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...]

Robin Collins on the Fine-Tuning Argument

Sorry for another long absence. I've been working on a project, and a draft of part of it is below. I present part of Robin Collins' defense of the fine-tuning argument (FTA) and a brief response. Comments would be appreciated. Statement of Collins' Argument ...we will focus on his defense of the FTA against what Collins calls “the atheistic single universe hypothesis”: “According to the atheistic single-universe hypothesis, there is only one universe, and it is ultimately an inexplicable, ‘brut … [Read more...]

Antony Flew’s Passing

Antony Flew died the other day. Like many secular people, I have mixed feelings. At the end of his life he was declared a theist. I say “was declared” because it is not clear to what extent in his final two or three years he was not simply in a state of senescent confusion. The final book issued in his name (actually authored by third-rate religious apologist Roy Abraham Varghese) is a crackpot screed that, surely, Flew would have repudiated with disdain had he been in possession of his powers. B … [Read more...]

Craig on Philo

First, sorry I have been away from S.O. for so long. Very busy. Anyway, I just noticed a small thing that I should probably ignore, but it irks me sufficiently that I am going to vent. In a footnote to his article "Theistic Critiques of Atheism," in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, edited by Michael Martin, Craig makes a few passing remarks about the philosophical journal Philo, of which I was the founding editor. Craig contends that in academe, atheism is a philosophy in full retreat, with … [Read more...]

“Because God Made it that Way”

Sometimes something humorous can provide philosophical insight. I got an e-mail from a former student, now community college instructor, called "how to fail with dignity." It had exam questions with funny wrong answers actually given by students. One question was "Why is phosphorus trichloride (PhCl3) polar?" The answer, given by a student who appears devout but too lazy to study for a chemistry exam, was "Because God made it that way." Presumably, the answer was marked wrong. But just why … [Read more...]

American Evangelicals Promote Rabid Ugandan Homophobia

Uganda has recently considered imposing insanely draconian laws that would punish homosexuality with death and even imprison landlords who rent to gays or relatives who fail to rat out their gay kin. Who whipped up the homophobic frenzy that led to this madness? You get one guess. Yep. Fundamentalist nitwits, disappointed in their efforts to purge America of godless sodomites, have taken their crusade to Africa. According to Jeffrey Gettleman, writing in The New York Times, last March three … [Read more...]


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