If Theism is True, Why Is There Moral Progress and Not “Moral Prophecies”?

If theism is true, why aren't there "moral prophets" in the sense that they clearly perceive objective moral truths which are ahead of their time, such as someone 2,000 years ago declaring slavery is wrong, misogyny is wrong, etc.? Why do we instead observe moral progress? For example, why did much of humanity, for most of human history, believe that slavery was morally acceptable? What possible moral justification could God have for allowing people, on such a massive scale, to have mistaken mor … [Read more...]

God of the Gaps Arguments

I see the phrase "God-of-the-gaps" (GOTG) argument used a lot in the blogosphere, but people rarely define what they mean. I think GOTG arguments all look something like this.1. X happens or exists.2. We have no naturalistic explanation for X, i.e., we have no way to explain X without God.3. Therefore, God exists.I feel too lazy to track down an actual GOTG argument used by a theist, so for this post, I'm going to make one up to use as an example. (If this happens to match an … [Read more...]

What Happened to Quentin Smith?

Quentin Smith used to be a prolific philosopher, but, if PhilPapers.org is accurate, it has been many years since he's published anything new. He used to have his own website, which is now gone. His faculty page at WMU, which used to contain his vita and links to papers, is now stripped down to very minimal content. People tell me they've been unable to get ahold of him.I hope he is okay. If anyone has any information (and they are allowed to share it), please post a comment below or send me … [Read more...]

I Post a Reply to Jerry Coyne and Now I Am Blocked from Commenting on His Blog

I am used to this kind of behavior from some Christiana apologists, but not from fellow atheists. When I attempted to post the following comment on his blog post, alerting his readers to the fact that Coyne had unintentionally misrepresented my argument, I learned that I have been blocked from commenting on his blog.Dr. Coyne -- Thanks for your article and your interest in the argument. I don't think you've fairly represented Draper argument, however. I will explain why in detail on my blog … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus

Let me cut to the chase: Geisler's case for the claim that "Jesus actually died on the cross" is crap. It might be marginally better than William Craig's case, but it is most definitely a hot steaming pile of crap. As with Craig's case, part of the reason Geisler's case fails is that he tries to make his case in just a few pages. (This appears to be a common form of mental illness among Christian apologists.)I'm tempted to work my way slowly through Geisler's case, as I did with Craig's … [Read more...]

What Happened to Philo?

Is it just me or has it been a while since a new issue of Philo was published? (For those who didn't know: Philo  used to be subtitled, "The Journal of the Society of Humanist Philosophers." It was subsequently re-subtitled as "A Journal of Philosophy.") Also, I see that its website is now significantly different than it had been. It now appears to be setup using the "Open Journal System" (OJS) software. … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from Moral Agency Revisited: A Reply to Jerry Coyne

1. IntroductionBiologist Jerry Coyne recently blogged about an argument I've called the "evidential argument from moral agency" (EMA). The argument was formulated by (then-agnostic, now-atheist) Paul Draper in an article in the American Philosophical Quarterly. (See here for a free copy.) I've blogged about the argument twice: see here and here.  It appears that Coyne has only seen the first blog post, which he says he finds easier to read than Draper's essay, but since he doesn't actually … [Read more...]

An Invitation to William Lane Craig

An Invitation to William Lane Craig             On May 23 and June 9, respectively, the Secular Web published revised versions of two of my three essays on the kalam cosmological argument that had previously been published on that website. Today, I have sent an e-mail letter to Dr. William Lane Craig requesting that he publicly respond to these essays for the reasons set forth in that letter. A copy of that letter appears below. The reader will please note that I informed Dr. Craig in my letter … [Read more...]


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