The Missing Links — May 15, 2011

Opening logo to the Star Wars films

Image via Wikipedia

  • Audio of the 2010 debate between Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D’Souza at Notre Dame.  The video is here.
  • The blog of the recently formed Christian Apologetics Alliance is up and running.  You can follow us on Twitter as well.  If you’re on Facebook and a student of apologetics, you can search for our name and request to join the Facebook group.
  • Alvin Plantinga’s recent Bellingham Lectures on the topics of  God and Evolution:  Where the Conflict Really Liesand “Does Science Show That Miracles Can’t Happen” can be viewed online here.  It’s not clear whether both lectures are included on the video or only one, but the running time of two hours, 22 minutes seems long for a single talk.
  • I love this video.  Your favorite characters from Star Wars quoting Jean-Paul Sartre. : )
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The Missing Links – Nov. 21, 2010

  • PhilPapers Philosophy Survey: The survey asked questions on a variety of topics and surveyed over 1800 faculty and PhDs as well as over 800 graduate students. Here are some of the results . . .  * Results show what positions these philosophers take on epistemology, free will, mind, and truth.
  • A helpful review of The Cambridge Companion to Christian Philosophical Theology (Charles Taliaferro and Chad Meister, eds.), at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  • Download a free chapter of Fazale Rana’s The Cell’s Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator’s Artistry (Scroll down the page).


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Well Said . . . On Naturalism

Strict naturalism, as an ideal scientific philosophy, seeks to include all aspects of reality within a comprehensive and unified perspective that excludes anything that is either conscious, or psychological, or mental in nature.  Thus, not only does it ultimately exclude any teleological explanatory role for purposes with the result that no explanation can ultimately include mention of them (in this sense, strict naturalism countenances only purposeless explanations), but it also excludes or is incompatible with the view that agents make undetermined, free choices.  Strict naturalism is incompatible with libertarian freedom because undetermined free choices are choices that are ultimately explained by the purposes of the agents who make them.  Hence, because strict naturalism excludes ultimate teleological explanations in terms of purposes, it excludes libertarian free will.”

(From Naturalism, Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro, Eerdmans, 2008)

My comment: No purpose and no freedom.  I have to say it’s difficult to see the attraction of strict naturalism.  As Richard Dawkins rightly says, on this view, we simply dance to our DNA.  That strikes me as pretty bleak.

Other opinions?

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