Saturday, October 22, 2011

Richard Dawkins and Smoked Fish

     This is a slight deviation from my routine, but I can’t pass up an opportunity to comment on the epic controversial non-exchange of ideas set to not-happen at Oxford, England on the 25th of this month. There, philosopher, theologian, and world-famous Christian apologist William lane Craig has been invited to a public debate with former Oxford professor and world-famous atheist apologist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins has for years refused to debate Craig, and has offered numerous reasons for this refusal, the most recent of which seems to be that he finds Craig’s view of the genocide commanded by God in the Old Testament to be morally repugnant. He claims that Craig is an “apologist for genocide” and that he (Dawkins) would rather leave a theatrically poignant empty chair at the Oxford debate than to share a platform with Craig. The organizers of the Craig/Dawkins debate plan to leave an empty chair on the stage in order to give Dawkins a chance, ‘til the final minutes before the debate, to change his mind. Presumably if Dawkins continues to refuse, the chair will remain empty on the stage as a reminder of Dawkins’ absence, and Craig will present prepared criticisms of Dawkins’ book The God Delusion.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Evidential (Probabilistic) Problem of Evil: Part 2

In the previous post, I outlined the typical trajectory of the evidential problem of evil (EPE), and explicated the nature of what the non-theist alleges that it can show. Further, I explained that as an argument against the existence of God, the person making the argument assumes a burden of proof concerning the assumptions made by the EPE. This burden of proof holds regardless of whether the defender of the EPE acknowledges it. If she declines to defend the assumptions made therein, then the theist might justifiably decline to accept the conclusion of the EPE as probably correct.