What’s So Great about What’s So Great about Christianity? – Part 2

As we saw in my last post, Dinesh D'Souza's defense of the "moral laws presume a moral lawgiver" argument fails. In this post I want to comment on what D'Souza has to say about atheist "attempt[s] to meet this challenge" (232).1.Like many partisan diatribes, D'Souza's book says nothing about the strongest arguments and objections against his position. Instead, he gives unsuspecting readers the misleading, false impression that the only way an atheist might explain morality is "as a product … [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...]

Initial Impressions on the Andrews-Schieber Debate: Part 3

In parts 1 and 2 of this series, I reviewed each debaters' arguments for or against Christian theism. In this and future posts, I want to selectively comment on statements from their rebuttals which caught my eye. I'm emphasizing the word "selectively" because I'm not simply not going to be able to parse the rest of the debate transcript with the same level of detail found in parts 1 and 2. In this post, I'm going to comment on Andrews' first rebuttal.Andrews writes takes issue with (23), … [Read more...]

Initial Impressions on the Andrews-Schieber Debate: Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)Justin Schieber's Case against Christian TheismSchieber presents three arguments against Christian theism: (1) the GodWorld argument; (2) the soteriological argument from evil; and (3) an argument about the possibility of divine lies in the Bible. Let's each argument in turn.The GodWorld ArgumentSchieber defines "GodWorld" as "that possible world where God exists alone (AND nothing else exists) for eternity." The arguments runs as follows.(17) If the … [Read more...]

Moti Mizrahi’s New Paper: “The Problem of Natural Inequality: A New Problem of Evil”

Forthcoming in Philosophia: Philosophical Quarterly of Israel. Pre-publication copy available here. Abstract. In this paper, I argue that there is a kind of evil, namely, the unequal distribution of  natural endowments, or natural inequality, which presents theists with a new evidential (not logical or incompatibility) problem of evil. The problem of natural inequality is a new evidential problem of evil not only because, to the best of my knowledge, it has not yet been discussed in the l … [Read more...]

Christianity Today asks, “Are Birth Defects Part of God’s Plan?”

LINKIf Christianity is true, then, of course, the answer has to be, "Yes." But is it true?The philosophically significant question, however, is this: "Does naturalism or theism, including Christian theism, provide the best explanation for birth defects?"Here is an excellent by Paul Draper, taken from a lecture he recently gave at the University of Notre Dame. [I]magine two alien beings who are much like us in intellectual ability and who are gradually learning everything we know … [Read more...]

Skeptical Atheism and the Fine-Tuning Argument?

The multiple universes objection is a common objection to fine-tuning arguments for God's existence. Paul Draper once wrote an interesting essay comparing that objection to that argument to the same objection applied to arguments from evil. What I've often wondered is this: what if we tried to draw another parallel between fine-tuning arguments and arguments from evil, this time focusing on "skeptical theism"? In other words, I think it would be interesting to compare, on the one hand, skeptical … [Read more...]

Thoughts on the “Logical vs. Evidential” Distinction

Chris Hallquist recently questioned the significance of the distinction between logical arguments from evil and evidential arguments from evil. He writes: In general, the insistence of people who follow these issues on classifying versions of the problem of evil as either “logical” or “evidential” is weird. It isn’t something you see with any other kind of argument in philosophy. What we care about with deductive arguments is first whether they are valid, and second whether the premises are t … [Read more...]