The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 2 (Revised)

(Note: the revised version of this post begins in the third paragraph after the section title, “The Ratio of Explanatory Powers.”) In part 1 of my series on the evidential Argument from Scale (AS), I concluded that Everitt's formulation of AS is unsuccessful. At the same time, however, I said that there is something about the AS I find intuitive and so I wanted to try revising AS as a Bayesian argument to see if I could make a stronger version. The purpose of this post is to attempt to do just t … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from Divine Hiddenness: The General Fact and 10 More Specific Facts

 The General Fact of Divine Hiddenness (aka Reasonable Nonbelief)Informal Statement of the ArgumentThere are many people, including myself, who don't believe in God but who wish that some sort of a theistic God did exist. Now the Apostle Paul, in Romans 1:19-21, implies that the existence of God is just obvious to everyone, even atheists and agnostics. But just think about that for a second. How do you prove that something is obvious to another person? Lots of nonbelievers claim … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 5: John Loftus on the Size of the Universe

In this post, I want to offer some preliminary observations regarding John Loftus’s claim that “the size of the universe leads to atheism.” Before I do so, I want to emphasize that I am going to comment on the linked blog post only. I will not discuss anything that Loftus has written in chapter 24 of his book, Why I Became an Atheist, where he discusses the issue in further detail. “Noseeum Arguments” Relating to God and the Size of the UniverseHere is Loftus: I remember thinking to myself how G … [Read more...]

The Loftus-Torley Exchange

It seems to me that Torley clearly has the upper hand in this exchange so far. As a debate judge, I would “flow” the entire “debate” to Torley up to this point. But that doesn’t mean game over for Loftus, however. In each case, I think Loftus has strong replies available. Here are my brief comments on Torley’s points. Mistake #1. Loftus’ failure to take account of prior probabilities As a Bayesian, I agree that taking account of prior probabilities is essential. Of course, I also think metaphysi … [Read more...]

Humanism for Children: A Reply to William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig is right. There has been "a resurgence of interest in arguments for God's existence."  So-called "new atheists" aside, what he fails to mention is that there has also been a resurgence of interest in arguments against God's existence by philosophers like J.L. Schellenberg, Quentin Smith, Paul Draper, Stephen Maitzen, Michael Martin, and many others.   Indeed, Craig's biased, selective summary of recent work in philosophy of religion, like many … [Read more...]

Recent Paper on Skeptical Theism and the Evidential Argument from Evil

I just discovered this.  Justin P. McBrayer, "CORNEA and Inductive Evidence," Faith and Philosophy 26 (2009): 77-86Abstract:One of the primary tools in the theist’s defense against “noseeum” arguments from evil is an epistemic principle concerning the Conditions Of ReasoNable Epistemic Access (CORNEA) which places an important restriction on what counts as evidence. However, CORNEA is false because it places too strong a condition on what counts as inductive evidence. If CORNEA is true, we l … [Read more...]

Straw Manning the Opposition: a Christian Apologist on Two Common Atheist Arguments

Robin Shumacher at The Christian Post recently wrote an article entitled, "A Look at Two Common Atheist Arguments." I want to quote the first two paragraphs of the article in full.Behind my desk is a huge binder containing essays and meaty book excerpts of atheist literature. The likes of Russell, Hume, Nietzsche, Sartre, and many more scientists and philosophers make up this hefty collection of anti-Christian thought. Part of my Master’s requirement was that I read the binder in its e … [Read more...]

Brooke Alan Trisel: God’s Silence as an Epistemological Concern

No abstract of the argument is available, but I did find a summary of the main argument.(1) If humankind was created for a purpose by God and had a role to play in carrying out thispurpose, then God would want us to have a possibility of achieving our role so that he wouldhave a possibility of achieving his goal.(2) For us to have a possibility of achieving the purpose for which we were created, we would needto understand our role in carrying out this purpose.(3) The purpose for which humanity … [Read more...]


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