Christian Apologists Ignore the Best Objections to the Moral Argument

(Redated post originally published on 2 August 2014)To be precise, there are many kinds of moral arguments for theism. The question in the title is really talking about what we might call "ontological" or "metaphysical" moral arguments, the kind which claim that we need God in order to have an "ontological foundation" for objective or absolute morality.People who defend a version of this kind of argument include a veritable "Who's Who?" of contemporary Christian apologists: C.S. Lewis … [Read more...]

Weighing Theistic Evidence Against Naturalistic Evidence

In the next-to-last paragraph of his book, C.S. Lewis' Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason, Victor Reppert makes a very interesting statement: However, I contend that the arguments from reason do provide some substantial reasons for preferring theism to naturalism. The "problem of reason" is a huge problem for reason, as serious or, I would say, more serious, than the problem of evil is for theists. (emphasis mine) I think this is a very interesting statement for two r … [Read more...]

When are Theistic Arguments “God-of-the-Gaps” Arguments?

In a recent post, Victor Reppert asks: Is there any theistic argument [from/in natural theology] that can't be accused of being a god-of-the-gaps argument? Is this an all-purpose reply to all natural theology? My answers are "yes" to the first question and "no" to the second question.I think it would helpful if everyone would agree upon or stipulate what it means for an argument to be a "God-of-the-gaps" argument.Here's my proposal: "God-of-the-gaps" arguments have the following … [Read more...]

Victor Reppert Calls the Universe Atheists Believe in “Irrational”

In a post titled, "Do you believe in magic?", Christian philosopher Victor Reppert writes: I don't believe that reason could arise from nonreason, therefore I think that reason is at the foundation of the universe. According to the naturalistic view, the normative arises from the nonnormative, the logical arises from the nonlogical, the universe exists without an explanation for its existence even though it looks contingent as all heck, the universe was finely tuned for intelligent life, … [Read more...]

Theistic and Atheistic Conversation Killers

Both theists and atheists can make statements which are "conversation killers." Here are two recent examples from the Blogosphere.On the atheistic side, James Lindsay recently wrote this. On that basis, and others like it, it is very difficult to see the matter of theism as something to treat seriously as a philosophical object. We shouldn't. It is a theological object, and theology is only "pseudo-philosophical," as Carrier puts it, and pseudo-academic, as I outlined above. No one is r … [Read more...]

Melnyk, Goetz, and Taliafero on the AFR

Lately I have been doing a book revision and in the process reflecting on the "Great Debate" between Andrew Melnyk and the Christian philosophers Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliafero. Melnyk defends the thesis of the physical realization of the mental (PRM) and Goetz and Taliafero offer criticisms. Here are my thoughts so far. Comments would be welcome. Sorry for the length and apologies also that I am too lazy to put in references in this draft. The MTB thesis is the claim, broader than … [Read more...]