CA19 The Euthyphro Dilemma



Are good actions commanded by God because they are good? Or are good actions good because God commands them? We discuss Euthyphro’s Dilemma, the apologists’ favored “third horn” solution, and revisit the Problem of Holiness.

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Euthyphro Dilemma [wiki]

William Lane Craig on Euthyphro [YouTube]

Apologist Matt Slick on Euthyphro [CARM]

TMM on Euthyphro [YouTube]

Hank Green on Divine Command Theory and Meta-Ethics [YouTube]


CA18 Moral Luck and Responsibility (Free Will pt. II)



If humans have no free will, can we assign praise or blame? Is it reasonable to condemn someone as immoral in a deterministic universe? We explore the concept of moral responsibility in a naturalistic world and distinguish between causal and moral responsibility. We also examine the problem of moral luck, which makes a case for determinism and against moral responsibility.

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Moral Luck by Thomas Nagel [PDF]

Compatibilism: Crash Course Philosophy [YouTube]

William Lane Craig on Moral Responsibility [YouTube]

Tumors and Behavior [The Atlantic]


CA17 Free Will and Determinism (pt. I)



Do we really have free will, or are we determined to think and behave as we do? Most Christian worldviews take it on as an assumption, but their conception of free will can’t be justified.

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Hank Green on Determinism [YouTube]

Free Will by Sam Harris [Amazon]

Sam Harris on Free Will [YouTube]

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee [Amazon]

Dan Harris and Sam Harris on Introspection [10% Happier Podcast]

Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart [PDF]

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


CA16 Is Religion Child Abuse?



There seems to be genuine disagreement within the atheist community over religion and child abuse. We’ll explore the nuances and examine the instances where religion appears to be responsible for child abuse. We’ll also discuss whether the intellectual roots of religious child abuse can be traced back to the Bible and justified therein.

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Atheist Experience on Religion as Child Abuse [YouTube]

Richard Dawkins in a Hell House [YouTube]

Richard Dawkins on Religious Child Abuse [YouTube]

Spare the Rod Article [NYT]

Child Beating Article [HuffPost]

Child Deaths Caused By Medical Denial [MassKids]

Laci Green Sex Ed [YouTube]

Abstinence-Only Sex Ed [Article]

Hitchens on Circumcision [YouTube]

WHO on Circumcision [Article]

Religious Exemptions for Abuse [Pew]


CA15 Faith



We discuss whether faith is a reliable foundation for belief. When arguments fail, believers often say that we just need to have faith. But is faith a valid way of knowing something?

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Matt Dillahunty on Faith

Steven Pinker on Epistemology

Richard Dawkins on Science

Jerry Coyne on Faith

“Living by Faith” (Hymn)


CA14 Creationism’s Greatest Hits — Defending Evolution



We address 20 common objections to evolution, give some evidence supporting the theory, and try to figure out why some Christians have a problem with evolution in the first place.

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Objections (in chronological order)

  1. Evolution is just a theory
  2. Why are there still monkeys?
  3. Why don’t chimpanzees give birth to humans?
  4. You weren’t there!
  5. Microevolution / Macroevolution
  6. Evolution has never been observed
  7. Evolution is unfalsifiable
  8. Genetics conflicts with evolution
  9. Mutations are always harmful
  10. Random chance couldn’t make an organism
  11. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
  12. The Cambrian Explosion
  13. Missing Links
  14. Carbon Dating
  15. Irreducible Complexity
  16. Bacterial Flagellum
  17. Abiogenesis
  18. DNA is a language
  19. Teach the controversy!
  20. Evolution leads to immorality

Science in the Soul and The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins [Amazon]

Finding Darwin’s God by Kenneth Miller [Amazon]

Richard Dawkins with a creationist [YouTube]

Scientific American on Creationism

Michael Russell on Abiogenesis

Popular Science on Abiogenesis

Most Recent Creationist Data on America from Gallup (2017)

TalkOrigins

Evolution FAQ

RationalWiki


CA13 Prayer Studies



Nothing fails like prayer! We examine prayer studies, try to figure out how prayer is supposed to work, and wonder why God is so shy now that everyone has video cameras in their pockets.

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Sean Carroll: From Particles to People


CA12 Argument From Miracles



Believers often point to miracle claims as validations of their religious beliefs. This argument is the basis for other popular apologetics regarding the resurrection of Jesus, the power of prayer, and famous anecdotes of miraculous events, so let’s examine the bare bones of the argument from miracles.

Thank you to everyone who’s been leaving reviews on Facebook and iTunes, I’ve been stunned at the kindness of all of you!

