Saturday, December 08, 2007

Lots of philosophers snigger behind Swinburne's back and Plantiga's back

The Uncredible Hallq "Best blog name ever" - Healthy Concerns About Me Chris Hallquist
E-mail: challquist*at*gmail*dot*com
View my complete profile Saturday, December 01, 2007

What's the deal with philosophy of religion?
I've come to suspect there's a deep institutional problem with philosophy of religion: the atheists just don't care. Or, to be more precise, they care enough to pay attention for awhile but not enough to avoid get bored relatively fast.
I saw this, I think, in my 101 prof. We had a philosophy of religion unit as our first or second unit, with a standard slate of issues: cosmological argument, design argument, argument from evil. We got a little behind, and when we finally got around to Swinburne's response to the argument from evil, with time running low, the prof almost tried to cover it quickly, and then stopped himself and just passed over the Swinburne reading. My impression is that he was simply embarrassed by how bad Swinburne's response was. My experience in that course was one of the main things that prompted a recent comment to a friend that it seems that for many philosophers, philosophy of religion is something they think about as undergrads, and then they realize that God doesn't exist and move on to other things. (The prof, for those who care, is in philosophy of mind.)
Unlike no doubt the majority of atheist philosophers, I can see myself someday publishing a paper or two or even three on philosophy of religion. However, when it comes to where I'd actually like to make my career, philosophy of mind is so much more exciting. And of course, I find religion quite boring at times...
The lack of interest by atheist philosophers in philosophy of religion really distorts the discipline. It seems there are lots of philosophers in philosophy of mind or philosophy of science or whatnot who are content to snigger behind Swinburne's back and snigger behind Plantiga's back, and who just can't be bothered to write up their thoughts. Thus, what's published in philosophy of religion doesn't reflect the thoughts of the profession as a whole. If the published stuff did do that, theists would probably have an image as a hard-fighting minority, but the way publication is skewed, they're allowed to get the impression that they've earned a boundless supply of respect from their colleagues, only to occasionally run up against a puzzling disdain for the specialty they cherish so much. Posted by Hallq at 12:29 AM Labels:
Hallq said...You seem really good at finding issues that aren't there. Do you even understand that the original purpose of this post was to analyze the dynamics of the profession, and took no position whatsoever on the quality of work being done by Plantinga and Swinburne? Were you paying attention when I said "As for whether they're [Shapiro, Pigliucci, and Kitcher] better philosophers than, say, Plantinga, that wasn't really my initial point" and then kept my criticism of Plantinga as minimalistic as possible? You seem intent on finding quite imaginary slights. 12:53 PM

1 comment:

  1. Of course they snigger at them because their "arguments" are so pathetic. They both are advocates of the childish mommy-daddy parental deity invented long ago in the child-hood of Humankind.

    And besides which if anyone seriously does their homework they will find that there is no basis in Truth or Reality for any of the conventional "religious" propositions.