One Man’s Modus Ponens…

Here is an argument for the existence of God:1. If there is a God, then it is very likely that there is a book that was written many centuries ago that is purported to be a divine revelation, and that is widely known about, and that is filled with nothing but true facts and wisdom and clear and sound moral guidance, and that provides great help for people to live good and happy lives.2. If there is no God, then it is very unlikely that there is a book that was written many centuries ago … [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...]

Reppert on Theistic Explanation

Victor Reppert has chimed in on my reply to Wintery Knight.This is always an interesting issue. But does it really make sense to ask of an omnipotent being how they did something. For example, I once beat a Grandmaster in a chess tournament. Now, you might ask how I did that, since as someone whose rating has never gone above expert, you might wonder how I did that. (And the answer isn't all the flattering, was able to win because my opponent had had entirely too much to drink.) But if I … [Read more...]

Intelligent Design Arguments and Cumulative Cases

As we saw in my reply to Wintery Knight, he (like many other proponents of intelligent design or ID) propose that there are multiple, independent lines of evidence which favor intelligent design over its alternatives. Here is a partial summary of the evidence ID proponents offer."Cosmic Fine-Tuning," i.e., the initial conditions of the universe and the values of the constants of the fundamental laws "Biological Fine-Tuning," i.e., the biological information in the first replicator (origin … [Read more...]

The Blue Folders Story: How Not to Defend Objective Moral Values

I think I first heard this story while listening to a debate between Michael Horner and Henry Morgentaler, but since then I've seen it or heard it repeated many other times. The story is supposed to illustrate that even people who claim to be moral relativists really do believe that objective moral values exist. Here is how Victor Reppert puts it. Lewis's first argument is the argument from implied practice. People are, at best, inconsistent moral subjectivists. He writes:[quotation of C.S. … [Read more...]

Scientific Discoveries, Theism, and Atheism: Reply to Wintery Knight

I'm going to offer some comments on a recent post by Wintery Knight. He writes: When people ask me whether the progress of science is more compatible with theism or atheism, I offer the follow four basic pieces of scientific evidence that are more compatible with theism than atheism. [italics are mine] The following point is nitpicky, but it's worth mentioning just because so many non-philosophers, including both theists and nontheists, misuse words like "compatible" and "consistent." … [Read more...]

Initial Impressions on the Andrews-Schieber Debate: Part 4

In this post, I'm going to comment on Schieber's' first rebuttal.Schieber's First RebuttalIn defense of his argument from divine lies, Schieber writes: As to my argument against Christian knowledge, Mr. Andrews replies that he knows God is essentially truthful – that it is impossible for God to lie because it logically contradicts his moral perfection. The problem here is that nothing about moral perfection logically entails always telling the truth. While lying is usually seen as a m … [Read more...]

Initial Impressions on the Andrews-Schieber Debate: Part 1

Christian Max Andrews and Atheist Justin Schieber recently had a debate on the existence of the Christian god. Both audio and a transcript are available online. I think it's well worth listening to or reading. In what follows, I want to offer my initial impressions of both debaters' opening statements.Max Andrews' Case for Christian TheismAndrews offers three arguments for Christian theism: (1) the Thomistic Cosmological Argument; (2) a fine-tuning argument; and (3) an explanatory … [Read more...]


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