Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Estranged Notions: Do ‘Religiously Knowledgeable’ Atheists Believe in God?

Today's post:

Do ‘Religiously Knowledgeable’ Atheists Believe in God?

Short version: survey statistics are not worth much, especially in fringe small-N subcategories of larger surveys. (A proportion — sometimes a nontrivial one — of any survey sample are people giving a purely random or maliciously hostile response; for unpopular or socially marginalized beliefs this can easily skew the results. It has also been found that Americans overstate their religious observance and beliefs to pollsters.)

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Estranged Notions: What is an ad hominem fallacy?

Today's post is an especially pointless contribution (taken) from Feser:

What is an ad hominem fallacy?

Good content getting hard to find perhaps?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Contingency and the Fallacy of Composition

(Intended to be part 1 of a short series on contingency arguments)

The Argument from Contingency

Sketched out, the Argument from Contingency is along these lines:

  1. Things are either logically necessary or contingent.
  2. Contingent things require an explanation, which must ultimately lead to a necessary thing (rather than a loop of contingent things or an infinite regress).
  3. Contingent things exist.
  4. Therefore at least one necessary thing exists.
  5. Everything in the physical universe is contingent.
  6. Therefore the physical universe itself is also contingent.
  7. Therefore the necessary thing is separate from the physical universe, and the theist then asserts it to be God.

Every step of this argument is open to serious criticism, but for the purposes of this post I'm going to focus on steps 5 and 6.