Archives for January 2013

The Perfect Goodness of God – Again

I have been struggling for weeks to try to re-state Richard Swinburne's argument concerning the coherence of the idea of there being a perfectly good person (from Chapter 11 of The Coherence of Theism, hereafter: COT). I think I can now at least point the way as to how to do this. The overarching argument goes like this:1. The statement 'There is a perfectly free and omniscient person' is a coherent statement. 2. The statement 'There is a perfectly free and omniscient person' entails the … [Read more...]

Cat: Jewish Zombie can make you live forever?

HT: … [Read more...]

Religious Belief Systems of Persons with High Functioning Autism

Abstract:The cognitive science of religion is a new field which explains religious belief as emerging from normal cognitive processes such as inferring others' mental states, agency detection and imposing patterns on noise. This paper investigates the proposal that individual differences in belief will reflect cognitive processing styles, with high functioning autism being an extreme style that will predispose towards nonbelief (atheism and agnosticism). This view was supported by content … [Read more...]

Christianity Today’s Review of Susan Jacoby’s The Great Agnostic

I haven't read Jacoby's book, but Christianity Today's review strikes me as a sympathetic if somewhat critical review.LINK … [Read more...]

Petition about Boy Scouts Atheism Ban

The Boy Scouts of America is in the news again because it is apparently reconsidering its ban on homosexuals. Since their discrimination against nontheists doesn't seem to get nearly as much attention, I wanted to use this opportunity to remind Secular Outpost readers of the petition to the BSA to stop their ban on atheists from being members. If you haven't already signed the petition, please do so! … [Read more...]

Feser Insults (Insulted?) Parsons Again

If Edward Feser is not yet the JP Holding of theistic philosophers, he seems to be well on his way. I don't always read his blog, but his latest item caught my attention."God and Man at HuffPro"In that brief article, he links to this older article:"So you think you understand the cosmological argument?"I hadn't seen that article before. In it, he makes the following statement, "Like every other academic field, philosophy of religion has its share of hacks and … [Read more...]

Hillarious Summary of the Argument from Shotgun Weddings Against Same-Sex Marriage

Over at Preliator pro Causa, Joe McKen presents a hillarious summary of what has to be one of the absolute worst arguments ever made against same-sex marriage.Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can "produce unplanned and unintended offspring," opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, "substantial advance planning is required," said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House … [Read more...]

An Argument Against Moral Facts

In a seminar on Metaethics (h/t John Brunero) , I encountered an argument against moral facts that I hadn't heard before. Here is a brief sketch: (1) We're justified in believing in some fact only if it plays a role in the explanation of our observations and other non-moral facts. (2) Moral facts don't play this role. ... (3) We are not justified in believing moral facts. In order to motivate (1), we can appeal to some flavors of naturalism. Many will argue that a completed science will … [Read more...]