Craig on Philo

First, sorry I have been away from S.O. for so long. Very busy. Anyway, I just noticed a small thing that I should probably ignore, but it irks me sufficiently that I am going to vent. In a footnote to his article “Theistic Critiques of Atheism,” in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, edited by Michael Martin, Craig makes a few passing remarks about the philosophical journal Philo, of which I was the founding editor. Craig contends that in academe, atheism is a philosophy in full retreat, with theists increasingly dominating discussion in the philosophy of religion. He sees Philo as a case in point: “A sign of the times: Philo itself, unable to succeed as a secular organ, has now become a journal for the general philosophy of religion.” Actually, Craig is himself being a bit of an organ in this passage, so let me clear the air.

was originally meant to be the journal of the Society of Humanist Philosophers, but our aim was never to exclude contributions by theists. Allow me to quote some of my comments from the first issue of Philo:

“The purpose of Philo, is quite simply, to provide a single source for the best peer-reviewed articles by nontheist philosophers on topics relating to the philosophy of religion and religious apologetics...This does not mean that editorial policy will exclude articles by theists; our policy is to publish the best articles we receive. However, we aim to become recognized as the source for the highest quality writings by the most distinguished nontheist philosophers. In this sense we aim to make our journal the counter part of Faith and Philosophy [the journal published by The Society of Christian Philosophers].”

Though Philo is no longer associated with the Society of Humanist Philosophers, it continues to publish critiques of theistic claims by leading nontheist philosophers, such as Quentin Smith, Graham Oppy, and Richard Carrier. Many articles by less well-known writers contain incisive critiques of theistic arguments and Christian doctrines. In short, Philo continues to do pretty much what I hoped it would do when we started it. It was no more intended as a propagandistic “organ” than Faith and Philosophy and probably less so than Philosophia Christi.

I guess one of the many differences between myself and William Lane Craig, for which I am duly grateful, is that I do not consider it a defeat to have helped found a forum for the expression of views other than my own.

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