Decisive Refutation of the Kalam Argument

(redating post originally published on 4 February 2006)Faith and Philosophy somewhat recently (2002) published a critique of the kalam cosmological argument that I think is decisive. The paper is written by Christian philosopher Wes Morriston and is entitled, "Must the Beginning of the Universe Have a Personal Cause?", by Wes Morriston.Morriston grants that the universe had a beginning in time. However, he scrutinizes in detail the claim that the First Cause is timeless and that it … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 9: Mormonism’s Missing Golden Plates

I began this series with a Bayesian interpretation of arguments from silence and then proceeded to use that interpretation to evaluate various arguments from silence about Jesus and God. In this post, I want to assess an argument from silence against a central claim of Mormonism, namely, that the Book of Mormon is the English translation of golden plates which church founder Joseph Smith received from the angel Moroni.If we abbreviate “the golden plates are nowhere to be found” as S, let B re … [Read more...]

William Lane Craig Admits His Debate Quotations of Anthony Kenny Are Misleading

In his popular debates on God's existence, William Lane Craig is fond of quoting philosopher of Anthony Kenny regarding the combination of atheism and Big Bang cosmology.Now this tends to be very awkward for the atheist. For as Anthony Kenny of Oxford University urges, "A proponent of the Big Bang theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that … the universe came from nothing and by nothing." (See, for example, here)In my 1999 debate with Phil Fernandes, I responded roughly as f … [Read more...]

Moreland: Christians are biased, but less biased than naturalists

(redating post originally published on 14 January 2006)According to Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland (as paraphrased by Melinda Penner), Christians are biased, but they are less biased than naturalists. In Melinda's own words: when a Christian deals with issues like science and faith, or the historicity of the Gospels, it's fair to say that he's biased in that he has a point of view, like everyone else. But a Christian's bias doesn't inform his conclusions in the same way that biases … [Read more...]

Off-Topic: A U.S. Constitutional Amendment Wish List

All the presidential primary debates, primaries, and causes got me thinking about the U.S. Electoral College, which in turn got me thinking about changes I'd like to see made to the Constitution.1. Eliminate Lifetime Supreme Court Appointments. See, for example, here. Instead, have Supreme Court justices get, say, 20-year terms after which they are ineligible to ever serve on the SC again.2. Repeal Citizens United Supreme Court Decision.3. Single Subject Rule.4. Prohibit states fr … [Read more...]

Yet Another Atheist Misrepresents a Theistic Argument (the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument)

The title of this blog post is hardly shocking, but it should be. When a philosopher explicitly lays out their argument with numbered premises and a conclusion, we should expect nothing less from critics than representing the argument by quoting the author's formulation. As we will soon see, however, yet another atheist has failed to do this.As I've mentioned before, William Lane Craig defended eight (8) argument for God's existence in his debate with Alex Rosenberg. Craig apparently (?) … [Read more...]

Response to William Lane Craig – Part 11

Here is my main objection to William Craig's case for the resurrection of Jesus:It is not possible for a person to rise from the dead until AFTER that person has actually died. Thus, in order to prove that Jesus rose from the dead, one must first prove that Jesus died on the cross. But in most of William Craig's various books, articles, and debates, he simply ignores this issue. He makes no serious attempt to show that it is an historical fact that Jesus died on the cross.  For that reason, … [Read more...]

Three Ontological Arguments

I have been trying to provide some clear and plausible versions of the ontological argument for one of my classes. This is a lot harder than it sounds. Below is what I have so far. The first argument is an attempt to capture what Anselm was arguing in his first version in Proslogion. The second tries to do the same thing for Descartes's version in Meditations V. The third tries to capture the essence of the Malcolm/Hartshorne version, which, they say, is based on Anselm's second version. Any … [Read more...]