I Don’t Care

Thomas Aquinas pulled a classic BAIT-AND-SWITCH move in Summa Theologica: “Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, moved by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.”“Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.” “Therefore we cannot but admit the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of … [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...]

Is There a Problem of Evil for Atheism?

In response to various arguments from evil for atheism, some theists attempt to turn the tables on atheists and argue that evil is at least as much of a problem for atheism as it is for theism. I've argued repeatedly that this response completely misses the point that the problem of evil can be understood as a reductio against theism (see, for example, here). And what has the response of those theists been? Silence. Or, at the very least, if they have responded, I'm unaware of it. (Please feel … [Read more...]

Does God Exist? Part 2

Here is a third option for breaking down the question "Does God exist?" (click on the image below to get a clearer view of the chart):         This is a variation on Option 2 (see the previous post in this series).In this analysis I stick with the process of simply adding on divine attributes to the creator in order to build up to the full traditional concept of God, or something close to the full … [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...]

Richard Gale: “The Kalam Cosmological Argument Isn’t Taken Seriously”

"Some defenders of the Kalam Argument supplement their conceptually-based argument against the universe having had an infinite past existence with contingent facts from modern Big Bang cosmology that holds there to be a point singularity at some past time, which they then gratuitously interpret as the point in time when the universe came into existence. Big Bang-based cosmological argument is an example of the God-of-the-gaps cosmological argument, since it brings in God when science is not yet … [Read more...]

William Lane Craig on the Prior Probability of Theism and the Fine-Tuning Argument

One objection to fine-tuning arguments for God's existence goes like this: simply showing that so-called 'fine-tuning' is more probable on theism than on atheism isn't enough to show that God exists. One must also take into account the prior probability of theism.William Lane Craig responds to this objection in a recent Q&A on his website. He begins: Your professor’s objection will be more comprehensible if we put it into the context of the probability calculus. Let’s compare the pro … [Read more...]