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...]

Pastafarianism vs. Theism

At the risk of coming across as "too serious," "boring," or even 'heretical' among freethinkers, I want to comment on comparisons between pastafarianism (the belief that the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) exists) and theism (the belief that God exists). For those of you who missed it, pastafarianism (P) was originally proposed as a parody of creationism and theistic versions of Intelligent Design (ID). The idea was that if intelligent design (ID) warrants equal time with evolution in public … [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 … [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...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 5

Here is a creationist argument for the existence of God: 1. If God exists, then it is very likely that the basic kinds of plants and animals all began to exist at the same time. 2. If there is no God, then it is very unlikely that the basic kinds of plants and animals all began to exist at the same time. 3. The basic kinds of plants and animals all began to exist at the same time. Therefore: 4. Other things being equal, it is probable that God exists. Here is another … [Read more...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 4

In A Companion to Philosophy of Religion, there is an article by Jeffrey Jordan on "Pragmatic Arguments", that covers Pascal's Wager. According to Jordan, there are at least three versions of Pascal's Wager. In this post I will examine one of the three versions, which goes something like this: 1. Either God exists or it is NOT the case that God exists. 2. If God exists, then a person who believes in God will be much better off than a nonbeliever. 3. If it is NOT the case that God exists, … [Read more...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 2

Here is another argument for God, based on answered prayers: 1. If God exists, then it is very likely that prayers to God for healing from injury or disease would usually be immediately followed by instantaneous and complete healing, except when the injury or disease was the result of self-destructive, foolish, or morally wrong actions on the part of the person who is suffering from the injury or disease. 2. If it is NOT the case that God exists, then it is very unlikely that prayers to … [Read more...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…

Here is an argument for the existence of God: 1. If there is a God, then it is very likely that there is a book that was written many centuries ago that is purported to be a divine revelation, and that is widely known about, and that is filled with nothing but true facts and wisdom and clear and sound moral guidance, and that provides great help for people to live good and happy lives. 2. If there is no God, then it is very unlikely that there is a book that was written many centuries ago … [Read more...]


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