Posts in Philosophy

Deductive Arguments and Probability

By William Lane Craig Apr. 22, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Philosophy

Hello, Dr. Craig.

You have often said that a deductive argument is good if it meets two conditions: It is valid, and each premise is more probable than it's denial. Furthermore, in a recent newsletter, you said, "in a deductive argument the probability of the premises establishes only a minimum probability of the conclusion: even if the premises are only 51% probable, that doesn't imply that the conclusion is only 51% probable. It implies that the conclusion is at least 51% probable."

But why would the probability of a premise establish minimal probability of a conclusion? Shouldn't it establish maximal probability? ...

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Properly Understanding Properly Basic Beliefs

By William Lane Craig Apr. 15, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Philosophy

"Another example would be the warrant for Christianity's truth that comes from the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. To assume that the experience of the Holy Spirit's witness to the truth of Christianity is mere emotions is question-begging. If God does exist, He is certainly capable of communicating His truth to you in an interior way as well as through external evidences. Again, certain Christian beliefs are, I'm convinced, known to be true in a properly basic way, grounded in the inner witness borne to us by God Himself. Interestingly, beliefs based on testimony--like my belief that your name is Grant--is a properly basic belief which I am rational to hold unless and until a defeater for that belief comes along. Similarly, many Christian beliefs are beliefs warranted to us by testimony--God's own testimony. Don't be too quick to dismiss it, lest you fail to hear the voice of God speaking to you."

Okay then. We have two properly basic beliefs:

(1) The testimony of others

(2) Inner witness ...

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Why Evolution Is Not "Just a Theory"

By Sean McDowell Apr. 11, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Culture, Philosophy

One of my favorite presentations to do at universities, schools, conferences, and churches is my Atheist Encounter, in which I interact with the audience while role-playing an atheist. After briefly setting up my character (which involves putting on my “atheist glasses”), I then take live questions from the audience and do my best to defend atheism so Christians can see how well—or how poorly—they defend their faith ...

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Is the Universe a Necessary Being?

By William Lane Craig Apr. 8, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Philosophy

Dear Dr. Craig,

In the Leibniz' Contingency Argument, the premise 2 states that "If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God". This requires that the universe does not exist by the necessity of its own nature, and that anything that could possibly exist outside the universe, could not be the cause of the universe, except for God.

The universe is further defined as all of space-time reality, including all matter and energy. You have previously answered the question "Is Part of the Universe a Necessary Being?" (Question #235), essentially by stating that it would be absurd to suggest that a specific set of elementary particles would exist necessarily in all possible worlds, while being the cause of all the other similar particles ...

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Presentism and Past Existence

By William Lane Craig Apr. 1, 2016 9:00 a.m. Philosophy

Dear Dr. Craig

I was reading the part of your book "Time and Eternity" that talks about perdurantism, and I have a question over your objection to the Perdurantist's view of personal consciousness.

You claim that on Perdurantism, personal continuity from moment to moment is an illusion and that they believe that I was a different person one second ago than I am now, which you claim to be absurd.

However, it appears to me that by the same token, we can argue against Presentism, because Presentism states that only the present exists ...

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Why Our Storytelling Nature Provides Evidence for God

By Sean McDowell Mar. 30, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Evangelism, Philosophy, Theology

I love stories. And I know that you do too. Whether it’s a captivating novel, an enthralling movie, or an anecdote from a friend, human beings love stories. We love to tell them and we love to listen to them.

In fact, we can't resist them. In The Storytelling AnimalJonathan Gottschall says it beautifully: “Human minds yield hopelessly to the suction of story. No matter how hard we concentrate, not matter how deep we dig in our heels, we just can’t resist the gravity of alternate worlds.”[1] Good public speakers know that the best way to engage an audience is through storytelling. Whenever I feel like I’m losing an audience, I quickly tell a story and they’re right back with me! ...

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Why Does God Exist?

By William Lane Craig Mar. 25, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Philosophy

Dear Dr. Craig,

I am currently a high school student extremely interested in both philosophy and theology. My question is one that has puzzled me for a long time, and I believe that if there is anyone who could explain the answer in an understandable way, that person would be you. To be clear, I am a Christian and affirm the existence of God.

In a theistic view, why does God exist? Did He choose to exist, and to have the attributes that He does? For example, did He choose to exist in a Trinitarian form? ...

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