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February 1, 2024

Added Is Faith a Path to Knowledge? (2024) by Evan Fales to the Religious Experience page under Arguments for the Existence of a God in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

In this paper Evan Fales considers whether (religious) faith has any role to play in conferring positive epistemic status to (especially religious) beliefs. He outlines several conceptions of faith that have been historically important within Western religious traditions. He then considers what role faith might be supposed to play, so understood, within the framework of internalist and externalist accounts of knowledge. His general conclusion is that, insofar as faith itself is a justified epistemic attitude, it requires justification and acquires that justification only through the regular faculties for contingent truths: sense perception and reason. Fales also argues that the operations of our cognitive faculties in arriving at epistemic judgments on matters of substance are sufficiently complex, subtle, and often temporally prolonged, to make it exceptionally difficult to reconstruct the cognitive process and to judge whether it meets standards of rationality.

New in the Kiosk: Defending Weak Naturalism: Not a Trivial Position (2024) by Hugh Harris

In “Trivial by Nature: A Critique of Hugh Harris’ Weak Naturalism,” Gary Robertson claims that there are major flaws in Harris’ case for “weak naturalism” that render it either trivially true or internally inconsistent. In this three-part response Harris defends his concept of weak naturalism as a coherent, nontrivial position, and further reflects on how his argument could be strengthened. Harris outlines his initial argument to provide some context before addressing Robertson’s specific objections to his thesis. At the same time, Harris also identifies several flaws in Robertson’s initial critique that muddy the waters concerning what actually constitutes Harris’ argument for weak naturalism.

Recommended reading: Why God Doesn’t Exist (2008) by Bill Gaede

Bill Gaede’s Why God Doesn’t Exist proposes that all atoms in the universe are physically interconnected. On Gaede’s account what connects any two atoms is a DNA-like double helix or “rope.” Light consists of torsions propagating along these ropes. A torsion is the swiftest thing you can imagine and explains why light is so fast. The ropes interconnecting every atom also explains action-at-a-distance: gravity. The reason the Earth does not fly out of the Solar System is that every atom of the Earth is bound to every atom constituting the Sun. The Sun swings the Earth around like a boy swinging a ball at the end of a string around his head. Written for the average layman, Why God Doesn’t Exist has over 300 illustrations to help the reader understand the theory and its contrasts with the physical interpretations of mathematical physics.

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