Tag Archives: Alvin Plantinga

Chimps are Smarter and Faster Than You at Some Tasks, Therefore God Exists?

Natural selection has given chimps a phenomenal short term memory. Japanese researchers have found that if you flash the average chimpanzee a screen of numbers in different locations up to nine, then cause the screen to disappear, the chimp can … Continue reading

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Can Your Evolved Brain Be Trusted to Bring You to the Actual Truth of Matters?

The philosopher Thomas Nagel, in his most recent book, writes the following: Mechanisms of belief formation that have selective advantage in the everyday struggle for existence do not warrant our confidence in the construction of theoretical accounts of the world … Continue reading

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Paradise Lost: The Problem with God Belief as Properly Basic

Christian philosopher William Lane Craig has written that one’s experience of God can be properly basic for the believer in the same way that, say, the hearing of a piece of music is properly basic for the hearer. It’s an experience … Continue reading

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Richard Spiegel on Alvin Plantinga’s Sensus Divinitatis v. Richard Dawkins’s Sensus Bullshititatis

At the Christianity Today website recently, a philosopher by the name of Jim Spiegel (who writes well, I must say) makes the following claim: [There are] moral and psychological dimensions to atheism, ones we cannot ignore. No argument there. And Spiegel … Continue reading

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Holy elephants vs. atheist mammoths: Why do elephants have big ears and mammoths small ears? And might the answer suggest something about the evolution of religion and irreligion?

Mammoths have small ears. Why is that? In a science section article today, the New York Times offers the following explanation: Mammoths, despite their association with the frozen north, originated in the tropics when they split apart from elephants some seven million years … Continue reading

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“Horton Hears a Who”, Alvin Plantinga, and a Tree Stump in Ireland

In Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book, Horton Hears a Who, an elephant equipped with giant elephant ears can hear the voices of very, very tiny “people” that really are there, lurking among the grasses. Others cannot hear them (because they … Continue reading

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Who is Servetus the Evangelical? Alvin Plantinga?

We’re about to find out because, at his website, he has announced that he will drop his pseudonym, and reveal his true name, on Thursday, November 19, 2009. The rather well know biblical scholar, James Tabor, says of Servetus the Evangelical: … Continue reading

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Should John Calvin’s Theology Be Decoupled from John Calvin’s Geneva?

Something that I’ve noticed about Evangelical intellectual culture is a certain nostalgic fond spot for John Calvin. Philosopher Alvin Plantinga, for example, calls himself a Reformed Calvinist. But I think, before adopting John Calvin’s theology, that it might be useful to … Continue reading

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As Non-Empirical Languages, Do Philosophical Systems Have Greater Epistemic Validity Than Theological Systems?

I would say no. When we are dealing with non-empirical (that is, non-scientific) languages, I don’t think that you can give substantially greater epistemic weight to the conclusions of philosophers over those of theologians. When I think of some of the … Continue reading

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Biologist PZ Myers v. Calvinist Philosopher Alvin Plantinga: Is the Brain a Reliable Perceiver of Truth? And if Not, Can Scientific Procedures Function, As It Were, as Vitamin Supplements to Our Otherwise Pallid and Unreliable Monkey Brains?

Biologist PZ Myers today fisks Calvinist philosopher Alvin Plantinga’s essay (written last summer) in which Plantinga claims that evolutionary naturalism is not a coherent intellectual position because we can have no confidence that our brains have evolved to reliably discern truth from error, including the … Continue reading

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Philosopher Julian Baggini on Strident, Evangelical Atheism

Philosopher (and atheist) Julian Baggini does a thoughtful “take down” of strident, evangelical atheism of the Richard Dawkins variety here. Money quote: It is only because of historical accident that atheism is not widely recognised as a world-view in its own right. … Continue reading

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How Would Jesus Drive?: A Man Punishes a Woman for Not Driving Like a Christian—By Running Her Off the Road. I Wonder What Alvin Plantinga Would Say About This

An odd traffic news story today from San Antonio: A speeding pickup rear-ended a woman’s sedan on the South Side on Friday morning and sheriff’s officials say the driver said it was Jesus’ will because the other motorist was not … Continue reading

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Blame it On the God of Poetry?: Is an Emotionally Charged Metaphor the Real Reason You Say That You Believe in God—Or Say That You Don’t?

Is metaphor-charged experience behind the power of conversion? When the Apostle Paul, in Romans 1:18-20, says that God reveals himself “plainly” to us by a direct apprehension of nature and the heavens, might we shift focus and have an equally visceral … Continue reading

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Direct Apprehension of the Divine: Has Alvin Plantinga Confused Metaphor for Knowledge of God?

Has Notre Dame philosopher and theologian, Alvin Plantinga, the author of Warranted Christian Belief (2000 Oxford), mistaken metaphor for what he calls direct knowledge of God?      I ask this question because early on in his book, Plantinga made an admission … Continue reading

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