Paul Draper, the Fallacy of Understated Evidence, Theism, and Naturalism

(Redated post originally published on 23 November 2011)Paul Draper has usefully identified a fallacy of inductive reasoning he calls the "fallacy of understated evidence." According to Draper, in the context of arguments for theism and against naturalism, proponents of a theistic argument are guilty of this fallacy if they "successfully identify some general fact F about a topic X that is antecedently more likely on theism than on naturalism, but ignore other more specific facts about X, … [Read more...]

God, Multi-verses, and Modal Realism

(redated post originally published on 16 November 2011)I have heard in various quarters recently the claim that Lewis' version of modal realism is (a) just a kind of multi-verse theory; and (b) intrinsically incompatible with theism. A partial discussion of this issue may be found in the pages of Philosophia Christi:Richard Davis 'God and Modal Concretism' Philosophia Christi 10, 1, 2008, 57-74 Graham Oppy 'Reply to Richard Davis' Philosophia Christi 11, 2, 2009, 423-36 Richard Davis … [Read more...]

I.I. Sponsors Internet Debate on God’s Existence: God or Blind Nature?

(redated post originally published on 9 July 2007)After five years of planning, preparation, and work, the Internet Infidels will officially announce on July 1 the first installment of its "Great Debate" project, God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence. (I've been given the OK to post this early.) The project, coordinated by agnostic philosopher Paul Draper, will present four written debates involving nine distinguished philosophers, each examining different areas of evidence … [Read more...]

Victor Reppert’s Anti-Naturalistic Argument from Pain

(redated post originally published on 25 November 2006)There are a variety of approaches to formulating an argument from evil against theism. Two of the most influential versions of the evidential argument from evil were developed by atheist William Rowe and agnostic Paul Draper. Both involve appeals to pain. In a recent entry on his blog, Victor Reppert tries to turn the tables on proponents of arguments from evil (pain) by arguing that pain is a problem for atheists. Reppert formulates his … [Read more...]

Sarcasm: How to be an Atheist Apologist

(redated post originally published on 3 December 2006)Disclaimer: the following post is sarcastic. It is not intended to be representative of the tactics used by all or most atheist "apologists."1. Any reason for doubt, no matter how far-fetched or speculative, is sufficient for avoiding the conclusion that God exists. For example, even if we don't have the first clue about physics or cosmology, posit the mere possibility of the existence of multiple universes in order to avoid the … [Read more...]

Sarcasm: How to be a Christian Apologist

(redated post originally published on 2 December 2006)Disclaimer: the following post is sarcastic. It is not intended to be representative of the tactics used by all or most Christian apologists.1. Doubt is to be avoided at all costs. There's a reason for the expression, "devil's advocate," you know.2. Do not mention objections to the faith unless they are so common that you would discredit the faith by failing to answer them.3. If you must acknowledge an objection, try to … [Read more...]

“You are Under Arrest in the Name of Jesus!”

Life in Texas is many things, but it is never boring. You can always count on zealous Bible-beaters, uh, our duly elected state officials, that is, to liven things up. Our governor Greg Abbott wants crosses on police cars: that his justification only mentions the religious significance of the cross in passing. Chiefly, the cross is a symbol that supposedly elicits the deepest respect from Texans. … [Read more...]

Off Topic: Critical Thinking about Marijuana Use

I don't smoke pot, so I don't have a significant personal stake in questions about the risks and dangers of marijuana use.  I am glad that my state recently legalized marijuana, but I think it should be legal whether or not it has significant health and safety risks, just like smoking tobacco and drinking alcoholic beverages is legal even though these activities clearly have significant health and saftey risks.Ever since I was a young person I have noticed that many people have a strong … [Read more...]