A Scientific Question? Part 2

Is the question “Does God exist?” a scientific question? I don’t know about you, but this topic is giving me déjà vu all over again. This is basically the question that was posed by Logical Positivists early in the twentieth century, and they in turn were following in the footsteps of David Hume, basically updating and clarifying “Hume’s Fork” from his An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, first published in 1772:When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what … [Read more...]

Best philosophy of religion books since 2000?

An old Prosblogion post asks its readers to name the top ten (or so) philosophy of religion books since 2000. I'm curious what readers here think. Which books do you think have made the greatest contribution to the subject since then? Note that I'm not necessarily asking which books you think have been the most influential within the professional field of philosophy of religion—if you think a book disregarded by the academy has made a real contribution to the subject itself, by all means list … [Read more...]

A Scientific Question? Part 1

The question “Does God exist?” has generally been considered to be a philosophical question. It has, in fact, generally been considered to be a paradigm case of a philosophical question.However, some people believe that science has much to contribute towards answering this question, and many people believe that philosophy has not only failed to provide an answer to this question, but that there is little or no hope that philosophy will provide an answer to this question in the coming … [Read more...]

Joylessness or family values?

Here's a photo that's a part of a story run by The Daily Mail, "The Talibanisation of British childhood by hardline parents":The caption: Joyless: A Muslim family stay covered up as the[y] bathe on a British beach.The "joyless" assumption is understandable. After all, they're all wrapped up in clothes that restrict movement; such clothes hardly seem appropriate attire for frolicking around on a beach. Determined to follow religious rules, they deny themselves the pleasures of running and … [Read more...]

Conservatism in philosophy

Here's a quotation from a piece by Gary Gutting, a philosopher of religion, as a prelude to a defense of faith:. . . when philosophers disagree it is only about specific aspects of the most subtle and sophisticated versions of arguments for and against God’s existence (for example, my colleague Alvin Plantinga’s modal-logic formulation of St. Anselm’s ontological argument or William Rowe’s complex version of a probabilistic argument from evil). There is no disagreement among philosophers … [Read more...]

Freedom to offend

Like many nonbelievers, I find some aspects of religion absurd, even ridiculous. Sometimes the most appropriate response seems to be satire. I want to ridicule the bastards. If Catholic bishops enable child molestation while prancing around as "reverend fathers," blaspheme them and their religion. If Muslim leaders demand obsequious respect toward their ignorant prophet, draw and publish Muhammad cartoons.Now, if pious and upright people get all pissed off at this, that doesn't overly bother me. … [Read more...]


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