Critical Thinking and Skepticism

In a recent post advocating the end of Philosophy of Religion, John Loftus commented that PoR classes are often taught with the primary goal of teaching students to think critically,  and he objected that "Teaching students to be critical thinkers is very important but teaching them to have a skeptical disposition is more important."I would argue, however, that (a) skepticism is good and rational only to the extent that it arises out of critical thinking and conforms to the principles and sta … [Read more...]

The End of PoR – Part 2

John Loftus has begun laying out his views on PoR in greater detail on his website.  I'm going to comment on a few key points that he makes in a recent post: What Exactly is My Proposal For Ending the Philosophy Of Religion Discipline in Secular Universities? It will probably take me a few posts to cover a few points made by Loftus. First,  I will discuss some points by Loftus that relate PoR to critical thinking.I have a special interest and background in critical thinking.My first c … [Read more...]

One Problem with Swinburne’s Case for God

In The Existence of God (2nd edition, hereafter: EOG), Richard Swinburne lays out a systematic cumulative case for the claim that it is more likely than not that God exists.I have a specific objection to the third argument in this case, but I believe this objection throws a monkey wrench into the works, and creates a serious problem for the case as a whole.To understand my objection, it is important to understand the general logical structure of Swinburne’s case for the existence of God. … [Read more...]

Religious Trauma Syndrome

LINK … [Read more...]

The End of PoR – Part 1

"The End of PoR" is intentionally ambiguous. It could mean the death or cessation of philosophy of religion, or it could mean the purpose of philosophy of religion.But I will not discuss the purpose of PoR in this particular post. I just have one brief point to make. The death of PoR as a discipline (or better: the killing off of PoR as a discipline) does not imply the death (or killing off) of courses in PoR.I was at Barnes & Noble yesterday, hanging out in the philosophy and … [Read more...]

An End to Philosophy of Religion?

John Loftus has issued a call for the end of philosophy of religion (POR) being taught in secular universities. He’s since written a few follow-up posts, but  I think there are two main points that Loftus makes: (1) Science has disproven religion, and philosophy ought to follow suit  (2) Philosophy of religion is dominated by Christian theists, and has become a place for Christian apologetics. It’s not clear to me whether John thinks that, if POR were taught “correctly” (giving equal air-time to … [Read more...]

Craig’s “Historical Evidence” for the Death of Jesus – Part 6

William Craig claims that Jesus rose from the dead. In making this claim, Craig takes on a heavy burden of proof, including the burden to prove that Jesus actually died on the cross on Good Friday. However, in most of his books, articles, and debates, Craig simply ignores the question of whether Jesus actually died on the cross. So, it appears to me that Craig's case for the resurrection is a complete failure.However, in The Son Rises (hereafter TSR), Craig does make a brief attempt, in … [Read more...]

Some Logic in Swinburne’s Cosmological Argument

I have been struggling for the past week or two to make clear the logic behind one premise of Swinburne's cosmological argument. Perhaps those readers of The Secular Outpost who have an interest in logic or in Swinburne's arguments will be able to help me with this task.Actually, his inductive cosmological argument is very simple:1. A complex physical universe exists. Therefore: 2. God exists.It is not this argument that I am struggling to understand and clarify, but rather … [Read more...]


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