What is Faith? – Part 7

I'm going to take a detour and temporarily set Mr. Swinburne's characterization of the Thomist view of faith aside.  But I will continue to examine the Thomist view of faith, specifically as presented by Dr. Norman Geisler.As Jeff Lowder has recently shown, Dr. Geisler's case for Christianity is a failure.  IMHO Jeff won that match with a K.O. of Geisler in the very first round: Let’s suppose, but only for the sake of argument, that the following evidence favors theism over atheism, i.e. … [Read more...]

What is Faith – Part 6

I have noticed a problem of unclarity in my own thinking and writing about the Thomist view of faith.  Before I go further in discussing Swinburne's characterization of the Thomist view of faith, I want to briefly consider the point of unclarity or ambiguity in my previous discussion of this view of faith. I have been sliding too easily over the distinction between possibility and necessity concerning the role of reasons and arguments in the Thomist view of faith.Aquinas believes that it is … [Read more...]

Spot the Fallacy #2: Fine-Tuning and the Prior Probability of Theism

Note: This post is another post in our series of articles designed to engage non-philosophers. Despite the title, you don't need to literally name a fallacy assuming there is one. What these posts are really designed to do is to get you to describe, in plain English, why the argument (or objection) presented isn't successful.Instructions:1. Read William Lane Craig's Q&A here.2. If you are not a philosopher, explain in the combox why his response doesn't work. … [Read more...]

What is Faith? – Part 5

We have been examining the Thomist view of faith, as characterized by Richard Swinburne in Faith and Reason (FAR).In order to avoid the implication that one must reason in a circle in order to have 'faith in God', a supporter of the Thomist view of faith can draw a distinction between beliefs about God that are implied by the statement 'God exists' and other beliefs about God that are NOT implied by this claim.  For a Thomist, belief in the existence of God is (or can be) based on reasons or … [Read more...]

On Atheism and Brightness

I'm often told that atheists are really smart when it comes to religion. Then I read their replies to moral arguments for God's existence and cry out, "WTF?"Take this argument: If no G, then no O. But O. Therefore, G.Why the f&*^ would anyone think it's even relevant to bring up X, Y, or Z?!?!?Unlike some religious apologists, I don't believe the explanation is either (1) atheists are willfully repressing the truth of God's existence, or (2) atheists are stupid. Rather, my … [Read more...]

What is Faith? – Part 4

We have looked at a simple and widespread understanding of 'faith in God':Definition 1Person P has faith in God IF AND ONLY IF  P believes that God exists.One problem with Def. 1 is that the devil himself would have 'faith in God' based on this definition, and thus this could hardly be considered  to be a virtue, to be the kind of faith that is commended by the Christian religion.According to Swinburne (in Faith and Reason, 2nd ed., hereafter: FAR), the Thomist view of faith is si … [Read more...]

New Series: Spot the Fallacy #1

Let E be some piece of evidence and T be theism. Now consider the following argument.E1 favors T.E2 favors T....En favors T.--------------Therefore, T is probably true.(Aside: You could swap out N=naturalism for T and the same fallacy would apply.) Can you spot the fallacy? If you're a philosopher, please do NOT respond in the combox. … [Read more...]

What is Faith? – Part 3

I said that I was not going to walk slowly through the rest of Chapter 4 of Faith and Reason (FAR), by Richard Swinburne.  But there is a lot going on in the next few paragraphs of Chapter 4, and I find myself wanting to make several comments on them.  So, contrary to my previous plans,  I'm going to continue to walk slowly through at least the next few paragraphs.Before we get to Swinburne's characterization of the Thomist view of faith,  I have a couple more comments.  Swinburne focuses on … [Read more...]


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