Over the last six months my blogs have been primarily directed at making a case for the existence of God and making a case against atheism. In doing this I have, for the most part, primarily taken on the popular level arguments. I have done this with little rhyme or reason . . . being driven basically by what I would like to talk about at any given time (hence being true to the general nature of blogging). However, in making my arguments I have not really spent much time evaluating the primary texts of atheistic scholars. Therefore, I am beginning a new series of blogs where I will evaluate Michael Martin's "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification" chapter by chapter. I will be doing this weekly (and I hope not weakly!) for the next 15 weeks. I would like to invite anyone who is interested to join me in my quest to come to a better understanding of the atheistic mindset and to charitably consider the arguments given by Dr. Martin.
In introduction I would like to note that I fully recognize that I am hardly qualified to intellectually look down on someone like Dr. Martin—who has an earned PhD from Harvard. Nonetheless, even the most brilliant scholars are prone to mistakes—even some mistakes recognizable to the normal reader. So if and when I attempt to point out these mistakes I am not doing so with a turned up nose but rather with an eagerness to discover the truth.
That said I earnestly hope that many of you will join me in my pursuit. The primary format that I intend to follow with each chapter will be:
(1) To accurately summarize what seem to be Martin's arguments.
(2) To give an account of what I agree with and of what I have learned from Dr. Martin (I have been told that a good philosopher will always try to learn something from others before critiquing them. Of course, I hardly consider myself a philosopher—let alone a good one!—though I hope to become one someday.)
(3) To critique Dr. Martin's arguments where it seems to fail in its intended purpose.
I INVITE ALL COMMENTS. HOWEVER, I WILL ONLY ANSWER THOSE RELATIVE TO THE CHAPTER AND MY CRITIQUE. I WILL BE MUCH MORE PICKY WITH WHICH COMMENTS I WILL ENTERTAIN FOR THIS PROJECT.
Hopefully, we will all learn something from this series! My tentative schedule will be:
December 19, 2007: Announcement and Schedule
December 26, 2007: 'Introduction' and 'The Justification of Negative Atheism'
January 2, 2008: 'The Meaningfulness of Religious Language' pp. 40-78
January 9, 2008: 'The Ontological Argument' pp. 79-95
January 16, 2008: 'The Cosmological Argument' pp. 96-124
January 23, 2008: 'The Teleological Argument' pp. 125-153
January 30, 2008: 'The Argument from Religious Experience' pp. 154-187
February 6, 2008: 'The Argument from Miracles' and 'Some Minor Evidential
Arguments for God' pp. 188-228
February 13, 2008: 'Beneficial Arguments for God' pp. 229-248
February 20, 2008: 'Faith and Foundationalism' pp. 249-280
February 27, 2008: 'The Justification of Positive Atheism: Some Preliminaries'
and 'Divine Attributes and Incoherence' pp. 281-316
March 5, 2008: 'Atheistic Teleological Arguments' and 'The Argument from
Evil' pp. 317-362
March 12, 2008: 'The Free Will Defense' pp. 363-392
March 19, 2008: 'Natural Evil' and 'Soul Making Theodicy' pp. 393-435
March 26, 2008: 'Some Minor Theodicies' and 'Conclusion' and 'Appendix'