• Strange Notions Strange Notions Strange Notions

Sean Carroll’s “Ten Considerations” for Naturalists

Carroll-pic

This is the final post in our long series exploring physicist Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016). In the book's penultimate chapter, which in my view is the book's strangest, Carroll offers an alternative to the Bible's Ten Commandments, what he calls his "Ten Considerations." They read like a mushy collection of Oprah-isms: Life isn't forever. Desire is built into life. What matters is what matters to people. We... Read More

The Power and Danger of Bayes’ Theorem

BayesTheorem

I've noted many flaws and points of confusion in Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016), but one of the strongest sections is its explanation of Bayes' Theorem. The Theorem is a quantitive way to express confidence in certain beliefs. It requires assigning credences (or probabilities) to events or statements, and then tweaking them based on new information. For example, suppose you're wondering whether a randomly... Read More

The Ultimate Jeopardy Question

Jeopardy

“Why is there something rather than nothing?” In The Grand Design (2010), Stephen Hawking made headlines by denying the need for God to get matter to jump into being; the law of gravity was enough to do it. Then, Lawrence Krauss created a Youtube sensation and book called, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing (2012), that made the same case, including an afterward by Richard Dawkins who heralded it as a death blow to the last proof for the existence of... Read More

How to Prove that God Doesn’t Exist

404Error

There are a couple things I can appreciate about the “Who designed the Designer?” argument. Although it is rooted in a caricature of the kalam cosmological argument’s first premise ("Whatever begins to exist has a cause"), it is a positive argument for atheism, and it does attempt to deal with the God hypothesis in the only arena where God’s existence may be decisively confirmed or refuted: the arena of philosophy. The God defended by Christian theists is a transcendent,... Read More

Proofs of God: An Interview with Dr. Matthew Levering

ProofOfGod-Banner

In his newest book, Proofs of God: Classical Arguments from Tertullian to Barth (Baker Academic, 2016), leading theologian Matthew Levering presents a thoroughgoing critical survey of the proofs of God's existence for readers interested in traditional Christian responses to the problem of atheism. Beginning with Tertullian and ending with Karl Barth, Levering covers twenty-one theologians and philosophers from the early church to the modern period, examining how they answered the critics... Read More

The “3:10 to Yuma” Proof of God

Yuma

“Yeah, that's why I don't mess around with doing anything good, Dan. You do one good deed for somebody...I imagine it's habit-forming. Something decent. See that grateful look in their eyes, imagine it makes you feel like Christ Hisself.” – Ben Wade “Virtue is not an act, but a disposition (a habit).” –Aristotle   Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft famously describes the “Bach argument for the existence of God,” wherein God’s existence is clearly posited by a) the... Read More

What Do You Think of the Fine-Tuning Argument for God?

FineTuning

NOTE: We recently kicked off a new series of posts on popular arguments for God. Each post lays out the argument and is followed by open-ended discussion. The goal is not to offer a thorough defense or refutation of the argument in the original post, but to unpack it together, as a community, in the comment boxes. So far we've covered Alvin Plantinga's modal ontological argument for God, the Kalam cosmological argument, and the moral argument for God. Today, we'll look at the argument... Read More

Where is God? The Problem of Divine Hiddenness

SpaceLooking

If God exists, where is he? Moreover if God is all-loving and all-powerful why hasn’t he shown himself to the world? He’s all loving: why would he leave any room for doubt? He’s all-powerful: why not reveal himself in the most spectacular of ways that would make unbelief impossible? I’ll start by admitting that the argument from the hiddenness of God is a reasonable objection; and I’ll also admit that there are days when I wonder to myself in exasperation, “God where are... Read More

4 Errors About the Burden of Proof for God

BurdenProof

I used to be a lawyer before entering seminary to prepare for the Catholic priesthood. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that I’m fascinated by questions about the “burden of proof” in religious questions. For example, does the burden of proof fall on the believer or the atheist? What sort of evidence is permissible to meet this burden of proof? Do “extraordinary” claims require extraordinary evidence? Should they meet an extraordinary burden of proof, above the burden... Read More

What Do You Think of the Moral Argument for God?

Moral Argument

NOTE: We recently kicked off a new series of posts, each introducing a popular argument for or against God, followed by open-ended discussion. The goal is not to offer a thorough defense or refutation of the argument in the original post, but to unpack it together, as a community, in the comment boxes. The first argument we discussed was Alvin Plantinga's modal ontological argument for God, then we looked at the kalam cosmological argument. Today, we'll look at the moral argument for God.     The... Read More

Next Page »