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...]

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...]

Important New (Advanced but) Must-Read Book on Ethics without God by Erik Wielenberg


Oxford University Press has just published the latest book by Erik Wielenberg, entitled Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of Wielenberg's work; his previous books include Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and God and the Reach of Reason: C.S. Lewis, David Hume, and Bertrand Russell (Cambridge University Press, 2007).As you would expect … [Read more...]

William Lane Craig’s Silly Response to the Hostility of Life

In his most recent post on the Q&A section of his website, William Lane Craig responds to an objection to his version of the fine-tuning argument. Talking about the fine-tuning argument, Tyson said: Most places in the universe will kill life instantly - instantly! People say, 'Oh, the forces of nature are just right for life.' Excuse me. Just look at the volume of the universe where you can't live. You will die instantly.” In response to Tyson, Craig calls this objection "silly" and c … [Read more...]

Massimo Pigliucci on Metaethics, Part 1

William Lane Craig and Massimo Pigliucci debated the existence of God in 1998. (Click here to read the transcript.) In his opening statement, Craig presented his standard moral argument for God's existence. (1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. (2) Objective values do exist. (3) Therefore, God exists. In his opening statement, Pigliucci denied (2). Finally, the problem of morality, which I'm sure we'll have more to say about--oh yeah, I agree with Dr. Craig when he … [Read more...]