Category Archive: Philosophy

Feb 21

The Greatest Possible World: Comments on Leibniz, Voltaire, and Skeptical Theism

One can extract the following argument from Gottfried Leibniz in the Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence: (1) Acts of God cannot contain a flaw. (2) The creation of the world was an act of God. (3) Therefore, the world is without flaw. This view was in response to certain aspects of Isaac Newton’s mechanical philosophy published mainly in …

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Feb 17

Where is God?

The answers to the following questions are all completely consistent with traditional Christian theology.   Where is God? Nowhere Where is my soul? Nowhere Where is Heaven/Hell? Nowhere   I’d like to point out that these answers that would be given by a proper theologian are the exact same answers we would expect if asked …

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Dec 30

Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Absence

Recently, I’ve written about some introductory topics in Bayes’ Theorem. If you did not read these earlier pieces, you may want to go here and here before reading this post. The initial impetus was to use the theorem to defend a famous maxim often attributed to Carl Sagan—extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. This time, I’m …

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Dec 29

God and Intrinsic Value

I have a new post at An American Atheist. It argues that intrinsic value cannot come from God. If interested, you can read it here: God and Intrinsic Value Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post

Dec 28

Are the Ten Commandments just?

Here is an argument with premises that are fairly easy to defend, but which leads to powerful conclusions where traditional theism is concerned: 1. Justice means to give people what they deserve. 2. People do not deserve to be punished for acts in which they had no role. 3. Descendants who are not yet born …

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Nov 29

The hiddenness argument revisited (II) by J.L. Schellenberg

In an earlier post, I outlined the argument from hiddenness by J.L. Schellenberg along with his responses to several criticisms of the argument. These criticisms were grouped together in virtue of being irrelevant, according to Schellenberg. They generally were either already covered by one of his premises or could be explained away by further clarification. …

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Nov 23

Extraordinary Claims Really Do Require Extraordinary Evidence

Yes, it’s still true. The basic principles of mathematics and probability have not changed. Thus, it is surprising to read an article saying that requiring extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims doesn’t make sense. At least, it’s surprising until you realize the person making the claim is probably an evangelical Christian with an extraordinary claim to …

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Nov 10

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Dismantling the Moral Argument

I once was part of a comment thread where theists were asked what their favorite arguments in favor of God’s existence were[i]. The argument that seemed to stand above the rest by my informal count was the so-called Moral Argument. If you’re not familiar with this argument, it goes as follows: 1. If God does …

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Oct 27

Many Worlds and Ultimate Justice

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Here is a strange progression I just went through in my car. Suppose something like Everett’s many worlds hypothesis is correct. Under this, every possible outcome is equally real. There is a you reading this right now, a you who decided to eat a sandwich instead, and perhaps infinitely many other yous. It struck me …

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Oct 17

The hiddenness argument revisited (I) by J.L. Schellenberg

Graduate students in St. Louis have recently formed a reading group for philosophy of religion. Unfortunately for me, it conflicts with my work schedule, so I can’t join them in person. I’m going to read along, though, and I’ll provide a summary of each reading. This week’s reading is “The hiddenness argument revisited (I)” by …

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