Continuing discussion.

EPS Blog

This is the blog area for the Evangelical Philosophical Society and its journal, Philosophia Christi.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Believing Primate

EPS member Michael J. Murray, a Professor of Philosophy at Franklin and Marshall College, and also Vice President of Philosophy and Theology at the Templeton Foundation, recently edited a collection of writings (with Jeffrey Schloss) titled, The Believing Primate: Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion (OUP, 2009)

In Evolution of Religion: Studies, Theories, and Critiques, he has a chapter titled, "Four Arguments that the Cognitive Psychology of Religion Undermines the Justification of Religious Belief."

Michael recently interacted with Paul Bloom (Yale) about much of the topics in the above mentioned book. The below interview is from Bloggingheads.tv:


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Friday, November 21, 2008

2008 EPS Papers (Sweis)

Khaldoun Sweis

Evolutionary Naturalism Reconsidered

Abstract: Darwinian evolutionary naturalism (DEN) is the strongest force for the legitimate expression of research in the sciences or the humanities today. I attempt to address some issues that DEN still need take under consideration. This paper is divided into three parts. Part 1 is a struggle to find a coherent definition of DEN as it is currently understood. The common thread I find running through all definitions is the following: DEN is a belief or research paradigm that excludes any teleological, theological or supernatural explanations for the elucidation of phenomena in the universe. In Part 2, I address the supposed unscientific presuppositions of DEN. This leads us to the question of scientific methodology. Famous philosopher of science Karl Popper wrote, “the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.” If we cannot or are not allowed to consider the falsifiability, or refutability of DEN, then it is according to Popper, a non-scientific theory. Is this critique true? Is DEN a non-scientific theory? Finally in Part 3, I frame and articulate to the DEN’s community a strong argument against DEN ala Alvin Plantinga and Richard Taylor. This argument states that if our cognitive faculties have arisen by purely natural, unguided forces, then, although they can be trusted to arrive at pragmatic conclusions, they cannot be trusted to arrive at truthful conclusions.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2008 EPS Papers (Coppenger)

Mark Coppenger

The Aesthetic Argument and Darwinism

Abstract: Darwinism fails to handle the comprehensive splendor of nature, whether in the desert, jungle, mountain range, prairie, ocean, or starry heavens above. All the natural world is attuned to man's aesthetic sensibilities, and his attunement cannot be accounted for by natural selection or by habituation to one's environment. This fit cannot be the result of evolutionary development, since aesthetic distress is not a killer. It is not as though those who found glaciers and waterfalls ugly died of disgust or lack of consort. On the contrary, one might argue demographically that slum dwelling, with attendant eyesores, is congenial for procreation. And one might argue that the artistic temperament is even less advantageous in the search for mates than is the athletic, military, or commercial temperament. Yet, a species-wide preference for and fascination with cypress swamps, pine forests, sea-casts, brooks, and canyons persists. This means havor for Darwinism.

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