Flew, Dawkins And God

In There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind”, the British philosophy professor, late Antony Flew, shared his reasons for converting from atheism to deism.

“We must follow the argument wherever it leads”, a principle that Plato attributed to Socrates, was the norm to which Flew followed (Flew 2007: 46).  With increasing evidences of the teleological argument, Flew had to change his position.

“I must say again that the journey to my discovery of the Divine”, explained Flew, “has thus far been a pilgrimage of reason.”(Flew 2007: 155). He further expounded,

Science qua science cannot furnish an argument for God’s existence. But the three items of evidence we have considered in this volume the laws of nature, life with its teleological organization, and the existence of the universe can only be explained in the light of an Intelligence that explains both its own existence and that of the world. Such a discovery of the Divine does not come through experiments and equations, but through an understanding of the structures they unveil and map.

Flew pointed out that even though “[s]ome have said that the laws of nature are simply accidental results of the way the universe cooled after the big bang”, Martin Rees showed that there are “laws governing the ensemble of universes”. He explained,

Again, even the evolution of the laws of nature and changes to the constants follow certain laws. “We’re still left with the question of how these ‘deeper’ laws originated. No matter how far you push back the properties of the universe as somehow ‘emergent,’ their very emergence has to follow certain prior laws.”[ Rees 2000: 87]

“So multiverse or not,” argued Flew, “we still have to come to terms with the origin of the laws of nature. And the only viable explanation here is the divine Mind.”(ibid 120-121)

Richard Dawkins was and is not pleased with Flew’s U-turned position. In The God Delusion, Dawkins asserted that “[o]ne can’t help wondering whether Flew realizes that he is being used”(Dawkins 2006: 82). In  a recent Playboy interview, Dawkin explained,

What’s rather wicked is when religious apologists exploit that, as they did in the case of Flew, who in his old age was persuaded to put his name to a book saying that he’d been converted to a form of deism. Not only did he not write the book, he didn’t even read it.

According to Dawkins, Flew changed from atheism to deism because “he went gaga”.  It is sad that Dawkins keep giving false account of Flew conversion knowing that Flew had already responded to the same Dawkinian’s charges in June 4th 2008 letter. Flew wrote,

I have rebutted these criticisms in the following statement: “My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 per cent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I’m 84 and that was Roy Varghese’s role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I’m old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. That is my book and it represents my thinking.”

Flew also answered Dawkins’ The God Delusion’s notes’ assertion of his position in a great length. He admitted that Dawkins’ The God Delusion was “remarkable in the first place for having achieved some sort of record by selling over a million copies”. He further wrote,

But what is much more remarkable than that economic achievement is that the contents or rather lack of contents of this book show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: namely, a secularist bigot.

Turning to page 82 of The God Delusion’s footnote, Flew answered Dawkins “remarkable note” of his decision to convert from atheism to deism.  Flew explained that Dawkins caricature of his decision does not say much about Flew but about Dawkins himself. Flew wrote,

For if he had had any interest in the truth of the matter of which he was making so much he would surely have brought himself to write me a letter of enquiry. (When I received a torrent of enquiries after an account of my conversion to Deism had been published in the quarterly of the Royal Institute of Philosophy I managed, I believe, eventually to reply to every letter.)

For Flew, this indicated that Dawkins was “not interested in the truth as such but is primarily concerned to discredit an ideological opponent by any available means”. Flew suspected that Dawkins’ did not set to “discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God” in The God Delusion, but to spread his own convictions.

Bibliography

Dawkins, Richard (2006) The God Delusion. Bantam Press

Flew, Antony (2007) There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. HarperOne

Rees, Martin (2000) Exploring Our Universe and Others”, The Frontiers of Space. New York: Scientific American.

Atheists’ Reviews Of Dawkins’ The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, a book that attempted to expose logical faultiness  of religion and its’ cause of much suffering in the world,  is the most read atheistic literature in our times. In this series of articles, I  explored different prominent atheists and agnostics reviews of The God Delusion.

