Swinburne’s Ridiculous Probability Argument for the Existence of God

I've picked on Protestant apologist Alvin Plantinga a lot before for his asinine claims and Roman Catholic apologist Edward Feser for his claims that have more gall than a gallbladder, but I haven't addressed Eastern Orthodox apologist Richard Swinburne as much. They're all supposed to be professional Philosophers, but often they read like Christian apologists. …

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The Problem of God and the Problem of Belief

J.L. Schellenberg has written about the pragmatic benefits of 'not' believing that God exists (where 'believing that' God exists is to be understood propositionally, and 'not' is to be understood disjunctively in terms of propositional attitudes). In other words, the supposed benefits that Pascal and William James say can only come when one believes that …

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How Can Atheists Find Meaning and Purpose???!

I'm back posting again after a long break...I guess I needed it. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a little tired of the God-debate (i.e. whether God exists). Nevertheless, there are other things to discuss in the Philosophy of Religion, and other interesting questions in life, besides whether an Omni-God exists (1).  For example, I …

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Are Religious Experiences “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”?

At one point in my life I took the position that one's religious experience gives that same individual prima facie justification/reason to think God exists. Now, however, I'm not quite sure what to think of the matter. In other words, I'm not sure we should treat religious experiences as innocent until proven guilty. And even …

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What Can Arguments Do?

Why do people give arguments? When should people give arguments? What are the limits of arguments? These are important questions, and there seems to be a lot of confusion among scholars and laypersons about logical arguments.  Arguments are mainly for convincing other people of some claim. One idea of giving arguments is that one should …

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The Convenient ‘Special Pleading’ of Skeptical Theists

Skeptical theism is a double-edged sword. As any honest and consistent skeptical theist would tell you, skeptical theism would undermine (some/all) arguments for the existence of God. (And as Michael Tooley, and one commenter on this blog have noted, the Bible seems to tell us some of Yahweh's reasons for allowing suffering; therefore, we are not …

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Is there a ‘Problem of Good’?

The alleged 'Problem of Good' refers to the fact that if a good God doesn't exist, then why is there so much pleasure, beauty, and good-will in the world? And aren't all the good things in the world evidence that an evil god doesn't exist? I do think that the existence of pleasure and experience …

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An Evidential Argument from Non-God Objects: Part 2

In a previous post I talked about how any non-God object (and/or objects) is evidence against classical theism. My argument is as follows: 1. It is a known fact that (concrete) reality consists of some thing(s) that is/are not God 2. (1) is more expected on the hypothesis of metaphysical naturalism than on the hypothesis of …

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How would I classify arguments for and against God’s existence?

Generally when one looks at general overviews or outlines of the various arguments for and against God, the arguments are classified in a neat order. However, I have found that the classifications for theistic arguments (in particular) are often prone to counter-examples. For example, it is often said that what makes ontological arguments what they …

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Alternative concepts of God

On this blog I mainly talk about classical/traditional theism. Classical/traditional theism, at bottom, claims that there exists a Being who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good. More specifically this Being is all-loving, personal, timeless, spaceless, uncaused, immaterial, immutable, etc. This position is also known as "Anselmian theism", "Perfect Being Theism", or "Theism". Saint Anselm held that …

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Should we also refer to God as a “she”?

It's no secret that traditionally speaking God has been referred exclusively as "he". Most of the time people don't really think of why they refer to God only as a 'he'; it's more of a custom or tradition. What's more, everyone agrees that God isn't male or female. Given that this is the case, I …

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How Aquinas and Feser rely on incomplete premises

It's no secret that Edward Feser is a big fan of Thomas Aquinas. One could even say that Feser is somewhat of a 'popularizer' of Aquinas. In particular, Feser specializes in Aquinas's natural theology (i.e. arguments for God's existence). Feser himself believes that Aquinas' arguments are airtight arguments. Naturally, I would say that I am …

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Non-supernaturalism vs. naturalism

Most of us in Western society have heard of the term 'naturalism'. Metaphysical naturalism is the position that the only entities that exist are natural entities, and anything that is mental depends on the physical. Supernaturalism, however, gives priority to the mental, and anything that is physical is dependent on the mental. Non-supernaturalism is the …

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Some New Arguments for the Principle of Sufficient Reason?

The Principle of Sufficient Reason (or PSR) states that everything that exists has an explanation for its existence. As Sean Carroll points out, "The PSR is kind of like that bumper sticker that says 'Everything Happens For A Reason' ". Defending the truth of the PSR has not been easy for those that endorse it. …

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Some more thoughts on the argument from contingency

This past Saturday, the Unbelievable? podcast hosted a debate between Cosmic Skeptic and Cameron Bertuzzi on the subject of the argument from contingency (for God's existence) [1]. That got me to thinking about writing another post on the argument, and this post is just going to list and discuss just some of the problems I find …

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Does atheism generate predictions about the world?

