Skip to main content

Paul Draper's 2009 SPR Presidential Address

In his 2009 presidential address to the Society for Philosophy of Religion, Draper presents a paper arguing that theists bear a heavy burden of proof. His argument is based on an application of his new theory of intrinsic probability for the probability calculus. First, he briefly explains his theory of intrinsic probability, and why it's superior to Richard Swinburne's. He then applies his theory by showing resultant problems for generating good Bayesian arguments for theism. The audio of Draper's address can be found here.

Welcome to the cutting edge, kiddies.

Comments

Luke said…
ex-apologist,

You deconverted while in graduate school studying philosophy of religion?

Did you finish your dissertation yet?
exapologist said…
Hi Luke,

You deconverted while in graduate school studying philosophy of religion?

Yes, I deconverted while doing a PhD in Philosophy.

Did you finish your dissertation yet?

Ask me this question in about a month. ;-)
Luke said…
Cool.

Say, do you have any tips for getting access to philosophy of religion journals and articles without being a student/faculty at an academic university?
exapologist said…
Hi Luke,

An amazing new online resource (thanks largely to David Chalmers and others), is Philpapers. You can use it to browse journals, search by author, title, subject, etc. There is then a list of papers that answer to the search, with links to them. If the link takes you to a journal that doesn't let you access the article, you can often just google the author + "department of philosophy", and the paper will be at the philosopher's department webpage. If all else fails, you can always go to your closest university library to get the article you're looking for.

Best,

EA

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…