Ramified Natural Theology And The Ascension of Christ

I’ve previously brought up an objection to “the” Argument From The Resurrection, specifically as it relates to William Lane Craig’s version of the argument. My objection centered on the fact that Craig cherry-picks or ignores facts that don’t fit his resurrection hypothesis–or don’t fit the resurrection hypothesis better than an alternative hypothesis. One such fact …

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Can God Create Another Omnipotent & Omnibenevolent Being?

Naturally, I’m skeptical of logical/deductive arguments for and against the existence of God. One such argument, against the existence of God, alleges that:1). If God exists, then other omnipotent/omnibenevolent beings are the only beings that exist2). Other omnipotent/omnibenevolent beings are not the only beings that exist3). Therefore, God does not existThe obvious objection is that …

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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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Is the concept of God incoherent?

I don't have a Ph.D., nor do I claim that I have some special knowledge. But it is interesting when I hear laymen talk about certain philosophical topics like abortion or God. I say it's interesting because a lot of the public discourse around these topics seems to be outdated by 50 years, as if …

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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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How Darwin Made The Problem Of Evil So Much Worse For Theism

Hypotheses don't get many more bonus points-or any bonus points- if what's being predicted is something we already knew anyways (i.e. something that is already part of our background knowledge). For example, we already know that gravity exists so that hardly confirms (or more strongly confirms) a newly proposed hypothesis. One of the reasons evolution …

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Non-Physicalist Views Of The Mind: Meet The New Vitalism, Same As The Old One

By, 'non-physicalist', I mean the rejection of the physicalist view (of the mind). Obviously, this includes a lot of views in the philosophy of mind. The most well-known rival of physicalism, when it comes to the mind, is probably dualism about the mind. Dualism itself includes positions like substance dualism and property dualism. Substance dualism …

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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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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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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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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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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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An Evidential Argument from ‘Non-God Objects’

If God exists, would God create anything at all? The problem of non-God objects (PONGO) has to do with the fact that anything exists at all besides the God of classical theism. In other words, if God exists, then only God should exist; God wouldn’t create anything. From Problem to Argument Obviously, this alleged problem can …

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Response to ‘Capturing Christianity’ on “The Conflict Between Natural Theology and Skeptical Theism”

Cameron Bertuzzi of "Capturing Christianity" recently wrote an interesting post on the alleged conflict between skeptical theism and natural theology (i.e. arguments for God's existence). Undergirding the skeptical theist position is the idea that (on classical theism) God's reasons for allowing and doing various things, especially in particular instances, are unknown. There are various forms of skeptical …

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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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Would God give creatures knowledge via the senses?

What does it mean to be all-knowing? Can an Omniscient Being know what it's like to feel sick? Can such an entity know what it's like to feel lust? These would be examples of knowledge by experience. In my experience, theologians say that God's knowledge is merely propositional. In other words, God doesn't have experiential …

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Would God create animals?

Would God create non-human animals? I am not merely wondering why God would create animals. What I am wondering is that, if God exists, would God* really create animals? At the very least, assuming that God would create animals, would they look like animals in the actual world? So, we can easily imagine how non-human …

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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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Evidential/Probabilistic Argument from Hell

The evidential argument from hell argues that the existence of hell (if it exists) makes God's existence improbable. The first argument will assume that hell exists. In other words, it will operate on what theists, particularly Christian theists, already believe. The argument grants what a certain Christian theist believes and tries to reach a conclusion. The …

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Response to Leftow on the Ontological Argument

Brian Leftow proposes a certain type of evidence in favor of the possibility premise of the modal ontological argument, which is the key premise in the modal ontological argument. Leftow says that people report having experiences of God (religious experiences). He says this serves as evidence that it is possible that a Maximally Great Being …

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My worries with William Lane Craig’s claim, “It’s not improbable that God raised Jesus”

I see Dr. Craig use the phrase, "It's not improbable that God raised Jesus," usually in a debate, after someone says that the probability of a person coming back to life (resurrection) is extremely low. Craig agrees and says resurrection is only improbable if it occurs naturally. In other words, the only thing that is …

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A critique of William Lane Craig’s invincible version of Holy Spirit epistemology

Philosopher and theologian, William Lane Craig, argues that one can be rationally justified and warranted in accepting his/her experience of God or The Holy Spirit as evidence for the truth of theism and Christian theism. In fact, this sort of belief is properly basic, not inferred from other beliefs. I agree with Craig that this …

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William Lane Craig: An objection and response to Bill Craig’s cosmological argument for God’s existence

For the Kalam Argument, Bill Craig says that his argument is subject to the criticism that the cause of the universe might not exist anymore.Could this possibly be true? MaybeLikely? I don't think so.The cause that Craig discovers from the argument is that this cause is:Timeless, spaceless, immaterial, eternal, unchanging, personal. and uncaused.I think it …

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