Scientific inquiry proceeds with the presupposition that nature is an orderly structure which is intelligible to the human mind. How is this coherent interaction between the human mind and the natural order possible? What is the origin and nature of human reason? For simplicity, I shall just focus on two dominant paradigms addressing these questions:
1) Naturalism and reductive materialism: the universe of space-time and all its interlocking processes exists as a causally closed continuum and nothing else exist. This being the case, reason and mental processes are merely some aspect of physical processes or neural activity.
2) Theism –The observable space-time is a contingent order produced and sustained by a necessary being called God. Indeed, this space-time framework may not even be the only order of reality created by God. Reason is derived from some form of supernatural or divine intervention.
C.S. Lewis’ Argument from Reason sets out to out to demonstrate why naturalism fails to account for the origin and reliability of reason. On the other hand, reason is better accounted for within a theistic framework. Continue reading “The Argument from Reason for the Existence of God – Reasonable Christianity”
Christians have offered well-documented evidence and cogent arguments to refute the claim that only (Malaysian) Muslims have the right to use the word Allah. However, the dogmatic assertions (notwithstanding the ‘scholarly garb’) from Muslim scholars in the current flare-up suggest that they have either chosen to ignore the evidence or are simple unable to follow an argument outside their logical Procrustean bed. Undoubtedly, their closed mindedness arises because they learned how to use Arabic without reflecting, much less analyzing the linguistic determinants behind Arabic.
I would like to invite readers who are new to the controversy to read some of my early articles given in the list below: Continue reading “Collated Resources: Christians from pre-Islam Arab Christians to Bumiputera Christians have the Right to Use Allah”
Precis: Secular critics of Christianity typically appeal to the infamous trial of Galilee Galileo in Rome (1616) as indisputable evidence that Christianity is an intolerant and intellectually bankrupt system. The secular critics’ story is one of the inexorable retreat of Christianity into the backwaters of social progress, and of its being left behind in the advancement of the knowledge enterprise. Consequently, one would have expected the Christian religion to wither at the margins of society and eventually go the way of the gypsies. But this has not been the case. It calls to mind Mark Twain’s remark, “The report on my death was an exaggeration.” Continue reading “Galileo’s Trial on Trial: From Teleological Science to Mathematical Empirical Science”
Precis: The precise values of the physical constants of nature and the serendipitous state (initial conditions) of the beginning of the universe all point to a cosmic designer who has fine-tuned the universe. The evidence available from contemporary science suggests that theism provides a more plausible explanation for the emergence of life in the universe than naturalism or atheism. Continue reading “A Fine-Tuned and Designer Universe”
The Claim of Contradiction
According to John Mackie (The Miracle of Theism. OUP 1982) the theist accepts a group or set of three propositions; this set is inconsistent. The propositions are
(1) God is omnipotent
(2) God is wholly good
(3) Evil exists.
Call this set A; the claim is that A is an inconsistent set. But what is it for a set to be inconsistent or contradictory? Continue reading “A Solution to the Logical Problem (Alleged Contradiction) of Evil”
The Problem of Evil and the Best of All Possible Worlds in Leibniz’s Theodicy
The problem of evil is arguably the most intractable problem facing the theist. The first challenge for the theist is the logical problem of evil which says that the set of propositions comprising the following – (1) An omnipotent God creates this world, (2) God is perfectly good, (3) This world is not perfectly good, i.e. evil exists – is an inconsistent set. Holding to any two of these propositions requires dropping the third to avoid the problem of contradiction. For example, that evil exists demands either God is good but not omnipotent (since he fails to prevent evil) or that God is omnipotent but not truly good (since he allows evil despite having the power to prevent it). Continue reading “The Problem of Evil and the Best of All Possible Worlds in Leibniz’s Theodicy”
I. Kalam Cosmological Argument
Without doubt the most well known argument for the existence for God today is the Kalam cosmological argument which features prominently in many debates between William Craig and atheistic thinkers. The Kalam cosmological argument in its simplest form goes as follows:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe begins to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
This is a strong argument precisely because it is logically tight (an unassailable modus ponens). Continue reading “Kalam Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God, Contingency and Principle of Sufficient Reason. Preliminary Thoughts.”