Atheism's Desperate Need to be New (Nevada Christian Magazine, August 17, 2011; new link)
Based on a message delivered to a local church, I briefly discuss reasons why the so-called "new atheism" has a certain appeal to the skeptical youth of todday. But, given the fact that the arguments of the new atheists do not offer anything new or convincing, it has failed to command the numbers they have hoped to recruit. Nevertheless, the PR battle will continue to woo the minds of the next generation.
and Contemporary Cosmology 2.0 (2010; 2002)
Since the original publication of the original edition of this thesis in 2002, much has developed in the last eight years in astrophysics. I have sought to import the current research in cosmology in addressing much of the naturalistic alternatives to the theistic model of the origin of the universe. Also, some other changes and augmentations to the original version are included. Per the original description: "In this work, we shall consider the role that reason has with respect
to belief in God and how contemporary cosmology, as evidence, compels us to
that belief. The particular argument we will be focusing on is the kalam cosmological argument in its deductive mode. Although arguments are not necessarily
considered as evidence, per se, I believe that the advances of contemporary
natural science and the theoretical sciences provide physical evidence for the kalam argument. After the argument is presented, we will examine its
strength in light of contemporary cosmology and philosophical scrutiny.' My wish is that this vision remains extant.
Atheism, Christianity, and the Meaning of Life (2009)
The quest for the meaning, value, and purpose of life has been a long and arduous investigative program from ancient to contemporary philosophers. Few have codified precisely how Christianity can philosophically promote a robust answer to that quest. In this article, I address how atheistic existentialism fails to proffer a good solution to the meaning of life and how atheists themselves acknowledge the inadequacy of finding such meaning apart from the existence of God. I then argue how Christian theism offers a robust answer to the meaning of life by taking into account the inadequacy of mere happiness, pleasure, and relationships and by contrasting these to the significance of finding ultimate happiness that is only consonant with the significance of life grounded in God. That Christian theism explains a wide variety of facts about our universe makes such a hypothesis more fecund than its atheistic detractions. As such, this explanation (apart from its warrant) should be the preferred one.
Prayer and Providence: Why the Recent Study On Prayer Should Be No Surprise (2006)
There is no doubt that skeptics are running wild about the alleged ineffectiveness of prayer based on a recent, extensive study. This seemingly plenary study is touted as “the largest study of prayer” concluding that “it provided no benefit to recovery of patients who had undergone cardiac bypass surgery." No doubt this will rattle the cages of firm believers in prayer - particularly evangelicals who find God’s miraculous interventions in human affairs to be more prevalent than traditional views. But I believe that the study fails to falsify the effectiveness of prayer while it remains true that prayer cannot necessarily be legitimized in scientific study due to several unmitigating factors. Hence, as I have personally suspected, the study actually confirms what I believe Christians should expect - relative indifference.
Critique of Matthew Stevens' “Limiting God” (2005)
Matthew Stevens' article 'Limiting God' proffers a purely scientific approach to the coherence of theism (given his area of expertise). It is a remarkable undertaking but in the end leaves more problems and inaccuracies than it attempts to clear up. In his article, Stevens is interested in the coherence of a view that perceives God as being actively involved in the biogenesis of human life and God as being omniscient. In this rebuttal I will deal with most of his points but in two phases: The more important issues that require immediate attention and one lesser important issue that elicits a general concern.
A Swift Response to Dan Barker's "Cosmological Kalamity" (2004)
Recently in the year 2000, popular theist-turned-atheist Dan Barker published a response to the Kalam Cosmological Argument entitled "Cosmological Kalamity". Since that publication, I have received several queries about it. I have decided to publish my set response to that article that I submitted to my questioners. In my response, I highlight five main errors Barker (and others) commit in a critique of this special version of the cosmological argument.
and the Argumentum ad Ignorantiam: Why Atheists Cannot Avert the Burden
of Proof (2003 -- Formatting issues have been corrected)
Atheism has historically been defined as the belief that God
does not exist. In contemporary circles in the philosophy of religion, many
definitions have surfaced that call this original designation into question.
