Showing posts from 2020

podcast - The Empty Tomb

 In this podcast, I discuss the historicity of the empty tomb narratives, in the context of Christian apologetics.  Link below.

podcast 5/27/2020 - Resurrection appearances I discuss why I don't believe in the vision or hallucination hypotheses to explain the reports of post-mortem appearances of Jesus to his disciples.

podcast 5/20/2020 - The Kalam cosmological argument, part I

In this podcast, I discuss my criticisms of Craig's defenses for the Kalam's first premise.

Plantinga's "victorious" modal ontological argument

With fresh eyes, I revisited Plantinga's "victorious" modal ontological argument (hereafter, VMOA) yesterday.  Some summaries of the argument, including the one at IEP, has Plantinga defining the term 'maximally great being' (hereafter, MGB) to be such that if it's possible an MGB exists, then an MGB actually exists, and has the properties of omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection.  On the IEP's account, Plantinga's argument really only has one premise, and the conclusion follows immediately. It turns out that IEP's summary is incorrect.  Plantinga's argument has a number of different premises, and he doesn't ever explicitly define anything.  His approach, instead, is to let the reader supply their own intuitive understandings of a given concept.  Sometimes he'll help this process along by giving examples, or brief conceptual sketches. In one case (as we shall see momentarily) he actually gives an analysis---although that

An invalid contingency argument on SEP

Bruce Reichenbach wrote the SEP article on cosmological arguments.  SEP articles are, I believe, peer-reviewed, and so we shouldn't expect them to contain invalid arguments.  This one does, however.  Here it is: (1) A contingent being (a being such that if it exists, it could have not-existed or could cease to exist) exists. (2) This contingent being has a cause of or explanation for its existence. (3) The cause of or explanation for its existence is something other than the contingent being itself. (4) What causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must either be solely other contingent beings or include a non-contingent (necessary) being. (5) Contingent beings alone cannot provide a completely adequate causal account or explanation for the existence of a contingent being. (6) Therefore, what causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must include a non-contingent (necessary) being. (7) Therefore, a necessary being (a being such

Podcast 4/26/2020 - Hume, Craig, and Miracles

Ben Wallis podcast 4/26/2020 - Hume, Craig, and Miracles In this podcast, I discuss a common criticism of Hume.

Podcast 3/30/2020 - A skeptic's response to the Kalam cosmological argument

Ben Wallis podcast 3/30/2020 - A skeptic's response to the Kalam cosmological argument In this podcast, I discuss how I think skeptics should respond to the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Tim Stratton's freethinking argument against naturalism

Last week I started reading about free will. That's right---last week ! I've been studying philosophy in my spare time for the last fifteen years; why did it take me so long to finally broach what is considered one of its most fundamentally important topics? Well first of all, it's perhaps not as important as it might seem; for instance the late Buddhist philosopher Michael Dorfman once called the free will problem "much ado about nothing." Meanwhile, none of the discussion about free will whose snippets I encountered seemed very intriguing to myself, whose chief areas of interest lie in epistemology, mind, and the nonexistence of God. Finally, the very concept of free will just seemed unnecessarily obscurist, whereas I desire clarity. So, if I could just get by without ever having to discuss free will, that would be extremely gratifying. So, what changed? Well, to put it simply, I encountered Tim Stratton's "freethinking argument against natu