My first reviewer is an  evolutionary geneticist H. Allen Orr. His review, “ A Mission To Convert” , appeared on The New York Times on January 11th 2007.  I also included Daniel Dennett’s response toward Orr’s review and Orr’s reply to Dennett. In the next articles, I will go through an  American philosopher Thomas Nagel, New York Times reviewer Jim Holt, culture editor Jonathan Derbyshire, and last the Guardian reviewer Andrew Brown take on Dawkins’ The God Delusion.

The God Delusion: Here Comes A Missionary To The …

Orr correctly observed that Dawkins’ mission in The God Delusion is to convert. Dawkins “is an enemy of religion, wants to explain why, and hope thereby to drive the beast to extinction”.

“Dawkins is not concerned with the alleged detailed characteristics of God”, reviewed Orr, “but with whether any form of the God Hypothesis is defensible”. Dawkins’ answer is “almost certainly not”.

Reviewing the first few chapters of The God Delusion, “which are given over to philosophical matters”, Orr wrote,

Dawkins summarizes the traditional philosophical arguments for God’s existence, from Aquinas through pre-Darwinian arguments from biological design, along with the traditional arguments against them. In a later chapter entitled “Why There Almost Certainly Is No God,” Dawkins himself plays philosopher, presenting the chief argument of his book. The God Hypothesis, he tells us, is close to “ruled out by the laws of probability.” Dawkins’s demonstration involves what he calls the Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit. This is his variation on a standard creationist argument. By tweaking that argument in a clever way, Dawkins claims it now leads to a conclusion that’s the opposite of the traditional creationist on

Expounding creationist argument, viz., the absurdity of irreducibly complex biological system arising by natural means “without the intercession of a designer mind” and comparing the probability of assembling Boeing 747 from a tornado-ed junkyard to that of life assembling itself spontaneously, which is a popular illustration given by creationists, Orr explained that Dawkins responded to design argument with a “judo-like move” in which he turned creationist’s logic against itself.

Quoting Dawkins, “[a] designer God cannot be used to explain organized complexity because any God capable of designing anything would have to be complex enough to demand the same kind of explanation in his own right.” Orr wrote,

In short, only complicated objects can design simpler ones; information cannot flow in the other direction, with simple objects designing complicated ones. But that means any designer God would have to be more complex—and thus even more improbable—than the universe he was supposed to explain. This argument, Dawkins concludes, “comes close to proving that God does not exist”: the God Hypothesis has a vanishingly small probability of being right.

Turning his guns towards Dawkins’ own Ultimate Boeing 747 argument against God which Dawkins “is suddenly uninterested in criticism and writes that his argument is “unanswerable”, Orr asked,

So why, you might wonder, is a clever philosophical argument for God subject to withering criticism while one against God gets a free pass and is deemed devastating?

“Dawkins, so far as I can tell,” commented Orr, “is unconcerned that the central argument of his book bears more than a passing resemblance to those clever philosophical proofs for the existence of God that he dismisses”. Orr believe that you do not need to be a creationist to note “that Dawkins’ argument suffers from at least two potential problems.” He wrote,

First, as others have pointed out, if he is right, the design hypothesis essentially must be wrong and the alternative naturalistic hypothesis essentially must be right. But since when is a scientific hypothesis confirmed by philosophical gymnastics, not data? Second, the fact that we as scientists find a hypothesis question-begging—as when Dawkins asks “who designed the designer?”—cannot, in itself, settle its truth value. It could, after all, be a brute fact of the universe that it derives from some transcendent mind, however question-begging this may seem. What explanations we find satisfying might say more about us than about the explanations. Why, for example, is Dawkins so untroubled by his own (large) assumption that both matter and the laws of nature can be viewed as given? Why isn’t that question-begging?

Spinning towards the evils of religion, Orr correctly appreciated Dawkins for reminding us the “horrors committed in the name of God”. “No decent person can fail to be repulsed by the sins committed in the name of religion” wrote Orr.

He agreed that religion can be bad, but “compared to what?” Orr dimmed that Dawkins was unfair to treated religion as practice and atheism as theory. “[F]airness requires that we compare both religion and atheism as practiced or both as theory”.

Comparing both “religious and atheist institutions” as practice, “the facts of history do not, [Orr] believe, demonstrate beyond doubt that atheism comes out on the side of the angels”. He wrote,

Dawkins has a difficult time facing up to the dual facts that (1) the twentieth century was an experiment in secularism; and (2) the result was secular evil, an evil that, if anything, was more spectacularly virulent than that which came before.

