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 ‚Äúscientism," 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...]

Melnyk, Goetz, and Taliafero on the AFR

Lately I have been doing a book revision and in the process reflecting on the "Great Debate" between Andrew Melnyk and the Christian philosophers Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliafero. Melnyk defends the thesis of the physical realization of the mental (PRM) and Goetz and Taliafero offer criticisms. Here are my thoughts so far. Comments would be welcome. Sorry for the length and apologies also that I am too lazy to put in references in this draft. The MTB thesis is the claim, broader than … [Read more...]

Darwin Proofing

Students say the darndest things. In their exams, no less. In one of my classes students were required to read selections from Darwin's Origin and Descent of Man. Here are some comments from one exam: "I found Darwin's The Descent of Man hard to read and hard to understand. As a Christian I have always been taught to just ignore Darwin's work and I believe that played a large part in why I had trouble understanding what I was reading."Wow. I think it was H.L. Mencken who said … [Read more...]

The Six Kinds of Unbelievers

According to a recent study by UT-Chattanooga, one in five Americans are now non-believers. They have identified six categories:http://www.salon.com/2013/07/13/poll_six_kinds_of_non_believers_in_america_partner/I wonder if they are not missing another very large segment, what I would call the "de facto unbeliever." The de facto unbeliever attends church, often regularly. He (they are mostly men, in my experience) might say grace before every meal and, if polled, would no doubt affirm … [Read more...]

“Debating Christian Theism” is out

Yesterday I received my contributor's copy of Debating Christian Theism edited by J.P. Moreland, Chad Meister, and Khaldoun A. Sweis, from Oxford University Press (554 pages). The volume contains forty pro-and-con essays debating topics relating to theism and Christianity. Most of the essays are on familiar topics and written by the "usual suspects." For instance, the lead-off debate is on the Kalam argument with William Lane Craig and Wes Morriston. This will be familiar ground for those who … [Read more...]

Traditional Marriage and the Bible (REALLY!)

Note to readers: Last week, I posted the link below on marriage in the Bible, but in my own remarks I passed on to other topics. I naively thought that if readers were not interested, they would just stop reading. No big deal. However, some readers reacted with furious indignation, protesting that they had been trapped with a bait-and-switch and forced to read something they did not like. So, to make amends, I promise in future posts strictly to adhere to the topic of the title. Also, I am … [Read more...]


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