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Showing posts from December, 2010

Quote of the Day

"We saw earlier that Swinburne claims that most contemporary theists need an adequate total theodicy in order to rationally believe that God exists. This is a claim about rationality in the subjective sense (p. 16).[1] Swinburne also holds that no adequate total theodicy except his own is available. Presumably, this means that theists who believe they have such a theodicy are guilty of at least objective irrationality. Furthermore...very few theists will agree with all or even most of the many metaphysical and axiological claims upon which the success of his theodicy depends and so will not, if Swinburne is correct, have an adequate total theodicy in the relevant sense. The surprising implication is that, if everything Swinburne says in his book is true, then most theistic belief is irrational in at least one of Swinburne’s two senses and will remain so no matter how many theists read and understand his book! Further, though additional argument would be required to establish this…

Craig's Replies to My Criticisms of the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

(Note: I have since offered a longer reply to Craig)

It's been brought to my attention that someone has plagiarized used some of my criticisms of the Leibnizian cosmological argument in a Q and A with Craig. Here is the link.

I hope to give a proper reply at some point, but for now I'll say that his reply is illustrative of the sort of illicit burden of proof shifting that characterizes much of his apologetic work.[1]

Reminder: If you refer to my posts, please abide by the fair use rules indicated in the Creative Commons license for this blog.

[1] Wes Morriston is one of the few philosophers who has called him on illicitly shifting the burden of proof. See, for example, p. 291 of this paper.

Liberal Naturalism and the Defeat of the Theistic Hypothesis


I think there is a version of naturalism that seems to explain the relevant range of data better than theism. To be a tad more precise: there is a prima facie viable version of naturalism that (a) explains the data appealed to in theistic arguments at least as well as theism, and (b) there is a range of other data that is better explained by this version of naturalism than by theism. Below I will provide a brief sketch of the sort of view I have in mind, as well as some considerations in its favor vis-a-vis theism.

Thus, consider the following hypothesis, which I'll call 'Chalmersian Liberal Naturalism' (in honor of the contemporary philosopher David Chalmers, who appears to accept a view somewhat similar to it. Call the view 'CLN' for short):

(CLN) There are both abstract objects and concrete objects. The abstract objects are eternal, necessary beings. All concrete objects are composed of just one kind of substance, and its essence has both physical and p…

Interesting Recent Paper on Expressivism and Divine Command Ethics

Unwin, Nicholas. "Divine Hoorays: Some Parallels Between Expressivism and Religious Ethics", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research LXXVII No. 3 (November 2008), pp. 659-684.

Here's the abstract:
Divine law theories of metaethics claim that moral rightness is grounded in God’s commands, wishes and so forth. Expressivist theories, by contrast, claim that to call something morally right is to express our own attitudes, not to report on God’s. Ostensibly, such views are incompatible. However, we shall argue that a rapprochement is possible and beneficial to both sides. Expressivists need to explain the difference between reporting and expressing an attitude, and to address the Frege-Geach problem. Divine law theorists need to get past the Euthyphro dilemma, and to avoid moral externalism. This paper shows how a combined theory helps us to achieve this.