APA, Homosexuality, and Discrimination
February 15, 2009 — 15:39

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Links  Comments: 25

There’s a good deal of discussion on Leiter’s blog on the subject of Christian universities (including Wheaton University, Azusa Pacific University, Belmont University, Biola University, Calvin College, Malone College, and Pepperdine University), their policies involving those who engage in homosexual behavior (and drinking and nonmarital sex generally), and whether such universities should be allowed to advertise in the JFP. I thought that many readers of this blog might be interested. Not all of the discussion is very fruitful.
I remember a discussion like this happening a year or two ago. This time, a petition is being started to get the APA to ban those universities from advertising in the JFP.
-edit- My last two sentences are misleading. See the first two comments below.

McGinn on Religious Doctrine
January 4, 2009 — 18:48

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Links  Comments: 22

I saw this post by Colin McGinn (recently linked from Leiter’s site) where he ends with quite a strong knowledge claim “We indeed don’t know everything, but some things we know quite well–and the complete falsity of religious doctrine is one of them.”

Craig’s Cover Story and PR for Philosophy
July 26, 2008 — 14:34

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Existence of God Links News  Comments: 12

William Lane Craig wrote the cover story for this month’s edition of Christianity Today. It can be found here. He speaks of a renaissance of Christian/theistic philosophy in secular academia, he reviews some of the main arguments for God’s existence, and he talks about the relevance of arguments in today’s “postmodern culture”.
I’ve read about the need for good PR for philosophy over at Leiter’s blog. One thing I’m happy about is that, in Christian circles, there’s been an increasing amount of positive PR for philosophy, primarily by way of Christian apologetics. Lee Strobel’s books The Case for Faith and The Case for a Creator feature interviews (and philosophical discussions) with professional philosophers such as William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, and Robin Collins. I rarely meet Christians nowadays who have never heard of Strobel’s books, and a surprising number of them have actually read and enjoyed the books. Other Christian apologists who are not active, professional philosophers (e.g., Norman Geisler, Ravi Zacharias, Gregory Koukl, etc.) all speak with high regard for the value of philosophy. More recently, Pastor Timothy Keller’s very popular book The Reason for God makes use of arguments that draw right out of the professional literature (mostly from Plantinga and Alston). I’ve found that many Christians walk away from reading/hearing these apologists with a higher appreciation for philosophy. Some enjoyed the arguments so much that they went into a full time study of philosophy. (I believe that many Talbott graduates fit this description.)
So I’m happy that there is this PR for philosophy in Christian circles. We can hope that this will contribute to good PR for philosophy in society generally!

God, Morality, and Accountability
May 30, 2008 — 19:07

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Atheism & Agnosticism Divine Command Existence of God Links  Comments: 36

Here’s a link to a recent debate between William Lane Craig and Louise Antony on whether or not God is necessary for morality. It was interesting for me since reading Craig’s debates and apologetics works helped get me into philosophy, and Antony was one of my professors when I was an undergraduate at The Ohio State University. Both are moral realists and affirm that there are objective moral truths. I didn’t find Craig’s arguments that God is necessary for morality to be convincing.
However, here’s one of his arguments which has some intuitive appeal and that I’d like to explore. He points out that if God does not exist, then there is no ultimate moral accountability. People will not ultimately get what they deserve, whether this be reward for a life well lived or punishment for horrendous evils. This seems to me to be correct. If naturalism is true, then even if there are objective moral truths, people will not ultimately get what they deserve.
But is there any reason to think the following?
1) If there are objective moral truths, then there will be some ultimate moral accountability.
There is no doubt something less satisfying (at least emotionally) with the naturalistic worldview, but I don’t know if I can think of any good reasons to believe that (1) is true. And if (1) is false, there is no problem for the naturalist.
Could we defend (1) just by appealing to intuition? Do most humans have a deep intuition that wrongs must be righted and vice versa? But this intuition is weak at best. I would hope for some more argument. Any suggestions?