Should atheism be perceived in a historical context, or have atheists proposed
novel definitions in an effort to skirt their responsibility in defending their
conclusion? As a result, some atheists attempt to thwart their share of the
burden of proof because they feel that atheism is the epistemologically "default"
position. This essay surveys the difficulty of definitions with respect to atheism
and why atheists shoulder an equal share of the burden of proof.
and the Historical Mind/Body Controversy (2001, 2002 -- Quodlibet Journal:
Volume 4 Number 2-3, Summer 2002 )
(Originally entitled: Rationalism and the Mind/Body Controversy).
Rationalism has been at the forefront of epistemology ever since Descartes.
Similarly, philosophers have debated over whether or not there exists a substratum
of reality concurrent with the experiential world. Specifically, is substance
dualism, with respect to mind-body interactionism, true? In this essay the reader
will witness how this controversy began when dualism became a philosophical
paradigm and how answering this controversy impacts our day-to-day outlook.
Theodore Drange's Argument from Evil for the Non-Existence of God (restored link; The
Examined LIfe Philosophy Journal, Vol. 3, Iss. 10 -- 2002)
In the recent past,
Professor Theodore Drange of West Virginia University has launched a twofold
attack on traditional views of the existence of God. In a seminal article reproduced
on the Secular Web's site entitled "Arguments from Evil and Nonbelief,"
Dr. Drange mounts a case against classic theism predicating its notion of an
omnibenevolent God. His shorter articles have been subsequently maturated in
his book, Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God.
Although I find Drange's approach to be erudite, I believe that his argument
is dubious. This article explores the Argument from Evil as presented by Dr.
Drange and suggests that the conclusion that God does not exist is not warranted.
Response to Shandon Guthrie Concerning Theodore Drange's Argument by Chris Warton (originally published in The Examined Life opinion section of Vol.
3, Iss. 11).
--Drange's Response (2003)
the Problem of Evil and the Existence of God (1997, 2001)
For centuries, many
have tried to dismiss the existence of God on the basis of the existence of
evil. This particular pursuit is appropriately known as the problem of evil
because of the implications produced by its presence. Theists who have
disputed such arguments are said to be engaged in a theodicy, which
is a scheme designed to disclose the compatibility between God and evil. There
is no doubt that this is one of the most perplexing problems theists have to
face. In this essay I defend the contention that evil is not logically
incompatible or improbable with God's existence.
and the Futility of Life in the Absence of God (2001; portions reviewed
by Dr. T.T. Tominaga)
As a new millennium dawns, there are still millions of individuals
that continue their intellectual and emotional pilgrimages to find the meaning
of life. It is often difficult to pose the question seriously in order to warrant
a formidable answer when the "meaning of life" is taunted as the wrong approach.
But what, in fact, do we mean when we ask the question, "What is the meaning
of life?" Typically, the layperson seeks to find their niche in society either
through a sense of accomplishment or through a sense of contribution. Thus people
desire to determine the meaning of their lives and not the mere abstract
notion of "life" as existence. Philosophers throughout the ages have
approached the question from an intellectual perspective. It is my endeavor
to elucidate the great Existentialist movement and its contribution to the intellectual
approach in attempting to find out the meaning to this human predicament. I
believe that an analysis of existentialism, with its aversion to theism, reveals
that without God there can be no objective utility for the philosopher or the
Naturalism, and Theism
Many critics of theism try to finger British Empiricism as evidence
that theism has been rejected by the intellectual progression of philosophical
thinkers. This essay explains how metaphysical naturalism is often confused
with epistemological empiricism and that the most prominent British Empiricists
believed in God.