Orr pointed out the problem, which Dawkins tends to wave away, is that historical facts shows that “latter days have witnessed blood-curdling experiments in institutional atheism”.

Orr admires much of Dawkins works, mostly The Selfish Gene (1976), which he dimmed as his best work of popular science ever written, but part way with Dawkins’ case in The God Delusion. He concluded,

Indeed, The God Delusion seems to me badly flawed. Though I once labeled Dawkins a professional atheist, I’m forced, after reading his new book, to conclude he’s actually more an amateur. I don’t pretend to know whether there’s more to the world than meets the eye and, for all I know, Dawkins’s general conclusion is right. But his book makes a far from convincing case.

Daniel Dennett To A Missionary Dawkins’ Rescue

Answering Orr, Dennett admitted that “indeed recherché versions of these traditional arguments [for existence of God] that perhaps have not yet been exhaustively eviscerated by scholars”. But Dawkins ignores them because The God Delusion “ is a consciousness-raiser aimed at the general religious public, not an attempt to contribute to the academic microdiscipline of philosophical theology”.

Attempting to rescue Dawkins, Dennett wrote,

The arguments Dawkins exposes and rebuts are the arguments that waft from thousands of pulpits every week and reach millions of television viewers every day, and neither the televangelists nor the authors of best-selling spiritual books pay the slightest heed to the subtleties of the theologians either.

Orr: Broad Audience Doesn’t Mean Ignoring Best Thinking On A Subject, Dennett.

Orr found two things wrong with Dennett’s objection viz., “The God Delusion was, [Dennett ]says, a popular work and, as such, one can’t expect it to grapple seriously with religious thought.” Orr expounded,

The first is that the mere fact that a book is intended for a broad audience doesn’t mean its author can ignore the best thinking on a subject. Indeed it’s precisely the task of the popularizer to take this best thinking and present it in a form that can be understood by intelligent laymen.[…]

The second thing wrong with Dennett’s objection is that it’s simply not true that The God Delusion was merely a popular survey and “not an attempt to contribute to …philosophical theology.”

Orr observed that Dennett forgot that Dawkins’ “unanswerable” argument which he boasted to “stumped all theologian who had met it” was indeed a contribution to philosophical theology. It is absurd, wrote Orr, “to pretend now that The God Delusion had no philosophical ambitions.” He went further,

It also won’t do to claim, as Dennett does, that Dawkins’s book was concerned only with arguments “that waft from thousands of pulpits every week and reach millions of television viewers every day.” Dawkins explicitly stated that he was targeting all forms of the God Hypothesis, including deism, and insisted that all were victims of his arguments.

Orr believed that “Dennett fundamentally misunderstands [his] review”. Orr dimmed that Dennett believed that he was “disturbed by Dawkins’s atheism and pointedly asks which religious thinkers [he] prefer instead.” Orr made it clear that he “does not have problem with where Dawkins arrived but with how he got there”

Next: Thomas Nagel’s Review Of The God’s Delusion

Disclaimers: I am  terribly biased and unfairly hard on Dawkins’ The God Delusion.   My aim is for us to critically examine Dawkins’ case against the existence of God. Whether we agree or disagree with Dawkins’ conclusions, I believe we ought to wrestle with strength and weakness of his arguments. As far as Orr is concerned The God Delusion’s case is a disappointment. Dawkins could and I believe can do better.

Book Review: Palmer’s The Atheist’s Primer

“Resurgence of classical atheism” is my four words review of Michael Palmer’s 170-paged The Lutterworth Press published book The Atheist’s Primer (Nov. 2012). Palmer explorations and commentary on classical atheists, returned the thrust of philosophically engagement of atheism that is often absent in “New Atheism”.

Singling out Hume, Nietzsche, Kant, Marx and Freud’s, Palmer’s chief intent in The Atheist’s Primer, a revised, abridged version of his student-edition The Atheist’s Creed (2010), is to bring out “important philosophical arguments to the force, and to provide a selective overview of the extraordinary richness of the atheistic literature, which extends from the time of the Greeks down to our own day.”(p.11)

In his introduction, Palmer introduced his readers to a “well-worn debate between science and religion”. He explained the charges directed against the later “is that faith never places itself within the cold light of empirical conformation”, and the former, “ is limitation of knowledge to only that which may be observed and verified”.

