Search Results for: James S. Spiegel

Atheism as a Psychological Crutch: A Review of James Spiegel’s The Making of an Atheist

I’ve always believed that the best defense is a good offense. Culturally speaking, however, the New Atheists have been the ones on the offensive in their attacks on religious belief in general and Christianity in particular. Christian apologists have made some very good replies to most of their attacks on Christian belief (which are really nothing more than the same old tired arguments that we’ve had to put to rest before). Yet, the New Atheists are getting a lot of rhetorical mileage in the popular culture with their incessant charge that religious belief is inherently irrational, without evidence, motivated by psychological needs.

How refreshing, then, to read Jim Spiegel’s new book, The Making of an Atheist, in which he makes an end run around all the lame anti-theistic arguments and baseless psycho-analyses of believers, and goes on the offensive by exposing the nonrational, psychological and (im)moral foundations of atheism. In this work, Spiegel shows that, contrary to the pretensions of contemporary atheists, their unbelief is not based on evidence (or a lack of evidence for theism), but is ultimately the result of sin and rebellion as indicated by the apostle Paul in Romans 1.

In chapter one, Spiegel briefly reviews two of the major lines of argument utilized by the New Atheists in their critique of theism: “the problem of evil and the scientific irrelevancy of God” (p. 24). Concerning the former, Spiegel mentions the major theodicies employed by theists in response, but notes that the evidence of evil can never really count for atheism because (1) it doesn’t nullify all of the abundant positive evidence for the existence of God, and (2) the whole idea of evil is incoherent unless God exists (since values like good and evil presupppose God). As for the scientific irrelevancy of God, Spiegel rehearses the well-known problems with positivism and scientism, and points out that naturalism can account neither for the existence and design of the cosmos nor for the value and meaning of human life.

Interestingly, Spiegel ends chapter one with a discussion of the positive insights of atheism. For instance, atheists are right to point out that numerous evils have been done in the name of religion. Also, the moral complacency often displayed by professing believers as well as their tendency to engage in God-of-the-gaps reasoning in science are places where unbelievers are correct to raise concerns. These and other problems Spiegel call “theistic malpractice,” and he notes that while they do call Christians to greater consistency in Christian living, they actually confirm the Christian doctrine of sin, being what we would expect to be the case if Christianity were true.

Chapter two demonstrates the irrationality of atheism in two ways. First, by outlining the abundant evidence for the existence of God found in the laws of nature, the incredible fine-tuning of the universe for life, and the origin of life. Second, by describing Alvin Plantinga’s argument to the affect that naturalism, coupled with Darwinism, proves to be self-defeating by undermining the very possibility of knowledge. But if atheism is so clearly false, why are there atheists at all? Spiegel offers a biblical diagnosis, namely, that atheists are morally deficient (Ps. 14:1; Prov. 18:2; Eph. 4:17-19; Rom 1:18-23, etc.). The problem is not a lack of intelligence or of evidence, but “the ‘wickedness’ of the unbeliever works to ‘suppress’ what is manifest in nature. Consequently, the unbelievers’s capacity for rational thought is compromised” (p. 53). This diagnosis finds some anecdotal confirmation in the bitterness and rage displayed toward God by some of the New Atheists as well as in Spiegel’s personal observation of atheists who fell into unbelief after some episode of personal rebellion. These observations seem symptomatic of nonrational factors at work in producing atheism.

The heart of the book is chapter three. Here Spiegel provides empirical evidence to support the biblical diagnosis of atheism that he offered in chapter two. First, he sketches the research of Paul Vitz who has shown that atheists typically suffer from what he calls “the defective father syndrome.” Surveying the lives of many renowed atheists, Vitz revealed that in each case they had either a father who died when they were very young, a father who deserted the family wheny they were young, or a father who was abusive or ineffectual, or otherwise unworthy of respect. Spiegel extends Vitz’s research to show that those New Atheists who we have enough information about (Dennett and Hitchens) also suffer from the defective father syndrome. Apparently, having a defective father provides a necessary condition for atheism. A person with a poor relationship with his earthly father is disposed to project the bitterness and resentment he has toward him onto his “heavenly Father” as well.

