The Nature of Naturalism

Over the last year (or two?), I've had on-again and off-again exchanges on various blogs with reader "Crude" about the definition of metaphysical naturalism. I'd like to comment on his (?) recent objections in the combox on Victor Reppert's blog start with the linked comment here and work your way down. Each time we've had an exchange, I've (virtually speaking) walked away scratching my head, not feeling the force of Crude's objections. Since that could be due to a misunderstanding on my part, … [Read more...]

Simplicity, Theism, and Naturalism

In a recent post on his blog, Alexander Pruss presents an interesting argument regarding simplicity, theism, and naturalism. He writes: I have argued elsewhere, as my colleague Trent Dougherty also has and earlier, that when we understand simplicity rightly, theism makes for a simpler theory than naturalism. However, suppose I am wrong, and naturalism is the simpler theory. Is that a reason to think naturalism true? I suspect not. For it is theism that explains how simplicity can be a guide to … [Read more...]

F-Inductive Arguments: A New Type of Inductive Argument

In his extensive writings, the prestigious philosopher Richard Swinburne makes a useful distinction between two types of inductive arguments. Let B be our background information or evidence; E be the evidence to be explained; and H be an explanatory hypothesis.“C-inductive argument”: an argument in which the premisses confirm  or add to the probability of the conclusion, i.e., P(H | E & B) > P(H | B).“P-inductive argument”: an argument in which the premisses make the conclusion pro … [Read more...]

Potential Objections to Swinburne’s Cosmological Argument

After studying inductive logic for so long, I've decided it is finally time to reread Richard Swinburne's The Existence of God (second ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) and reconsider his inductive case for God's existence. In doing so, I think I may have discovered a new objection to his cosmological argument. This is very rough and any comments would be appreciated. Swinburne's Terminology The first thing we need to do is to get clear on Swinburne's terminology and a … [Read more...]

Christianity Today asks, “Are Birth Defects Part of God’s Plan?”

LINKIf Christianity is true, then, of course, the answer has to be, "Yes." But is it true?The philosophically significant question, however, is this: "Does naturalism or theism, including Christian theism, provide the best explanation for birth defects?"Here is an excellent by Paul Draper, taken from a lecture he recently gave at the University of Notre Dame. [I]magine two alien beings who are much like us in intellectual ability and who are gradually learning everything we know … [Read more...]

Skeptical Atheism and the Fine-Tuning Argument?

The multiple universes objection is a common objection to fine-tuning arguments for God's existence. Paul Draper once wrote an interesting essay comparing that objection to that argument to the same objection applied to arguments from evil. What I've often wondered is this: what if we tried to draw another parallel between fine-tuning arguments and arguments from evil, this time focusing on "skeptical theism"? In other words, I think it would be interesting to compare, on the one hand, skeptical … [Read more...]


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