bookmark_borderRichard Swinburne’s newest book: Mind, Brain, and Free Will

This book will be published May 15, 2013. Here is the book’s description on Amazon:

Mind, Brain, and Free Will presents a powerful new case for substance dualism (the idea that humans consist of two parts–body and soul) and for libertarian free will (that humans have some freedom to choose between alternatives, independently of the causes which influence them). Richard Swinburne argues that answers to questions about mind, body, and free will depend crucially on the answers to more general philosophical questions. He begins by analyzing the criteria for one event being the same as another, one substance being the same as another, and a state of affairs being metaphysically possible; and then goes on to analyze the criteria for a belief about these issues being justified. Pure mental events (including conscious events) are distinct from physical events and interact with them. Swinburne claims that no result from neuroscience or any other science could show that interaction does not take place; and illustrates this claim by showing that recent scientific work (such as Libet’s experiments) has no tendency whatever to show that our intentions do not cause brain events. He goes on to argue for agent causation, and claims that–to speak precisely–it is we, and not our intentions, that cause our brain events. It is metaphysically possible that each of us could acquire a new brain or continue to exist without a brain; and so we are essentially souls. Brain events and conscious events are so different from each other that it would not be possible to establish a scientific theory which would predict what each of us would do in situations of moral conflict. Hence given a crucial epistemological principle (the Principle of Credulity) we should believe that things are as they seem to be: that we make choices independently of the causes which influence us. According to Swinburne’s lucid and ambitious account, it follows that we are morally responsible for our actions.

LINK to Amazon

bookmark_borderRichard Dawkins finds Jesus

Hot news from Oxford, England: Noted atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins has declared that he is no longer an atheist and has become a Christian. Dawkins, author of The God Delusion was quoted as saying, “Really, there is just a bit too much evidence of design in living things to attribute it all to a blind process like natural selection.” Dawkins, has long argued that science undermines religious beliefs and denied that the universe needs a creator. He has been one of the most outspoken of the “new atheists,” a group of writers, also including Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens, whose books were the first atheist bestsellers. Dawkins attributes his change of heart to reading the books of Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe. Dawkins says, “Behe convinced me that the complexity of molecular processes had to be planned by an intelligent designer. No natural process could conceivably account for these.” Dawkins says that he regrets having misled so many and implores his readers to discard his books and pick up the Bible instead. “The Bible has so much true science in it,” says Dawkins, “that it is really the only book we need.”
Professor J.P. Craig of Biola University, a leading evangelical institution, says “We certainly welcome this news. Whereas Professor Dawkins used to be a dishonest hack, now that he has seen the light we welcome him as a gentleman and a scholar.” Like atheist philosopher Antony Flew, whose last book renounced atheism, Dawkins now plans a new book that will explain his new beliefs and his future plans, which may include study for the ministry. “The Reverend Dawkins,” he says, “I like the sound of that!”