An Example of Why Atheists Need to do Effective Counter-Apologetics and an Example of How Not to Do That

1. An Example of Why Atheists Need to do Effective Counter-ApologeticsYou could call this post a sequel to my earlier post, "On Caring about Whether Other People Become Naturalists."Christian apologist Greg Koukl has released a video arguing that, yes, atheists suppress the truth in unrighteousness. For those of us who are familiar with the Christian apologetics literature, it will come as no surprise that Koukl states that Romans 1 teaches this position, a position which Randal Rauser … [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...]

Response to Prof. Feser’s Response to…etc (Part II)

Ed, this will be a rather truncated response to these points because I will address just the arguments you present here. A fair treatment of your arguments would need to address your article on these topics in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. However, two physical realities—time and space—limit me here.The question I posed was why we should think that a presumptively fundamental physical reality (quarks and leptons, quantum fields, superstrings, or whatever) needs supernatural sup … [Read more...]

Response to Prof. Feser’s Response (Part I)

Ed, for the convenience of readers, here is a link to your response to my answer to your first question.Here is my response:And thanks back to you for a very gracious and constructive reply! You clarify your position admirably. Also, you are right that philosophers do legitimately serve a role as “public intellectuals” in addressing popular arguments and claims. My friend philosopher John Beversluis published a superb critical study of C.S. Lewis, and I applaud him for doing so. His book … [Read more...]

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

Ed, I am going to take the liberty of first replying to your response to my answer to your fourth question. I am going to do this because I think that this is where we most significantly clash, that is, where our fundamental disagreements are most apparent. I want to address these points right away, and the others I will take up after the 15th when I will be back at my office.Sorry if I was unclear and gave a misleading impression. I do, in fact, think that the laws of nature are best … [Read more...]

Reply to Prof. Feser’s Fourth Question

Ed, Here is your fourth question to me: “4. In response to another reader’s question, about Craig’s version of the First Cause argument, you wrote: “Both theists and atheists begin with an uncaused brute fact. For Craig it is God, and for me it is the universe.” Now, as you know, the expression “brute fact” is typically used in philosophy to convey the idea of something which is unintelligible or without explanation. And your statement gives the impression that all theists, or at least most of t … [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...]

Index for Feser-Parsons Exchanges

The purpose of this blog post is simply to provide a convenient index to all of the posts in the planned two series of exchanges between Edward Feser and Keith Parsons. Feser's contributions will be posted on his blog and Parsons' contributions will be posted on The Secular Outpost.This post will be updated with links as as they become available.Exchange #1: Feser's Four Questions for ParsonsFeser's Initial Statement: "Four Questions for Keith Parsons"Parsons' Initial Res … [Read more...]