Lift that rock, punk

Anyone who defines the supernatural as “whatever lies out­side the natural realm” is being more verbal than informative. I’d ask that person to point out the boundary line that sep­arates the natural from the supernatural. Until someone does that, the…

Demarcation Problem

By the time atoms were directly observed in 1981, they had existed for decades as theoretical entities, “just things of thought,” in the words of the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach.[i] The case of atoms illustrates a more general principle, namely…

Do We All Have Faith?

Do we all—religious believers and nonbelievers alike—accept beliefs on faith? The answer depends on one’s definition of faith. Let’s briefly consider some of the definitions on offer. Consider this sen­tence: “Melvin sub­scribes to the Mormon faith, so he thinks his…

Alvin Plantinga’s Properly Basic Belief

The Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga, age 84, was awarded the 2017 Templeton Prize, along with its jackpot of $1.4 million. The prize is typically awarded to people who are credited with bridging the gap between religion and science. In short,…

Personal Experience – Part 2

According to C. S. Lewis, per­sonal religious experi­ences come from within us. From where within us? Surely not from our gyneco­mastia, islets of Langerhans, or pelvic girdle. No, religious experienc­es trace back to the brain, the conduit of all our…

Personal Experience – Part 1

Perhaps the most commonly-encountered argument for God is the personal experience argument. That is the argument for God’s existence based on the believer’s personal or private experi­ence of God. Natural theologians argue for God by pointing to bacte­rial flagel­la, physical…