Critical Thinking and Skepticism – Part 2

Based on a quick review of Michael Shermer's key statements about skepticism (A Brief Introduction, and  A Skeptical Manifesto)  there appear to be at least two general principles of rational skepticism:GP1. Be open-minded, not closed-minded or dogmatic.GP2. Be discriminating about believing claims, theories, and viewpoints, not gullible and credulous.In my previous post on this subject (Critical Thinking and Skepticism), I argued that Critical Thinking provides a necessary framework … [Read more...]

Critical Thinking and Skepticism

In a recent post advocating the end of Philosophy of Religion, John Loftus commented that PoR classes are often taught with the primary goal of teaching students to think critically,  and he objected that "Teaching students to be critical thinkers is very important but teaching them to have a skeptical disposition is more important."I would argue, however, that (a) skepticism is good and rational only to the extent that it arises out of critical thinking and conforms to the principles and sta … [Read more...]

The End of PoR – Part 2

John Loftus has begun laying out his views on PoR in greater detail on his website.  I'm going to comment on a few key points that he makes in a recent post: What Exactly is My Proposal For Ending the Philosophy Of Religion Discipline in Secular Universities? It will probably take me a few posts to cover a few points made by Loftus. First,  I will discuss some points by Loftus that relate PoR to critical thinking.I have a special interest and background in critical thinking.My first c … [Read more...]

One Problem with Swinburne’s Case for God

In The Existence of God (2nd edition, hereafter: EOG), Richard Swinburne lays out a systematic cumulative case for the claim that it is more likely than not that God exists.I have a specific objection to the third argument in this case, but I believe this objection throws a monkey wrench into the works, and creates a serious problem for the case as a whole.To understand my objection, it is important to understand the general logical structure of Swinburne’s case for the existence of God. … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 4

Part of Geisler's case for the claim that "Jesus actually died on the cross" is based on the spear-wound story, which is found only in the historically unreliable Fourth gospel.One general reason for doubting the historicity and reliability of the spear-wound story is this:GR3. The Passion narratives of the gospels are historically unreliable(GR3) is supported by various cautions and doubts expressed by Raymond Brown (a leading N.T. scholar who is an expert on the Passion Narratives) … [Read more...]

The End of PoR – Part 1

"The End of PoR" is intentionally ambiguous. It could mean the death or cessation of philosophy of religion, or it could mean the purpose of philosophy of religion.But I will not discuss the purpose of PoR in this particular post. I just have one brief point to make. The death of PoR as a discipline (or better: the killing off of PoR as a discipline) does not imply the death (or killing off) of courses in PoR.I was at Barnes & Noble yesterday, hanging out in the philosophy and … [Read more...]

Initial Thoughts about the End of Philosophy of Religion

John Loftus has recently defended the idea that philosophy of religion should "end as a discipline in secular universities."Post by John Loftus Advocating the End of PoR as a disciplineHere are my initial thoughts and reactions to some of the points in his recent post on this subject:What if philosophy spawned a discipline that, after a few centuries or decades, science has shown us it doesn't deserve to be a separate discipline? That's the argument of Richard Dawkins, Peter … [Read more...]

Why I am Not Concerned about Christian Theist Philosophers of Religion

One reason I am not concerned about the prevalence of Christian theists in the field of philosophy of religion is that they do a nice job of arguing against each other.William Lane Craig's favorite argument for the existence of God is the Kalam cosmological argument. I'm happy that there are some atheist philosophers who challenge this argument, but there are good objections raised against this argument by Christian theist philosophers.For example, Richard Swinburne rejects this … [Read more...]


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