From that, I suppose, Palmer’s “The Atheist’s Creed” on page 5 would be grouped as a kind of “religious faith”, since what he believes, namely (i)“the cosmos is all that is or ever was and ever will be, (ii) no other reality, divine or otherwise exists”, (iii), human life has no meaning apart from itself; there is purpose in life but no purpose to life, et cetera, cannot be placed within the cold light of empirical conformation.

If science is defined as an objective(and not strictly naturalistic) examination of the facts, and faith (narrowing to Christianity because of Darwin, Galileo, and Newton) as knowledge based on evidence, as Galileo and Newton understood, then there was no conflict between science and religion. James Hannam’s God’s Philosophers (2010) showed that the conflict was between bad science and good science. Oddly, a modern example would be “the cosmos is all that is or ever was and ever will be”(p.5) conflicting with “[a]ll the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning”(Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, Tufts University, Boston (USA), January 2012)

Palmer covered the meaning and origins of atheism in chapter one and two. He wrote that the meaning of atheism, viz., “disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of God’, “is not as straight forward as it appears”(13) Palmer brilliantly explained the difference between negative/implicit atheism and positive/explicit atheism. He also clarified the correlation between atheism and agnosticism before diving into spectacular origins of atheism.

A brief introduction to Anselm’s version of ontological argument followed by Immanuel Kant’s critique, is squeezed in one and a half page (p.33-34). Arguments from cosmology as presented by Plato, Aristotle, and Thomas Aquinas and argument from design by William Paley (34-39), followed by a robust Hume’s responses, mostly on the former (45-50), and Darwin’s critique on later (50-54) are also covered in chapter three.

The problem of evil, I believe, is the only rock-solid argument presented as a positive case for atheism in The Atheist’s Primer covers the whole chapter four. I judged this chapter to be the strongest and challenging side of Palmer’s awesome contributing.

After brilliantly reviewing J. I. Mackie and Alvin Plantinga’s contributions to the logical argument from evil, and concluding that “whether or not we accept that Plantinga has provided a successive reply to Mackie, most philosopher now hold that the logical argument from evil is redundant””(p.66), Palmer showed that contemporary philosophers have shifted their guns towards an evidential problem of evil. Instead of arguing it’s impossible for God and suffering to co-exist (logical problem of evil), defenders of evidential problem of evil argue, it’s improbable that God would exist given the existence of intense suffering.

Palmer is very correct in observing that Plantinga’s defense alone is useless. Merely by showing that existence of God and evil is possible does nothing to show that it probable.

The thrust of evidential problem evil already appeared in Palmer’s introduction. The paradigm of Darwinian evolution, namely “unparalleled barbarity, impersonal and haphazard in form and subject only to the vagaries of environment” according to neo-Darwinians, “is totally at variance with any notion of an omnipotent, benevolent and purposive deity, of a loving God who cares for his creatures but is yet quite prepared to subject them to a life of unremitting brutality and hardship”(p.10)

According to Palmer, “if Darwin is right, then it would appear that we have here an irreducible incompatibility between scientific evidence and religious belief which no amount of theological ingenuity can resolve”(ibid). He introduced William Rowe’s, a leading defender of this view, case:

  1. There exist instance of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby preventing the occurrence of any greater good.
  2. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby preventing the occurrence of some greater good.
  3. [Therefore] There does not exist an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being.(p.66)

Palmer explored some of classical attempts to resolve this evidential problem of evil(“theodicies”), and commented on there weaknesses and flaws. The unwarranted pain inflicted upon creatures “obliterating any possibility that an omnipotent and benevolent God exists”(p.74). “The presence of evil testifies to the absence of God; or, if not to his absence, then to his presence as an incompetent villain of sadistic temper.”(p .67)

A weakness in evidential problem of evil, to which Palmer did not resolve, is how do we know that creatures experience intense suffering. I totally agree with Palmer that if there were a God, there would be no gratuitous evils. But how do atheologian know gratuitous evil exist without appealing to ignorance, namely “since I see no good reasons for x, then there is no good reasons for x”?

