Gervais and Norenzayan: Analytical Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief

Abstract: Scientific interest in the cognitive underpinnings of religious belief has grown in recent years. However, to date, little experimental research has focused on the cognitive processes that may promote religious disbelief. The present studies apply a dual-process model of cognitive processing to this problem, testing the hypothesis that analytic processing promotes religious disbelief. Individual differences in the tendency to analytically override initially flawed intuitions in … [Read more...]

LINK: 3 Reasons Young Americans are Giving Up on God

According to The Week, young Americans are "giving up" on God for three reasons.1. Fundamentalists are turning off some young people2. Atheists and agnostic role models are getting more vocal3. Liberal attacks on religion are to blameHmmm... Assuming the statistical data reported by this article is accurate, I think the title is misleading. Yes, the percentage of people who "never doubt the existence of God" may have decreased, but it still is a supermajority.Also, I think this article missed a … [Read more...]

LINK: Steve Lovell Reviews Erik Wielenberg’s God and the Reach of Reason

LINK … [Read more...]

LINK: “But Theists Do It Too: An Objection To Plantinga’s EAAN” by Jimmy Licon

Abstract: In this paper, I present an objection to Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism called the theistic parity reply. Since traditional theism holds there is a great deal about the thoughts/intentions of God that is unknown to his creations, it could be that God desires that his subjects lack doxastic reliability for some good, unknown to them. If such a scenario cannot be blocked by the theist, then she must admit the probability her cognitive faculties are reliable is i … [Read more...]

LINK: Nate Shannon on Anderson and Welty’s Ambiguous Necessity

"In their argument for the existence of God from the laws of logic,* James Anderson and Greg Welty (AW) claim that the laws of logic exist necessarily. Their claim is that the laws of logic possess de re necessity, the type of necessity—metaphysical necessity—predicated of objects. How do they get there? They don’t, in my view, and their oversight is a smooth ambiguity between de re and de dicto necessity."LINK … [Read more...]

LINK: Why Is There Anything At All? A Response To Stenger

"As someone with sympathies for the Argument from Contingency, and as a non-believer, I am constantly frustrated when I see atheists who should frankly know better completely miss the point of the argument and attack straw-men or simply re-define the word "nothing" so the problem goes away. Philosophers have been quite good at pointing out the mistakes of people like Lawrence Krauss. It is sad to see people like Krauss dismiss their critics out of hand, or worse, put them in the same … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from Physical Minds (APM)

Last edited: 13-Jun-12 8:20PM PDT Informal Statement of the Argument Scientific evidence shows that human consciousness and personality are highly dependent upon the brain. In this context, nothing mental happens without something physical happening. That strongly implies that the mind cannot exist independently of physical arrangements of matter. In other words, we do not have a soul. And this is exactly what we would expect if naturalism is true. But if theism is true, then souls or, more … [Read more...]

The Best Argument for God’s Existence: The Argument from Moral Agency

Continuing my theme of summarizing arguments about God's existence inspired by the writings of Paul Draper, this time I have chosen to summarize an argument for God's existence, the "argument from moral agency." Draper's full argument may be found in his paper "Cosmic Fine-Tuning and Terrestrial Suffering: Parallel Problems for Naturalism and Theism." (The link will take you to JSTOR, where the paper sits behind a 'paywall,' so if you don't have JSTOR access you won't be able to read the … [Read more...]