Plantinga Calls This A Good Argument for God’s Existence?

The title of my post might come across as snarky, so I want to begin my making it clear that is not my intent. In fact, I want to go on record as saying I have great respect for Plantinga's skill as a philosopher. Among other things, I think he succeeded in his attempt to refute Mackie's version of the argument from evil.Perhaps because I have to come hold Plantinga's work to such a high standard, I continue to be surprised whenever I read Plantinga's version of the so-called argument from … [Read more...]

Christian Apologists Ignore the Best Objections to the Moral Argument

(Redated post originally published on 2 August 2014)To be precise, there are many kinds of moral arguments for theism. The question in the title is really talking about what we might call "ontological" or "metaphysical" moral arguments, the kind which claim that we need God in order to have an "ontological foundation" for objective or absolute morality.People who defend a version of this kind of argument include a veritable "Who's Who?" of contemporary Christian apologists: C.S. Lewis … [Read more...]

LINK: Alvin Plantinga’s Turnaround Argument from Evil

(Redated post originally published on 20 October 2011)LINK (HT: Victor Reppert) … [Read more...]

In Defense of Dwindling Probability – Part 2

I see that Plantinga's skeptical argument refers to "Dwindling Probabilities" rather than "Dwindling Probability".  Sorry about my failure to get the name of this topic quite right.I should mention that I did not learn about this sort of skeptical argument from the Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga.  I learned about the Multiplication Rule of probablity in high school math, and then again in one of many courses on logic and critical thinking that I took in college and as a graduate s … [Read more...]

In Defense of Dwindling Probability

One claim involved in the case for the resurrection of Jesus is this:D.  Jesus died on the same day he was crucified.The truth of this claim depends on the truth of some prior claims:E.  Jesus existed.C. Jesus was crucified.A probability tree diagram can illustrate how claim (D) involves dwindling probability (for a better view, click on the image):                                                                                                                              … [Read more...]

Hypocrisy on Moral Arguments, Arguments from Evil, and Logical Inconsistency

Many theists are fond of linking the problem of evil with a moral argument for God's existence. The idea is that by making an argument from evil against God's existence, the atheist has supposedly contradicted herself since the the argument from evil presupposes an objective evil and objective evil, in turn, presupposes God's existence.Since I've refuted that claim before, I want to explore a different aspect of linking these two kinds of arguments, namely, the double standard which … [Read more...]

A Very Rough Sketch of an Objection to Quentin Smith’s Argument for Moral Realism

In his book, Ethical and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language, Quentin Smith defends an argument for moral realism which he calls the argument from veridical seeming. (1)  Ordinary ethical sentences and commonsense first-level moral beliefs imply moral realism (or “Moral realism tacitly seems to be true in ordinary commonsense moral attitudes”). (2)  There are no empirical or a priori reasons to believe that first-level moral beliefs are all false.(3)  Therefore, it is m … [Read more...]

Plantinga on the Alleged “Irrationality” of Atheism

 I want to comment on Gary Gutting's recent interview of Alvin Plantinga in the New York Times. Unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are quotations of Plantinga. Still, that’s not nearly sufficient for atheism. In the British newspaper The Independent, the scientist Richard Dawkins was recently asked the following question: “If you died and arrived at the gates of heaven, what would you say to God to justify your lifelong atheism?” His response: “I’d quote Bertrand Russell: ‘Not e … [Read more...]