Monday, August 27, 2012

List of arguments against physicalism about consciousness


Some of these arguments are clearly better than others. #5 seems like the best way, if only I could believe any of the data it cites in support. In contrast, #4 and #6 strike me as the weakest of the bunch; and #7 simply begs the question.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Guardian: Atheism Itself Isn't a Movement


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Off-Topic: Woman's Missing Fingers Grow Back in Phantom Form

This has no connection to naturalistic atheism, but this story reminds me why I find the science of neuroscience so fascinating.
McGeoch said the study indicates there is a hardwired representation in the brain of what the body should look like, regardless of how it actually appears in real life. It showed more about the balance between the external and innate representations of a limb, he said.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Is Evil Evidence for God?

(Another backlog item)
Over at The Secular Outpost, I recently blogged about a 'turnaround' argument used by some critics of the argument from evil (AE). According to this turnaround argument, not only is evil not evidence against God's existence, but evil is evidence for God's existence. In this post, I want to examine one specific attempt to use this strategy, by Melinda Penner at Stand to Reason.

My basic plan will be as follows:

1. Provide an overview of a specific version of the argument from evil.
2. Provide an overview of Melinda's use of the turnaround strategy.
3. Assess the evidential value of Melinda's turnaround strategy against the argument from evil.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Three Debate Invitations in One Week, But I'm Not Currently Debating

In the last week, I've received an amazing three separate invitations to participate in some kind of debate! (See here, here, and here.) Alas, as I mentioned in my very belated post on a possible Craig-Lowder debate, I'm not actively participating in the debate circuit right now. The two main obstacles are (1) I've been out of the loop for quite a while, having only just recently returned to the blogosphere; and (2) I don't have the time needed to prepare for and devote to a debate.

I do hope to do more debates in the future, but that is probably years, not months, away.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Craig-Lowder Debate?

I found the following post in my Drafts folder; it appears I never finished writing the post before I became inactive with blogging for over 5 years. At the outset, I want to make two points regarding this post so that it is put into the proper context.

First, I am posting this now solely to clear out the backlog of articles that were left in various stages of completion before I became almost completely inactive for several years on the blogosphere. I am not posting this article now as part of some attempt to pressure Craig into debating me right now; in fact, I'm in no rush to debate him, having been "out of the loop" for quite a while.

Second, I want to emphasize I am not calling into question Craig's integrity. First, I apparently was unable to locate my reply, if any, to a student's proposal for me to debate Craig at Harvard in 1999. Second, I was invited to debate Craig on Lee Strobel's television show, "Faith Under Fire," but I objected to the venue. Third, I have made no effort at all since 2005 to follow-up with Craig about debating.

What follows is the text I found in my Drafts folder from late 2005/early 2006.

How to Argue that Someone Lied

Step 1. Show that person P said X.

Step 2. Show that X is false.

Step 3. Show that the best explanation for P's saying X is that P intended to deceive P's audience, e.g.,

3.1. Show that lying explains why P said X when X is false.
3.2. Show that 'P was simply mistaken about X' (because P forgot, was misinformed, etc.) is not a good explanation for why P said X when X is false.
3.3. Show that 'P is not self-deceived about X' is not a good explanation for why P said X when X is false.
3.4. As appropriate, show that other alternative explanations are not good explanations.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Index: Evidential Arguments for Naturalism

This is a link to my series on The Secular Outpost about evidential arguments for naturalism.


Migrated to Disqus for Comments on Posts

This is just a quick housekeeping announcement to say that I just migrated this blog over to Disqus for comments. I've imported existing comments from Blogger into Disqus and saw a message stating the import process may take more than 24 hours to complete, due to high traffic volume at Disqus.