Just how religious is the “religious right?” Very. Just ask them. They will tell you moving stories about how they were lost sinners but gave their hearts to Christ, and have been living the blessed life every since. If being “religious” means being able to give a moving testimony, then they are certainly religious people. Or, perhaps, you are religious if you vigorously assent to every point of doctrine, even the flatly irrational ones. Surely, for someone to believe that,… Read more

POTENTIAL ATTRIBUTES VS. CONTINGENT ATTRIBUTES I think (i.e. strongly suspect) it is important to understand the relationship between Edward Feser’s concept of the potential attributes of X and logical possibility.  Feser does not provide clarification on this point, at least not in Chapter 1 of his book Five Proofs of the Existence of God (hereafter: FPEG), where he introduces and makes use of the concept of the potential attributes of X.  So, I think it is worthwhile to try to… Read more

Roy Moore’s supporters are standing by their man, despite highly plausible claims of sexual impropriety with girls in their early teens. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/roy-moore-supporters-stand-by-their-candidate-despite-sexual-assault-allegations?mbid=nl_Daily%20111017&CNDID=51648882&spMailingID=12332353&spUserID=MjMxNTQxMDUwNTE2S0&spJobID=1280982401&spReportId=MTI4MDk4MjQwMQS2 Damn liberals! Roy is a good ol’ boy! He was just tryin’ to put a little fun in his fundamentalism. Question: How often did the famously homophobic Moore condemn gays because they allegedly target the underage? More than once, I’ll wager. Read more

THE ARGUMENT FOR PREMISE (3) In his book Five Proofs of the Existence of God (hereafter: FPEG), Edward Feser presents an Aristotelian argument for God in Chapter 1.  In Part 2 of this series I divided that argument into seven chunks.  Chunk #1 consists of premises (1) through (14).  The first sub-argument in Chunk #1 goes like this: Change is a real feature of the world. But change is the actualization of a potential. So, the actualization of potential is… Read more

FESER TAKES OWNERSHIP OF THE FIVE ARGUMENTS In Five Proofs of the Existence of God (hereafter: FPEG), Edward Feser presents five “proofs” or arguments, each of which was inspired by an historical philosopher (or two).  However,  Feser takes full ownership of these five arguments, so that none of these arguments is put forward as merely an historical presentation or as merely a scholarly interpretation of a specific argument by an historical philosopher: In my earlier books The Last Superstition and Aquinas,… Read more

I am a free-speech fundamentalist. That is, I hold that public forums, including public universities, should be open to the free expression of opinion. Period. Even when the opinion is offensive and obnoxious. Especially when the opinion is offensive and obnoxious. There can be no free speech if it is required that the speech not offend anyone. There can be no free speech if only certain viewpoints or ideologies are permitted. There can be no free speech if certain topics… Read more

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ARISTOTELIAN ARGUMENT In Chapter 1 of Five Proofs of the Existence of God (hereafter: FPEG),  Edward Feser presents his Aristotelian argument for the existence of God.  This is the most important argument in the book, because the other four arguments presented by Feser in later chapters all have a significant dependency on this first argument. Specifically, the other four arguments rely on the assumption that a purely actual being must have various divine attributes (e.g. omnipotence,… Read more

In his book Five Proofs of the Existence of God (hereafter: FPEG),  Edward Feser lays out what he takes to be the five best arguments for the claim that “God exists”.  Based on a quick glance through this book, it seems to me that Feser does a much more reasonable job of making a case for God than either Norman Geisler (in When Skeptics Ask) or Peter Kreeft (in Handbook of Christian Apologetics).  In my view, based on careful reading… Read more

Through most of the history of Western philosophy, skepticism has been the specter haunting epistemology. I am teaching an introductory course in epistemology, and every introductory textbook has a chapter, usually near the beginning of the book, on how to “deal” with skepticism. The assumption seems to be that skepticism is not so much a specter as a bothersome insect that has to be swatted before you can get down to the proper business of epistemology, like specifying conditions of… Read more

WHERE WE ARE AT I am in the process of evaluating Argument #19 (the Argument from Common Consent) from Peter Kreeft’s case for the existence of God (in Chapter 3 of Handbook of Christian Apologetics, hereafter: HCA): 1. Almost all people of every era have believed in God. A.  Either God DOES exist or God does NOT exist. THEREFORE: 2. EITHER almost all people of every era have believed in God and God DOES exist, OR almost all people of every era have believed in God but God… Read more

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