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...]

Cosmos Reboot with Neil deGrasse Tyson

The TV series Cosmos (of Carl Sagan fame) has been rebooted, this time with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as the host.What do Intelligent Design (ID) theorists have to say about it? Here's Uncommon Descent's review. (TL;DR: they're unhappy with the "materialistic message.")Did you watch it? If so, let us know what you thought in the comments below! … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological and Teleological Arguments – Part 3

I am exploring a concern about, or potential objection to, Swinburne's inductive cosmological and teleological arguments for the existence of God. The objection I have in mind is something like this, for the cosmological argument:Although the one factual premise of Swinburne's cosmological argument is supposed to be the ONLY contingent factual claim or assumption upon which the conclusion of the argument rests, the argument actually rests on a considerable number and variety of contingent … [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...]

Sean Carroll’s 11 Lines of Evidence for Naturalism over Theism

This is my attempt to summarize the slides from Sean Carroll's recent debate with WLC where he very quickly skimmed through eleven (11) lines of evidence which favor naturalism over theism. I don't claim this is perfectly accurate; any corrections would be welcome and, in fact, appreciated!Facet Theism (Theistic Prediction) Naturalism (Naturalistic Prediction) Lowder's CommentsAmount of Tuning Just Enough Sometimes too much (e.g., entropy). A natural mechanism could incredibly … [Read more...]

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...]

What are Atheists For?

What are atheists for? Hypotheses on the functions of non-belief in the evolution of religionDominic Johnson* Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UKAn explosion of recent research suggests that religious beliefs and behaviors are universal, arise from deep-seated cognitive mechanisms, and were favored by natural selection over human evolutionary history. However, if a propensity towards religious beliefs is a fundamental characteristic of human bra … [Read more...]


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