About Matt DeStefano

Matt is pursuing his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Arizona.

An End to Philosophy of Religion?

John Loftus has issued a call for the end of philosophy of religion (POR) being taught in secular universities. He’s since written a few follow-up posts, but  I think there are two main points that Loftus makes: (1) Science has disproven religion, and philosophy ought to follow suit  (2) Philosophy of religion is dominated by Christian theists, and has become a place for Christian apologetics. It’s not clear to me whether John thinks that, if POR were taught “correctly” (giving equal air-time to … [Read more...]

Randal Rauser Replies

His post: Do naturalists have more to lose? If not, why are they crucifying Thomas Nagel?  In order to prevent this from becoming a back-and-forth mess, I've replied in the comments there. He's a good guy, so I don't mind sending him more traffic. If you're interested, the discussion can continue there. … [Read more...]

Do Christians have more to lose?

In a recent blog post, Randal Rauser wonders about the prospects that atheists (or anyone, really) are “simply after the truth”. He begins by noting that many Christians (such as the popular Christian apologist Lee Strobel), assume that atheists reject God in order to give license to their poor behavior. He’s not sold on this view, but he’s also skeptical of the alternative position that atheists are on a dispassionate quest for truth.He points to academia (well, a subset - philosphers and sc … [Read more...]

Dualism is Unhealthy

No, seriously. (LINK)"The fact that the simple priming procedures used in the studies had an immediate impact on health-related attitudes and behavior suggests that these procedures may eventually have profound implications for real-life problems. Interventions that reduce dualistic beliefs through priming could be one way to help promote healthier -- or less self-damaging -- behaviors in at-risk populations." … [Read more...]

Bias in the Philosophy of Religion

An interesting post over at Prosblogion. … [Read more...]

The Holy Spirit and the Affect Heuristic

I’ve been re-reading Daniel Kahnman’s wonderful book, Thinking, Fast and Slow and came upon the section in which he discusses the ‘affect heuristic’. The affect heuristic is the notion that people often make decisions based on their feelings or emotions about the topic at hand. It is an example of “substitution”, in which “the answer to an easy question (How do I feel about it?) serves as an answer to a much harder question (What do I think about it?)”. (139) One of the most famous experiments ( … [Read more...]

Boudry’s Hoax on “Sophisticated Theologians”

Dr. Maarten Boudry performs a 'Sokal-style hoax' on two theology conferences. Here is the abstract: The Paradoxes of Darwinian Disorder. Towards an Ontological Reaffirmation of Order and Transcendence. Robert A. Maundy,  College of the Holy Cross, Reno, NevadaIn the Darwinian perspective, order is not immanent in reality, but it is a self-affirming aspect of reality in so far as it is experienced by situated subjects. However, it is not so much reality that is self-affirming, but the c … [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...]


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