For some religious believers, faith is one of the most important things a person can have in their life. But what is faith? Common theistic definitions say that faith is belief or trust, while a number of atheists argue that faith is an irrational claim to knowledge. In this episode of the show, I talk with Professor John Bishop about some of these issues, as well as the different models of faith. Dr. Bishop is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He has a BA from the Australian National University and a PhD from Cambridge...
philosophy of religion tagged posts
The Big Questions, as their name implies, are questions about who we are, about the universe we live in, about our place in the universe, and more along these lines. Theistic religions, especially those that proselytize, have constructed cases for their beliefs that tend to pay a great deal of attention to these Big Questions. Sometimes widespread and culturally dominant religions even succeed in defining the terms of the questions, so as to give themselves greater assurance of their influence on the lives of their adherents and the societies in which they thrive. So far, we have considered w...Read More
An unfortunately not uncommon charge to hear in debates between theists and non-theists is that one side has neglected their intellectual duty to inform themselves and truly think through their position. Resources in both apologetics and counter-apologetics often frame the material in such a way as to give the strong impression that if only their opponents would just open their eyes and accept the evidence right in front of them, their minds would be changed. Little room seems to be left for mere disagreement...Read More
For this second episode of the show, the issue of philosophy of religion is under discussion with Dr. Graham Oppy. What is philosophy of religion and why should non-believers, or any of us, care? Is it just a fancy brand of Christian apologetics or is there perhaps more to it? Dr. Oppy is a well-known atheist philosopher in the discipline who argues in his recent book that philosophy of religion should be reinvented. He teaches at Monash University, serves on the editorial boards of philosophical journals like Religious Studies, Philo, and Sophia, and has authored numerous other books, includi...Read More
Is there reason to believe in a god? Philosophers and theologians have debated this question for centuries, offering arguments and counter-arguments taking many different forms. More recently scientists and historians have joined the fray to weigh in on things from their own perspectives. Still, well over two millennia later, and in spite of a bounty of examples of religiously-inspired violence, we find the question persists. According to some, the survival of theism – the belief in god(s) – is nothing short of miraculous; it testifies to the power and value of faith...Read More
Cosmological arguments are arguments that infer the existence of god from certain facts about the universe. These arguments, employed at least since the time of the ancient Greeks, are intended to show that the existence of the universe cannot be explained without reference to a creator. For this article, we will look at three formulations of the cosmological argument which are generally considered to be more popular and persuasive than other versions.Read More
I. Aquinas’ Contingency Argument
In his classic treatise, the Summa Theologica, the 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas proposed five argum...