Theism and the Genetic Fallacy, Part II

(Redated post originally published on 5 March 2009)A few weeks ago I engaged in an exchange with Victor Reppert on theism and the genetic fallacy. I had meant to get back to him right away, but administrative b.s. of the sort always imposed on university faculties slowed me down. Anyway, our conversation made me think of ways to employ some of the recent biological belief theories (BBT's) of Boyer, Atran, Dennett and others in constructing a more rigorous atheological argument:My … [Read more...]

What is Atheism? – Part 2

Levels of Analysis I'm going to make a second attempt to clarify and define the word "atheism".  This time, I will emphasize that the analysis and definitions exist at different levels.  Swinburne's clarification and analysis of "God exists" makes use of different levels of definition or analysis:Level 0:  "God exists."Level 1:  God exists IF AND ONLY IF exactly one divine person exists.Level 2:  X is a divine person IF AND ONLY IF X is a spirit who is eternally omnipotent, etern … [Read more...]

What is Atheism?

I know this is a well-worn topic, but I think it is worth hashing over this old question one more time.First, some obvious points that many ignorant, bible-thumping, knuckle-dragging bigots are unable to grasp:1. ATHEISM is not the same as MATERIALISM (not all atheists are materialists).2. ATHEISM is not the same as MARXISM (not all atheists are Marxists).3. ATHEISM is not the same as HUMANISM (not all atheists are Humanists).4. ATHEISM is not the same as AGNOSTICISM (not all … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Resurrection – Part 1

In thinking about the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus, one needs to either determine an answer to this very basic question:Q1: Does God exist?Or else one needs to determine some sort of approach to how this question is to be dealt with in relation to the two key questions about the resurrection:Q2: Did Jesus rise from the dead?andQ3: Did God raise Jesus from the dead?If one determines that there is no God, then the answer to (Q3) is obviously: NO.  Also, i … [Read more...]

Link: Darwin’s Argument from Evil by Paul Draper

Draper's chapter was published in Yujin Nagasawa (ed.), Scientific Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave Macmillan. 49 (2012). It's available online for free courtesy of Google Books.LINK … [Read more...]

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...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 4

Previously, I argued that it is not possible to become eternal. Recall that a person P is eternal if and only if P has always existed and P will always continue to exist. Here is a step-by-step proof showing that it is impossible for a person to become eternal:<------------|-----------|-------------->................t1...........t21. At time t1 person P is NOT eternal AND at a later moment t2 P is eternal. (supposition for indirect proof/reduction to absurdity)2. At time t1 … [Read more...]