Of course, a necessary condition is not a sufficient condition. Combined with the defective father syndrome, Spiegel points out, there is also “a persistent immoral response of some sort, such as resentment, hatred, vanity, unforgiveness, or abject pride. And when that rebellion is deep or protracted enough, atheism results (p. 81). The most egregious of these moral defects that lead to atheism is “chronic sexual misbehavior.” To prove his point, Spiegel surveys the works of Paul Johnson and E. Michael Jones who demontrate that prominate atheist and agnostic intellectuals lived egotistical, callous (ignoring or abandoning children), sexually promiscuous lifestyles. And it seems evident not only to Speigel, but to many of these intellectuals themselves, that there was a direct connection between their lifestyles and their unbelief. For example, P.B. Shelley remarked that “the philosophy of meaninglessness was esentially an instrument of liberation,” and Aldous Huxley admits, “Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their books that the world should be meaningless.”

Spiegel closes chapter three by discussing the role of the will in the production of atheism. Appealing to William James’s concept of the “will to believe,” Spiegel argues that atheists, though traumatized by defective fathers and motivated by perverse sinful desires, ultimately choose to disbelieve in God. The arguments and “evidences” offered by atheists for unbelief are simply smokescreens and facades. The real reason for atheism is rebellion.

In chapter four, Spiegel deals with the “obstinacy of atheism,” the fact that atheists can be deeply and dogmatically entrenched in their unbelief (in the same way that believers can be entrenched in religious belief). He helpfully explains this entrenchment in terms of worldviews and Thomas Kuhn’s scientific “paradigms.” Appealing to Kuhn’s notions of the incommensurability of paradigms, the near-impossibility of falsifying them, and the nonrational factors that play a role in paradigm shifts, Spiegel shows why believers and unbelievers seem to live in different “worlds,” and why atheists cannot seem to see what appears so obvious to believers, namely, the overwhelming evidence for God. Atheist can’t see that evidence because the worldview paradigms in which they have entrenched themselves (materialistic naturalism and relativism) prevent them from seeing it–Spiegel calls this “paradigm-induced blindness.”

Spiegel takes the reader at this point to Calvin’s notion of the sensus divinitatis. All human beings are born with an innate capacity for direct and personal awareness of God. This “sense of the divine” is primarily what explains the pervasiveness of theistic belief. What is it, then, that leads to the paradigm-induced blindness that the atheist suffers from? Following Plantinga, Spiegel answers that it is the congnitive malfunction of the sensus divinitatis. With this, Spiegel’s analysis if the psychology of atheism is complete. He summarizes it thus: “The descent into atheism is caused by a complex of moral-psychological factors. . . . The atheist willfully rejects rejects God, though this is precipitated by immoral indulgences and typically a broken relationship with his or her father. . . . The hardening of the atheistic mind-set occurs through congitive malfunction due to two principle causes. First, atheists suffer from paradigm-induced blindness. . . . Second, atheists suffer from damage to the sensus divinitatis, so their natural awareness of God is severly impeded” (pp. 113-14).

In the fifth and final chapter, Spiegel calls “The Blessings of Theism.” Perhaps a better title would be “The Blessings of Virtue.” He begins by pointing out that the life of virtue lived by Christian theists is a powerful apologetic tool, especially for atheists who, because of their paradigm-induced blindness, may be incapable of appreciating the merit of our apologetic arguments. Movever, living the virtuous life helps to maintain faith and theistic belief because it helps avoid those vices that can give one a motive for unbelief. Also, given the truth of theism and the connection between virtue and truth acquisition, “the more viruously one lives, the more truths one is able to access, including truths about God and how to obey him” (p. 117). Spiegel goes on to show that theistic belief has some special emotional benefits unavailable to the atheist, such as the right to complain in the face of injustice and the privilege of thanksgiving. He concludes with an admonition to Christians to live virtuously for the sake of reaching atheists with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Making of an Atheist is a welcome addition to the growing literature responding to the New Atheism. Its unique contribution lies in its head-on attack on the root causes of atheism, turning the tables by showing that it is not the theist who suffers from an irrational psychological wish-fulfillment, but the atheist who is in fact in the grip of a powerful, self-induced delusion. The book is written in a popular style and at a level for the lay reader. It will no doubt be criticized for its lack of philosophical rigor in places (places where Spiegel summarizes the more detailed work of others), but Spiegel effectively throws down the gauntlet before the atheist and challenges him to respond to the charge that his unbelief is unjustified and motivated by sin. It will not do for him to simply reply that Spiegel’s attack is just an ad hominem one. Spiegel has provided ample evidence that not only are atheists guilty of sinful, rebellious behavior, but that this sinfulness affects their arguments. Christians need to read this book for the encouragement it gives them and the insight it provides into the psychology of unbelief. Atheists need to read it because of the serious challenge that it makes to their unbelief, a challenge that confirms Paul’s assertion that unbelievers “are without excuse” (Rom 1:20).

