Archives for September 2012

Three Amazingly Good Books

I am currently reading three amazingly good books. J.L. Schellenberg's, The Wisdom to DoubtColin Howson's, Objecting to GodHerman Philipse, God in the Age of Science? I can sum up all three books in one word: "Wow."If you are interested in the philosophy of religion (and, if you're reading this blog, you probably are), then you should run, not walk, to the nearest bookstore to get your own copies.If any theists read this post and are looking for a change of scenery from rehashing the problems … [Read more...]

Jesus Married?

So, Jesus was possibly married?;=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl3%7Csec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D207309 Wow. What would his home life have been like? I guess we are allowed to indulge our imaginations: "Well, Mr. Big Shot! Mr. 'Son of Man!' Out with "the boys" all night again, huh? That Peter calls himself a fisherman. He looks like he is fishing for free meals to me. And that hussy Magdalene! … [Read more...]

Anselm for Undergrads

I have lately had the unenviable task of trying to explain Anselm's ontological arguments to undergraduates. Over the years I have read many expositions of ontological arguments and many critiques. However, I had never sat down and gone through Anslem's arguments line-by-line. Now I have done so in an effort to make a hand-out that will, I hope, things more tolerable for my students. I enjoyed doing it and I found it an instructive and challenging exercise, and I am appending it below.There … [Read more...]

Prosblogion: Physicist Sean Carroll on God and Modern Physics

Kenny Pearce at Prosblogion comments on Sean Carroll's essay, "Does the Universe Need God?", which we linked to a couple of days ago.The article is a model of constructive dialog between philosophy and physics. Carroll shows engagement with the major philosophical arguments under discussion, and does not come off as condescending or dismissive. He also provides concise and helpful summaries of the relevant physics. Additionally, the article shows an admirable degree of epistemic humility, … [Read more...]

Open Question to Muslims

Let me preface this post by saying I know very little about Islam.After reading the news about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the U.S. embassy in Egypt, I'm really starting to wonder about how the attacks fit together with "mainstream" Islam. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here are the facts as I understand them.Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Christian who lives in  the U.S., made a movie which shows the prophet Muhammad having sex and calling for massacres. At the risk … [Read more...]

God’s Goodness and the Resurrection of Jesus

Most defenses of the resurrection of Jesus have focused on historical questions, for example:Q1. Was Jesus crucified in Jerusalem by Roman soldiers around 30 C.E.?Q2. Did Jesus die on the cross on the same day he was crucified?Q3. Was Jesus buried in a stone tomb on the evening of the day he was crucified?Q4. Was the tomb where Jesus' body was placed found empty on Sunday morning, about 36 hours after his body was removed from the cross?But the belief that Christians hold is not merely that some … [Read more...]

Eric Russert Kraemer’s Darwin’s Doubts and the Problem of Animal Pain

This paper interacts with (and appears to defend) Paul Draper's version of the evidential argument from evil, the argument from the biological role of pain and pleasure. From the introduction:  It is a truism that the influence of Darwin’s work on evolution is profound and ubiquitous. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the first chapter of Frans de Waal’s book, Good Natured, is entitled “Darwinian Dilemmas.” In this chapter, which sets the stage for his splendid discussion of observa … [Read more...]

Paul Draper’s Review of Goetz and Taliaferro’s Naturalism

There are many gems in this review; here is one.To begin with, the alleged advantage that metaphysical theists have because they attribute necessary existence to God is not real, since there is no more reason to believe that a concrete non-natural divine person can exist necessarily than there is to think that nature can exist necessarily. The ontological argument, almost everyone agrees, is a failure, and we cannot just "see" the necessity of the statement "God exists" in the way that we … [Read more...]