An Incompatible-Properties Argument against Objective Values

In this post I want to sketch an argument against objective values (moral or otherwise).I shall first analyze the noun “value” and then the expression “moral value.” Finally, I will use these definitions to explicitly formulate an argument that objective values, so defined, have logically incompatible properties. In other words, the concept of an "objective value" is self-contradictory in the same way that "a married bachelor" or "a four-sided triangle" is self-contradictory.The Objecti … [Read more...]

Next Year

I wanted to retire this year, but that did not work out.   I might be able to retire a year from now, though.There are a number of topics from this year that I plan to carry over into 2015:1. The End of PoR?John Loftus has argued that public colleges and universities should stop offering classes in the Philosophy of Religion.  I disagree.  But I have not yet evaluated his argument for the End of PoR, nor have I made my case in support of PoR.2. Swinburne's case for GodI fi … [Read more...]

Christian Apologist: Theists Care About Science but Naturalists Don’t

Christian apologist Wintery Knight has written an unintentionally funny post against naturalists in which he attempts to turn the tables on those who would use science to argue against religion.Linking to an old article which explains how the planet Jupiter deflects comets and asteroids that might otherwise hit Earth, Wintery Knight argues that this shows our habitat was fine-tuned to be life-permitting. This would make sense if, say, we were talking about a junior deity (call him "Bob") who … [Read more...]

Joel Steinmetz: The Problem of Intentionality: A Cardinal Difficulty for Physicalism (2005)

A very interesting summary of a lecture delivered to Gonzaga University's Socratic Club on December 9, 2005.LINKDisclaimer: As always, links do not necessarily constitute endorsement. See also:Craig's Argument from Intentionality … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from Biological Evolution, Part 2: Is Evolution Evidence for Theism?

Let's begin reviewing the logical form of the argument, as described in Part 1 of this series. (1) Evolution is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that naturalism is true than on the assumption that theism is true. (2) The statement that pain and pleasure systematically connected to reproductive success is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that evolutionary naturalism is true than on the assumption that evolutionary theism is true. (3) Therefore, evolution … [Read more...]

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 transcriptTopic and FormatThe topic and format for our debate was as follows.Topic: Naturalism vs. Christian Theism: Where Does the Evidence Point?Format: Mr. Lowder's Opening … [Read more...]

Theists, like Math Students, Need to Show Their Work

In my recent debate with Kevin Vandergriff, Vandergriff argued that biological evolution is evidence for theism. In support, he referred to the probability estimate of evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala. According to Ayala, it is fantastically improbable that intelligent life on Earth is the result of unguided evolution.Since I have a background in probability theory, I was most interested in learning how Ayala arrived at this conclusion and, more important, how he arrived at his precis … [Read more...]

More on the Arbitrariness Objection to the Divine Command Theory

I’ve been carrying on a conversation with Matthew Flannagan about the arbitrariness objection to the divine command theory. You can find my first post on the issue here and Matt’s response here. In this post I am going to continue my defense, against Flannagan’s objections, of the arbitrariness argument (AA):Either God’s commands are arbitrary or they are grounded in reasons. Arbitrary commands cannot ground moral obligations.  If God’s commands are grounded in reasons, then it is those … [Read more...]