Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I was on Atheist Hangouts

Work and family life has been pretty crazy lately, so I'm a bit late in putting this up here for general sharing, especially since it's not hosted on my YouTube channel. 

I was on an Atheist Hangout hosted by Gamma Atheist last Thursday night.  It was a mock debate with Karlton George.

I have to say it was an absolute blast, and I really enjoyed interacting with Karl.  He's an apostate like me, and his former apologist credentials are absolutely spot on.  He was throwing out stuff so hard and fast on the first real exchange we had where he played the apologist that I come across as completely flummoxed.

I didn't do so well when trying to play the apologist in terms of free will, I just don't get their arguments there quite as well as I should.

I do want to thank Dave for hosting and having me on.  He does a TON of these hangouts and they're a good time, so check out his website and his YouTube channel.

There was a funny aside from all this.  I actually got on the Hangout all early to talk to Dave, prepped with a healthy glass of wine, and when I saw how messy my basement was with my wife making Halloween costumes, I was going to hang up a blanket to hide the basement. Well doing that, I moved over a empty DVD case, which then fell over when I turned around and completely shattered the glass my wine was in. 

I was lucky that this was early, I ended up ruining my keyboard and had to act fast to get the glass and wine cleaned up in about a 10 foot radius around everything.  I'm just lucky the wine didn't really get into my gaming computer and the server that sits right underneath it.  Dave probably got a good chuckle at the level of cursing going on after getting over the shock. :P 

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Quiverfull movement and Skeptical Theism

The latest Reasonable Doubts series with Vyckie Garrison (who blogs at No Longer Quivering) is really compelling because her story is so painful, but because things seem to have worked out well in the end for her and her children. 

Her interview in RD Episode 119 where she started talking about “spiritual abuse” it struck me as being related to a counter-apologetic argument – the idea that skeptical theism leads to moral paralysis

This seems to be a very real instantiation of that argument playing out in real life, much to the detriment of Vyckie and other women like her in the Quiverfull movement.

For those that don’t know Skeptical Theism is the idea that humans have such a large chasm of knowledge between themselves and the mind of an infinite god that they should not expect to know what reasons god has to permit evils to obtain some greater good. 

The argument is that such a view would lead to moral paralysis because on this view, we don’t know whether or not any given evil that we seemingly come across is being used by god to fulfill a greater good. So if we were to come across an instance of evil (like say a mugging), we wouldn't know whether or not to intervene or otherwise act on our moral intuitions because the mugging may be part of gods greater plan.

This relates directly to Vyckie’s account of “spiritual abuse” where she internalizes the problems with her marriage and the problems with her children that came about as a result of following what she thought was “god’s plan” for the family.  When she speaks about recognizing opportunities to object to or escape the Quiverful doctrine she wouldn’t do so, because she would think “what if god needs me here to intervene in the life of my husband/child/etc.” 

It seems to be a terrible real life instantiation of the epistemic problems that would plague someone who took the skeptical theist answer to the problem of evil seriously and consistently.  I think this is significant because the kinds of problems that pop up in the Quiverfull movement would probably be acknowledged as problems by more progressive or moderate Evangelical Christians.  The issue for them is they would then have to deal with the epistemic problem that arises from the skeptical theism view that the people in the Quiverfull movement take so seriously.

I’d even start to wonder if people in the Quiverfull movement go to such extreme lengths because they take the epistemic issues brought up by their views on the bible so seriously.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I was on the "A Matter of Doubt" Podcast!

I was on the A Matter of Doubt podcast this weekend, and you can listen to it right here.

It was a really fun time and we had a great discussion about the argument from hell and we dug deep down into the problems with the moral argument. I was really happy to discuss this stuff since it's what I've been working on for months as my next big series.

I want to thank Brian and Steve for having me on their show.  A Matterof Doubt is definitely a good podcast to add into your rotation if you're a podcast junkie like I am.