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...]

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...]


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