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Rationality Rules on Miracles


CA Halloween Special – The Satanic Panic



Get your pentagrams ready, because today we’re talking about the Satanic Panic, recovered memory, and the spirited debate in the Christian community over whether Jesus approves of Halloween.

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8bit Theme Music for this episode

Elizabeth Loftus on False Memory

Remembering Satan by Lawrence Wright

The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan (pgs. 136-168) was a huge resource for this episode.


CA11 Satan



We explore the history of Satan within Christianity and wonder why Satan exists in the first place. Why would God make a perfect plan and then create someone whose primary purpose is ruining it?

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Noah Lugeons interviews Chris Matheson

The Scathing Atheist

The Story of God by Chris Matheson

Atheist Experience

Barna Poll on Satan

Christian Apologist on Satan

Magic Tricks by Whalers

Hail Satan!


CA10 The Old Testament Doesn’t Count



Christians expend significant energy trying to distance themselves from the horrors of the Old Testament. Apologists often try to justify their diminishing or dismissing of the Old Testament’s authority by employing Covenant theology. We explore that idea along with other common arguments Christians use to ignore the bad parts of the Old Testament.

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Matt Dillahunty on the Old Testament


CA09 Darwinism, Eugenics, and Hitler



Does atheism inevitably lead to social Darwinism? Are atheists implicated in Nazi eugenics? We continue our discussion from last week’s episode into the territory of Darwinism, eugenics, Hitler, and whether atheists are able to morally condemn the events of the 20th century.

[Part II of II]

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CA08 Atheism and 20th Century Atrocities



Hitler! Stalin! Mao! Any lengthy debate with a Christian apologist seems to lead to those names. The idea, either stated explicitly or implicitly, is that atheism inevitably leads to war, genocide, and the crumbling of society. So were the bloody atrocities of the 20th century the logical result of the spread of atheism? Many Christian apologists seem to think that the death of God lead to the cruelties of the last century, but this idea doesn’t hold up to the slightest bit of scrutiny.

[Part I of II]

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CA07 Mother Teresa



Christians of all stripes love to bring up Mother Teresa. Even atheists will grant her as a moral beacon. Her humanitarian work was undeniable, wasn’t it? Actually, her work greatly increased the amount of poverty and suffering in the world and her reputation deserves to be exposed for what it is: a myth. Mother Teresa’s legacy lends credibility to religion as a moral authority, and that’s why the lie needs to be exposed.

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CA06 Problem of Holiness



What does it mean when we say that God is holy or morally good? Does it mean anything at all? We take a look at Jeremy Beahan’s Problem of Holiness and consider the possibility that God’s goodness may actually be meaningless.

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Jeremy Beahan on the Problem of Holiness


CA05 Biblical Prophecies



Many believers argue that Biblical prophecies have been fulfilled and that this needs to be accounted for. But how persuasive are these Biblical prophecies? And what would a prophecy look like if it was made by God? We take a look at the celebrated Ezekiel 26 prophecy, as well as prophecies regarding Jesus.

I also want to thank Noah Lugeons of the Scathing Atheist for giving me a shout out on their show, which lead to an influx of new listeners to Counter Apologetics. Hi new listeners! Unfortunately, I’m recording ahead of schedule and I won’t be able to give a proper thanks until next week. Until then, please support the incredible multipodcasting efforts of Noah, Heath, Eli, and Lucinda. They’re amazing.

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CA04 Hell



According to Pew data, 82% of America’s Evangelicals believe in Hell. However, the traditional conception of Hell falls apart under any amount of scrutiny and reveals the haphazard, man-made nature of the idea.

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CA03 Problem of Evil



The Problem of Evil! I discuss the most common defense, free will. Also, is heaven is full of lobotomized robots? I also discuss hell, animal suffering, eye burrowing insects, and why the logical POE maybe isn’t so bad after all.

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CA02 Abortion and the Afterlife



Do aborted fetuses go to heaven? If the answer is yes, then abortion might be the only guaranteed path to Heaven. Since the path to Heaven is straight and narrow, and most won’t make it, abortion may not be the evil that many Christians believe it is. The standard conservative Christian worldview may have a striking inconsistency when it comes to abortion and the afterlife.

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CA01 The Fine-Tuning Argument



The Fine Tuning Argument is considered by many to be the best argument apologists have to offer. So in the spirit of attacking theism at its best, here are a few reasons why I don’t accept the Fine Tuning Argument, or Teleological Argument, presented by the religious.

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Sean Carroll Debate

The Big Picture