I’m still here

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my most recent post. That’s a benchmark I’m not particularly proud of, and I figured I better publish something to show that I’m still alive and haven’t completely abandoned the blog. I remain quite interested in the topics and discussions in the “God debate”, but I guess the kinds of inquiries that lead to posts on this blog just don’t have the same priority for me as they did in previous years. I used to routinely encounter new data, or arguments, or evidence that caught my attention and inspired me to write about it. Those kinds of revelations seem to be fewer and farther between these days, and swamped by the rest of life’s goings on. But occasionally items still do crop up that intrigue me enough to engage in some dialogue, so I figured I could put something potentially interesting in this post by recapping a few of those engagements over the past year.

Last September there was a nice exchange between Ben Watkins and Mike Almeida on Capturing Christianity about the positive arguments for atheism (see Part 1 and Part 2). I was inspired to offer my own two cents, but nothing came of that. Regardless, I think the exchange is well worth a read.

I spent a little time probing the foundations of Thomistic metaphysics with a couple bloggers that were defending that view. See here and here. I’m not sure that I’m any closer to really making sense of that perspective.

The Amatuer Exegete endorsed my interpretation of Daniel’s 70 Weeks. It was nice to receive some additional validation on that. About the same time the Skeptics and Seekers podcast did a series on messianic prophecies which included Daniel’s 70 weeks. I shared a few more thoughts there, but Dale’s comments were deleted so the conversation doesn’t really flow if you read it now.

structureoftruth was kind enough to send me the spreadsheet he used for his “Why I Can’t Be An Atheist” post. My intention was to plug in my own numbers and see what happens (teaser – I have done that) but so far I have only drafted a fraction of a post. That will probably be the next ‘real’ post on this blog.

The Scientific Christian critiqued Tim O’Neill’s response on Quora regarding the resurrection narrative, and I suggested that he was misinterpreting some of Tim’s claims. I learned a few things and I think we were able to clarify some of the claims in Tim’s article.

Eric (unklee) wrote a piece about free will that led to a rather substantial exchange in which I defended the viability of compatibilism. This ended up spilling over into a 2nd post by Eric, where the discussion reached an impasse fairly quickly – but at least I helped him fix his problem with disappearing comments! I’d be interested in hearing any outside opinions on my defense of compatibilism.

Dale, co-host of the Skeptics and Seekers podcast, published a solo series defending substance dualism, which included a modal argument that I hadn’t previously encountered. In the course of our subsequent discussion, I discovered the philosophical concepts of “transworld identity” and “counterpart theory”. What do you think is the best interpretation of modal identity?

Last but not least, Joe has been pretty active lately publishing new posts on his True and Reasonable blog. I’ve interacted with him on several of those (one of which is still an active thread – I’ll get back to you soon Joe), with the discussion largely focused on the implications of moral anti-realism.

I hope you find that something I’ve linked here was worth reading and gets you thinking. I really do want to publish more than one post a year going forward, but I’m not making any promises or setting goals in that regard. That hasn’t worked out in the past. So we’ll just see what happens. As always, please leave a comment if there’s anything you’d like to discuss.