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...]

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...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 8: The Missing Links Argument against Biological Evolution

I began this series with a Bayesian interpretation of arguments from silence and then proceeded to use that interpretation to evaluate various arguments from silence about Jesus and God. In this post, I want to assess an argument from silence that is extremely popular with anti-evolutionists, an argument I call the "missing links" argument.If we abbreviate "the fossil record does not contain any transitional fossils" as S, let B represent our background knowledge, and let E represent e … [Read more...]

Sean B. Carroll’s List of 6 Arguments Used by Science Denialists

I finally found what I was looking for. Sean B. Carroll, the noted evolutionary biologist, author, and vice-president for science education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, delivered a presentation at a 2012 conference on science denialism. He listed 6 arguments employed by science denialists that could be applied to almost any subject. They come from Carroll's book The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution.The six listed arguments were to: 1) Cast … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological and Teleological Arguments – Part 5

The Cosmological Argument (TCA) is the first argument in Swinburne's inductive case for the existence of God. The arguments are presented in a specific order, each argument adding one more contingent fact (or specific set of contingent facts) to the facts presented in the premises of the previous arguments. Since TCA is the first argument, it is presented against a background of ZERO contingent factual claims or assumptions. On Swinburne's approach, we literally start from scratch. The ONLY … [Read more...]

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...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 7: Victor Stenger on the Absence of Scientific Evidence for God

In this post, I want to revisit an argument from silence used by Victor Stenger against the existence of God based on the absence of scientific evidence for God.In his 2010 debate with William Lane Craig, Stenger argued that "the absence of evidence for God is evidence of absence" of God. In his words, "If God plays such an active role in the universe, then his actions should surely have been observed by now." As I understood him, he offered four examples of scientific evidence which could … [Read more...]