Reviewed by Steven B. Cowan

The Making of An Atheist: Interview with Jim Spiegel

Taylor University Philosopher, Jim Spiegel, just released his book, The Making of An Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief (Moody Publishers, 2010). Below is our interview with Spiegel about his book and the implications of his thesis for the debate between atheism and theism.

How did this book come about for you?

Like any philosopher of religion, I’ve followed the new atheist movement with interest.  But after reading numerous responses from Christian apologists, I noticed a conspicuous lack of attention to the moral-psychological roots of atheism.  Given that the biblical writers emphasize this dimension of unbelief, I thought someone needed to address it.

How does this book uniquely contribute to critiques of atheism and the “new atheism”?

Most Christian apologists’ responses to the new atheists challenge their arguments and reveal the many fallacies in their objections to religious faith.  This is helpful, of course, and I applaud the work of Ravi Zacharias, Alister McGrath, Dinesh D’Souza, Paul Copan, William Lane Craig, Tim Keller, and others for their superb contributions to the debate.  What they so well demonstrate is that atheism is not the consequence of any lack of evidence for God.  So the question naturally arises, What is the cause of atheism?  That is the question I address in my book.

The “noetic effects of sin” (as it’s sometimes called) plays an important conceptual and explanatory role in your book. In general, can you briefly explain your view on this matter?

I take my cue from Scripture, specifically such passages as Romans 1:18-32, where the Apostle Paul asserts that no one has any excuse not to believe in God. Rather, he says, some “suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Rom. 1:18).  In my book I develop a model for how this happens, tracing the suppression of truth to a willful rejection of God, prompted by immorality and self-deception.  Thus, I argue, sinful behaviors cloud and distort cognition.  The notion that volitional factors impact belief-formation has been forcefully argued by thinkers as various as John Calvin, Soren Kierkegaard, William James, Michael Polanyi, Thomas Kuhn, and Alvin Plantinga.  In terms of a specifically Christian application of this dynamic, I’ve been especially inspired by Plantinga’s Warranted Christian Belief.

Given the realism of human finitude and fallenness, how should we view the effectuality, if not fruitfulness, of the role that arguments can have for God’s existence or of the role for arguments against objections to God’s existence?

I believe in the usefulness of apologetics to encourage those who struggle with doubts and to persuade those who have sincere objections to aspects of the faith.  Even in the case of some former atheists, such as Antony Flew, the role of evidence seems to have been critical in his change of perspective.  But I don’t think such persuasion happens in a moral-spiritual vacuum.  The Spirit is always at work on people’s hearts, and in many instances He uses arguments and evidences as He prompts belief and acceptance of spiritual truth.

Why might there be a tendency among some Christian philosophical critiques of atheism (or any other worldview for that matter) to under-represent or downright avoid how the sinful tendencies of the human heart figure into the formation of a worldview?

One reason for avoidance of this issue might be a concern for decorum.  I suppose it could appear unseemly or offensive even to suggest, much less to present as a thesis of a book, that a person’s lack of belief in God is, at bottom, a form of rebellion.  And I must admit that at times I felt uncomfortable writing the book for this reason.  However, the fact that it is a clear biblical truth compelled me to write it anyway.  But I was careful to be as generous and winsome as I could manage, given the subject matter.

Given your view of how atheists are formed with regard to their worldview, how does the “problem of evil” figure into an atheist’s desires and motivations to know what is true?

In the book I discuss the principal objections of the new atheists, and the problem of evil is perhaps the most significant of these.  But, as some philosophers have rightly argued, the very notion of “evil” presupposes a standard for goodness which atheism cannot provide.  Any notion of evil or, for that matter, how things ought to be, whether morally or in terms of natural events, must rely on some standard or ideal that transcends the physical world.  Only some form of supernaturalism, such as theism, can supply this.  So to the extent that atheists acknowledge the reality of evil, they depart from their own commitment to naturalism.

