Showing posts from May, 2020

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