(redated post originally published on 9 July 2007)
After five years of planning, preparation, and work, the Internet Infidels will officially announce on July 1 the first installment of its “Great Debate” project, God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence. (I’ve been given the OK to post this early.) The project, coordinated by agnostic philosopher Paul Draper, will present four written debates involving nine distinguished philosophers, each examining different areas of evidence for and against naturalism and theism. Each debate will appear two months apart, and will provide about a month of time for readers to submit questions to the debaters, which will then be answered on the site. The full debate will subsequently be published in book form.
The first debate, on “Mind and Will,” looks at the evidence for the nature of the human mind and free will. The participants for this debate are Andrew Melnyk, professor of philosophy and chair of the department at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Stewart Goetz, professor of philosophy and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Ursinus College, and Charles Taliaferro, professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College.
The second debate, on “Evil and Evolution,” examines the problem of evil and how the evidence for evolution impacts naturalism and theism. The participants for this debate, which will go online on September 1, are Paul Draper, professor of philosophy at Purdue University, and Alvin Plantinga, professor of philosophy at Notre Dame University.
The third debate, on “Science and the Cosmos,” looks at whether the universe provides evidence of design. This debate goes online on November 1, and the participants are Quentin Smith, professor of philosophy at Western Michigan University, and Robin Collins, professor of philosophy at Messiah College.
The fourth and final debate, on “Faith and Uncertainty,” looks at the question of “divine hiddenness”–if God exists, why does he seem to be hidden from so many human beings? This debate goes online on January 1, and the participants are John Schellenberg, professor of philosophy and religious studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, and Jeffrey Jordan, professor of philosophy at the University of Delaware.