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.


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

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…