Skip to main content

Two Threads to Follow... Prosblogion:

(i) Christian and non-Christian members of the American Philosophical Association discussing discrimination against gay men and women at various Christian colleges. Here.

(ii) The same crowd's discussing a session between Plantinga and Dennett at the recent Central Division APA conference. Here.


Ima said…
And, having listened to/attended the exchange, read the comments and controversies...

...What is your take on both the P&D exchange and the APA-discrimination matter, exapologist?
exapologist said…
Hi Ima,

My own view is that the non-Christians thoroughly cleaned the Christians clocks on the gay discrimination issue, both at the Prosblogion thread and at the originating post over at The Leiter Reports (btw, Mr. Zero did a nice, single-handed take-down of the whole lot of them over at the conservative blog, What's Wrong with the World).

I'm a bit more ambivalent about the Dennett/Plantinga exchange. I think Dennett made a legitimate point about the (humorous) "superman" example. But I don't think that's the best sort of reply, given the dialectical context of arguing with a Reformed Epistemologist like Plantinga. Given his view that Christian belief is properly basic, he's not committed to saying that one should posit God only if he's a useful explanatory posit (say, for some aspect of evolutionary history). Much more could be said on this topic, but ...

What did you think?

Popular posts from this blog

Epicurean Cosmological Arguments for Matter's Necessity

One can find, through the writings of Lucretius, a powerful yet simple Epicurean argument for matter's (factual or metaphysical) necessity. In simplest terms, the argument is that since matter exists, and since nothing can come from nothing, matter is eternal and uncreated, and is therefore at least a factually necessary being. 
A stronger version of Epicurus' core argument can be developed by adding an appeal to something in the neighborhood of origin essentialism. The basic line of reasoning here is that being uncreated is an essential property of matter, and thus that the matter at the actual world is essentially uncreated.
Yet stronger versions of the argument could go on from there by appealing to the principle of sufficient reason to argue that whatever plays the role of being eternal and essentially uncreated does not vary from world to world, and thus that matter is a metaphysically necessary being.
It seems to me that this broadly Epicurean line of reasoning is a co…

Notes on Mackie's "Evil and Omnipotence"

0. Introduction
0.1 Mackie argues that the problem of evil proves that either no god exists, or at least that the god of Orthodox Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, does not exist. His argument is roughly the same version of the problem of evil that we’ve been considering.
0.2 Mackie thinks that one can avoid the conclusion that God does not exist only if one admits that either God is not omnipotent (i.e., not all-powerful), or that God is not perfectly good. 0.3 However, he thinks that hardly anyone will be willing to take this route. For doing so leaves one with a conception of a god that isn’t worthy of worship, and therefore not religiously significant.
0.4 After his brief discussion of his version of the problem of evil, he considers most of the main responses to the problem of evil, and concludes that none of them work.

1. First Response and Mackie's Reply
1.1 Response: Good can’t exist without evil; evil is a necessary counterpart to good.
1.2 Mackie’s reply:
1.2.1 this see…

Notes on Swinburne, "On Why God Allows Evil"

Notes on Swinburne’s “Why God Allows Evil”

1. The kinds of goods a theistic god would provide: deeper goods than just “thrills of pleasure and times of contentment” (p. 90). For example:
1.1 Significant freedom and responsibility
1.1.1 for ourselves
1.1.2 for others
1.1.3 for the world in which they live
1.2 Valuable lives
1.2.1 being of significant use to ourselves
1.2.2 being of significant use to each other

2. Kinds of evil
2.1 Moral evil: all the evil caused or permitted by human beings, whether intentionally or through negligence (e.g., murder, theft, etc.)
2.2 Natural evil: all the rest: evil not caused or permitted by human beings (e.g., suffering caused by hurricanes, forest fires, diseases, animal suffering, etc.)

3. The gist of Swinburne’s answer to the problem of evil: God cannot – logically cannot -- give us the goods of significant freedom, responsibility and usefulness without thereby allowing for the possibility of lots of moral and natural evil. This is why he has al…