Must Atheists Have Deductive Proofs for God’s Nonexistence to Justify Atheism?

Yet another objection to the possibility of a sound argument for the nonexistence of a god can be found in the writings of Bertrand Russell. In order to understand the basis for Russell's objection, we must first understand how Russell defined the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic': An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying … [Read more...]

Simplicity, Theism, and Naturalism

In a recent post on his blog, Alexander Pruss presents an interesting argument regarding simplicity, theism, and naturalism. He writes: I have argued elsewhere, as my colleague Trent Dougherty also has and earlier, that when we understand simplicity rightly, theism makes for a simpler theory than naturalism. However, suppose I am wrong, and naturalism is the simpler theory. Is that a reason to think naturalism true? I suspect not. For it is theism that explains how simplicity can be a guide to … [Read more...]

Theistic Prejudice: A Case Study with Stan

Over at Randal Rauser's blog, Stan wrote the following: Free thinking does not mean disciplined logical thought; it means being free to think that whatever you might think at the moment is Truth, including that there is no truth. Free Thought is much like removing the timing from your engine's combustion system to allow it "freedom".Logic demands discipline and guidance under the rules of deductive reasoning. Atheists have no concept of this, for the most part, and those who do, cannot … [Read more...]

Cosmological Arguments: The Naturalists Strike Back

A couple of days ago, I blogged some potential objections to Swinburne's inductive cosmological argument. I concluded that post with an argument that the existence of a physical universe is evidence favoring naturalism over theism.Tonight, ex-apologist has blogged about the prospects for a Leibnizian cosmological argument against theism. Take a look! … [Read more...]

Potential Objections to Swinburne’s Cosmological Argument

After studying inductive logic for so long, I've decided it is finally time to reread Richard Swinburne's The Existence of God (second ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) and reconsider his inductive case for God's existence. In doing so, I think I may have discovered a new objection to his cosmological argument. This is very rough and any comments would be appreciated. Swinburne's Terminology The first thing we need to do is to get clear on Swinburne's terminology and a … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 7: Victor Stenger on the Absence of Scientific Evidence for God

In this post, I want to revisit an argument from silence used by Victor Stenger against the existence of God based on the absence of scientific evidence for God.In his 2010 debate with William Lane Craig, Stenger argued that "the absence of evidence for God is evidence of absence" of God. In his words, "If God plays such an active role in the universe, then his actions should surely have been observed by now." As I understood him, he offered four examples of scientific evidence which could … [Read more...]

Erik Wielenberg’s argument re sceptical theism defended and developed – forthcoming in Religious Studies

(revised 9 April 2014) Sceptical theism and a lying God – Wielenberg’s argument defended and developed   Stephen Law Department of Philosophy, Heythrop College, University of London, Kensington Square, London W5 8HX UK     Abstract: Sceptical theists attempt to block the evidential argument from evil by arguing that a key premise of that argument – that gratuitous evil exists – cannot reasonably be maintained. They argue that, for all we know, our knowledge of reasons … [Read more...]

Sean Carroll’s 11 Lines of Evidence for Naturalism over Theism

This is my attempt to summarize the slides from Sean Carroll's recent debate with WLC where he very quickly skimmed through eleven (11) lines of evidence which favor naturalism over theism. I don't claim this is perfectly accurate; any corrections would be welcome and, in fact, appreciated!Facet Theism (Theistic Prediction) Naturalism (Naturalistic Prediction) Lowder's CommentsAmount of Tuning Just Enough Sometimes too much (e.g., entropy). A natural mechanism could incredibly … [Read more...]