Can Brains Think?

Victor Reppert and I have been arguing for forty years. Our first debates took place when we were both students at Candler School of Theology, Emory University way back in the seventies. For a while, we even lived down the hall from each other in the same house. (Among other things, I learned that you do not play chess with Victor unless you do not mind losing.) Our exchanges have continued in public and in private ever since. While I… Read more

Confederates in the Closet

Note: This is off topic, but because of recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia and elsewhere I thought it might be of interest. I was born in Macon, Georgia in 1952, the fourth generation of the Parsons family to be born in Georgia.  My great-great grandfather Parsons was born in London, England, and in 1844 he settled in Georgia on land only recently stolen from the Creek Indians.  On the other side of the family, my roots in Georgia go back… Read more

What could God’s commands do for morality?

Consider the following version of divine command metaethics (DCM): Our moral obligations are constituted by divine commands. In particular, F is morally obligatory = God has commanded that we F F is morally wrong = God has commanded that we not F F is morally permissible = God has neither commanded that we F nor commanded that we not F. On this theory, God’s commands constitute moral obligations and thus, in the absence of divine commands, there are no moral… Read more

An Experiment in ‘Steelmanning’: Let’s Try to Formulate a Good Argument from Cosmology Against Naturalism

In the spirit of my last post, I think it would be interesting to engage in some inquiry about whether the kalam cosmological argument is onto something. Rather than try to repair the kalam cosmological argument as it stands, I think it would be interesting to channel Richard Swinburne or Paul Draper and see if there is a good F-inductive argument against naturalism based on known facts in cosmology. Here’s a quick refresher on notation: Pr(x): the epistemic probability of any… Read more

Genuine Inquiry vs. Partisan Advocacy: Philosophy of Religion vs. Apologetics

Yesterday I blogged about a “recommended apologetics reading” list created by Western Michigan University philosopher Tim McGrew. After several cordial exchanges with Tim, I’ve decided that, despite my best attempts to be charitable, I failed. Contrary to what I had suggested, Tim stated, “I certainly would not recommend that anyone with a serious interest in the truth of Christianity restrict himself to reading only the works I have listed.” I take him at his word, and so I have decided to delete the entire… Read more

Is Ravi Zacharias a Hypocrite Regarding Christian Sexual Morality?

Steve Baughman reports that Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, who I critiqued long ago, has admitted to receiving sexually explicit photos from a married woman not his wife. If true, this would obviously not be a crime, but it would definitely be a violation of Christian sexual morality. As a reminder, Baughman previously documented how Zacharias had exaggerated his academic credentials. Read more

Link: “Slavery, Southern Conservatism, and Darwinian Natural Right” by Larry Arnhart

“Some of the opponents of Darwinian moral naturalism insist that morality requires a transcendent source in religious belief. But in this debate over slavery, we see that such religious belief–at least as coming from Biblical revelation–does not provide us reliable moral guidance. Cobb was able to show that the Bible–both the Old Testament and the New Testament–sanctioned slavery. (Recent books by Mark Noll and Eugene Genovese have surveyed the history of Southern proslavery arguments based on the Bible.) If the… Read more

Hinman’s Replies to My Objections to ABEAN and REMEC

I. HINMAN’S REPLIES TO MY OBJECTIONS TO ABEAN   A. POSTS IN THIS DEBATE THAT DISCUSS ABEAN: Joe Hinman’s ABEAN Argument for God My Criticism of Hinman’s ABEAN Argument for God Joe Hinman’s Responses to My Criticism of His ABEAN Argument   B. MY MAIN OBJECTION: ABEAN IS VERY UNCLEAR My contention is not merely that ABEAN is a bad or defective argument; rather, it is so unclear that it is unworthy of serious consideration…. Read more

Does “Science” Make Theism Likelier than Atheism?

Victor Reppert recently linked to an article on the blog Saints and Sceptics (S&S), “Why Science Makes Theism Likelier than Atheism.” In this blog post, I’m going to critically assess that article. 1. What is the Evidence to be Explained? S&S begin their article as follows: Should we view the order of the universe, and our ability to comprehend that order, as evidence of God? This question suggests two related but independent items of evidence to be explained: E1. The universe is orderly…. Read more

Does Atheism Undercut the Case for Equal Human Rights?

Philosopher Victor Reppert thinks so.  I’m not certain, but I think his argument for this claim is supposed to be found in an earlier post of his. At the same time, Reppert, like the overwhelming majority of theists who write about such topics, completely glosses over what atheist intellectuals who specialize in the topic have written. (The writings of Erik Wielenberg would be a great place to start.) I’d have more respect for Reppert’s argument if he at least gave… Read more

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