The Unmoved Mover Argument – Part 8: 2nd Argument for Changing Things
In his book When Skeptics Ask (hereafter: WSA), Norman Geisler presents his general version of a Thomist Cosmological Argument (hereafter: TCA).  The first premise of Geisler's TCA is this: 1. Finite, changing things exist.  (WSA, p.18) Geisler provides a very brief argument in support of (1) in WSA.  In Part 4 of this series I showed that Geisler's brief argument in support of (1) was a stinking philosophical TURD.  It FAILS utterly and completely to support ANY part of premise (1). In Part 5 of this series I clarified and analyzed a longer and more sophisticated  argument by Geisler in support of just one part of premise (1) of TCA, an argument that is found in his much older book Philosophy of Religion (hereafter: PoR).  This longer argument only supports the simple and obviously true claim that "Something exists".  In Part 6 of this series, I argued that this longer argument by Geisler FAILS. In Part 7 of this series, I analyzed and evaluated Geisler's first argument for the following claim: 21. ... Read Article
The Unmoved Mover Argument – Part 7: 1st Argument for Changing Things
In his book When Skeptics Ask (hereafter: WSA), Norman Geisler presents his general version of a Thomist Cosmological Argument (hereafter: TCA).  The first premise of Geisler's TCA is this: 1. Finite, changing things exist.  (WSA, p.18) Geisler provides a very brief argument in support of (1) in WSA.  In Part 4 of this series I showed that Geisler's brief argument in support of (1) was a stinking philosophical TURD.  It FAILS utterly and completely to support ANY part of premise (1). In Part 5 of this series I clarified and analyzed a longer and more sophisticated  argument by Geisler in support of just one part of premise (1) of TCA, an argument that is found in his much older book Philosophy of Religion (hereafter: PoR).  This longer argument only supports the simple and obviously true claim that "Something exists".  In Part 6 of this series, I argued that this longer argument by Geisler FAILS. Geisler also presents arguments for the claim that "changing things exist", and I will begin to analyze a ... Read Article
The Unmoved Mover Argument – Part 6: More on Something Exists
In his book When Skeptics Ask (hereafter: WSA), Norman Geisler presents his general version of a Thomist Cosmological Argument (hereafter: TCA).  The first premise of Geisler's TCA is this: 1. Finite, changing things exist.  (WSA, p.18) Geisler provides a very brief argument in support of (1) in WSA.  In Part 4 of this series I showed that Geisler's brief argument in support of (1) was a stinking philosophical TURD.  It FAILS utterly and completely to support ANY part of premise (1). In Part 5 of this series I clarified and analyzed a longer and more sophisticated  argument by Geisler in support of just one part of premise (1) of TCA, an argument that is found in his much older book Philosophy of Religion (hereafter: PoR).  This longer argument only supports the simple and obviously true claim that "Something exists".  Geisler provides further arguments in PoR for the claim that there are finite, changing things.  But I will get into those further arguments in later posts of this series. There were ... Read Article
The Unmoved Mover Argument – Part 5: Something Exists
Before I start an analysis and evaluation of Thomas Aquinas's Unmoved Mover argument, I want to finish evaluating Norman Geisler's Thomist Cosmological Argument (hereafter: TCA) in When Skeptics Ask (hereafter: WSA).  In Part 4 of this series,  I showed that the very brief argument Geisler gives in support of the first premise of TCA is a stinking philosophical TURD. But Geisler gives a more detailed and in-depth defense of the first premise of TCA in his older book Philosophy of Religion (hereafter: PoR).  So, before we can write off premise (1) of TCA, we should consider what he has to say in support of that premise in Chapter 9 of PoR. Here is Geisler's argument in PoR (p.191) for the claim that "something exists", which is part of what premise (1) asserts:  Here are the key claims in this argument in Geisler's own words: 11. It is actually undeniable that something exists. 12. I exist. 13. Any attempt to deny one's own existence is self-defeating. 14. One always (implicitly) affirms his own existence ... Read Article
The Unmoved Mover Argument – Part 4: Finite Changing Things Exist?
