Skip to main content

Update on the APA Debate About Sexual Discrimination at Christian Colleges

Keith DeRose, a Christian and a leading epistemologist, is on the side of reason and decency on this issue. See his post at Prosblogion. See also the great comment by Jonathan Kvanvig, another Christian and leading epistemologist (doesn't it figure that theorists of knowledge would be the one's to know better?!).

By contrast, Christian apologists like William Lane Craig (signature #10) and J.P. Moreland (signature #87) are on the other side of this. I'm disappointed in them. Scroll through the signatures to see who else signed the counter-petition -- it's guaranteed to raise eyebrows.


Wes said…
I've been working with the creator of the original petition, Charles Hermes, to show that few actual members of the APA are supporting the counter-petition. As of this morning, there are 288 total signatures of which 28 are anonymous and 199 do not appear in the APA database. This leaves only 62 signatures from people whose names match a name in the database (and I have reason to believe that 3 of these just happen to match because they are common names, but they are not actually members). Compare that to the over 1300 names on the original petition. Certainly, many are non-members, but I'm sure over 1000 of those are from APA members.

As a private organization supported by the dues of its members, I'm hopeful that the APA will defer to the clear will of its members over the opinions of outsiders.
exapologist said…
Hi Wes,

It disturbs me as well that so many non-APA members are trying to guide APA policy -- and for the purpose of discrimination, no less.

I saw your comments at DI and the Leiter Reports, by the way. Keep up the good work!
Ima said…
Linda Zagzebski's kinda signature surprised me. I was even holding out for van Inwagen, but as you can see that was also a disappointment.

Did you expect anything less from Moreland and Craig, EA?
exapologist said…
Hey, Ima,

I was bummed to see Zagzebski's signature as well.

'Expect' is perhaps too strong a word; 'holding on to a glimmer of hope' is closer.
Luke said…
How many Christians do you see on the "good" list? I don't recognize any Christian names beside Kvanig and DeRose.
Ron said…
This whole issue to me revolves around whether homosexual behavior is wrong or not. I've read all of Keith DeRose's post and comments on this issue and it seems to me that he and other Christians who support the petition are in effect saying that discrimination based upon this particular type of sexual behavior is wrong. It follows that the Christian colleges ought to hire openly homosexual professors and lecturers. In other words, they want Christians to stop believing that homosexuality is really morally wrong.

This is contrary to St. Paul's explicit condemnation of homosexuality in Romans 1 as being a result of the Fall. Even if all Christian colleges magically began to believe that homosexuality is not wrong, the law written upon our hearts would still testify to its wrongness and the negative natural consequences would still remain.

If the world hates me for saying this, I am comforted that it hated the One whom confronted the powers of this world all those years ago.

Ok, I am done preaching now. :)
exapologist said…
Hey, Ron,

It's true that a key point behind the original petition is to protest a kind of discrimination that the signatories find to be unprincipled and unjust. The Christian colleges are of course free to continue to discriminate against people who are gay. It's just that the signatories want the APA to uphold their policy of putting a mark next to the job ads of such colleges to indicate that they discriminate in this way. I see nothing wrong with this, and it seems clear to me that the APA is in its rights to do so.
Ron said…

Is this all about putting a mark next to the colleges that discriminate or banning them completely from being a part of the APA? Like you I see nothing wrong with the former though I think it wouldn't be in the interest of spirited intellectual life to just ban all the conservative Christians.
exapologist said…

It doesn't involve banning conservative Christians from the APA. And Christian colleges are still free to advertise jobs in the APA paper, Jobs for Philosophers.
Ron said…

Ok, my bad.

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…

CfP: Inquiry: New Work on the Existence of God

In recent years, methods and concepts in logic, metaphysics and epistemology have become more and more sophisticated. For example, much new, subtle and interesting work has been done on modality, grounding, explanation and infinity, in both logic, metaphysics as well as epistemology. The three classical arguments for the existence of God – ontological arguments, cosmological arguments and fine-tuning arguments – all turn on issues of modality, grounding, explanation and infinity. In light of recent work, these arguments can - and to some extent have - become more sophisticated as well. Inquiry hereby calls for new and original papers in the intersection of recent work in logic, metaphysics and epistemology and the three main types of arguments for the existence of God. 

The deadline is 31 January 2017. Direct queries to einar.d.bohn at

Andrew Moon's New Paper on Recent Work in Reformed Epistemology... the latest issue of Philosophy Compass. Here's the abstract:
Reformed epistemology, roughly, is the thesis that religious belief can be rational without argument. After providing some background, I present Plantinga's defense of reformed epistemology and its influence on religious debunking arguments. I then discuss three objections to Plantinga's arguments that arise from the following topics: skeptical theism, cognitive science of religion, and basicality. I then show how reformed epistemology has recently been undergirded by a number of epistemological theories, including phenomenal conservatism and virtue epistemology. I end by noting that a good objection to reformed epistemology must criticize either a substantive epistemological theory or the application of that theory to religious belief; I also show that the famous Great Pumpkin Objection is an example of the former. And if a copy should make its way to my inbox...

UPDATE: Thanks!