For this episode of Real Atheology, Justin Schieber and Ben Watkins interview philosopher Wes Morriston. Dr. Morriston earned his PhD in philosophy from Northwestern University in 1972 and was a professor of philosophy at University of Colorado, Boulder from 1972-2014 when he retired as Emeritus Professor of Philosophy. Professor Morriston specialized in philosophy of religion. In the interview we discuss a variety of topics including a supposed tension that exists between a belief in what is often assumed to be the great value of free will on the one hand and the belief in God’s essential goodness on the other. We also discuss the moral argument – at least the form advocated by Christian philosopher William Lane Craig. We want to again thank Professor Morriston for the fantastic discussion.
In this episode, Justin Schieber sits down with philosopher Evan Fales to talk about some of his work on the problem of evil as well as how he became interested in issues in philosophy of religion. Dr. Fales is professor emeritus at University of Iowa. Professor Fales’ research interests include philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, and most relevant to today’s episode, philosophy of religion.
Cory Markum joins Ben Watkins to discuss some questions about normativity. Many apologists put forward moral arguments for the existence of God which claim that atheism implies some form of moral nihilism. While both Ben and Cory do not find these arguments persuasive, Cory is not so sure about the view that is often called “moral realism.” This view states that there are mind independent moral truths about what actions are good and bad, right and wrong, and virtuous and vicious. Ben, on the other hand, is a moral realist, because he accepts a realist view about normativity in general. In an effort to convince Cory of moral realism, Ben defends the view that some things matter in the sense that we have reasons to care about things for their own sake. Such truths are ‘irreducibly normative.’ Ben holds that there are some irreducibly normative truths about what we have reason to believe, to desire, and to do, and that some of these truths are moral truths.
Oxford philosophy student Josh Parikh joins Justin Schieber to discuss Josh’s rejection of a key premise in Schellenberg’s Hiddenness Argument (previously discussed in RA004). The premise, which states that there do in fact exist persons who are non-resistantly in a state of non-belief about God’s existence, is largely taken to be true by most philosophers of religion.
If an all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good God exists, how does one explain the existence, intensity, and distribution of moral and natural suffering in our world? In this episode, Justin Schieber and Christian theist Timothy Arndt square off for a lively philosophical debate on the age-old puzzle that surrounds God and suffering.
The debate was held at Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus in the Cook DeWitt Center Auditorium on March 2, 2017.
Hosted by Center for Inquiry at Grand Valley and RatioChristi.
Moderated by CJ Thompson
Filmed by Morgan Johnson
Last Thursday, I flew up to Edmonton, AB for a number of debate/dialogue events with Randal Rauser in promotion of our new book An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar. In addition to the events with my friend Randal, I was also excited to meet some good friends I had made on previous trips to Edmonton. Cold city, warm people.
Randal and I had a semi-formal debate on Friday night (Which was recorded and will be released as a podcast soon) and a conversational Q&A on Saturday morning (Not recorded). The last event of the weekend was on Saturday evening at Sherwood Park Alliance Church.
After some introductory words, Randal and I each presented about a 15 minute introduction to a few arguments for our positions. This was then followed by lead pastor Greg Hochhalter joining us on stage to pass questions from the audience. It was a lovely evening. Rather than a debate or even conversational argument, it was much more of an exploration of how two very different persons see the world. After the event, a number of those in attendance came up to me to thank me for sharing and participating in the dialogue and mentioned that the experience had a positive effect on their perceptions of atheists in general. Needless to say, I found the exchange to be a real success.
The Real Atheology Podcast has two full episodes in the… chute?
Unfortunately, they both require some heavy editing before their release and I am unable to find the time. Why so busy? Funny you should ask. I’m prepping for a flurry of events over the next two weekends. The first batch of three take place in Edmonton and are along side Randal Rauser in promotion of our new book, An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar.
Here are the flyers with the relevant information for the events this weekend in Edmonton. Randal and I hope to see you there for some good ol’ philosophy of religion.
Friday, March 10th, 7:00-8:30 pm
Saturday, March 11th, 10:00-11:30 am
Saturday, March 11th, 7:00-8:15 pm
The second batch take place in Arizona:
Saturday, March 18 at the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (click here).
Sunday, March 19 at Freethought Arizona (click here).
Sunday, March 19 at Sierra Vista Freethinkers (click here).