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…

Of Ants and Algebra

Did the natural realm have a cause? It would seem that the answer must be either yes or no. Let’s consider first the implications if the answer is no. In other words, what would it mean to say that the…

Happiness

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of Charlotte Freethinking Atheists. The main topic of our group discussion was not directly related to atheism. The topic was, instead, happiness. As I listened to the discussion, I formulated…