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...]

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...]

Best of All Possible Persons – Part 2

What do you get if you cross 'the best of all possible worlds' (from Leibniz) with 'the being than which none greater can be conceived' (from Anselm)? You get: the best of all possible persons, which is another way to conceive of God.Here are two proofs of the non-existence of God, based on this way of understanding the concpet of God:DISPROOF OF GOD #11. Person P is the best of all possible persons only if P creates the best of all possible worlds.2. No person ever has or ever … [Read more...]

Slicing Up the Metaphysical Pie

16 types of gods

One basic question in metaphysics is this:How many gods exist?Atheism can be defined as the view that there are 0 gods. Monotheism is the view that there is just 1 god. Polytheism is the view that there are 2 or more gods.Thus all of the various answers to the metaphysical question above are included in these three categories.The term polytheism, however, is a very broad category that includes many different and conflicting answers to the question above.Manichaeism - the … [Read more...]

Best of All Possible Persons

Now this supreme wisdom, united to a goodness that is no less infinite, cannot but have chosen the best... If there were not the best among all possible worlds, God would not have produced any. (Gottfried Leibniz, Theodicy, translated by E.M. Huggard, 1951, p.128)According to Anselm, God is the being than which none greater can be conceived. In other words, God is the best of all possible persons. According to Leibniz, the best of all possible persons would have to create the best of all … [Read more...]


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