Skip to main content

2011 Bellingham Lectures in Philosophy of Religion: Plantinga on God and Evolution

In 2009, Western Washington University began the annual Bellingham Lectures in Philosophy of Religion. Alvin Plantinga is the guest lecturer for 2011. Plantinga gave the first of his two lectures yesterday, which appears to cover the core argument of his new book, Where the Conflict Really Lies. Here is a link to a video of the lecture, as well as downloadable lecture notes. He'll give the second and final lecture tomorrow night. The notes for tomorrow's lecture are already up (here).

P.S., If you don't know already, Western Washington University is home to a number of people who do excellent work in philosophy of religion: Daniel Howard-Snyder, Frances Howard-Snyder, Hud Hudson, and Dennis Whitcomb. In addition, while neither appear to have publications in philosophy of religion, Ryan Wasserman and Ned Markosian are excellent philosophers who dabble in philosophy of religion. Lots of Christians aspiring to become professional philosophers go through the undergraduate program there.

Comments

Garren said…
From the lecture notes:

"Clearly there are questions of justice here—would it be just to teach in public schools positions that go contrary to the religious beliefs of most of those who pay for those schools?"

...where the position in question is teaching evolution as an 'unguided' process.

But couldn't the same objection be made to teaching the water cycle as a natural process to students whose teachers believe God directs the rain?

Furthermore, what does 'justice' have to do with pandering to the people who pay for education?

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

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 uia.no.

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…