Atheism and Possibility

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. The concept of natural creative power (natura naturans) is found in both Wicca (where it is the ultimate deity) and in atheistic philosophers (who do not deify it).  Natural creative power is the ultimate immanent power of being; it is [Read More...]

Criticizing Wicca: Levels

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. Some statements are based on evidence, while others are not.  And there is evidence for the existence of some entity if and only if the existence of that entity is asserted in a statement that is based on evidence.  To [Read More...]

Some Naturalistic Ontology

This is a guest post by Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University. Over the next few posts, I’m going to do some heavy metaphysics.  So a bit of background is necessary.  An ontology is a taxonomy of categories (usually at a very high level of generality).   To avoid misunderstanding, the ontology I’m [Read More...]

If You Don’t Believe In Objective Values, Then Don’t Talk To Me About Objective Scientific Truth Either

I recently argued that when any of us act, we must act for reasons. When acting for reasons we must decide that the end we pursue is the best, most worthwhile, goal to pursue and that the action we take in order to achieve that goal is the most suitable one. I should also add [Read More...]

Defending Philosophy 1: A Reply To Dr. Coyne

A little Nietzsche to set the tone: Of the friend Our faith in others betrays wherein we would dearly like to have faith in ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer. And often with our love we only want to leap over envy. And often we attack and make an enemy in order [Read More...]

Some Explanations for Our Universe

by Eric Steinhart The following is a quick-and-dirty survey of the current literature on explanations of our universe: It is widely thought that our universe is highly unusual. It has certain features that make it lovely. Note that the term “lovely” is merely a term of art. It has no connotations beyond designating that our [Read More...]

An Example of Atheist Faith

by Eric Steinhart Here’s a nice statement of atheistic faith by Carl Sagan: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” (1980: 1). Such a statement is as faith-based as any statement in the Bible or in Christian theology. After all, it’s just a mirror-image of the statement that God [Read More...]

Evolutionary Metaphysics is not Faith

by Eric Steinhart I’ve advanced this thesis in some previous posts: every question that used to be answered by appealing to God can be answered better by appealing to some form of evolution. It’s hard for me to understand why that slogan would be a matter of faith. The fact that some thesis is speculative [Read More...]

Why Atheists are Obligated to Hold Positive Speculative Beliefs

by Eric Steinhart Many atheists come to atheism through skepticism. And sometimes that skepticism is radical. It’s hostile to anything that doesn’t meet the alleged standards of our best science. It’s hostile to any theory that is merely speculative. Of course, to be consistent, these radical skeptics ought to apply their skepticism to themselves. If [Read More...]