Thursday, August 09, 2018

My Last Philosophy of Religion Class

Room, in our home

This fall I will teach my last Philosophy of Religion class at Monroe County Community College. I've been teaching this class at MCCC for almost twenty years! (I taught Logic for seventeen years, plus a couple of Western Philosophy courses.)

If you want to get in on this, here's what I'll be teaching.

The Ontological Argument for God's Existence (Anselm's version, with perhaps a brief look at Alvin Plantinga's Modal Version of the Ontological Argument. This is an a priori argument. I love giving it, and seeing the looks on students' faces as they try to understand it.)

Gaunilo's Objection to the Ontological Argument (Which fails. Gaunilo did not understand the argument.)

Kant's Criticism of the Ontological Argument (Which is: 'exists' is not a predicate, or attribute, of anything. This leads to some interesting discussion on the meaning of 'existence'.)

The Kalam Cosmological Argument for God's Existence (This is an evidential argument for the existence of God; viz., an argument that uses a physical fact and reasons, by inference to the best explanation, to God. We look at my friend William Lane Craig's version of this argument.)

The Fine-Tuning Argument for God's Existence (This is probably the most powerful evidential argument for the existence of God. BTW - anyone who claims there is no evidence for God's existence is simply wrong.)

The Logical Argument from Evil Against the Existence of God (This is J.L. Mackie's argument, claiming that belief in God (theism) is logically incoherent.)

Buddhism's Idea that Evil Is an Illusion (We'll look at the core Buddhist ideas, and how they imply the non-reality of evil.)

Alvin Plantinga's Free Will Defense Against the Logical Argument from Evil (Based on modal logic)

The Evidential Argument from Evil Against the Existence of God (This is atheist William Rowe's version.)

Stephen Wykstra's argument showing how Rowe's Evidential Argument from Evil is illogical because it commits a 'no-see-um fallacy

Nietzsche's "Parable of the Madman," written to persuade his fellow atheists that they failed to understand the logical implications of their atheism, which include the loss of objective moral values

Bertrand Russell's atheistic "Free Man's Worship," which follows Nietzsche's reasoning, except that Russell refuses to bow before nature's power

Stephen Jay Gould's Science and Religion as Non-Overlapping Majesteria (Gould's explanation of how science and religion do not, indeed cannot, conflict because they form two separate domains of reaching authority)

William Lane Craig's Moral Argument for God's Existence (We end the class with what is perhaps my favorite argument for God's existence.)

First class - Thursday, August 23.

T/Th, 5:30 - 6:50 PM

I'll be devoting more time to writing.

My two books are:

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

I am writing...

How God Changes the Human Heart

Technology and Spiritual Formation

Linda and I will then co-write our book on Relationships