Must Atheists Have Deductive Proofs for God’s Nonexistence to Justify Atheism?

Yet another objection to the possibility of a sound argument for the nonexistence of a god can be found in the writings of Bertrand Russell. In order to understand the basis for Russell's objection, we must first understand how Russell defined the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic': An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying … [Read more...]

Reply to Prof. Feser’s Response, (Part III)

Ed, Russell’s argument is from Why I am not a Christian, which was a popular talk given to a general audience. As you say, almost certainly he was aiming at popular apologetics. He could, however, address the argument at a much more sophisticated level. I think his best response to cosmological arguments came in his classic debate with Frederick Copleston. Since I have written on this debate, I hope you will not mind if I quote myself at length: "Copleston’s first argument was the “argument from … [Read more...]

Reply to Prof. Feser’s Third Question

Ed, your third question and accompanying commentary was this: In response to a reader’s comment, you wrote:I think Bertrand Russell's beautifully succinct critique of all causal arguments holds good: "If everything requires a cause, then God requires a cause. However, if anything can exist without a cause, it might as well be the universe as God." Exactly.Now, your Secular Outpost co-blogger and fellow atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder agrees with me that this is not in fact a good objection t … [Read more...]