Adolf Grünbaum: The Poverty of Theistic Cosmology (2004)

This paper sits behind a paywall and I do not have access, so I have not read it and have no opinion on its contents. (Aside: if a copy were to somehow magically arrive in my inbox, I would be very happy.)Here is the (quite lengthy!) abstract: Philosophers have postulated the existence of God to explain (I) why any contingent objects exist at all rather than nothing contingent, and (II) why the fundamental laws of nature and basic facts of the world are exactly what they are. Therefore, we … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Argument from Religious Experience – Part 1

In The Existence of God (2nd edition, hereafter: EOG) , Richard Swinburne presents a careful and systematic case for the existence of God.  Eight of the arguments (that he considers to be significant) are presented as bits of empirical data each of which increases the probability of the hypothesis that God exists a bit (with the exception of the Problem of Evil, which he believes decreases the probability a bit).These eight inductive arguments are supposed to make the hypothesis of the e … [Read more...]

Some Skeptical Thoughts on the Resurrection

I met a fellow skeptic at a Starbucks a month or two ago. We recently bumped into each other, had a brief chat, and I found out that he was also interested in questions about the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the historicity of Jesus. He was especially interested in my thoughts about the resurrection, so I did a quick brain dump of some of my skeptical thoughts about the resurrection.Here is what I jotted down as a quick summary of some of my thinking on this … [Read more...]

Swinburne on the Resurrection: Negative versus Christian Ramified Natural Theology

ABSTRACT: We consider the impact of negative natural theology on the prospects of Christian ramified natural theology with reference to Richard Swinburne’s argument for the Incarnation and Resurrection. We argue that Swinburne’s pivotal claim—that God would not allow deceptive evidence to exist for the Incarnation and Resurrection—is refuted by key evidence from negative natural theology. We argue, further, that Swinburne’s argument omits dominating items of evidence of negative natural theology … [Read more...]

Atheistic Moral Realism – Part 2

I am going to engage in a bit of logic chopping now.  But for those who do not have an appreciation for logic chopping, do not despair;  my close examination of the bark on one tree will lead me to make some broader points that have significance for philosophy of religion, ethics, and serious thinking about God.  The broader points might even have some relevance to evaluation of William Craig's argument from the Existence of Objective Moral Values (Let's rearrange those words a bit: "Moral Ob … [Read more...]

The Atheist named Richard Swinburne

I was reading the Martyrdom of Polycarp recently, which is “the oldest written account of a Christian martyrdom outside the New Testament.” (The Apostolic Fathers, updated edition, edited and revised by Michael Holmes, p.222; hereafter: TAF). Polycarp was killed between 155 and 160 C.E:The Martyrdom of Polycarp sets out quite clearly both the issue at stake--Lord Christ versus Lord Caesar—and the state’s (as well as the general population’s) view of Christians as disloyal atheists who threate … [Read more...]

The Perfect Goodness of God – Again (Part 2)

In my previous post on this topic, I used conditional derivation to try to prove that one statement entailed another statement, to show that 'There is a person who is omniscient and perfectly free' entails 'There is a person who is perfectly good'.But because I'm a bit unclear on how the logic of conditional statements relates to entailment, I'm not sure that conditional derivation can be used this way.In any case, implication (the logical relationship in a true conditional statement) is … [Read more...]

The Perfect Goodness of God – Again

I have been struggling for weeks to try to re-state Richard Swinburne's argument concerning the coherence of the idea of there being a perfectly good person (from Chapter 11 of The Coherence of Theism, hereafter: COT). I think I can now at least point the way as to how to do this. The overarching argument goes like this:1. The statement 'There is a perfectly free and omniscient person' is a coherent statement. 2. The statement 'There is a perfectly free and omniscient person' entails the … [Read more...]


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