I just can't understand religion in America
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23-03-2014, 03:25 PM
RE: I just can't understand religion in America
That is why I said what I said. I too am a Christian philosopher and like I said, I am overjoyed that God is raising up brilliant men and women who are capable and willing to defend their views.
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23-03-2014, 03:35 PM
RE: I just can't understand religion in America
(23-03-2014 03:25 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  That is why I said what I said. I too am a Christian philosopher and like I said, I am overjoyed that God is raising up brilliant men and women who are capable and willing to defend their views.

Troll detected.
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23-03-2014, 03:37 PM (This post was last modified: 23-03-2014 03:44 PM by freetoreason.)
RE: I just can't understand religion in America
(23-03-2014 03:19 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 02:33 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  Cite?

The Italicized portion is from Quentin Smith, atheist philosopher.

Abridged version in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, pp. 69-85. Ed. M. Martin. Cambridge Companions to Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 2007

Introduction

The last half-century has witnessed a veritable revolution in Anglo-American philosophy. In a recent retrospective, the eminent Princeton philosopher Paul Benacerraf recalls what it was like doing philosophy at Princeton during the 1950s and '60s. The overwhelmingly dominant mode of thinking was scientific naturalism. Metaphysics had been vanquished, expelled from philosophy like an unclean leper. Any problem that could not be addressed by science was simply dismissed as a pseudo-problem. Verificationism reigned triumphantly over the emerging science of philosophy. "This new enlightenment would put the old metaphysical views and attitudes to rest and replace them with the new mode of doing philosophy."1

The collapse of the Verificationism was undoubtedly the most important philosophical event of the twentieth century. Its demise meant a resurgence of metaphysics, along with other traditional problems of philosophy which Verificationism had suppressed. Accompanying this resurgence has come something new and altogether unanticipated: a renaissance in Christian philosophy.

The face of Anglo-American philosophy has been transformed as a result. Theism is on the rise; atheism is on the decline.2 Atheism, though perhaps still the dominant viewpoint at the American university, is a philosophy in retreat. In a recent article in the secularist journal Philo Quentin Smith laments what he calls "the desecularization of academia that evolved in philosophy departments since the late 1960s." He complains,

Naturalists passively watched as realist versions of theism. . . began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians . . . . in philosophy, it became, almost overnight, 'academically respectable' to argue for theism, making philosophy a favored field of entry for the most intelligent and talented theists entering academia today.3

Smith concludes, "God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the late 1960s and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments."

Bolded emphasis mine.



1 Paul Benacerraf, "What Mathematical Truth Could Not Be—I," in Benacerraf and His Critics, ed. Adam Morton and Stephen P. Stich (Oxford: Blackwell: 1996), p. 18.

2 The change has not gone unnoticed even in popular culture. In 1980 Time magazine ran major story entitled "Modernizing the Case for God" in which it described the movement among contemporary philosophers to refurbish the traditional arguments for God's existence. Time marveled, "In a quiet revolution in thought and argument that hardly anybody could have foreseen only two decades ago, God is making a comeback. Most intriguingly, this is happening not among theologians or ordinary believers, but in the crisp intellectual circles of academic philosophers, where the consensus had long banished the Almighty from fruitful discourse" ("Modernizing the Case for God," Time [7 April 1980], pp. 65-66). The article cites the late Roderick Chisholm to the effect that the reason that atheism was so influential a generation ago is that the brightest philosophers were atheists; but today, in his opinion, many of the brightest philosophers are theists, using a tough-minded intellectualism in defense of that belief that was formerly lacking on their side of the debate.

3 Quentin Smith, "The Metaphilosophy of Naturalism" Philo 4/2(2001): 3-4. A sign of the times: Philo itself, unable to succeed as a secular organ, has now become a journal for general philosophy of religion.

4 Ibid., p. 4.
Let's look at the data. PhilPapers 2013 survey http://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl
God: theism or atheism?
Accept or lean toward: atheism 678 / 931 (72.8%)
Accept or lean toward: theism 136 / 931 (14.6%)
Other 117 / 931 (12.6%)
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23-03-2014, 03:46 PM
RE: I just can't understand religion in America
I like that the presence of a few academics who let their personal biases and beliefs spill over into academia is being used to support the validity of the position.

Simply because we have intellectually dishonest jackasses like Alvin Plantinga disingenuously inserting their personal beliefs into epistemology and claiming it has truth value doesn't mean there is any.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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26-03-2014, 02:13 AM
RE: I just can't understand religion in America
(23-03-2014 03:25 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  ...I too am a Christian philosopher...

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