Probabilities and Ultimate Posits

Victor Reppert has a short essay on his Dangerous Idea blog on the use of probability arguments in the philosophy of religion. Here I would like to offer my own take on the question. A principle often invoked by theists making probability arguments is what Robin Collins calls the “prime principle of confirmation (PPC),” which he defines as follows:Simply put, the principle says that whenever we are considering two competing hypotheses, an observation counts as evidence in favor of the hypothesis … [Read more...]

RESPONSE TO STEPHEN T. DAVIS ON RESURRECTION AND HALLUCINATION

I don't recall whether I ever posted this on SO. Prof. Stephen T. Davis did a review of The Empty Tomb edited by Jeff Lowder and Bob Price (Prometheus Books, 2005). In this review, he made some critical remarks about my contribution to the book, and the following is my response to Davis:The portion of Stephen T. Davis’s review that relates to my “Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli on the Hallucination Theory,” is the fourth critique of that essay that I have seen. Of the four, it is by far the most … [Read more...]

Dumb and Dumber

I notice that the recent posts on SO have taken a turn towards the political. Nothing wrong with that. These days religion and politics have been so thoroughly mixed that it is hard to talk about one without the other. This is especially so when candidates for high office loudly tout their religious affiliations and convictions and tout them precisely as qualifications for public office. They must think those Founders were barking up the wrong tree when they put in the Constitution (Article … [Read more...]

Two Executions

This post is a follow-up on the "Pro Choice and Pro Life" posting of Herb Silverberg. Herb's thoughtful reflections have added to SO's offerings, and I am surprised that they have not drawn more comments. Yesterday there were two executions, one in Texas and one in Georgia. In Texas, Lawrence Brewer was executed. In 1997, Brewer and two associates kidnapped a man named James Byrd, who had been walking down a country road not far from Jasper, Texas. They beat Byrd savagely, urinated on him, … [Read more...]

Testing Supernatural Hypotheses

Are supernatural hypotheses testable? This was a question raised by Victor Reppert on his Dangerous Idea blog, and I responded a couple of weeks ago. The subsequent discussion got rather confused and confusing, and I would like to try to untangle things and see if I can get clearer on the issue here. Thanks much to interlocutor Richard Wein whose gentle but persistent probing of my remarks has pressed me to try to state things more precisely and cogently. What is a supernatural hypothesis? I … [Read more...]

Laws of Supernature

On his Dangerous Idea blog Victor Reppert reprints an old exchange between us (we have been going at it for over 35 years now): An Old Exchange between Keith Parsons and myself over theistic explanations This is one that appears in my paper on Hume on Miracles, Frequencies and Prior Probabilities. [Parsons] Science is unavoidably naturalistic, or atheistic if you prefer. Science operates in terms of scrutable, independently testable entities that operate in accordance with knowable … [Read more...]

The Day of Prayin’ and Eatin’

Our Governor Goodhair held his fundamentalist pep rally in Houston Saturday. Though only 8000 had registered for the event about 30,000 attended as megachurches—like John Hagee’s in San Antonio—bused in the faithful. Except for a few mentions of abortion, the speakers kept it strictly apolitical, scrupulously avoiding the wedge issues that have inflamed the culture wars. Good to know the event had nothing to do with politics. It wasn’t an even with a likely presidential candidate currying favor w … [Read more...]

In Defense of the Prayerapalloza

Since I believe in fair and balanced blogging (ahem), and since I have been very critical of Texas Governor Rick Perry's fundamentalist pep rally to be held at Houston's Reliant Stadium tomorrow, I am reprinting here a letter to the editor of The Houston Chronicle defending the event:Satan deceivesI was totally disgusted by the article "Perry day at Reliant: Piety and politics?" (Page A1, Sunday). The article criticized Gov. Rick Perry for calling a prayer meeting for our nation that will be … [Read more...]


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