Revised Comments Moderation Policy

I recently announced a comments moderation policy which included this: 5. This blog has a philosophical focus; the editors and authors aren’t interested in debating with readers who think philosophy is worthless or cannot understand the value of clearly defined terms. Comments along those lines will be blocked. UnitedAndy objected: I guess the biggest objection I have would be to point 5. I can’t see how any semi-reasonable person could hold to scientism or ending PoR, for example, but I’m just… Read more

Dissatisfaction with Many Arguments for and Against Dualism

Victor Reppert recently posted on his blog the following quotation of Susan Blackmore: How can objective things like brain cells produce subjective experiences like the feeling that ‘I’ am striding through the grass? This gap is what David Chalmers calls ‘the hard problem.’ …It is a modern version of the ancient mind/body problem – but it seems to get worse, not better, the more we learn about the brain… The objective world out there, and the subjective experiences in here,… Read more

Christian Emotional Coercion

Steve Hays at Triablogue writes: I don’t owe transgender soldiers any more gratitude than I owe squeegee bandits. Don’t do something I didn’t ask you to do, want you to do, or approve of, then pretend you were doing it for me. Don’t attempt to put me in your debt against my will. Your emotional coercion is illegitimate. I’m going to put aside the topic of transgender soldiers, and ask that any comments on this post do the same. Instead,… Read more

New Comments Moderation Policy in Effect

In order to maintain a high quality of discussion in the comments box, I have made the executive decision to moderate all comments on all posts.  This decision is effective immediately. The following policies are in effect. Anonymous comments are prohibited. Only registered users with verified email addresses may comment. There is no word limit on comments other than whatever limitations of the Disqus commenting software (if any). You are welcome to link to other sites, including your own, so… Read more

Why the moral argument fails

Of all the arguments for the existence of God, there is one argument (or one style of argument) that I have never had any sympathy with and never understood why anyone has any sympathy with, and that is the moral argument. It seems to me and has pretty much always seemed to me (at least as long as I have reflected on the issue) that the claim that moral phenomena depend for their existence on God is pretty clearly false…. Read more

What Atheists Do Not Believe

In a recent discussion here at SO one commentator posted some claims about what atheists must believe. These claims are commonly made, not just by this particular individual, but by many theists, including some who should know better. I quote some of the claims from those posted comments below, in bold, and reply by stating what atheists need and need not think. The atheist worldview largely includes beliefs: – In effects without causes (e.g. a Big Bang with no known… Read more

Podcast 5: How Should We Evaluate the Christian Worldview?

In Podcast 5, I briefly review some key points from Podcast 3 and Podcast 4, and then I discuss how to evaluate the Christian worldview: Some key points in Podcast 5: Religions are basically systems of religious beliefs. The core of a system of religious beliefs is a worldview. A worldview can be understood in terms of a general problem-solving scheme. A worldview can be understood as the answers to four basic worldview questions. Although there are many versions of Christianity,… Read more

Hinman’s REMEC Argument: DOA

Joe Hinman has (allegedly) posted a second argument for the “existence of God”: Although Hinman believes that the claim “God exists” is NOT literally true (but is only “metaphorically true”, whatever that means), he has included the phrase “existence of God” in the title of this latest post, implying that his second argument is an argument in support of the existence of God: Bowen-Hinman Debate (Existence of God) my argument 2 But his second argument is NOT an argument… Read more

God’s nature does not make his commands non-arbitrary

Many modern defenders of the divine command theory frequently claim that God’s commands are not arbitrary because they flow from his essential nature. Their argument is bad. That a commander issues consistent commands based on his/her own character does not mean that those commands are not arbitrary. Whether a command is arbitrary depends on whether there are reasons for the command. That commands are based on the commander’s nature tells us nothing about whether there are reasons for the commands…. Read more

The Physical Realization of the Mental

Here is a handout for one of my classes. Readers here might find it interesting as well. The class read the “Great Debate” on the Secular Web between Andrew Melnyk and the two Christian philosophers Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliafero. This is my explanation of Melnyk’s idea of the physical realization of the mental, which to me is quite plausible. Mind is defined functionally. A Functional Definition is a definition of something not in terms of its constituents, but in… Read more

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