Graham Oppy: Yes, There Really Is Such a Thing as Expertise in Philosophy of Religion, and, No, You Can’t Get it from Pop Philosophy of Religion Books

Note: The following post is written by Graham Oppy and posted with his permission.Suppose I wanted to learn all about quantum gravity, starting from a position of total ignorance. How likely is it that there is a book that physicists could recommend to me that I could read, and that would give me the knowledge that I'd like to have? On the one hand, I have to be able to understand the book; on the other hand, the book has to be sufficiently sophisticated for me to acquire genuine knowledge … [Read more...]

Words Which Apologists, Counter-Apologists, and Activists Would Do Better Off Without

The field of Information Technology is divided into many specialties. One is "software engineering" which includes what most people think of when they hear the words "computer programming." Another is "quality assurance" which tests software for "bugs," i.e., malfunctions. And yet another is "usability" which tests the ability of "real world" users to actually use the software to perform a task. Usability is different from QA because a software might not contain any bugs, but have "poor … [Read more...]

Adolf Grünbaum on Determinism and Reason

" The causal generation of a belief does not, of itself, detract in the least from its truth. My belief that I address a class at certain times derives from the fact that the presence of students in their seats is causally inducing certain images on the retinas of my eyes at those times, and that these images, in turn, then cause me to infer that corresponding people are actually present before me. The reason why I do not suppose that I am witnessing a performance of Aida at those times is that … [Read more...]

Randal Rauser’s Most Excellent Review of the Lowder-Turek Debate

I think this just might be the best review ever written of a debate between an atheist and a theist. It's comprehensive, thoughtful, irenic, fair, and well-written. I agree with almost the entire review, with the exception of Randal's point about the definition of naturalism. I don't consider that to be a flaw of the review in any way, however. Rather, I consider that to be a reasonable disagreement.Check it out!LINK … [Read more...]

Video of Lowder’s Debate with Frank Turek on Naturalism vs. Theism

Topic: "What Better Explains Reality? Naturalism or Theism"Link: https://youtu.be/ENZYEPpR2JcLinks to Specific Elements of Debate:Moderator's Introduction: https://youtu.be/ENZYEPpR2Jc Lowder's Opening Statement (20 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENZYEPpR2Jc#t=02m23s Turek's Opening Statement (20 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENZYEPpR2Jc#t=20m55s Lowder's First Rebuttal (10 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENZYEPpR2Jc#t=44m55s Turek's Firs … [Read more...]

A Very Unscientific Survey of Some Popular Responses to the Problem of Evil

I recently defended Paul Draper's evidential argument from evil (specifically, facts about pain and pleasure) against William Lane Craig's popular objections. (LINK) I decided to browse his website discussion forum devoted to the problem of evil. I was struck by some of the responses used by the people posting there (who should not be confused with Craig himself). Putting aside the posts which tear down strawman versions of the argument from evil, versions not defended by any atheist philosopher … [Read more...]

In Defense of an Evidential Argument from Evil: A Reply to William Lane Craig

Abstract: In a popular article about general arguments from evil against the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good God, William Lane Craig raises objections to such arguments that are consistent with those he earlier raised against Paul Draper's evidential pain-and-pleasure argument from evil in an oral debate with Draper in 1998. In this article Jeffery Jay Lowder considers whether Craig's points have any force in rebutting Draper's writings on his pain-and-pleasure … [Read more...]

Ex-Apologist on Epicurean Cosmological Arguments for Matter’s Necessity

Our friend Ex-Apologist recently posted a nice piece on his blog summing up Epircurean cosmological arguments for matter's necessity. I highly recommend it.LINK … [Read more...]