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...]

The VICTIMs of Christian Apologetics

My latest video, "The VICTIMs of Christian Apologetics: The Things Apologists Falsely Say Depend on God, But, if God Exists, God Depends on Them," is now available on YouTube. It is a narration of some of the many hundreds of PowerPoint slides I created in preparation for my recent debate with Frank Turek on naturalism vs. theism.This video presentation is a (roughly) 2 hour 30 minute critique of Frank Turek's latest book, Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case. T … [Read more...]

Weighing Theistic Evidence Against Naturalistic Evidence

In the next-to-last paragraph of his book, C.S. Lewis' Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason, Victor Reppert makes a very interesting statement: However, I contend that the arguments from reason do provide some substantial reasons for preferring theism to naturalism. The "problem of reason" is a huge problem for reason, as serious or, I would say, more serious, than the problem of evil is for theists. (emphasis mine) I think this is a very interesting statement for two r … [Read more...]

“The Argument from Reason” (2)

(redating post originally published on 14 December 2011)At 349, Reppert says: "We ought to draw the conclusion if we accept the premises of a valid argument".This is obviously wrong. Suppose, to take the worst case, that my beliefs contradict one another. If we are supposing classical logic -- as Reppert clearly is -- then, from my contradictory beliefs, using Reppert's principle, I ought to infer that every claim is true. But, even though there IS a valid argument from premises I accept … [Read more...]

“The Argument from Reason”

(Redating post originally published on 8 December 2011)A couple of comments on Reppert "The Argument from Reason" in Craig and Moreland (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, 344-90. (I have a long list; I may post further comments later.)1. At 368, Reppert argues: If the reference of our terms is indeterminate, then this has the disastrous consequence that we cannot reason to conclusions.This is surely wrong. Reasoning can be purely formal. (If all flombs are bloops, and all … [Read more...]

Arguments from Reason

I've finally gotten around to starting Victor Reppert's book, C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason. As Reppert points out in one of his chapters, we can really think of the "argument from reason" as the name for an entire family of theistic arguments. Indeed, Reppert formulates six different versions of the argument from reason which, he says, can be combined to form a cumulative case.Here are his six arguments.Argument from Intentionality Argument from … [Read more...]

Input Requested: Facts about Mental Properties Which Might be Relevant to Theism and Naturalism

I'm interested in collecting a list of mental properties which might be relevant to theism and naturalism. Examples:Consciousness Intentionality Reliability of Cognitive Mechanisms Mind-brain dependenceWhat else have I missed? … [Read more...]

Melnyk, Goetz, and Taliafero on the AFR

Lately I have been doing a book revision and in the process reflecting on the "Great Debate" between Andrew Melnyk and the Christian philosophers Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliafero. Melnyk defends the thesis of the physical realization of the mental (PRM) and Goetz and Taliafero offer criticisms. Here are my thoughts so far. Comments would be welcome. Sorry for the length and apologies also that I am too lazy to put in references in this draft. The MTB thesis is the claim, broader than … [Read more...]