Faith and the End of PoR – Part 2

John Loftus referred me to Chapters 7 and 10 of his book The Outsider Test for Faith (hereafter: OTF), so that I could get a better understanding of what he means by the word "faith" in his blog post arguing for the End of Philosophy of Religion (PoR).Chapter 7 was of no help.  The only clear remarks about "faith" which might have provided a clue to Loftus' use of the word were the quotations of Timothy Keller on the first page of the chapter (OTF, p.133).  But on the very next page Loftus d … [Read more...]

Faith and the End of PoR

 John Loftus has advocated the End of Philosophy of Religion as a discipline.  In his post defending this proposal, Loftus repeatedly talks about “faith”. The word “faith” occurs 23 times in the post, and it occurs in 7 out of the 13 paragraphs that constitute the post.  Some paragraphs have multiple references to “faith”: the word "faith" occurs six times in paragraph 4 the word "faith" occurs six times in paragraph 8 the word "faith" occurs four times in paragraph 9 the word … [Read more...]

Next Year

I wanted to retire this year, but that did not work out.   I might be able to retire a year from now, though.There are a number of topics from this year that I plan to carry over into 2015:1. The End of PoR?John Loftus has argued that public colleges and universities should stop offering classes in the Philosophy of Religion.  I disagree.  But I have not yet evaluated his argument for the End of PoR, nor have I made my case in support of PoR.2. Swinburne's case for GodI fi … [Read more...]

Why be Skeptical? Reason #1 (Lying Cheating College Students – Part 2)

Summary Statistics Table

If most people lie and if most people lie frequently, then that is a good reason to be skeptical.In previous posts I have provided evidence that very young children lie and that most children  lie, that most teenagers lie and cheat and lie and cheat frequently, and that most college students lie and lie frequently.  Now it is time to look into whether and how much college students cheat.There are two main kinds of cheating by college students that I will be providing evidence about: (1) a … [Read more...]

Don’t Criticize What You Can’t Understand

Recently, I found myself defending William Lane Craig's reformed epistemology.   I was defending it NOT because I believe it to be true or correct, but because his views were being presented as 'stupid' and obviously false.  My impression was that those who were making these strong claims did NOT understand Craig's views on epistemology, and therefore were objecting to a Straw Man.  There was little interest in my points about reformed epistemology--apparently philosophy is too boring and co … [Read more...]

Matthew Ferguson: PAMLA 2014 Paper: Philosophically Defining the Supernatural

From Ferguson's website: Yesterday I presented a conference paper at the 112th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association (PAMLA). The conference theme for this year was “Familiar Spirits,” and I presented a paper titled “Philosophically Defining the Supernatural.” The topic relates to previous articles that I have written, both here in my blog series on metaphysical naturalism and in an earlier article here.The paper that I presented yesterday represents my most … [Read more...]

Why be Skeptical? Reason #1 (Lying Cheating College Students)

Lying to Parents graph

If most people lie and deceive, and if people often lie and deceive,  then we have good reason to be skeptical.  We have seen in previous posts that most children lie and lie frequently,  and that most teenagers lie and cheat and do so frequently; it is now time to take a look at the behavior of college students.A study of lying in everyday life was conducted in which one group consisted of college students and a second group consisted of community members (ranging from 18 to 71 years old).   … [Read more...]

If You Think Atheists Should Ridicule Theistic Beliefs, Read This

This is a paper I started writing almost ten years ago, but never finished. Atheistic Advocacy as a Risk Communication Problem Jeffery Jay Lowder Abstract. In this paper, I introduce a new way of thinking about atheistic advocacy. In an important sense, atheism is a risk. Therefore, attempts to argue either for the truth of atheism or for the tolerance of atheists and atheist civil rights constitute risk communications. By applying the findings of risk communication scholars to … [Read more...]