Besides a theology of the heart and its sinful tendencies, another non-philosophical source of your critique of atheism is drawn from an examination of the psychology of atheism. How does the evidence for the “faith of the fatherless” figure into a theology of the heart and reasons that might be offered for atheism?

In his provocative little book, The Faith of the Fatherless, psychologist Paul Vitz surveys the major, and many of the minor, atheist scholars of the modern period.  He finds that the one thing these thinkers—e.g., Hobbes, Voltaire, Hume, Nietzsche, Russell, Freud, Sartre, etc.—have in common is a severely broken relationship with their father.  In accounting for atheism, Vitz turns the tables on Freudians who aim to explain away theistic belief as a cosmic projection of one’s father image.  In fact, the opposite seems to be the case:  atheists’ broken father relationships prompt their refusal to recognize the reality of God.

How does one become “entrenched” in an atheist’s mindset?

In my book I expound on two aspects of this process, which explains something of the obstinacy of atheists.  There is a phenomenon that I call “paradigm-induced blindness,” where a person’s false worldview prevents them from seeing truths which would otherwise be obvious.  Additionally, a person’s sinful indulgences have a way of deadening their natural awareness of God or, as John Calvin calls it, the sensus divinitatis.  And the more this innate sense of the divine is squelched, the more resistant a person will be to evidence for God.

You say that right living contributes to the perseverance of faith. How is that perseverance related to Christian virtue and the “cognitive health” that it brings?

Just as sinful thoughts and behavior corrupt us cognitively and warp our perspective on the world, obedience and virtue benefit us cognitively in a number of ways.  Not only do we avoid the intellectual warping and deadening of the sensus divinitatis that sin causes, but Scripture also makes clear that God grants special insight and wisdom to those who obey him (cf. Ps. 19:7, Ps. 25:9; Pr. 1:4, Pr. 11:2).  So you might say that the life of Christian virtue enhances our ability to think and reason, especially about moral and spiritual matters.

Given your approach to atheism in this book, how would you like to see this area further explored and developed by Christian philosophers?

I would like to see Christian philosophers do more to explore the relationship between personal ethics and the psychology of belief-formation. And, generally, I’d like to see more work done on various aspects of the negative side of the moral life—the phenomena of sin and vice. This have been underexplored by Christian philosophers.

More about Jim Spiegel can be learned at The website for The Making of an Atheist, also has discussion questions and other important info.

Welcome Steve Cowan and Jim Spiegel

We are pleased to have Steven Cowan and Jim Spiegel as contributors to the EPS blog. Stay tuned for a forthcoming interview about their recently released book, The Love of Wisdom: A Christian Introduction to Philosophy (Broadman & Holman).

Steve Cowan is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Southeastern Bible College. He is also the Associate Director of the Apologetics Resource Center and the Editor of the Areopagus Journal. Within the EPS, he oversees our regional meetings and he is a frequent contributor to Philosophia Christi. For example, see his recent discussion on molinism in our Summer 2009 issue. More of Steve can be found at his Cowan Chronicles blog. We are pleased to have his thoughtful and unique contribution at the EPS blog in the areas of philosophy of religion, ethics and apologetics.

Jim Spiegel is a professor of philosophy at Taylor University. He has written, edited or contributed to a range of books and articles at the intersection of philosophy of religion, theology, ethics and aesthetics, including break-out titles like Faith, Film and Philosophy (with R. Douglas Geivett), Hypocrisy and his award-winning How to Be Good in a World Gone Bad. Jim is also a contributor to Philosophia Christi and a member of the EPS Executive Committee. In addition to his scholarly work, Jim is a devout music and recording enthusiast. More about Jim can be found at and also at his blog where he and his wife contribute. We are pleased to have his perspective and creative thinking at the EPS blog.

