Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

So it’s the end of the year which means it’s time for a review. I didn’t get all I wanted to get done this year, but I’ve had some notable moments.

One article I am proud of is Disproof of Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven. For those who don’t know, Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon who claimed the following. He was in a coma induced by bacterial meningitis that left him with an all-but-destroyed brain. As such, while in this coma he was incapable of hallucinating or dreaming what he experienced: a trip to heaven. Eben Alexander also had some memories of surrounding events while he was in his coma. As you might expect, this story is baloney. I picked some juicy tidbits of one journalistic investigation exposing this fraud but I also did some of my own research that suggests some interesting and fairly shady things about Eben Alexander.

Another big thing is my series on William Lane Craig versus Rosenberg. An atheist philosopher Alex Rosenberg debated Christian philosopher William Lane Craig over whether faith in God is reasonable. I’ve complained in the past about how atheists screw up royally in presenting the case for atheism in debates against the likes of William Lane Craig, and in this series I painstakingly examine what Rosenberg did, what he did wrong, and how he could have done better. I have (possibly vain) hope that this will help atheists do better in debates against Craig.

So those are the two big ones. Other stuff:

  • I attacked William Lane Craig’s infamous kalam cosmological argument.
  • I argued for the presumption of atheism, mentioning one bad but tempting way to argue for it and giving a much better way to argue for it.
  • Who Goes to Heaven and Hell? Here I debunk theory after theory (e.g. only those who believe in Jesus get to heaven, the rest go to hell) a religious person might believe, while also noting a more general problem.
  • William Lane Craig’s Concession: Atheism is Not Implausible. Yep, pretty much what the title says. It's a notable concession for someone who has been arguing against it for decades.
  • Are Debates Worthwhile? Some atheists think that atheism versus theism debates (of the structured, public sort that William Lane Craig participates in) are not worthwhile. Is that true?
  • Why doesn’t God heal amputees? Lots of supposed miracles have been claimed, but amputees getting their limbs back? Not so much. Here I give some insight as to why this sort of miracle (and non-miracle) assertion pattern has occurred. A related article is Bad Timing, discussing the when-you-think-about-it odd choice for God when would choose to use his supernatural fireworks.
  • Apologetics for Genocide. William Lane Craig has earned some notoriety for defending the genocide depicted in the Bible. Richard Dawkins gave a response to this that was surprisingly bad, so I gave a better one, arguing that deep down Christians know that if God exists he is not like the deity depicted in the Old Testament.
  • Lastly, I countered the objection one Christian minister launched against atheism, the old “You can’t prove a negative” claim to explain why this oft-repeated nonsense is, well, nonsense.

So, yeah. I hope to do even more next year to advance reason and intelligently argue for atheism. Have a happy and logical new year everyone!