Philosophy of Time Blog
May 24, 2008 — 12:27

Author: Andrew Moon  Category: Links  Comments: 4

There is a relatively new blog on philosophy of time here: http://www.philtimesociety.typepad.com/, and it is supported by the Philosophy of Time Society. There haven’t been too many substantive philosophical posts, but I thought that readers/contributors of Prosblogion might be interested in joining the blog (and adding some substantive philosophical posts!) In joining the blog, you also automatically become a member of the Philosophy of Time Society and you are supposed to get a copy of Chronos, a philosophy of time journal. (However, a recent e-mail said that all members might not get Chronos, so I’m not sure if that last part is right.)

Secular Philosophy
January 23, 2008 — 9:15

Author: Matthew Mullins  Category: Links  Comments: 21

Hello my name is Matthew and I too read the Leiter Reports. Today Leiter points to the new Secular Philosophy blog that features contributors such as Daniel Dennett and Colin McGinn (aka The Usual Suspects). Leiter uses the announcement to take issue with remarks from a recent McGinn interview in which McGinn remarks that there are fewer and fewer “Christian philosophers”. Concurring with remarks that appeared here in the past, Leiter concludes that, “To be sure, religious philosophers are probably still a minority in academic philosophy in the U.S., but my sense is they are less of a minority than 25 years ago.”
I’ll be adding Secular Philosophy to the blogroll just as soon as I can figure out how to get it working again.

God and the Laws of Nature
August 30, 2007 — 15:00

Author: Kevin Timpe  Category: Links  Comments: 2

Application information is now available for the Venice Summer School on Science and Religion held in Venice, Italy.  This is a three-year program of one-week seminars.

The theme for the 2008 summer school chosen by school coordinators Karl Giberson, Thomas Jay Oord, William Shea, and Donald Yerxa is “God and the Laws of Nature.”  The school will meet 27 May through 1 June 2008.  Lecturers for the first year include Paul Davies, Owen Gingerich, and John Polkinghorne.

Interested individuals should submit materials when applying for admission.  Application materials for the first year’s school are due 12 November 2007.

Further information can be found here.

27 Years Later on a Monday Afternoon
July 16, 2007 — 17:44

Author: Kevin Timpe  Category: Links  Comments: 14

Edward Feser, at Right Reason, links to a 1980 article in Time magazine discussing the revival of philosophy of religion.

"It discusses the resurgence of interest in the classical arguments for God's existence that was just then getting underway, and in particular the work of Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, James Ross, Mortimer Adler, and others…..  It is amazing how embarrassingly lightweight the "New Atheism" of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens is compared to the work of these thinkers….    It is also embarrassingly lightweight compared to the work of Mackie, a serious and formidable philosopher for whom all theists ought to have respect."

I thought some of you might enjoy this stroll down memory lane.

New Teaching Philosophy Blog
July 2, 2007 — 10:45

Author: Kevin Timpe  Category: Links  Comments: Off

Michael Cholbi has started a new blog on teaching philosophy entitled In Socrates' Wake.  Given Michael's own work, as well as his contributions to the newly greenified PEA Soup, I think that this will be a great blog once it gets going.  I'd encourage PBers to visit and contribute.

A Couple of Links and Papers
May 26, 2007 — 10:51

Author: Matthew Mullins  Category: Links  Comments: Off

Joseph Long of the Florida Student Philosophy Blog has reconstruction and response to Sam (Letter to a Christian Nation) Harris’s Reasons for Belief Argument. Long is fairly generous in his response, though he still arrives at the conclusion that Harris is mistaken.

Razib of Gene Expression has a informative response the the piece in Edge titled Why the Gods are Not Winning. In short "to some extent the two authors are offering an inverted narrative from that of the religious triumphalists, cherry-picking data congenial to their arguments and mixing & matching adjectives and superlatives with specific numbers in a way that might beguile the uninitiated."

Papers