A Brief Sketch On Wisdom

An Ongoing Series of Sketches from the Contributors of Being Good: Christian Virtues for Everyday Life, co-edited by Michael W. Austin and R. Douglas Geivett (Eerdmans, 2012). More info can be found at

Today in American society it seems the last thing on people’s minds is wisdom. From Hollywood to Wall Street, we are preoccupied with wealth, entertainment, and social status.  And even where wisdom is generally acknowledged as a noble aim, genuine devotees of this virtue are rare.  Yet the biblical exhortation to wisdom is clear, as the proverb says wisdom is “more precious than rubies” (Prov. 8:11).  But what exactly is wisdom?  What is it about this trait that makes it so valuable?  And what practical steps can one take in order to become wise?  Is it a matter of simple dedication in study, or are there other things involved in the attainment of wisdom?  In my chapter I address each of these questions.

Generally speaking, wisdom is a kind of practical moral insight.  So it appears to be both a moral virtue and an intellectual virtue.  For the wise person has knowledge of what is the best conduct in particular situations, and this knowledge is manifested in good conduct.  So you might say that wisdom is a sort of “governing” virtue that is necessary, to some degree, for the development of all other virtues. This is why wisdom is especially important and perhaps why we find such a strong biblical emphasis on it.

How does one become wise?  Is it just a matter of study and cognitive reflection?  While we usually think in terms of beliefs determining behavior, Scripture suggests that the causal dynamic runs the other direction as well.  The Old Testament wisdom literature tells us that God makes wise the simple and grants understanding to those who humble themselves (see Psalm 19:7, Psalm 25:9, Prov. 1:4, and Prov. 11:2).  And some New Testament passages underscore the critical role of behavior when it comes to belief formation (e.g., Rom. 1:18-32, Eph. 4:18-19).

Alvin Plantinga has provided some insights regarding how vice undermines wisdom.  He notes that cognitive faculties are like any other aspect of human beings, in so far as they were designed for a purpose (to form true beliefs) and that they function properly only under certain conditions.  Like any physical organ, such as lungs or eyes, cognitive processes can malfunction because of corrupting influences.  And moral vice, such pride, resentment, or the habitual indulgence in perverse behavior, is a major cause of cognitive malfunction.  In other words, sin compromises a person’s capacity to form true beliefs, particularly regarding moral and spiritual matters.

Psychological studies have shown that, when faced with a conflict between their personal beliefs and behavior, people will often reconcile this conflict by changing the way they think about their behavior.  Rather than alter their conduct, they will take the less demanding route and search for some way to rationalize it.  This response is almost always unconscious, which of course makes for a morally insidious dynamic in contexts involving vicious behavior.  These moral-psychological insights appear to confirm the Apostle Paul’s remarks in Romans 1:18-32 where he describes how wicked behavior leads to futile thinking.

So sinful behavior undermines the quest for wisdom.  But on the positive side, virtuous living leads to wisdom.  By living rightly we diminish the corrupting impact of sin on the mind.  Consequently, our cognitive processes can function properly, and we are more likely to form true beliefs about moral and spiritual issues.  So those who faithfully obey God will grow wiser, just as Scripture tells us.

While Plantinga and others have done some helpful work in exploring the negative dynamics of moral psychology when it comes to cognition, more work needs to be done to understand the positive impact of virtuous living.  What are the specific moral-psychological causal dynamics involved?  What role might the spiritual disciplines (e.g., prayer, fasting, sacrifice, etc.) play in maximizing cognitive health?  And what specific implications might there be here for Christian educators and scholars, for whom proper cognitive function is especially critical?

James S. Spiegel
Taylor University

Being Good: Sketches of Christian Virtues for Everyday Life

Contributors to Being Good: Christian Virtues for Everyday Life participate in an EPS web series that highlights their contribution to the book and its value to a broader context of literature on the topic. More info about the book can be found at

The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful: Extended Reflection on Football, Fame and Fortune

In 2010, philosopher Mike Austin (recently interviewed by me here) wrote an article for The Other Journal, “Football, Fame, and Fortune,” which set-off a discussion among friends and associates regarding the connections between football (and sports, in general), virtue, human flourishing, and ethics. Specifically, discussions ensued between Austin and philosophers Matthew Roberts and Jim Spiegel on the matter. For the sake of further discussion, we asked if this discussion could be “formalized” for public attention at the EPS website. We asked Doug Groothuis to contribute (HT: Lenny Esposito) because of his thoughtfulness in this area and he was already writing on the topic at his blog.

