Reply to Prof. Feser’s Response, (Part IV)

Ed, I am going to take the liberty of first replying to your response to my answer to your fourth question. I am going to do this because I think that this is where we most significantly clash, that is, where our fundamental disagreements are most apparent. I want to address these points right away, and the others I will take up after the 15th when I will be back at my office.Sorry if I was unclear and gave a misleading impression. I do, in fact, think that the laws of nature are best … [Read more...]

Reply to Prof. Feser’s Fourth Question

Ed, Here is your fourth question to me: “4. In response to another reader’s question, about Craig’s version of the First Cause argument, you wrote: “Both theists and atheists begin with an uncaused brute fact. For Craig it is God, and for me it is the universe.” Now, as you know, the expression “brute fact” is typically used in philosophy to convey the idea of something which is unintelligible or without explanation. And your statement gives the impression that all theists, or at least most of t … [Read more...]

Reply to Prof. Feser’s Third Question

Ed, your third question and accompanying commentary was this: In response to a reader’s comment, you wrote:I think Bertrand Russell's beautifully succinct critique of all causal arguments holds good: "If everything requires a cause, then God requires a cause. However, if anything can exist without a cause, it might as well be the universe as God." Exactly.Now, your Secular Outpost co-blogger and fellow atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder agrees with me that this is not in fact a good objection t … [Read more...]

Forward into the Past

It looks like my home state of Jawja is going to follow Arizona's "lead" and is trying to pass legislation that would broadly permit discrimination against gay people: This news definitely induces a sense of deja vu for me. When I was a kid growing up in the Atlanta area in the 1960's there was a well-known noisy segregationist named Lester Maddox. Ol' Lester was a card. He ran … [Read more...]

Reply to Prof. Feser’s Second Question

Ed, I would like to respond to each question first before responding to your responses; otherwise things could get confusing.Here is your second question: 2. Could you tell us where in your writings or in someone else's that we can find what you take to be the strongest criticisms of the Scholastic arguments for the doctrine of divine conservation? Good question. Actually, I think that recent atheist writers have been remiss in not addressing this question or Thomistic metaphysics in … [Read more...]

Answering Prof. Feser

Ed, I hope you don’t mind first names. Informality is conducive to comity, and after the unpleasant brouhaha last week, I think you and I both want a civil exchange rather than one that should be titled “Philosophers Acting Badly.” Here are the questions you asked:1. You said that I ignore the strongest claims of my opponents and focus only on weaker ones. Could you please give a specific example of some strong argument that I have ignored? 2. Could you tell us where in your writings or in … [Read more...]

Can the Arguments of the “New Atheists” be made Stronger?

Jeff Lowder notes Ed Feser’s critique of the “New Atheists” and indicates that his criticisms are cogent, perhaps fatal. Now, I do not read much of Ed Feser’s stuff, not even all of the two tirades he wrote about me—which outbursts made my day both times. However, I have read Alistair McGrath’s critiques of Dawkins and my assessment of his critique is below. This is from my Essay “Atheism: Twilight or Dawn” published in the book The Future of Atheism, Robert B. Stewart, editor Fortress Press, Min … [Read more...]


On his Dangerous Idea site, Victor Reppert quotes, apparently approvingly, from St. Augustine's City of God: "Even after the plain truth has been thoroughly demonstrated, so far as a person is capable of doing, the confirmed skeptic will insist on maintaining belief in his own irrational notions. This is due to either a great blindness, which renders him incapable of seeing what is plainly set before him, or on account of an opinionative obstinacy, which prevents him from acknowledging the … [Read more...]