In “God is a Question, Not an Answer,” William Irwin explains his doubts about anyone who is certain that God exists or that God does not exist. “People who claim certainty about God worry me, both those who believe and those who don’t believe. They do not really listen to the other side of conversations, and they are too ready to impose their views on others. It is impossible to be certain about God.” It’s better to admit that we all live on a “continuum of doubt.”
In “How To Live a Lie,” William Irwin considers whether you can live as if there are moral truths, as if God exists, and as if you have free will even if you believe none of these things is true. His conclusion? Morality and God, no … but free will, yes. “Well, I cannot believe in free will, but I can accept it. In fact, if free will fictionalism is involuntary, I have no choice but to accept free will. That makes accepting free will easy and undeniably sincere. Accepting the reality of God or morality, on the other hand, are tougher tasks, and potentially disingenuous.”
Does the supreme being deceive? “Until the Scientific Revolution, God’s power included a licence to deceive. How did science make an honest man of Him?” Dallas Dennery explains that “the commitment of the Scientific Revolution to rational causes for all events, even exceptional or seemingly anomalous ones, robbed God of the power to deceive.” Interesting discussion of differences between traditional conceptions of God and the God of the philosophers.
Keith DeRose thinks “those who claim to know whether God exists — whether theists or atheists — are just blowing smoke.” And yet he also thinks it is rational to take a stance on whether or not God exists.
“I don’t consider myself an agnostic; I claim to know that God doesn’t exist.” An interview with Louise Antony, a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the editor of the essay collection Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life.
Is atheism irrational? Alvina Plantinga says there is insufficient evidence for atheism.
Paul Bloom says no. “It is a mistake to see the powerful and unique morality that modern humans possess as a divine gift. Doing so distracts us from its origin as a cultural accomplishment, best understood in terms of processes such as the exercise of reason and imagination … .”
In “The One Theology Book All Atheists Really Should Read, Oliver Burkeman asks, “What if most modern arguments against religious belief have been attacking the wrong God all along?” And in “The ‘Best Arguments for God’s Existence’ Are Actually Terrible,” Jerry Coyne replies that the god the vast majority of believers believe in is not that different from the god philosophers talk about and that it doesn’t really matter anyway because the philosophers’ “arguments are simply made-up stuff.”