Here is a snapshot of the discussion as represented in our Library area:

Virtue, Vice, and Violence
Dr. Matthew Roberts, PhD

Matthew Roberts argues that football possesses certain intrinsic bads which are both perpetuated by its extrinsic goods and perpetuate vice in some of its participants. As a means to the inculcation of virtue, football, like most sports, provides ample opportunity. But, other non heavy-contact sports are to be preferred over football when considered as a means to the inculcation of virtue.

Further Benefits of Sports
Dr. James S. Spiegel, PhD

In addition to the potential of sports to help build virtue in athletes, there are many other benefits as well. In this piece Spiegel discusses some of these, which are social, aesthetic, and even theological in nature. And he notes how these benefits extend beyond athletes to spectators

Football, Baseball, and the Culture of Violence

Dr. Douglas Groothuis, PhD

Groothuis argues that football is morally objectionable because it is intrinsically violent and thus is conducive to vice in both its players and its fans. By way of contrast, he argues that baseball is only contingently violent, that it is not based on violence, and that it is, as such, a morally superior sport.

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful: My Response to Matthew Roberts, Jim Spiegel, and Doug Groothuis
Dr. Michael W. Austin, PhD

Michael Austin consider the points raised by Professors Spiegel, Roberts, and Groothuis concerning the moral, physical, intellectual, and aesthetic value of football in particular, and sports in general. He considers how one might appropriate their points as a fan, participant, and parent of children involved in sports. He argues that there are ways in which the follower of Christ can and should seek to redeem life in the sporting realm.

You can enjoy all of these fine contribution by clicking here.

Further Benefits of Sports

Further Benefits of Sports

Dr. James S. Spiegel, PhD

In addition to the potential of sports to help build virtue in athletes, there are many other benefits as well.  In this piece Spiegel discuss some of these, which are social, aesthetic, and even theological in nature.  And he notes how these benefits extend beyond athletes to spectators.

Read his contribution by clicking here.

Idealism and Christian Thought

Bloomsbury Academic will publish in 2016 two volumes on Idealism and Christian Thought: Volume 1, Idealism and Christian Theology, edited Joshua Farris, Mark Hamilton, and James Spiegel, features eleven new contributions to this topic. From the publisher’s description:

In the recent history of philosophy few works have appeared which favorably portray Idealism as a plausible philosophical view of the world. Considerably less has been written about Idealism as a viable framework for doing theology. While the most recent and significant works on Idealism, composed by the late John Foster (Case for Idealism and A World for Us: The Case for Phenomenological Idealism), have put this theory back on the philosophical map, no such attempt has been made to re-introduce Idealism to contemporary Christian theology. Idealism and Christian Theology is such a work, retrieving ideas and arguments from its most significant modern exponents (especially George Berkeley and Jonathan Edwards) in order to assess its value for present and future theological construction. As a piece of constructive philosophical-theology itself, this volume considers the explanatory power an Idealist ontology has for contemporary Christian theology.

Volume 2, Idealism and Christian Philosophy, edited by Steven Cowan and James Spiegel, features ten new contributions to this topic. From the publisher’s description:

When it comes to contemporary philosophical problems, metaphysical idealism-or Berkeleyan immaterialism – is not taken seriously by most philosophers, not to mention the typical Christian layperson. This state of affairs deserves some attempt at rectification, since Idealism has considerable explanatory power as a metaphysical thesis and provides numerous practical and theoretical benefits.

Such thinkers as George Berkeley and Jonathan Edwards believed that Idealism is especially amenable to a Christian perspective, both because it provides a plausible way of conceptualizing the world from a theistic standpoint and because it effectively addresses skeptical challenges to the Christian faith. The contributors to this volume explore a variety of ways in which the case can be made for this claim, including potential solutions to philosophical problems related to the nature of time, the ontology of physical objects, the mind-body problem, and the nature of science.

Christianity Not a Source of Violence

In the wake of the recent killings in Oslo, Norway, there has been a flurry of debate over whether the accused mass-murderer, Anders Breivik, is in fact a Christian.

Members of the Evangelical Philosophical Society have responded to claims that Christianity caused Breivik to commit these heinous acts of violence.

You can read the full text of that statement here.

Our thanks to Jim Spiegel for drafting these important declarations, and our thanks to EPS President Paul Copan and the entire Executive Committee for offering helpful feedback and direction.