My Guest Post on Randal Rauser’s Blog

In case you don't already follow Randal Rauser's blog, The Tentative Apologist, he has been posting a series of guest posts by prominent atheists on his blog about "why they don't believe." Rauser just posted my short essay, for which I am truly grateful.Rauser offered a few comments on my short essay. I, in turn, would like to offer a few short comments of my own. “He [Draper] taught me that, if I want to be a philosopher of religion and not an apologist”However, I’m not content to allo … [Read more...]

Draft chapter on Humanism, Science and Skepticism for comments….

    Humanism: Science, Reason and Skepticism[1]   What are science and reason?   Humanists expound the virtues of science and reason. But what are science and reason? And we should we think it wise to rely on them?   By science, I shall mean that approach to finding out about reality based on the scientific method. This is a method that was fully developed only a few hundred years ago. Science, as I’ll use the term here, is a comparatively recent invention, its development owing a g … [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...]

The Atheist named Richard Swinburne

I was reading the Martyrdom of Polycarp recently, which is “the oldest written account of a Christian martyrdom outside the New Testament.” (The Apostolic Fathers, updated edition, edited and revised by Michael Holmes, p.222; hereafter: TAF). Polycarp was killed between 155 and 160 C.E:The Martyrdom of Polycarp sets out quite clearly both the issue at stake--Lord Christ versus Lord Caesar—and the state’s (as well as the general population’s) view of Christians as disloyal atheists who threate … [Read more...]

Is It a Crock to Use Bayes’ Theorem to Measure Evidence about God? Part 2

I want to continue where I left off in part 1 of my response to Metacrock on the use of Bayes’ Theorem (BT) to measure evidence about God. Here is Metacrock: Bayes’ theorem was introduced first as an argument against Hume’s argument on miracles, that is to say, a proof of the probability of miracles. The theorem was learned by Richard Price from Bayes papers after the death of the latter, and was first communicated to the Royal society in 1763.[6] The major difference in the version Bayes an … [Read more...]

Is It a Crock to Use Bayes’ Theorem to Measure Evidence about God? Part 1

Over at the Christian Cadre, “Metacrock” has written a post entitled, “Bayes Theorum [sic] and Probability of God: No Dice!” Metacrock makes a number of points regarding the use of Bayes’ Theorem (BT) with evidence about God’s existence. I want to comment on many of those points. It is understandable that naturalistic thinkers are uneasy with the concept of miracles. I think I understand the point that Metacrock is trying to get across, but I disagree with this sentence as written. Metaphy … [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...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 6

In Part 1 of this series, I critically reviewed Nicholas Everitt’s formulation of the argument from scale (AS). In Part 5, I critically reviewed John Loftus’s defense of AS on his blog. In this post, I want to review Loftus’s defense of Everitt’s formulation of AS in his (Loftus’s) book, Why I Became an Atheist: Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments (Bloomington: Trafford, 2008). It’s important to note that in his book Loftus also defends a version of AS against evangelical Christianity; … [Read more...]