Showing posts with label Plantinga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plantinga. Show all posts

Psychic Epistemology: The Special Pleading of William Lane Craig

A new paper of mine was appropriately published at Halloween, over on Internet Infidels.

My focus in this paper is to expose the special pleading of William Lane Craig’s psychic epistemology (or spirit-guided epistemology) as I correctly call it—rather than reformed epistemology as it’s known. I consider this to be an extension of a book of mine, where I offer good advice to the Christian apologist. In part one, after questioning the need for apologetics and warning about the monumental challenges to it, I tell apologists to become honest life-long seekers of the truth, to get a good education in a good field of study, to accept nothing less than sufficient objective evidence, and especially to determine how to know which religion to defend. I offer good solid tongue-in-cheek advice for apologists.[1] LINK.

The Demon, Matrix, Material World, and Dream Possibilities


Below is Appendix C from my book, Unapologetic: Why Philosophy of Religion Must End (Pitchstone Publishing, 2015), pp. 257-271. You're welcome! Given the influence of Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig, I doubt very much believers have heard these issues discussed like this before. I share it in hopes you'll like what I write enough to read the whole book. 

The Demon, Matrix, Material World,

and Dream Possibilities,

by John W. Loftus

On Plantinga and Craig's Psychic Epistemology

William Lane Craig's Favorite Hymn!
Plantinga and Craig are prime examples of what philosopher Stephen Law said, “Anything based on faith, no matter how ludicrous, can be made to be consistent with the available evidence, given a little patience and ingenuity.” (Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2011), p. 75. Or as anthropology professor James T. Houk said, “Virtually anything and everything, no matter how absurd, inane, or ridiculous, has been believed or claimed to be true at one time or another by somebody, somewhere in the name of faith." (The Illusion of Certainty. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2017), p. 31.

In what follows is an excerpt from my chapter 6, "The Abject Failure of Christian Apologetics" in The Case against Miracles (pp. 190ff).

5 Things That Disqualify People As Trusted Experts In Religious Matters

1) Denying the need for sufficient objective evidence. Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig have argued that Christian believers do not need objective evidence for their faith. So they are disqualified from being experts in religious matters. They are clearly deluded no matter how brilliant their rhetoric is. Other Christian believers disagree with them on this, even highly noted apologists Norman Geisler and Paul Moser. If Geisler and Moser cannot be convinced then why should anyone else?

2) Rejecting the need to overcome the cognitive biases keeping us away from the truth. The only way to overcome these biases is to require sufficient objective evidence for truth, period. I wrote a post on Why Doubt Is The Adult Attitude And How Science Helps Us. In it I have complied a long list of books that prove this point. The evidence is overwhelming that our brain is uninterested in the truth, but rather primarily concerned in protecting its host. So we must require sufficient objective evidence for what we think is true. Plantinga and Craig brazenly eschew an objective standard that applies to everyone with Reformed Epistemology!

3) Rejecting the non-double standard requirement to approach all religious faiths with the same standard, as an outsider, a nonbeliever. Here is a primer on why we need it. Anyone who rejects this is not worthy of our trust as an expert.

4) Rejecting, denying, or denigrating science in general. The highest degree of trust we can have is when there is a consensus among scientists about an issue. See these posts for more.

5) Refusing to accept the overwhelming evidence for evolution disqualifies someone from being an expert in religious matters. That's because evolution has a significant bearing on religious matters. If anyone rejects evolution they are ignorant, willfully ignorant, and unworthy of trusting as an expert. Evolution is an issue that has achieved a consensus among scientists around the globe from those working is different fields. Start reading Charles Darwin's, On the Origin of Species. Then read the books by Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, and Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.Do not just read the works of Christian creationists, who themselves were indoctrinated to believe what they do. Go to the source. Compare the evidence yourself. Along this same line read Robert M. Price and Edwin Suominen's wonderful book, Evolving out of Eden. They will show you the inescapable implications of evolution: There is no original sin, no need for a savior, and no need for salvation.

Agreed? If not you're in too deep.