Lowder-Vandergriff Debate on God’s Existence Now Out!

I'm pleased to announce that my debate on God's existence with Mr. Kevin Vandergriff is now out! Here are the options for accessing the debate.Download it as an audio file via the Reasonable Doubts podcast Watch the YouTube version which has slide presentations accompanying each speech Read the transcript (to be made available sometime in the future)Topic and FormatThe topic and format for our debate was as follows.Topic: Naturalism vs. Christian Theism: Where Does the Ev … [Read more...]

Adolf Grünbaum: The Poverty of Theistic Cosmology (2004)

This paper sits behind a paywall and I do not have access, so I have not read it and have no opinion on its contents. (Aside: if a copy were to somehow magically arrive in my inbox, I would be very happy.)Here is the (quite lengthy!) abstract: Philosophers have postulated the existence of God to explain (I) why any contingent objects exist at all rather than nothing contingent, and (II) why the fundamental laws of nature and basic facts of the world are exactly what they are. Therefore, we … [Read more...]

Adolf Grünbaum: Why is There a World AT ALL, Rather Than Just Nothing? (2009)

I have not read this paper and so I have no opinion on its contents, but it looks very interesting. Abstract: The titular question here “Why is There A World AT ALL, Rather Than Just Nothing?” is a fusion of two successive queries posed by Leibniz in 1697 and 1714. He did so to lay the groundwork for his explanatory theistic answer. But the present paper offers (i) A very unfavorable verdict from my critical scrutiny of the explanatory demand made by Leibniz, and (ii) My argument for the comple … [Read more...]

Link: Why Science Cannot Explain Why Anything At All Exists by Luke Barnes

Physicist and cosmologist Luke Barnes wrote an interesting post in his blog a while ago about why science cannot explain why anything at all exists. I'm inclined to agree with him. Here is how he summarizes his own argument in his own words. A: The state of physics at any time can be (roughly) summarised by three things.1. A statement about what the fundamental constituents of physical reality are and what their properties are. 2. A set of mathematical equations describing how these … [Read more...]

Some Logic in Swinburne’s Cosmological Argument

I have been struggling for the past week or two to make clear the logic behind one premise of Swinburne's cosmological argument. Perhaps those readers of The Secular Outpost who have an interest in logic or in Swinburne's arguments will be able to help me with this task.Actually, his inductive cosmological argument is very simple:1. A complex physical universe exists. Therefore: 2. God exists.It is not this argument that I am struggling to understand and clarify, but rather … [Read more...]

WLC’s Debate Quotation of Anthony Kenny

Here is WLC's quotation of Kenny: A proponent of the Big Bang Theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the universe came from nothing and by nothing. And here is a critique:LINK … [Read more...]

Reply to Prof. Feser’s Response, (Part III)

Ed, Russell’s argument is from Why I am not a Christian, which was a popular talk given to a general audience. As you say, almost certainly he was aiming at popular apologetics. He could, however, address the argument at a much more sophisticated level. I think his best response to cosmological arguments came in his classic debate with Frederick Copleston. Since I have written on this debate, I hope you will not mind if I quote myself at length: "Copleston’s first argument was the “argument from … [Read more...]

Response to Prof. Feser’s Response to…etc (Part II)

Ed, this will be a rather truncated response to these points because I will address just the arguments you present here. A fair treatment of your arguments would need to address your article on these topics in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. However, two physical realities—time and space—limit me here.The question I posed was why we should think that a presumptively fundamental physical reality (quarks and leptons, quantum fields, superstrings, or whatever) needs supernatural sup … [Read more...]