A couple weeks ago philosopher Stephen Maitzen left three comments to my article “Must existence be everlasting to be meaningful?” Over the week that followed I offered extensive critical engagement with Maitzen’s position. In this post and the next I’m going to circle back to the questions/comments themselves and engage them in two steps. In this article I’ll […]
Rosie, don’t get in the elevator: A guide to moral intuition
Stephen Matizen seems to think that we are only justified in attributing special status to human beings if we can identify qualities possessed by all and only human beings. This is how he put it most recently: Name a morally relevant quality possessed by all and only humans. Rationality? Not all humans have it (Terri […]
A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Really?
This quote is from Ingrid Newkirk (sans the indignant “Really?” at the end). Most people will react to it with indignation bordering on revulsion bordering on outrage. However, it may not warrant such a strong response. As I have argued elsewhere (see You’re not as Crazy as I Think, chapter 9), Newkirk’s ecumenical message is […]
Must existence be everlasting to be meaningful?
I was happy to see Stephen Maitzen commenting on my previous post. You see, Stephen and I have a bit of a history as longtime readers of this blog will know (where longtime is defined roughly as more than a year). For example, see here and here and here and here. Now Stephen has challenged […]
Stephen Maitzen, theism, and moral duty
You may think I’m all giggles and gumdrops. But you’d be wrong. Catch me at the wrong time and you’d think you had run into Grumpy Dwarf times ten! And I am I’m in a very black mood at the moment. You see, I typed an entire post responding to Stephen Maitzen’s argument, a task […]
Can atheists be trusted?
Last week Stephen Maitzen, a very fine philosopher of religion, provided the links for two of his papers. The popular distillation of the argument is “Does God Destroy our Duty of Compassion?” (Free Inquiry, (Oct/Nov 2010), 52-53). That is the place if you want a quick overview of the argument. The second paper, ostentatiously titled […]
Certain issues keep arising (or being raised, or bubbling to the surface) in the blog, and no matter how many times I deal with them the answers somehow don’t seem to take root. But hope springs eternal, so here goes again… S1lverbullet raises a criticism against my critique of Maitzen’s argument: “you sound an awful […]
Ad Maitzen: On “What must I believe to be saved?”
Steve Maitzen’s response to my critique is brief and to the point: “Your proposal invites the same generic reply I gave on p. 182 of my article: You make belief in God (or belief in Jesus) out to be of no particular importance for salvation, a view that’s hard to square with much of the […]
Religious demographics and divine hiddenness
Maitzen’s argument stated with almost criminal brevity We now turn to Steve Maitzen’s argument. To begin with, he observes that theists typically offer three types of responses to the argument from divine hiddenness: “(1) claiming that non-believers are always blameworthy for their non-belief; (2) acknowledging blameless non-belief but insisting that God has specific good reasons […]
A preliminary look at the argument from divine hiddenness
Last summer Silver Bullet asked me to respond to the arguments of atheist Stephen Maitzen in a couple journal articles concerning the demographic spread of religious belief. Here I begin an engagement with the following article: Stephen Maitzen, “Divine hiddenness and the demographics of theism,” Religious Studies, 42 (2006), 177–191. I like to take things in […]