Swinburne’s Cosmological and Teleological Arguments – Part 4

Richard Swinburne presents his inductive cosmological argument in Chapter 7 of his book The Existence of God (second edition, hereafter: EOG). I plan to start at the beginning of the chapter and go paragraph by paragraph, stopping to comment on each paragraph that includes either support for, or defense of, some part of the cosmological argument (hereafter: TCA).Paragraph 1 (EOG, p.133) This paragraph neither supports nor defends a part of TCA.Paragraph 2 (EOG, p.133-134) This … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological and Teleological Arguments – Part 3

I am exploring a concern about, or potential objection to, Swinburne's inductive cosmological and teleological arguments for the existence of God. The objection I have in mind is something like this, for the cosmological argument:Although the one factual premise of Swinburne's cosmological argument is supposed to be the ONLY contingent factual claim or assumption upon which the conclusion of the argument rests, the argument actually rests on a considerable number and variety of contingent … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological and Teleological Arguments – Part 2

Like many other liberals, I'm delighted and mesmerized by Bridgegate and various other Chris Christie scandals from the fine state of New Jersey. I cannot wait for my daily dose of Rachel Maddow dishing the latest dirt on Christie and his idiotic crowd of corrupt New Jersey hooligans.What does this have to do with Swinburne's arguments for God? Well, one neat trick that a couple of Christie's friends have pulled is to plead the 5th amendment as a legal justification for refusing to turn … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological & Teleological Arguments

I'm not going to try to fully explain and evaluate Swinburne's Cosmological and Teleological arguments for God here. That would be way too much to tackle in one or two blog posts. There are just a couple of doubts or concerns about these arguments that I would like to express and explore.Swinburne's inductive cosmological argument for God has just one premise:e. A complex physical universe exists (over a period of time). Therefore: g. God exists.Swinburne argues that e is more … [Read more...]

John Shook Is Now on Patheos in the Atheist Channel

Philosopher John Shook now has his own blog in the Patheos Atheist Channel. About John: John R. Shook is a scholar and professor living in the Washington, D.C. area. After receiving his PhD in philosophy from the University at Buffalo in 1994, he taught at small colleges and then was a professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University from 2000 to 2006. John then joined the faculty of the Science and the Public online EdM program at the University at Buffalo, and he continues to be an … [Read more...]

Do Christian Apologists Spend Too Much Time Focusing on their Weaker Opponents?

Refuting the "New Atheists" is all the rage among Christian apologists these days. Among professional philosophers of religion, however, it's well-known that the new atheists are not the best representatives for atheism. So why do Christian apologists continue to harp on the new atheists and ignore what atheist professional philosophers of religion have to say? For example, you'd think, after the 1,000th refutation of Richard Dawkins, that they would move onto something else.  You'd be wrong. … [Read more...]

Playing The Mystery Card (incl. McGrath vs Dawkins) from my book Believing Bullshit

 PLAYING THE MYSTERY CARD   Suppose critics point out that not only do you have little in the way of argument to support your particular belief system, there also seems to be powerful evidence against it. If you want, nevertheless, to convince both yourself and others that your beliefs are not nearly as ridiculous as your critics suggest, what might you do?   Perhaps Play The Mystery Card. As we will see, this sort of strategy is particularly popular when it comes to defending b … [Read more...]

Philosophy and religion in Schools

Religion and philosophy in schools (from Hand and Winstanley, Philosophy in Schools, Continuum 2008))   Is philosophy in schools a good idea? The extent to which early exposure to a little philosophical thinking is of educational benefit is, of course, largely an empirical question. As a philosopher, that sort of empirical study is not my area of expertise. But of course there is also a philosophical dimension to this question. As a philosopher, conceptual clarification and the analysis … [Read more...]