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...]

YOU’RE JUST BEING OBSTINATE. NO, YOU. YOU!!!

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...]

Stirring the Pot

It has been quiet here at SO lately. A little TOO quiet—as they used to say in the old Western movies. Maybe we are not saying anything very controversial. Or maybe people are just too busy with real work to do. Anyway, I thought I would stir the pot with some claims that I would like to see debated. I do not necessarily endorse either of these claims, but I would like to see them argued out. Luther had 95 theses. I will make do with two:1) Further argument on theism vs. atheism issues i … [Read more...]

The Afterlife Broadcasting Company Presents

This is a portion of a dialogue I wrote for the benefit of students in my introductory ethics class. Since we have had some lively debates about ethical matters here at SO, I thought some readers might be interested. I imagined a discussion (in some sort of afterlife) between Aristotle, Locke, Mill, and Kant. Each of the characters in the dialogue are my inventions, based on my readings of the originals.They have all been updated and so, of course, much of what they have to say is completely … [Read more...]

I Seem to be Thinking about Alex Rosenberg

Here are some preliminary thoughts about Alex Rosenberg's Atheist's Guide to Reality, particularly his claim that we do not think about things (hence the snarky title to this post). Sorry for the inordinate length. Once again, the writing is meant for the general, educated reader rather than the professional philosopher, though, naturally, I want to make sure that it is philosophically sound.Rosenberg freely embraces the label “scientism," generally regarded as a pejorative term. His tone is … [Read more...]

Evil as an Argument for God

Consider the following argument by Alvin Plantinga:"The premise is that there is real and objectively horrifying evil in the world. Examples would be certain sorts of appalling evil characteristic of Nazi concentration camps: guards found pleasure in devising tortures, making mothers decide which of their children would go to the gas chambers and which would be spared; small children were hanged, dying (because of their light weight) a slow and agonizing death; victims were taunted with … [Read more...]


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