Cleanthes on “the eternity of the world”

March 29, 2008

Continuing their discussion of the design argument(s) from the previous section, in the sixth part of Hume’s Dialogues concerning natural religion, the discussants take up Cleanthes’ Intelligent Cause.[1] Neither Demea nor Philo are accepting of Cleanthes’ position. Demea, for his part, objects that it renders the deity unsuitable for veneration or obedience, while Philo’s objection is more formidable and takes the shape of “another hypothesis.” Read the rest of this entry »


Myers, Expelled: the movie, and being a jerk

March 28, 2008

The saga continues: see here and here. UPDATE: more here (you will find a link to the audio in the comments).

Romans 8:6-8

March 28, 2008

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are (D)in the flesh cannot please God. (NASB)

Dawkins busts into an “Expelled” (ID movie) screening…

March 21, 2008

“But enough about the film – the real highlight of the evening occurred after the showing, during the Q&A. Mathis led this discussion, and the second question was asked by a surprise member of the audience: Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion,” and arguably the biggest name in the movie other than Mr. Ben Stein himself. As this screening was by invitation only, Dawkins appearance was quite a surprise to both the audience and Mathis.

To see more of this intriguing post go here.

HT: Looking Closer

Does Determinism undermine moral obligation?

March 19, 2008

puppet-strings.jpgAt least one shred of recent research shouts an emphatic “YES!”

“The fact that brief exposure to a message asserting that there is no such thing as free will can increase both passive and active cheating raises the concern that advocating a deterministic worldview could undermine moral behavior.”
Kathleen Vohs and Jonathan Schooler, in the January issue of Psychological Science

Is the Pope Catholic? Now he plans to rehabilitate ‘heretic’ Martin Luther

March 7, 2008

The Pope is planning to rehabilitate Martin Luther – whose actions instigated the Protestant Reformation – by arguing that he did not intend to split Christianity but only to purge the Church of corrupt practices.

Benedict XVI will issue his findings on the 16th-century German theologian after discussing him at the papal summer residence, Castelgandolfo, during his annual seminar of 40 fellow theologians, the Ratzinger Schülerkreis.

Luther was and condemned for heresy and excommunicated in 1521 by Pope Leo X, who had initially dismissed him as “a drunken German” and predicted he would “change his mind when sober”.

Vatican insiders say the 80-year-old Pope – himself born in Germany – will argue that his countryman was not a heretic after all.


HT: StandFirm

Why did Hume use the form of dialogue for his _Dialogues_?

March 1, 2008

As Pamphilus remarks to Hermippus in the opening paragraph of Hume’s Dialogues, the form of dialogue “has been little practised” and “has seldom succeeded…in the hands of those, who have attempted it” since the ancients.[1] In fact, among philosophers since Plato and Cicero, only David Hume and George Berkeley have employed the dialogue with any real success. The vast majority of philosophical writings are characterized by the straightforward, exact presentation and defense of some premises leading to a conclusion. So, why did Hume consider the seemingly unnatural form of dialogue, and not the usual argument structure, most appropriate for this book? Read the rest of this entry »