious bagel, put it in a little shiny box and a minute later it comes out all toasty and brown. Then I can open the fridge again, get out perfectly fresh butter, apply it to the bagel, and enjoy it.
When I think of the work that the farmer has to do to get the wheat, that the utility has to do to get the electricity, that the coal company has to do to get the fuel to run the generators—it’s all a miracle.
This analysis does not even include where the steel comes from, where the eggs come from, where the tile on the counter comes from—or where I come from.
You think you're a rugged, independent, stand-alone Western individual? Better put down that bagel.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Great Balls Of, er, Ice!

Massive ice balls attracting attention along Lake Michigan.

Reminds me of that old Jerry Lee number (Canadian release):
My nails are blue and I'm freezin' my thumbs
Out in the cold but it sure is fun
C'mon baby, you drive me crazy
Goodness gracious great balls of ice!
And that's the way the frozen Ball bounces.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"