Wielenberg's Terrific New Paper on the Kalam Argument

 Wielenberg, Erik. "Craig's Contradictory Kalam: Trouble at the Moment of Creation", TheoLogica (Online First, October 9, 2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.14428/thl.v4i3.55133.

Here's the abstract:

Abstract:William  Lane  Craig’s  much–discussed kalamcosmological argument for God’s existence is intended to provide support for a particular theistic  explanation  of  the  origin  of  the  universe.I argue here that Craig’s theistic  account  of  the  origin  of the  universe entails  two  contradictions  and hence   should   be   rejected.The   main   contribution   of   the   paper   is   the identification     of     some     relatively     straightforward     but     previously unrecognized problems in Craig’s hypothesis that the beginning of the universe was a temporal effect of a timeless personal cause.

Fantastic Recent Paper on Pragmatic Encroachment and Religious Experience

I've been waiting for about 10 years for someone to carefully lay out the argument in the following paper, and my wait is now over:

Gillham, Alex X. "Religious Experience, Pragmatic Encroachment, and Justified Belief in God", Open Theology 1:6 (2020): 296-305

Here's the abstract:

The secondary literature on religious epistemology has focused extensively on whether religious experience can provide evidence for God’s existence. In this article, I suppose that religious experience can do this, but I consider whether it can provide adequate evidence for justified belief in God. I argue that it can. This requires a couple of moves. First, I consider the threshold problem for evidentialism and explain pragmatic encroachment (PE) as a solution to it. Second, I argue that religious experience can justify belief in God if one adopts PE, but this poses a dilemma for the defender of the veridicality of religious experience. If PE is true, then whether S has a justified belief in God on the basis of religious experience depends on how high the stakes are for having an experience with God. This requires one to determine whether the stakes are high or low for experiencing God, which puts the experient of God in an awkward position. If the stakes are not high, then justified belief in God on the basis of religious experience will be easier to come by, but this requires conceding that experiencing God is not that important. If the stakes are high, then the experient can maintain the importance of experience with God but must concede that justified belief in God on the basis of experience with God is less likely to happen, perhaps impossible.

Add this one to the list.

Negative PSR and Naturalism

(Rough Draft)

Spinoza appealed to a version of PSR that has both a positive and negative component:

Spinoza's Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR): every fact that obtains has a complete explanation for why it obtains, and every fact that fails to obtain has a complete explanation for why it fails to obtain. 

Suppose you accept Spinoza's PSR. Then you have a reason to think that every possible world is, and must be, actual. Otherwise, you will be hard pressed to find an explanation for why some possibilities fail to obtain. But if so, then there is an under-appreciated rational explanation for why the universe exists, rather than nothing. It is also an under-appreciated rational explanation for why our universe exists, rather than another. In this way, Spinoza's PSR provides the materials for a cosmological argument for naturalism.

Spinoza has been making a comeback in recent decades in the study of early modern philosophy. Here's at least one reason why philosophers of religion should celebrate this.

A New Version of the Problem of Natural Evil

 (Rough draft)

Here's yet another argument to add to the list. It will take me some time to flesh it out properly, but the argument is a version of the problem of natural evil. The version I have in mind appeals to system 1 and system 2 of dual process theory in cognitive psychology, but I think a similar line of argument would go through on other accounts of cognitive systems. The core idea is that: (i) a significant portion of the population is destined, beyond factors it cannot control, to fail to reliably avail itself of system 2 reasoning (or to defer to those who can); (ii) this reliably leads to large quantities of suffering to both groups of people; (iii) (i) and (ii) are surprising on theism, but not on naturalism; therefore, (iv) such data provide at least some evidence for naturalism vis-a-vis theism.


Malpass' New Paper Critiquing the Argument from Logic

Malpass, Alex. "Problems for the Argument from Logic: a Response to the Lord of Non-Contradiction", Sophia (forthcoming)

Here's the abstract:

James Anderson and Greg Welty have resurrected an argument for God’s existence (Anderson and Welty 2011), which we will call the argument from logic. We present three lines of response against the argument, involving the notion of necessity involved, the notion of intentionality involved, and then we pose a dilemma for divine conceptualism. We conclude that the argument faces substantial problems.


Wielenberg's Terrific New Paper on the Kalam Argument

 Wielenberg, Erik. " Craig's Contradictory Kalam: Trouble at the Moment of Creation ", TheoLogica (Online First, October 9, 20...