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Showing posts from March, 2014

Toward a Leibnizian Cosmological Argument Against Theism

So here's a sketch of an argument I'm toying with that's in the same vein as several others I've discussed here recently:
Suppose you think, along with a number of proponents of the Leibnizian cosmological argument, that at least the following version of PSR is true: every object has a sufficient reason or explanation for existence, either in terms of (a) something else or (b) its own nature. Call beings of the former sort 'contingent beings', and call beings of the latter sort 'necessary beings'. Suppose further that you think (again, along with proponents of the Leibnizian cosmological argument) that contingent beings can't be fully explained merely in terms of just other contingent beings, no matter how many (and for the usual reasons offered). If you grant all of this, then it looks like you have good grounds for thinking that at least one necessary being exists that explains the existence of contingent beings.
However, I worry that the train o…

Philosophy of Religion at the 2014 APA Pacific Division Meeting

Looks like there will be a good colloquium on skeptical theism on Friday morning:
7H Colloquium: Evil and Theodicy 9:00-10:00
Chair: Brandon Rickabaugh (Biola University) Speaker: Aaron Rizzieri (LaGuardia Community College) “Theodicy’s Limited Prospects” [abstract + preprint] Commentator: Myron A. Penner (Trinity Western University and Ryerson University)
Chair: Roberto Sirvent (Hope International University) Speaker: Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini (Rutgers University) “Skeptical Theism Is Self-defeating” [abstract + preprint] Commentator: Benjamin H. Arbour (University of Bristol)
Chair: Marilena Di Bucchianico (European University Institute) Speaker: Chad Bogosian (Grand Canyon University) “Rowe’s Friendly Atheism and the Epistemology of Religious Disagreement”[abstract + preprint] Commentator: Allison Thornton (Baylor University)
Please shoot me an email if you'd like me to highlight any other talks at the conference.

Announcement: Problem of Evil Workshop


Sunday, July 13 2014 EST - Tuesday, July 15 2014 EST
School of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

Level 5, room 5.15
250 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy 3065

Selected speakers:
John Bishop
University of Auckland
Beverley Clack
Oxford Brookes University Andrew Gleeson
Flinders University Kevin Hart
University of Virginia Graham Oppy
Monash University Eleonore Stump
Saint Louis University Terrence Tilley
Fordham University Nick Trakakis
Australian Catholic University

On the Craig vs. Carroll Debate

Hi, folks. 

A number of you have emailed me about the Craig vs. Carroll debate, so I have decided to relent and link to it. Here you go. Thanks to Justin Schieber for the pointer to the link. Other relevant links include Carroll's post on his thoughts after the debate, Jeff Lowder's post on it, and Craig's pre-debate remarks.
Since I find most interesting the stuff on the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem, I thought I'd post a quote from Carroll on Craig's appeal to it: The second premise of the Kalam argument is that the universe began to exist. Which may even be true! But we certainly don’t know, or even have strong reasons to think one way or the other. Craig thinks we do have a strong reason, the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem. So I explained what every physicist who has thought about the issue understands: that the real world is governed by quantum mechanics, and the BGV theorem assumes a classical spacetime, so it says nothing definitive about what actually happens in th…