Gillespie's Misapplication of the A-Theory of Time to the Impossibility of an
Actual Infinite in the Kalam Cosmological Argument (August 2, 2000)
In the first issue of The
Examined Life On-line Philosophy Journal, Robert Gillespie, Jr. responded
to Dr. William Lane Craig’s philosophical sub-argument (against an actual infinite)
to the second premise of the kalam cosmological argument by denying its
consistency with the A-Theory of time. Gillespie argues that the A-Theory of
time only permits the impossibility of an actual infinite if the actual infinite
is somehow instantiated simultaneously. In this article I wish to suggest that
his objections can be disavowed because he either misapplies the A-Theory of
time or he misunderstands the nature of past events. In either case one can
justifiably retain the sentiment of the impossibility of an actually infinite
number of things thus preserving the victory of the kalam argument.
for the Resurrection of Jesus (2000 - section IV reviewed by Dr. Ed Nelson)
Contemporary scholarship has followed along in the footsteps
of its critical predecessors by seeking ways to critique the historicity of
the resurrection of Jesus. Like many gainsayers of the resurrection event,
such criticism has focused on the specific historical evidence surrounding it.
In an effort to provide adequate information about the source material for the
resurrection and historical information about the evidence supporting it, this
essay defends the much-disputed facts about Jesus' resurrection and conjoins
them into a powerful argument schematized for easy readability. If we
take the evidence seriously, it seems abundantly clear that the resurrection
of Jesus is a viable historical fact that ought not to be dismissed out-of-hand
by sloppy scholarship and uninformed skeptics.
for the Existence of God (1998)
Perhaps one of the strongest positive arguments for the existence
of God is found in the deductive version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
I lead up to the particular supporting evidences for this argument for God's
existence and preface my remarks with grounds for understanding basic logical
arguments. I also discuss reasons to implement reason into faith. Armed with
philosophical and scientific arguments about the impossibility of the universe
being infinitely old, the reader will see the evidence from all vantage points
demanding that the universe began to exist and that we face the fact that God
Cosmological Evidence for the Existence of God (1999)
Popular debate exists around the issue of whether or not God
exists. There seem to be good reasons for accepting the conclusion that
God exists. One particular argument that I find compelling is the kalam
cosmological argument for the existence of God. The parent article to
this one (Evidence for the Existence of God) details
issues in faith & reason, the construction of arguments, cosmological principles,
and objections to the kalam argument. These important, yet sometimes
verbose, issues in the kalam argument tend to be too much to take in.
This essay provides a basic adaptation of the long essay easily readable for
laymen and scholars alike that deals briefly with the kalam cosmological
argument for God's existence.
Russell, Infinity, and the Tristram Shandy Paradox
(reviewed by Dr. T.T. Tominaga)
Bertrand Russell advanced a paradox and showed how the problem
of an actual infinite could be solved in the particular case of Tristram Shandy,
the slow autobiographer. In this essay, the task before Shandy is evaluated
and Russell's assessment is rejected as to show that there really cannot be
an actually infinite number of traversable segments of time whereby Shandy would
have time to finish an infinitely long task.
Response to Taner Edis' Criticism of Dr. William Lane
Craig and the Kalam Cosmological Argument
Recent criticism from the Internet
Infidels about Dr. William Craig's defense of the deductive kalam cosmological
argument has been bolstered on grounds that Taner Edis' proposition (no longer
available on the Infidels' site) that a quantum gravity fluctuation model or
a particular Hartle-Hawking model is preferable to the Big Bang theory. However,
such criticism fails to adhere to common sense realism and philosophical evaluation.
Reductionism as Explanation and the Mind/Body Problem
(1996 - reviewed by Dr. Todd Jones)
An evaluation of Drs. Paul and Patricia Churchland's view of
mind as a mere function of the body fails in the light of various discoveries
about human cognition. The view of Reduction is usually preferred over Christianity's
dualism and this essay gives the reader good evidence to maintain the belief
in a soul.
A Critique of Richard Rorty and His Objections to "Technical"
Realism (1996 - reviewed by Dr. T.T. Tominaga)
Contemporary philosopher Richard Rorty objects to "Technical"
Realism on various grounds. In this essay, his objections are dealt with on
this most basic defense of epistemological realism.