By 'atheism', I mean what is commonly referred to as 'strong atheism'. Strong atheism is the position that gods do not exist. Specifically, strong atheism can also be local. In other words, classical strong atheism is the denial of classical/traditional theism. And classical/traditional theism is the position that there exists a God who is all-powerful, …

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The Argument from Biblical Confusion against Christianity

What exactly do I mean by biblical confusion? Basically, I mean that Christians have varying interpretations (i.e. disagreement) about what the Bible says. Moreover, there are some/many passages in the Bible that are ambiguous and vague. The fact that there is so much confusion around the Bible is surprising if Christianity is true; however, this …

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Stop saying that it’s ‘obvious’ that God exists

One of the problems with claiming that something is obviously true is that it's basically a non-starter. That is, just because you saying something is just obviously the case, that does not mean that it really is. But what is the claim being made? Saying that something is obvious must mean that it is obvious …

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Beauty as evidence for and against God’s existence

Over the past couple of centuries, there has been a lot of skepticism with regards to the concept of 'objective' beauty. I must admit that I myself am skeptical that there is (or could be) such a thing as objective beauty. In other words, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Do you …

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Autism and Deformed Epistemology

Those who are autistic (like me) tend to have a harder time believing that God exists than the general population. As I was thinking about this interesting fact, I recalled what Alvin Plantinga (yes, him again) has said in his writings about people who don't believe that God exists. In his writings on Deformed Epistemology …

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Evolution, Metaphysics, and Naturalism

Alvin Plantinga argues that if evolution and metaphysical naturalism are both true, then we have no reason to trust our judgments when it comes to metaphysics. Actually, whether or not metaphysical naturalism is true, we shouldn't trust most of the conclusions we reach in metaphysics (or a priori methods; more on that below). One only …

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The Resurrection Hypothesis

The resurrection hypothesis states that 'God raised Jesus from the dead'. However, there is nothing about the claim "God exists" that predicts a resurrection. One must also add the claim that God wants to raise Jesus from the dead. But the problem is that there is nothing in our background knowledge that expects that God …

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Of Miracles and Edward Feser

Philosopher Edward Feser has argued on his blog that the prior probability of a miracle occurring has to do with our background knowledge of the world; therefore, there isn't an absurdly low prior probability of a miracle occurring if: God exists, supernaturalism is true, God wants to perform miracles, God wants to raise Jesus from the dead, …

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Response to Alvin Plantinga on Evolution and Theism

In his book, Where the Conflict Really Lies, Alvin Plantinga argues that evolution does not conflict with theism, specifically classical theism. Plantinga looks at a few different arguments and concludes they don't work. One of the arguments that Plantinga looks at is an argument from Paul Draper. Draper argues that evolution counts as some evidence against …

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Skeptical Theists admit defeat

Appealing to God's 'mysterious ways' is nothing new. I'm sympathetic to the idea that skeptical theism is just a more dressed up version of appealing to God's mysterious ways. Whether or not that is the case, I do not think skeptical theism is plausible in its own right. I think skeptical theists admit defeat. What …

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Divine Command Theory and Moral Arguments for the Existence of God

In general, moral arguments for God presuppose divine command theory (DCT). What I've noticed, however, is that philosophers tend to make a few mistakes when it comes to the relationship between DCT and moral arguments for God (MAFG). Common Mistakes One mistake is to assume that if DCT is false, then all MAFG fail. However, …

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Consciousness as evidence for and against the existence of God

The existence of consciousness has been argued to be evidence for God. That's because on classical theism we already start with a mind, which is the mind of God. But would God create minds? Would God create finite minds? Would God create human minds? These are good questions. However, even if we grant that theism …

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Dishonest Apologetics

It's no secret that Christian apologetics is not the same thing as Philosophy or Philosophy of Religion. If there is one thing that can get under my skin about apologetics, it is the fact that many apologists will present arguments for God's existence in an intellectually dishonest way. What's the dishonest way? Well, I think …

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The Omnipotence of God and Economic Competition

If the God of classical theism exists, then God is omnipotent (all-powerful). Given that God is all-powerful, would God set up the world in such a way where humans compete for resources? The upshot is that an omnipotent Being doesn't need competition in order for humans to survive and thrive; God can bring about human …

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Response to Timothy Perrine on Skeptical Theism and Humean Arguments from Evil

