How to Use the Argument From Evil

The problem of evil can be used in two different ways.  It can be used offensively; that is, in an attempt to criticize and undermine theistic belief, to show that theism is false and that belief in God is unfounded. But it can also be used defensively, i.e., to show that atheism is epistemically warranted, justified, or reasonable.  Of these two distinct uses, the first is by far the most common. But I think that the almost exclusive use of the problem of evil as part of an offensive attack has … [Read more...]

Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 2: How Many Arguments for God?

In Chapter  2 of When Skeptics Ask (hereafter: WSA), Norman Geisler appears to present five different arguments for the existence of God.  However, there are some significant problems with this characterization of Geisler's case for God.   NONE of the five arguments end with the conclusion that "God exists".  In fact, only his first argument even mentions the word "God", and it is precisely the reference to "God" in the conclusion of his first argument that makes that argument logically invalid … [Read more...]

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Barry Leventhal thinks that Jesus appears to people in dreams. (http://www.christianpost.com/news/jesus-still-appears-to-people-in-dreams-even-god-haters-christian-apologist-says-170855/) His claim isn’t that people have dreams in which Jesus figures as part of the dream, but rather that Jesus, himself, appears in the dream. I suspect that Leventhal does not think that every dream involving Jesus counts as an appearance of him, though. If I were to dream that Jesus and Sherlock H … [Read more...]

Geisler’s Five Ways

Norman Geisler is a Thomist.  His case for the existence of God is basically a simplified, clarified, and somewhat modified version of the case for God made by Thomas Aqinas in Summa Theologica.  Geisler borrows the basic logical structure of the case for God made by Aquinas, as well as some of the specific sub-arguments of Aquinas.The standard view of Aquinas has it that Aquinas presents Five Ways or five arguments for the existence of God.  Geisler apparently accepts this standard view of A … [Read more...]

Geisler’s First Argument

Norman Geisler's case for God appears to consist of five arguments for the existence of God.Here is my critique of the opening paragraph of Geisler's case, and my critique of his first argument for the existence of God:======================NOTE: I forgot that my plan was to put my posts on cases for God here at The Secular Oupost, and put my posts that are more specifically about Jesus and Christianity over on my own blog site.  So, I have moved my post about Geisler's first … [Read more...]

Evangelicals and the Donald Dilemma

Apparently, the candidacy of Donald Trump is splitting evangelicals. Trump presents them with the ultimate dilemma: As president, Hillary Clinton and a Democratically-controlled Senate could change the Supreme Court in ways highly antithetical to evangelicals. Today’s Houston Chronicle quotes Robert Jeffress of the Dallas First Baptist Church as saying, “…in the end, the election is a binary choice between a pro-life, pro-religious liberty, pro-conservative justices on the Supreme Court candi … [Read more...]

Was the Buddha Enlightened? (part 2)

A previous post (part 1) raised the question of whether or not there is good reason to think that the Buddha was enlightened. In that post, I mainly focused on the doctrine of karmic rebirth, pointing out that at least in early Buddhism, liberation from karmic rebirth is one of the things that the Buddha is said to achieved at the moment of his enlightenment. But if there is no karmic rebirth, then the Buddha was not enlightened — at least not in the sense in which his enlightenment was p … [Read more...]

Cases for God

I'm thinking about which cases for the existence of God to focus in on, for my evaluation of Christianity.  Right now, I'm thinking about examining the cases of four well-known Christian apologists:Norman Geisler William Craig Peter Kreeft Richard SwinburneI just realized that two of these philosophers are Thomists, and two are not Thomists.Geisler is a conservative Evangelical Christian, but his favorite argument for God is a Thomist cosmological argument, and his concept of … [Read more...]