Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

Where a recovering ex-atheist skewers things with a sharp two-edged sword

Thorny problems with Molinism #3: the theological grounding objection

Molinism removes the metaphysical machinery that underwrites God’s knowledge of free actions (i.e., his knowing what he will cause), but does not replace it with anything. Thus, middle knowledge is a just-so story; an assertion we are supposed to accept “because reasons.” Only…there are no reasons.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #2: the demonstrable falsehood of its governing intuition

The Molinist’s governing intuition is that people can’t be responsible for choices which (i) do not ultimately originate in their own wills or (ii) where they could not have done otherwise. This intuition is flatly contradicted by Jesus in John 6:44; so Molinism should be rejected as false.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #1: doing theology backwards

Molinism as a system begins with human intuitions about responsibility, and then reads these back into God’s word; rather than beginning with God’s word, and conforming our intuitions to it. In this regard it is no different than any other man-made religion.

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What is love? Part 1: how to find the right answer

What does it mean that God is love, that he loves us, and that we are to love him? In part 1, I explain how we should approach this question, and why.

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TROPE: a useful mnemonic for apologists

If you have trouble remembering (or sticking to) the most important issues when witnessing, this may help.

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Skeptics and the Dunning-Kruger effect

“…people are unaware of their incompetence, innocent of their ignorance. Where they lack skill or knowledge, they greatly overestimate their expertise and talent, thinking they are doing just fine when, in fact, they are doing quite poorly.”

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Was Jesus a guru? (Part 3)

What if his message got lost in transmission?

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Was Jesus a guru? (Part 2)

Is there not some hubris in thinking that, when reading a translation of a text, you have picked up on something which two millennia’s worth of its most adept students failed to notice in the original languages?

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Was Jesus a guru? (Part 1)

Some people think so, and they quote Jesus himself in support of the idea.

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Did all great religious figures share the same mystical experience?

The only way to know for sure is to ask them…

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Thorny problems with karma #6: free will

If karma decides how we should act toward other people based on their karmic debt, how can our actions really be free?

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Thorny problems with karma #5: the sustainability paradox

Even assuming karma can get started in the first place, how does it keep going while still letting off enough steam to allow everyone to eventually escape?

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Thorny problems with karma #4: the bootstrap paradox

How did the whole system of karma get started in the first place, without violating its own rules, or requiring an infinite number of people or infinite amount of time?

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3 reasons atheists should treat morality as superstitious nonsense

Atheists have been complacently borrowing Christian ideas about morality for too long. It’s time for that to end, along with Christianity itself.

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Why belief in God casts doubt on all atheistic beliefs

If fundamental and widely-held beliefs are selected by evolution not because they are true, but rather because their falsehood confers a survival advantage, shouldn’t we expect any and all beliefs (including scientific and atheistic ones) to be possibly false in the same way?

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Freedom & virtue: coping mechanisms for atheists

Are atheists two-faced for criticizing religious belief as a “crutch”, when they themselves believe in a purely physical universe that includes freedom and virtue?

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Thorny problems with karma #3: charity is selfish and inconsiderate

Why should we take karmic worldviews seriously when they encourage cruelty and indifference over charity and mercy, and have produced the most backward, poverty-stricken cultures in the world?

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Thorny problems with karma #2: who sets the rules?

If karma is basically a system for balancing your morally bad choices, who exactly is it that makes the moral rules you must follow?

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Thorny problems with karma #1: what makes it tick?

Is karma a process which must be intelligently guided? If so, who does the guiding?

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Useful thoughts for debating abortionists

A scattering of helpful ideas for anyone who has to debate the issue of abortion.

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Was the atonement wasted if God chooses who to save?

A response to the common intuition that, under Calvinism, Jesus’s suffering was wasted for all those who God did not choose to save.

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4 reasons the consent argument for abortion is sociopathic

The consent argument is the most popular and vigorously-defended way for pro-abortionists to show that abortion is ethically justified—and that the abolitionist position is unreasonable. But what if their argument trades on hidden ethical concessions that, in any other situation, we’d think were psychopathic?

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Why abortion is irrefutably equivalent to murder

A simple 3-step argument that anyone can understand, showing that abortion is morally identical to murder.

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Rome: “Catholics adore the one God, Allah”

A quick little argument showing how, on Rome’s own terms, Catholics believe that God’s secret identity is Allah.

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On the atonement, part 6: unlimited satisfaction fails to actually accomplish redemption for anyone

Part 6 of 6, in which I consider and confute the objection that an unlimited satisfaction would not actually secure or guarantee salvation for anyone.

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On the atonement, part 5: universal salvation, or double payment

Part 5 of 6, in which I refute the objection that unlimited satisfaction entails either universal salvation, or a double payment for sins.

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On the atonement, part 4: God’s desires frustrated?

Part 4 of 6, in which I interact with the objection that unlimited satisfaction requires that God be at cross-purposes with himself, entertaining frustrated desires which he cannot fulfill.

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Whence Cometh Value?

An argument undercutting non-theistic attempts to defend their value systems, by demonstrating that value itself is incoherent in a universe without God.

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The Magisterial Cypher

The sad story of a Catholic layman named Juan; a dedicated believer and amateur theologian, who gradually comes to realize that, as one of the laity, he is no more able to understand his religion than the peasants of the middle ages.

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Education and child abuse

A critical response to the accusation that teaching children beliefs which contradict secular science is a form of child abuse. This post is a reply to Ken Perrott’s article ‘”Biblically correct” child abuse?’

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On the Pope, the Catholic Church, and Islam

This is the inaugural post for my blog: the post which I felt compelled to write in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s placatory comments toward Islam, in which he affirmed that the Roman Catholic Church respects Muslims, and worships the same God that they do.

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