In previous posts, I've discussed skeptical theism and certain types of arguments from evil (i.e. Humean arguments from evil). My contention has been that it is plausible that skeptical theism doesn't apply to certain Humean arguments from evil, particularly Draper-style arguments from evil. Recently, however, Timothy Perrine released a paper where he contests this by …

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On “The Limitations of Pure Skeptical Theism”

In his article, "The Limitations of Pure Skeptical Theism," Paul Draper argues that skeptical theism can't be applied to Humean arguments from evil (like Draper's own argument). To be sure, Draper repeats some of the points that he has made before. Nevertheless, it seems that (many) skeptical theists needed a refresher. Definitions As a reminder, …

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A Probabilistic Argument from Divine Hiddenness

In the literature, 'divine hiddenness' doesn't mean that God exists and is hiding. Rather, what it primarily means is that there are some individuals who don't believe that God exists, and their nonbelief isn't merely the result of emotional factors towards the concept of God. In addition, 'divine hiddenness' is sometimes used to refer to …

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Blocking the problem of evil with arguments for God’s existence

Obviously, the problem of evil is one of the greatest challenges to traditional theism. If suffering exists, how can an all-powerful and all-good God exist? Doesn't evil make God's existence unlikely? One response to (this version of) the argument from evil says something like the following: "Okay, let's grant that God's existence is unlikely relative …

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The Existential Argument Against God’s Existence

Nobody denies that there are some people who don't find life to be meaningful and/or purposeful. But if God exists, why is this the case? Wouldn't God be concerned with us wanting to find purpose and meaning? Wouldn't God want us to think that there really is purpose and meaning? (1)(2) On classical theism, meaning and purpose …

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The Problem of Religious Diversity

If God exists, why are there so many religions? In other words, if God is all-powerful and all-good, then is it not surprising that we have so much confusion when it comes to religion? This problem is 'up there' with the problem of evil and problem of divine hiddenness. The Issue The problem of religious …

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Religious experience as an argument for and against God’s existence

When we talk about sensory experiences, we sometimes talk about how such experiences can give justification to a belief. For example, me seeing a cat with my eyes provides a reason/justification for me to believe that there is a cat in front of me. This same move is commonly made when it comes to religious belief/experiences. …

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Why I don’t talk about Pascal’s Wager

Recently, I thought about why I haven't really written about Pascal's Wager. One might expect me to talk about it because I talk about belief in God (a lot) on this blog. The reason I haven't talked about the Wager is because Pascal's Wager is more concerned with pragmatic reasons for believing that God exists. That …

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Free will and monotheism: Can’t live with it or without it

When it comes to God and suffering, it's rare that you do not hear the subject of free will come up. It's common to hear something along the lines of, "If humans don't have free will, then we're just puppets. Do you think God wants us to be puppets?" In fact, in some instances, one gets …

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Does it matter if God exists?

The God-debate mainly focuses on whether or not God exists; it also focuses on what God's nature is like. This blog discusses classical/traditional theism, which says that if God exists, then God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good. If that sort of God exists, wouldn't it obviously matter? Wouldn't God's existence make a difference? At first …

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A Modal Moral Argument for God’s existence

Modality has to do with what is possible and impossible. Modal arguments utilize modal logic to draw inferences to various conclusions, based on what is possible and impossible. Today I was thinking of modal arguments for God's existence, and I decided to turn William Lane Craig's moral argument into a modal argument; let's call it …

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The Historical Argument Against Christianity

In discussions on the existence of God, particularly the Christian God, it is common to hear the argument from the resurrection. The argument, in a common form, states that the hypothesis that "God raised Jesus from the dead" is the best explanation of some historical facts. There are many ways one can attack this argument. A …

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Modal Hiddenness Argument

The modal ontological argument is a popular argument for the existence of God. The key premise in that argument is the claim that it is possible that God exists. Modal arguments start with a possibility claim and end with a conclusion that is necessarily true. When thinking about modal arguments, the options are not just limited …

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Is life meaningless if God doesn’t exist?

If God doesn't exist, then is life meaningless? But, what do we mean by "life"? Does that just mean my individual life? Does that mean humanity as a whole? The universe? All of the above? The simple truth is that it doesn't seem logically impossible (i.e. no contradiction) that meaning can exist without God existing. …

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Naturalistic Religion

It is common to hear some atheists make blanket statements about religion, which is usually about how bad religion is for society or how religion is filled with irrationality. Assuming these things are true, the tendency to label religion this way is mainly looking at what religion has been in the past or what religion …

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Argument from Undesire

One common argument for the existence of the God of classical theism is the argument from desire. If the argument is construed in an inductive manner, the claim is that it's not surprising that many people would have a desire for God on the hypothesis that theism is true. However, this is not the whole …

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