In his book When Skeptics Ask (1990), Norman Geisler presents a Thomist Cosmological Argument for the existence of God (although he FAILED to conclude the argument with the claim that "God exists"!).  I am now going to start evaluating the first premise of this argument: 1. Finite, changing things exist.  (When Skeptics Ask, p. 18; hereafter: WSA.) Here is the argument Geisler gives in support of this premise: For example, me. I would have to exist to deny that I exist; so either way, I must really exist.  (WSA, p. 18) That is the entire extent of Geisler's defense of premise (1), at least in WSA.  Geisler also has a much older book called Philosophy of Religion (1974; hereafter: PoR), and in that older book he provides three and a half full pages of argumentation in support of premise (1).  So, after I examine his very brief argument for premise (1) from WSA,  I will turn to the arguments that he presents in Chapter 9 of PoR, in support of premise (1) of his Thomist Cosmological Argument. Pronouns ar ... Read Article
The Unmoved Mover Argument – Part 3: Norman vs. Bradley
I'm having fun with critical examination of Norman Geisler's Thomist cosmological argument in When Skeptics Ask.  There is also a more detailed and in-depth presentation of this argument in Chapter 9 of Geisler's much older book The Philosophy of Religion (1974). I previously thought that the first premise of his Thomist cosmological argument was obviously true, but now I'm not so sure.  I now think there are problems of UNCLARITY in the key terms "finite thing" and "changing thing." Below is a short fictional dialogue that I quickly constructed to explore some of my thoughts about what it means to say something is a "finite thing". I will return to my usual, more pedantic style in future posts. ===================== Bradley: This pebble in my hand is INFINITE! Norman: No it isn't. It is a small object. I can plainly see that it is less than 1" in diameter. Bradley: True. It is not INFINITE in its size. However, it might still be an INFINITE thing. It might have INFINITE mass. Norman: Nope. Plainly you are ... Read Article
The Unmoved Mover Argument – Part 2: Geisler’s Thomist Argument
I plan to analyze and evaluate Ed Feser's Aristotelian proof of the existence of God (in Five Proofs of the Existence of God).  But first I want to analyze and evaluate Aquinas's Unmoved Mover proof.  And before I do that,  I wanted to warm up by doing an analysis and evaluation of Peter Kreeft's Unmoved-Mover proof, which I did in the first post of this series. I could get started on Aquinas' First Way (Unmoved Mover Proof) right now, but I think I will warm up a bit more by doing an analysis and evaluation of Norman Geisler's version of a Thomist cosmological argument.   Geisler does not state his argument in terms of motion, nor does he say that he is re-stating Aquinas's First Way or Unmoved Mover proof.  However, Geisler does indicate that the cosmological argument that I will be examining here is based on the cosmological arguments of Aquinas. Geisler distinguishes between horizontal and vertical types of cosmological arguments. He categorizes the Kalam argument as a horizontal cosmological argu ... Read Article
The Unmoved Mover Argument – Part 1: Kreeft’s Version
FESER'S ARISTOTELIAN PROOF & AQUINAS'S UNMOVED-MOVER PROOF I plan to analyze and evaluate Ed Feser's Aristotelian "proof" of the existence of God, from his book Five Proofs of the Existence of God.  According to Feser, the proofs that he presents in that book are "the most powerful arguments for God’s existence on offer". But before I take on Feser's Aristotelian proof,  I want to warm up a bit, by taking a look at the version of that argument presented by Thomas Aquinas.   Aquinas presented an "Unmoved Mover" argument as the first of his "Five Ways" of proving the existence of God. There are two phases to Feser's Aristotelian proof.  The first phase is supposed to establish the existence of an odd sort of metaphysical being: 14. So, there is a purely actual actualizer. (Five Proofs of the Existence of God (p. 36). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.) A "purely actual actualizer" is something that has no potential to change, but that can cause something else to change.  So, a purely actual actualizer ... Read Article
Resurrected Political Blog
Announcement: I've resurrected my political blog and re-branded it as "Data-Driven Politics." It has a new URL: https://dataoverdogma.wordpress.com/ Please give it a look! My most recent entry is a blog post analyzing the effectiveness of mask wearing at reducing the spread of COVID-19. ... Read Article
INDEX: Was Joshua’s Slaughter of the Canaanites Morally Justified?
