Terrorist Outrage in Paris

I am angry. Very angry. We know that Islamic fanatics are mad dogs whose very humanity has been consumed by their devotion to a rabid religion. We have seen them massacre whole communities of innocent people for no reason other than religious bigotry. We have seen them kidnap hundreds of girls and young women then sneeringly taunt the loved ones of their victims. We have seen them murder and mutilate other girls for the crime of seeking an education. Today’s murderous attack on the offices of C … [Read more...]

Strategies for the Problem of Evil

A recent post on the problem of evil (PoE) drew over 250 comments, a new record, I think. The comments were lively, but went in various directions, making it hard to follow a clear thread of argument after a while. Here I would like maybe to help focus discussion by offering my synopsis of the ways that the PoE is generally approached, and listing what I see as the advantages and disadvantages of each.Theists have generally addressed the PoE in three ways, or perhaps we should say by … [Read more...]

Index: Draper’s Evidential Argument from Biological Evolution

The purpose of this page is to provide an index for my blog series on Paul Draper's evidential argument against theism based on biological evolution.Part 1: a summary of the argument Part 2: a critical assessment of William Lane Craig's attempt to turn the tables on Draper and argue that evolution is evidence favoring theism over naturalism.See also:Summary and Assessment of the Craig-Draper Debate on the Existence of God (1998) "Religious Experience and the Evidential Argument … [Read more...]

Is Intentionality a Cardinal Problem for Physicalism?

This response is based on the summary by Joel Steinmetz of an article by John Haldane:http://guweb2.gonzaga.edu/faculty/calhoun/socratic/Steinmetz-Problem_of_Intentionality.pdfIt is not based on the not the original article by Haldane, so my remarks here must be regarded as provisional and informal. Still, I would like to address a few points.Haldane’s argument, as presented here, is somewhat confusing because of the terminology employed. The key terms are “extension,” “intension (wit … [Read more...]

Atheism and the Meaning of Life, Again

http://www.strangenotions.com/if-atheism-is-true-does-life-still-have-meaning/The above article by Jennifer Fulwiler, who converted from atheism to Catholicism, raises the perennial issue of the meaning of life for atheists. For me, the most engaging part of the piece is the quote from Ross Douthat. Douthat apparently concedes that an atheist’s joys and sorrows can feel as intensely meaningful as they do for the theist. However, he proposes an interesting analogy. In warfare, the motivation f … [Read more...]

Critical Thinking and Skepticism – Part 3

John Loftus did a short post on this topic back in May.   Based on that post, it is clear that we agree there is a close connection between critical thinking and skepticism.  Here are two of his statements along those lines:...to think critically is to think skeptically, and vice versa....there is no distinction between critical thinking and thinking skeptically. They are one and the same. Although Loftus views critical thinking and skepticism as being "one and the same"  he says thin … [Read more...]

Questions Concerning the Existence of God

It does not look like I can retire this year, maybe next year (it could happen!).  But I think I will start my ten-year plan to develop a multi-volume critique of Christianity in January, even if I'm still working my 9 to 5 job.Part of evaluating Christianity is evaluating the fundamental metaphysical claim that 'God exists'.   If there is no God, then, obviously, there is no Son of God or God Incarnate, so the truth of most of the other basic Christian beliefs depends on the truth of t … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Argument from Religious Experience – Part 1

In The Existence of God (2nd edition, hereafter: EOG) , Richard Swinburne presents a careful and systematic case for the existence of God.  Eight of the arguments (that he considers to be significant) are presented as bits of empirical data each of which increases the probability of the hypothesis that God exists a bit (with the exception of the Problem of Evil, which he believes decreases the probability a bit).These eight inductive arguments are supposed to make the hypothesis of the e … [Read more...]


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