Are Moral Truths Are a Product of Individual Belief?

For many of us, the transcendent, objective nature of moral truth seems rather self-evident. To “super-size” the point, all of us would agree it’s never morally acceptable to torture babies for the fun of it. For that matter, it’s never morally acceptable to torture anyone for the fun of it. This is a transcendent, objective moral truth claim; it applies to all of us, regardless of who we are, where we are on the planet, or when we’ve lived in history.

There are many similar transcendent, objective moral truths, even though groups often try to justify their seemingly immoral behaviors. In California, for example, there are several legal justifications for homicide. Police officers can use whatever force necessary—including deadly force—to overcome lethal resistance or to apprehend certain kinds of felons. Citizens can use whatever force is necessary—including deadly force—to stop a life-threatening attack or to protect the life of an innocent person. These are considered justified homicides (as opposed to unjustified homicides known as “murders”).

continue reading

Would A “Loving” God Allow Anything Bad to Happen to His Creation?

The “problem of evil” is often cited by unbelievers when they explain their disbelief: How could an all-powerful, all-loving God allow His created children to experience pain and suffering? In my latest book, God’s Crime Scene, I examine the problem of evil as one of eight pieces of evidence in the universe. Evil is often cited as a form of exculpating evidence, eliminating the reasonable inference of God’s existence. An ancient form of the problem is sometimes attributed to Epicurus:

continue reading

Can Evolution Explain the Appearance of Design in Biology?

evolutionThe “appearance of design” in biological organisms is rather uncontroversial, even amongst atheists who reject the existence of a Designer. Richard Dawkins would be the first to agree: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Many other scientists affirm this observation and extend it to include the larger ecosystems in which many symbiotic organisms are dependent on one another for their survival. Smith College professor of biological sciences, Robert Dorit says, “The apparent fit between organisms seems to suggest some higher intelligence at work, some supervisory gardener bringing harmony and color to the garden.” For scientists looking for an explanation within the “garden” to avoid the inference of an external “supervisory gardener,” this appearance of design is difficult to explain.

continue reading

Can We Eliminate the Problem of Free Will By Redefining It?

Free agency presents a problem for atheistic naturalists who try to explain it from “inside the room” of the natural universe. In my book, God’s Crime Scene, I examine eight pieces of evidence in the universe to determine if the best explanation for these evidences are found “inside” or “outside” the “room”. Free agency is one of the eight evidences I investigate. Materialistic atheists must address an important dilemma: according to their worldview, we live in a physical universe in which natural laws act on matter over time, yet we have the persistent, practical experience of making what appear to be free choices as we love, reason and make moral judgments. We also condemn or praise each other as though our choices and decisions are our own. How are we to reconcile the material, deterministic nature of the universe with our own experience of free will and responsibility?
continue reading

What Does God Look Like?

I’ve been thinking about God lately, but not like I usually do. Normally I think about who God is, what He does, what He has written, that kind of stuff. But lately I’ve been thinking about what God looks like. I know, you’re not supposed to do that.

Besides that commandment about not making an image of God in any form, the Bible tells us God is spirit, so there’s no physicality to Him. All of the talk in Scripture about God’s eyes, feet, hands, arms, etc. are anthropomorphisms. It’s the writers applying human traits to God so we better understand Him. But in no way is that to suggest that God has a physical body. Still, we humans can’t help but try to imagine what God looks like. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Artists have been portraying God for centuries, the most famous being Michelangelo’s gigantic creation painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, where God’s finger is touching Adam’s finger. God is old and white-haired and pretty buff.

continue reading

Yet Another Way the Existence of Consciousness Demonstrates the Existence of God

Can atheistic naturalism explain the existence of consciousness? I don’t think so, and in my book, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold Case Detective Examines the Evidence for A Divinely Created Universe, I illustrate the problem naturalism has trying to account for the mind from “inside the room” of the natural universe. There’s a reason why atheist philosophers have labeled the topic, “The Problem of Mind” or “The Mind / Body Problem”. Atheistic materialism simply cannot offer an adequate explanation for the existence of consciousness, even though this single feature of our existence is perhaps the most obvious and commonly experienced. How does immaterial consciousness emerge in an entirely material universe governed by nothing more than space, time, matter and the laws of physics and chemistry?

continue reading

The Problem of Evil Is Often A Problem of Understanding

In God’s Crime Scene, I make a robust cumulative case for the existence of God from eight pieces of evidence in the universe. Evidence that points toward a particular conclusion (or suspect) is described as inculpating evidence, and evidence that points away from the same conclusion (or suspect) is called exculpating evidence. Given the abundance of inculpating evidence pointing to a Divine Creator (as described in God’s Crime Scene), it’s reasonable to conclude this is the best explanation for the first cause of the universe. But many believe the existence of evil presents a problem for our case. While evil is only a single piece of exculpating evidence relative to the many other inculpating evidences we’ve discovered, it is not an insignificant piece of data. Professor of Metaphysics, Robin Le Poidevin, describes the problem in the following way:

continue reading

Yet Another Reason to Believe Our Finite Universe Points to the Existence of God

If our universe had a beginning (if all space, time and matter came into existence from nothing), it is a finite universe. If our universe is finite (if it isn’t eternally old), we are obligated to look for its first cause, given the Principle of Causality (which affirms the fact that every effect, everything that begins, everything that is finite, and everything that is limited has a cause). But what kind of cause could account for the beginning of all space, time and matter? This kind of cause would, by necessity and definition, be an uncaused, non-spatial, a-temporal and non-material first cause. Sounds a lot like God, doesn’t it?
continue reading

Why the Information in Our DNA Points to the Existence of God

The more we learn about the origin of life in our universe, the more reasonable the case for God’s existence. The building blocks of life (proteins, ribosomes, enzymes etc.) are formed at the direction of specific nucleotide sequencing in DNA, the largest molecule known. In humans, DNA contains as many as 10 billion atoms. The adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine bases in DNA are linked in a particular order to form the genetic code containing the master plan for every organism. The information in DNA guides and instructs the formation of proteins; without it, protein formation would be a haphazard, hit-or-miss proposal. The nucleic sequence in DNA is informational.
continue reading

A 7 Day Bible Reading Plan to Help You Study the Evidence for God

When I first began investigating the reliability of the New Testament Gospels, I found myself at an important philosophical crossroads. As I employed my skills as a cold-case detective to the claims of the gospel eyewitnesses, I grew increasingly confident in their trustworthy nature. The four-part template I typically used to assess eyewitnesses was particularly helpful in this regard. The gospels passed in every aspect of my testing (this investigative journey is chronicled in Cold-Case Christianity). But I still had a problem. Although I was convinced the authors were truly present to see what they reported (or like Luke and Mark, had access to those who were truly present), could be corroborated by outside evidence, hadn’t been altered over the years and were free of bias, I was still dismissive of the supernatural elements present in the accounts. I rejected the claims of miraculous healings and deeds, and I certainly denied the Resurrection of Jesus. As an atheist and philosophical naturalist, I believed the Gospels were a form of historical fiction; a fanciful work rooted in a few historical truths. At this point in my investigation, I decided to take one last additional step. I decided to investigate my own philosophical naturalism.

continue reading
Syndicate content

Bloggers in Belief


Sign-up for the Newsletter
Sign-up for the Newsletter
Get the latest updates on relevant news topics, engaging blogs and new site features. We're not annoying about it, so don't worry.