In this INDEX post you will find links to each of the 14 posts in my series of posts on this question: Was Joshua's Slaughter of the Canaanites Morally Justified? I have also provided some quotes from the posts to give an idea of what each post is about. [caption id="attachment_30826" align="aligncenter" width="477"] The Taking of Jericho (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)[/caption] https://secularfrontier.infidels.org/2020/04/was-joshuas-slaughter-of-thousands-of-men-women-children-and-babies-morally-justified-part-1/ In this series of posts I will argue for the view that the MERCILESS SLAUGHTER of elderly men and women, adult men and women, teenagers, children, and babies by the army of Israel under the leadership of Moses, and later under the leadership of Joshua, was NOT morally justified, and that this shows that Jesus was a morally flawed person, given that Jesus did not reject his given name, and given that Jesus was openly and publicly an admirer of Moses.   https://secularfrontier.i ... Read Article
Contempt: It’s Not All Bad
NOTE: This is a portion of a paper I read at the Central Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association last February. It is a revision of an earlier SO post "Contempt: A Qualified Defense." In January 2017, I was pleasantly surprised to see an op/ed by a professional philosopher in The Houston Chronicle. Karen Stohr’s timely and insightful essay “Our new age of contempt is on full display,” was first published in the New York Times. Professional philosophers, like other academics, tend to communicate eagerly with their peers, less eagerly with students, and less eagerly still with the general public. This is too bad since the role of the public intellectual is a vital one. Stohr argues that in the 2016 presidential election, contempt for the opposing candidate and his or her supporters became mainstream, no longer expressed privately, but blared across television, social media, and the Internet. Messages of vicious contempt even festoon wearing apparel (e.g., a T-shirt worn by one attend ... Read Article
Was Joshua’s Slaughter of the Canaanites Morally Justified? Part 14: More OT on Child Sacrifice
WHERE WE ARE The final question at issue that I discussed in the previous post is this: Does the OT clearly claim that all of the peoples who inhabited the numerous towns and villages in the Promised Land prior to the alleged Conquest of Canaan, regularly practiced child sacrifice? I examined the Old Testament passages that were potentially relevant to the above question: Deuteronomy 12:29-31  Deuteronomy 18:9-10  2 Kings 16:2-4  2 Kings 17:7-8 & 16-17  2 Kings 21:1-6  2 Chronicles 28:1-4  2 Chronicles 33:1-6  Psalm 106:34-38  Based on a review of these OT passages, I reached the following conclusions: Only two OT passages appear to provide relevant evidence concerning the claim that the pagan nations that inhabited the Promised Land (prior to the Conquest of Canaan) engaged in child sacrifice:   Deuteronomy 12:29-31 and Psalm 106: 34-38.   But these two passages only imply that at least one pagan nation residing in the Promised Land (prior to the Conquest of Canaan) occasion ... Read Article
The Holy Bible, King Don Version
I was so inspired by the photo of Donald Trump holding the Bible that, further inspired by a Stephen Colbert skit, I have decided to post selections from the King Don version of the Bible. So, here is the word of God, er, Don, er.... The Creation Story:           In the beginning it was fabulous. What God did was incredible. See, it was dark. Really dark. So dark you couldn’t believe it. And God said “Somebody turn on the lights!” And guess what? A good Republican angel turned on all the lights, and it was just incredibly bright. And God created the Garden of Eden. Eden was beautiful. Just beautiful. Like Mar-a-Lago. Great golf courses. Fabulous food. Then God created Adam and Eve, who were naked except for their MAGA hats. Eve, she was hot, I tell you! And then Satan, obviously a Democrat, came along and told Eve that she and Adam did not have to work and that the Welfare State would take care of them. So, God was pissed off and took Adam and Eve’s MAGA hats and kicked them out of Eden. They ... Read Article
Augustine Versus Hypatia (Part II)
This is the continuation of the imaginary dialogue between Augustine and Hypatia begun in the last post. Moderator: I fear that the discussion once again is descending into mutual recrimination. To get us back on track, let me get back to a point that was raised earlier. It seems to me that one real strength of orthodox Christianity is the doctrine of the incarnation, which unites spirit and flesh. Orthodoxy banished the extreme dualism of Gnosticism and Manichaeism, an unattractive idea that spawns superstition and repudiation of the physical world. Augustine, would you care to comment” Augustine: Yes indeed. Christianity in general, and I in particular, have been charged with the introduction of the “Dark Ages,” a period of supposed ignorance and credulity in which blind faith replaced reason and science was despised and ignored. On the contrary, by regarding the physical world as the creation of a rational God, and not the repository of darkness and evil, we laid the conceptual foundations for modern ... Read Article
Augustine Versus Hypatia (Part I)
For the edification of my students, and for fun, I have written some dialogues that resurrected figures from the past and allowed them to debate. I set these debates as part of programs on "The Afterlife Broadcasting Company." I assume that the participants have become aware of intellectual developments since their day. Here I have tried to be as true to Augustine's views as I could. We know quite a bit about Augustine but much less about Hypatia. Therefore, I have had to imaginatively reconstruct her views. Since the dialogue is rather long at over 5000 words, I have divided it into two parts so as not to try readers' patience too much. Moderator: Prepare for fireworks! Tonight we have in the studio Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415), philosopher, astronomer, mathematician, educator, and pagan martyr. Her opposite number is her contemporary, St. Augustine, philosopher, theologian, and Bishop of Hippo (354-430). Both of our guests tonight were citizens of the late Roman Empire, living in the days of the final co ... Read Article
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