•  557
    Probabilistic arguments for multiple universes
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3). 2007.
    In this paper, we discuss three probabilistic arguments for the existence of multiple universes. First, we provide an analysis of total evidence and use that analysis to defend Roger White's "this universe" objection to a standard fine-tuning argument for multiple universes. Second, we explain why Rodney Holder's recent cosmological argument for multiple universes is unconvincing. Third, we develop a "Cartesian argument" for multiple universes. While this argument is not open to the objections p…Read more
  •  287
    Darwin's argument from evil
    In Yujin Nagasawa (ed.), Scientific Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion, Palgrave-macmillan. pp. 49-70. 2012.
  •  226
    Collins on cannons and cosmology
    with Quentin Smith
    . 2008.
    In "A Cosmological Argument for a Self-Caused Universe ," one of us (Smith) argued that the universe explains its own existence because (i) its existence is entailed by (and so explained by) the existence of the infinitely many instantaneous universe states that compose it, and (ii) each of those states is caused by (and so explained by) infinitely many earlier universe states.[1] Moreover, (ii) is true even if the universe is finitely old because, given standard Big Bang cosmology (Friedmann co…Read more
  •  179
    In Darwin’s Black Box, Michael J. Behe argues that, because certain biochemical systems are both irreducibly complex and very complex, it is extremely unlikely that they evolved gradually by Darwinian mechanisms, and so extremely likely that they were intelligently designed. I begin this paper by explaining Behe’s argument and defending it against the very common but clearly mistaken charge that it is just a rehash of William Paley’s design argument. Then I critically discuss a number of more …Read more
  •  162
    Diagnosing bias in philosophy of religion
    with Ryan Nichols
    The Monist 96 (3): 420-446. 2013.
    Work in philosophy of religion exhibits at least four symptoms of poor health: it is too partisan, too polemical, too narrow in its focus, and too often evaluated using criteria that are theological or religious instead of philosophical. Our diagnosis is that, because of the emotional and psychosocial aspects of religion, many philosophers of religion suffer from cognitive biases and group influence. We support this diagnosis in two ways. First, we examine work in psychology on cognitive biases …Read more
  •  141
    This paper summarizes J.L. Schellenberg’s trilogy on the philosophy of religion. In the first book, Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion, Schellenberg analyzes basic concepts in the philosophy of religion. In the second, The Wisdom to Doubt, he rejects theism but defends skepticism about both naturalism and a very general religious position that he calls “ultimism.” And in the third book, The Will to Imagine, Schellenberg argues that rationality requires ultimistic faith
  •  140
    The limitations of pure skeptical theism
    Res Philosophica 90 (1): 97-111. 2013.
    Michael Bergmann argues directly from our ignorance about actual and merely possible goods and evils and the broadly logical relations that hold betweenthem to the conclusion that “noseeum” arguments from evil against theism like William L. Rowe’s are unsuccessful. I critically discuss Bergmann’s argument in the first part of this paper. Bergmann also suggests that our ignorance about value and modality undermines the Humean argument from evil against theism that I defended in a 1989 paper. I ex…Read more
  •  137
  •  130
    God, science and naturalism
    In William J. Wainwright (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion, Oxford University Press. 2005.
    It is widely claimed in recent years that science and theology can and do interact harmoniously. This chapter, however, explores some areas of potential conflict. Specifically, it asks whether the relationship between science and metaphysical naturalism is sufficiently close to cause trouble in the marriage of science to theistic religion, trouble that supports a decision to divorce even if it does not logically require it. Several popular positions about “methodological naturalism” are examined…Read more
  •  108
    Probabilistic arguments from evil
    Religious Studies 28 (3). 1992.
  •  85
    In World Without Design, Michael Rea says that naturalists are disposed to take the methods of science, and those methods alone, as basic sources of evidence. Supernaturalists, he says, share with naturalists the disposition to trust the methods of science in the basic way---that is, in the absence of any epistemic reason to do so. But unlike naturalists, supernaturalists are also disposed to take religious experience as a basic source of evidence. I raise a number of objections to these charact…Read more
  •  81
    The problem of evil
    In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology, Oxford University Press. 2008.
    This article focuses on questions about evil which are both theological and doxastic, and more specifically alethic – i.e., questions about whether what we know about evil can be used to establish the falsity or probable falsity of the belief or proposition that God exists. Such a focus is natural for agnostics. More generally, it is natural for anyone who is engaged in genuine inquiry about whether or not God exists. A specific concept of God is employed – it is assumed that to assert that God …Read more
  •  76
    Evil and the Proper Basicality of Belief in God
    Faith and Philosophy 8 (2): 135-147. 1991.
    Alvin Plantinga claims that certain beliefs entailing God's existence can be properly basic. He uses this claim to suggest two distinct replies to evidential arguments from evil against theism. In "Reason and Belief in God" he offers what he calls his "highroad" reply, and in a more recent article he suggests what I call his "modest" reply. First I show that Plantinga's highroad reply fails, because it relies on a faulty analysis of probability on total evidence. Then I reformulate his modest re…Read more
  •  72
    The skeptical theist
    In Daniel Howard-Snyder (ed.), The Evidential Argument From Evil, Indiana University Press. pp. 175--92. 1996.
  •  65
    Introduction
    Topoi 14 (2): 83-86. 1995.
    Introduces an issue of Topoi on the topic, "Is theism a theory?" The issue contains articles by William J. Wainwright, D. Z. Phillips, William P. Alston, Stephen J. Wykstra, Stephen Maitzen, and James F. Sennett.
  •  65
    Evil and the God of Abraham, Anselm, and Murphy
    Religious Studies 53 (4): 564-572. 2017.
  •  60
  •  50
    This chapter appeals to natural selection in order to show that the failure of many humans and animals to flourish is strong evidence against the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect God. Treating theism and naturalism as hypotheses that aim to explain certain features of our world, Draper sets out to test each hypothesis against various known facts, including facts about human and animal suffering. After demonstrating that, prior to such testing, naturalism is more probab…Read more
  •  45
    In Defense of the Requirement of Total Evidence
    Philosophy of Science 87 (1): 179-190. 2020.
    According to the Requirement of Total Evidence, when assessing the credibility of hypotheses, we should endeavor to take into account all of the relevant evidence at our disposal instead of just some proper part of that evidence. In "The Fine-Tuning Argument and the Requirement of Total Evidence," Peter Fisher Epstein offers two alleged counterexamples to this requirement. I show that, on at least one very natural interpretation of the requirement, his alleged counterexamples are not genuine. …Read more
  •  36
    God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence
    Internet Infidels (Online Publisher). 2008.
    This book consists of four nonpartisan debates about the existence of God. Each debate examines distinct related areas of evidence for and against naturalism and theism. The topics of the first debate are the mind and the will, and the debaters are a naturalist, Andrew Melnyk, and two theists, Steward Goetz and Charles Taliaferro. Next, Paul Draper defends an evolutionary argument from evil against theism, while Alvin Plantinga argues that evolutionary naturalism is self-defeating. In the final …Read more