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...]

The Evidential Argument from Biological Evolution, Part 2: Is Evolution Evidence for Theism?

Let's begin reviewing the logical form of the argument, as described in Part 1 of this series. (1) Evolution is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that naturalism is true than on the assumption that theism is true. (2) The statement that pain and pleasure systematically connected to reproductive success is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that evolutionary naturalism is true than on the assumption that evolutionary theism is true. (3) Therefore, evolution … [Read more...]

Jonathan McLatchie: Fact-Checking Wikipedia on Common Descent: The Evidence from Paleontology (2011)

Jonathan McLatchie is an up-and-coming Christian apologist who also has a strong background in biology. I met him in person once while I was speaking in Seattle and he was an intern at the Discovery Institute. He seemed to me to be a very nice and intelligent fellow.McLatchie wrote a series of blog posts critiquing the Wikipedia article on the evidence of common descent; McLatchie's article provides his critique of what Wikipedia has to say about the evidence for common descent from … [Read more...]

Another Christian Apologist Uses Fallacious Objections to Evolution

Real shocker, right?My Twitter feed included a link to an article which I want to comment on:Bill Nye's Naturalistic Evolution is Absurd: Contesting 'Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation': Bill Nye's Atheistic Evolution Is PreposterousEvolution is one of the most powerful and important ideas ever developed in the history of science. Every question it raises leads to new answers, new discoveries, and new smarter questions. The science of evolution is as expansive as n … [Read more...]

One Problem with Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 2

In a previous post I pointed out three different problems related to the third argument in Richard Swinburne's systematic case for the existence of God.  The third argument is the final argument of his arguments from the nature of the universe.  It is his Teleological Argument from Spatial Order (hereafter: TASO):(e3) There is a complex physical universe that is governed by simple natural laws and the values of the constants of the laws and of the variables of the universe’s initial cond … [Read more...]

Did God Create Nuclear Weapons?

Naive View

Christians and other believers in God often say, 'God created everything.'  If we take this literally, as a young child would do, we might start thinking of some objections or possible counterexamples: 'Did God create nuclear weapons?' 'Did God create the ebola virus?' etc.  The doctrine of divine creation leads quickly to the problem of evil.A common response to such an idea would be to say that 'God created humans, and it was humans who created nuclear weapons--not God.'  So, God is one … [Read more...]

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...]


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