The “Hard Problem,” Physicalism, and Theism

The discussion on “The X that created the universe” raised some interesting points, especially the exchange between Ted Drange and Dianelos Georgoudis on consciousness. There were two points of disagreement: (1) Whether, and in what way, consciousness is a problem for physicalism and (2) whether theism has a problem explaining consciousness. Dianelos and other advocates of the “hard problem” of consciousness assert that science has made, and perhaps in principle cannot make, progress on the quest … [Read more...]

“Retirement” Responses

My "retirement notice" from philosophy of religion posted a couple of weeks ago has drawn an amazing and entirely unexpected amount of comment on Prosblogion, the Leiter Report, Debunking Christianity, and Dangerous Idea. My! I've gone viral! Seriously, I thought that maybe a dozen people would be interested in my decision, and since most of them read Secular Outpost, I put the notice here, and I am simply astonished at the attention it got. If only my books had been read by that many...I … [Read more...]

Burning Question

Does anyone else find it drolly ironic that the goofball Florida pastor who wants to burn the Qur'an has the same name as a member of Monty Python? When I hear that Terry Jones says he will burn a Qur'an , I expect it to be a skit with a Terry Gilliam cartoon and some ersatz cardinals intoning "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!" Maybe the best way to handle this whole imbroglio would be with ridicule and satire. Maybe somebody should organize an alternative event in which copies of … [Read more...]

Goodbye to All That

Over the past ten years I have published, in one venue or another, about twenty things on the philosophy of religion. I have a book on the subject, God and Burden of Proof, and another criticizing Christian apologetics, Why I am not a Christian. During my academic career I have debated William Lane Craig twice and creationists twice. I have written one master’s thesis and one doctoral dissertation in the philosophy of religion, and I have taught courses on the subject numerous times. But no m … [Read more...]

Idiot America

John Loftus has published my review of Charles P. Pierce's Idiot America on Debunking Christianity: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/It has quite a bit of political comment, rather more than I judged would be appropriate here. I think this is an important book and a very enjoyable one. Pierce pulls no punches and I don't either. Sometimes it is fun to write with the poisoned pen when your target really deserves it, and I think the proponents of militant idiocy deserve all the abuse … [Read more...]

Why I am a Retributivist (sort of)

Philosophers, even when old dogs (well, I’m 57), should be able to learn a few new tricks. My mind has changed on a number of issues in just the last few years. For one thing, two books, Hilary Kornblith’s Knowledge and its Place in Nature and Robert Fogelin’s Walking the Tightrope of Reason, disabused me of my former naïve, knee-jerk internalism, and I am now an unabashed epistemological naturalist and externalist. Another change of outlook was not brought about by philosophical reading. I t … [Read more...]

The Old Creeds

Does anybody read the old creeds any longer? Here is the Athanasian Creed (late 5th or early 6th Century) in its entirety: Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the … [Read more...]

Vatican Condemns Ordination of Women

Check this out:http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-news-section/162-162/2438-vatican-decree-female-ordination-a-crimeThe desiccated old farts that constitute the Catholic hierarchy never learn do they? Why does the Roman Catholic Church have any moral capital at all? Why should anyone listen to a 2000 year old old-boy network? Well, of course, the RC church has done a lot for the poor, as it damn well should since it is responsible for there being so many of them. However, it never has … [Read more...]


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