The Problem of Epistemic Evil

The problem of epistemic evil is raised by Rene Descartes in the fourth of his Meditations on First Philosophy. In the previous meditation he believed that he had exorcised the Evil Genius who might be systematically and comprehensively deceiving us. Descartes believes that he has proven the existence of a good God who will not permit us to be always deceived. However, in the fourth meditation he considers the question of why, if a good God will not allow us to be always deceived, he still p … [Read more...]

Victor Reppert on the Argument from Evil as a Reductio

(Redated post originally published on 12 June 2012)Can atheist who rejects moral realism press the argument from evil? Many theists, including William Lane Craig and Ravi Zacharias, have argued that the answer is "no." In my old critique of one of Zacharias's books, I wrote the following. Zacharias presents two objections to AE. First, he suggests that it is incoherent for atheists to appeal to evil as evidence of the nonexistence of God since objective moral evil could not exist if there … [Read more...]

LINK: Alvin Plantinga’s Turnaround Argument from Evil

(Redated post originally published on 20 October 2011)LINK (HT: Victor Reppert) … [Read more...]

What Are The Best Arguments for the Non-Existence of God?

(Redated post originally published on 20 October 2011)In a recent interview with Christian philosopher and apologist Douglas Groothius, Lee Strobel asks, "What’s the strongest argument in the arsenal of atheists these days? And why does it fall short?" Groothius answers: That’s a big question. Different atheists will use different arguments, but they often confront Christians with two things: (1) Darwinism has refuted the idea of Designer and so defeats Christianity (and every other form of … [Read more...]

Summary and Assessment of the Craig-Draper Debate on the Existence of God (1998)

(Redated post originally published on 15 October 2011)This is a another very old debate summary, which I wrote back in 1998. I have made some minor changes.SUMMARY AND ASSESSMENT OF THE CRAIG-DRAPER DEBATE: DOES GOD EXIST? (1997) United States Military Academy at West PointNote: the audio of this debate may be heard here.Craig's Opening StatementCraig's presentation was his standard, cumulative case for Christian theism.T1. The kalam cosmological argument (1) … [Read more...]

Do Proponents of the Argument from Evil Try to Have it Both Ways? A Reply to David Wood

(Redated post originally published on 26 October 2011)According to David Wood (see here), atheists who appeal to the argument from evil are logically inconsistent. Why? Wood offers the following explanation: For instance, atheists seem to be arguing (1) that human beings are so good that God shouldn’t allow us to suffer, and (2) that human beings are so bad that God shouldn’t have created us (or given us free will, etc.). That is, atheists are simply shocked that a good God would allow hum … [Read more...]

Is God’s Existence Obvious to Everyone?

(Redated post originally published on 26 October 2011)As a 'friendly atheist,' I believe that theists can be fully rational in believing that God exists. I know that some theists are 'unfriendly theists' in the sense that they believe(1) The existence of God is obvious to everyone.But why believe (1) is true? I'm aware that Romans 2 is often quoted in this context. Notice, however, that there is no logical contradiction between believing(2) There is a supernatural creator of the … [Read more...]

Hostility of the Universe to Life: Understated Evidence about Cosmic Fine-Tuning?

(Redated post originally dated 22 January 2013)I've blogged before about the fallacy of understated evidence. Here I want to explore further how it applies to fine-tuning arguments.Let us define the "general fact of cosmic 'fine-tuning'" as follows. FT: some universe or other has the initial conditions, laws, and constants which make the existence of complex intelligent life of some sort possible. Even if we assume that so-called cosmic "fine-tuning" is evidence favoring theism over … [Read more...]