“Retirement” Responses

My "retirement notice" from philosophy of religion posted a couple of weeks ago has drawn an amazing and entirely unexpected amount of comment on Prosblogion, the Leiter Report, Debunking Christianity, and Dangerous Idea. My! I've gone viral! Seriously, I thought that maybe a dozen people would be interested in my decision, and since most of them read Secular Outpost, I put the notice here, and I am simply astonished at the attention it got. If only my books had been read by that many...I … [Read more...]

The X that Caused the Universe

The Kalam cosmological argument includes this bit of reasoning:1. The universe began to exist.2. If the universe began to exist, then something (other than the universe) caused the universe to begin to exist.Therefore,3. Something (other than the universe) caused the universe to begin to exist.This reasoning seems fine to me. The universe did not come from nothing; it came from something. The disagreement between atheists and theists is (or should be) over the nature of the something from which … [Read more...]

Burning Question

Does anyone else find it drolly ironic that the goofball Florida pastor who wants to burn the Qur'an has the same name as a member of Monty Python? When I hear that Terry Jones says he will burn a Qur'an , I expect it to be a skit with a Terry Gilliam cartoon and some ersatz cardinals intoning "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!" Maybe the best way to handle this whole imbroglio would be with ridicule and satire. Maybe somebody should organize an alternative event in which copies of … [Read more...]

“An Amoral Manifesto”

The philosopher Joel Marks has an interesting article, "An Amoral Manifesto," in the latest Philosophy Now.He argues for a kind of amoralism (which seems correct to me). He also affirms the theistic argument that without a God, there cannot be the kind of (hard) morality as we usually understand it. That also seems to me to be correct. Hence, since there is, in all likelihood, no God, there is also no morality.All of this I can mostly agree with. The interesting part is that he's recently been … [Read more...]

A Scientific Question? Part 9

One way of understanding "science" is that it is concerned with the discovery and verification of facts. If God exists, then the existence of God is a fact. If there is no God, then the non-existence of God is a fact. Either way, there is a fact to be discovered and verified. So, it looks like under this conception of "science" the question "Does God exist?" would be properly categorized as a scientific question.But, what is a "fact"? This is itself a problematic and ambiguous word. It might, on … [Read more...]

A Scientific Question? Part 8

There are four different possible kinds of questions, in relation to the categories of "scientific questions" and "historical questions" (prior to doing an analysis of these concepts):X.S.....H1. T.....T2. T.....F3. F.....T4. F.....F(1) both scientific and historical(2) scientific but not historical(3) not scientific but historical(4) not scientific and not historicalI am going to make a few plausible assumptions about what sorts of questions exist:(a) There are some scientific questions.(b) … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

Jack Chick for kids. (Though it's hard to believe any of his other tracts are for adults.)Weirdly self-referential. … [Read more...]

Goodbye to All That

Over the past ten years I have published, in one venue or another, about twenty things on the philosophy of religion. I have a book on the subject, God and Burden of Proof, and another criticizing Christian apologetics, Why I am not a Christian. During my academic career I have debated William Lane Craig twice and creationists twice. I have written one master’s thesis and one doctoral dissertation in the philosophy of religion, and I have taught courses on the subject numerous times. But no m … [Read more...]