Intelligent Design: Get ready for another round

President Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is very likely a supporter of teaching Intelligent Design (ID) in public schools. Her husband, Dick DeVos, ran for Governor of Michigan in 2006 and explicitly stated his support for ID ( http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/09/21/devos-and-intelligent-design/ ). It is not unlikely, then, that ID proponents will be emboldened to make a fresh push to include it in school science curricula.A key strategic claim for ID p … [Read more...]

Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 13: Existence and Attributes of a Necessary Being

In Phase 1 of his case for the existence of God, Geisler reformulates the argument from being as follows:Argument from Being #2 - Initial Version 50. If God exists, [then] we conceive of Him [God] as a necessary Being.   51. By definition, a necessary Being must exist and cannot not exist.   THEREFORE 52. ...if God exists, then He [God] must exist and cannot not exist. (WSA, p.25) PHASE 3 ARGUMENTBoth premise (50) and the conclusion (52) are conditional statements with t … [Read more...]

Adolf Grünbaum on Determinism and Reason

" The causal generation of a belief does not, of itself, detract in the least from its truth. My belief that I address a class at certain times derives from the fact that the presence of students in their seats is causally inducing certain images on the retinas of my eyes at those times, and that these images, in turn, then cause me to infer that corresponding people are actually present before me. The reason why I do not suppose that I am witnessing a performance of Aida at those times is that … [Read more...]

Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 12: Is the Creator a Necessary Being?

PHASE 3: THE EXISTENCE OF A NECESSARY BEINGGeisler abuses the word “God” yet again in Phase 3 of his case for the existence of God.  The argument in Phase 3 is on page 27.  It makes use of the conclusion from “The Argument from Being” in Phase 1 (pages 24-26). Here is the conclusion of this part of his case:God is a necessary being.He is NOT using the word “God” in its ordinary sense here.  Perhaps, he actually means something like this:Whatever caused the universe is a necessar … [Read more...]

Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 11: The Structure of Geisler’s Case

I'm going to take a step back in this post and look at the overall structure of Geisler's case for the existence of God, a presented in When Skeptics Ask (hereafter: WSA).PHASE 1: GEISLER's FIVE WAYSOn pages 15 through 26, Geisler presents five arguments for five conclusions.  I call this Phase  1 of this case.  Here are the five conclusions of the five initial arguments:Something other than the universe caused the universe to begin to exist. Something is a first uncaused cause of … [Read more...]

Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 10: The Goodness of the Creator

REVIEW OF MY EVALUATION OF GEISLER'S CASE (SO FAR)In Phase 1 of his case for the existence of God, Norman Geisler presents five arguments for five different conclusions:There is exactly one being that caused the universe to begin to exist. There is exactly one being that has sustained the universe in existence until now. There is exactly one being that is the designer of the universe. There is exactly one being that is the supreme moral lawgiver. There is exactly one being that … [Read more...]

Unapologetic Review – Part 5: The Meaning of “Faith”

The Beating Heart of UnapologeticThe heart of the book Unapologetic is Chapter 5:  "Why Philosophy of Religion Must End", and the heart of Chapter 5 is the Ten Reasons that Loftus gives for this conclusion (in the subsection of Chapter 5  titled "Why Philosophy of Relgion Must End," on pages 131-135), and the heart of the Ten Reasons is in Reason #9 (on page 135).  And at the heart of the argument given as Reason #9 is this premise:...faith-based reasoning must end.  (Unapologetic, p.1 … [Read more...]

Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 9: The Supreme Moral Lawgiver

In Phase 1 of his case for the existence of God (in When Skeptics Ask, hereafter: WSA), Norman Geisler argues for the existence of  a "supreme moral Lawgiver".  The argument goes like this (see WSA, p. 22):Geisler's Moral Argument32. There is an objective moral law.33. Moral laws imply a moral lawgiver.THEREFORE:34. There is a being that is the supreme moral lawgiver.Premise (32) is a controversial claim, and so a good reason or agument is needed to support this claim.   … [Read more...]