Palmer presented, comments and criticized the moral argument in chapter five, miracles in chapter six and finally the motivations of belief in chapter seven, to which I, because of space, will address in my second re-review. I will also go back to chapter three of The Atheist’s Primer to explore Palmer’s comments and critiques of arguments from ontology, cosmology, and teleology.

Strength of Palmer’s The Atheist’s Primer

Palmer appropriately returns us to the classical philosophical atheistic challenges against theism. His work is beyond praise and I believe greatly needed in time when “New Atheism” is endanger of eliminating the thrust of classical atheism, which squarely and fairly focused on arguments for and against existence of God.

Weakness of Palmer’s The Atheist’s Primer

Palmer did not present Plantinga’s resurrection of ontological argument as Plantinga succeeded, I believe, to formulate a version that is not affected by Kant’s criticism. He also left out Muhammad Al-Ghazali (ca.1058–1111) cosmological argument; “Every being which begins has a cause for its beginning; now the world is a being which begins; therefore, it possesses a cause for its beginning.” (Bulletin de l’Institut Francais d’Archaeologie Orientale 46 1947: 203) which I believe finds favor in modern cosmology.

I would have love for Palmer to included and deal also with Rene Descartes “causa dei” theodicy, which is reinforced in neo-Cartesian theory in chapter four.

Conclusion, Endorsement And Gratitude

I would recommend The Atheist’s Primer to all Christians and atheists who love pondering the case for and against existence of God and are worn-out by New-Atheism’s shortage of philosophical engagement in this most important subject.

Thank you Fiona Christie at James Clarke & Co. Ltd, The Lutterworth Press for providing me uncorrected proof copy of The Atheist’s Primer for review purposes only.

Book Review: Sam Harris’ Lying

“The 9th commandment defended” is my four words review of Sam Harris’ 26 paged book “Lying”. Harris succeeded to convince me “that lying, even about the smallest matters, needlessly damages personal relationships and public trust”.

Harris is simply at his best in this noteworthy essay to which I, as a Christian theist, do concur with him in all areas but one major issue, namely the ontological wrongness of lying and one minor issue found in “Lies in Extremis”, viz., if truth could be an “hypothetical lie”.

Before I point the 2% that I beg to differ with Harris, I presented some of the highlights in  “Lying”.

Harris explained that “[p]eople lie so that others will form beliefs that are not true. The more consequential the beliefs-that is, the more a person’s well-being is depends upon a correct understanding of the world-the more consequential the lie”( Harris 2011: Kindle loc.42). He pointed out that we tell lies “for many reasons.” It could be “to avoid embarrassment, to exaggerate [our] accomplishments, and to disguise wrongdoing”(62), spare our love ones emotions,  et cetera.

“[I]t is in believing one thing while intending to communicate another” Harris correctly explained,  “that every lie is born”(63)

Lying is “the royal road to chaos (10)” and “the lifeblood of addiction.”(106), explained Harris. It is:

“a refusal to cooperate with others. It condenses a lack of trust and trustworthiness into a single act. It is both a failure of understanding and an unwillingness to be understood. To lie is to recoil from relationship.”( 465)

Harris goes on to contend that  “to lie” is “[t]o intentionally mislead other when they expect honest communication.”

He pooled the consequences of lying. He argued that,  “[o]ne of the greatest problems for the liar is that he must keep track of his lies”(388) and that “[u]nlike statements of fact, which require no further work on our part, lies must be continually protected from collisions with reality. When you tell the truth, you have nothing to keep track of.”(392). He went further to contended that :

Sincerity, authenticity, integrity, mutual understanding – these and other sources of moral wealth are destroyed the moment we deliberately misrepresent our beliefs, whether or not our lies are ever discovered.(164)

Moreover lying not only affects the person lie to, but also a liar because “ suspicion often grows on both sides of a lie”(404).

Harris robustly shared the virtue of telling the truth. “To speak truthfully”, says Harris,  “is to accurately represent one’s beliefs.” Even though “[t]he opportunity to deceive others is ever present and often tempting, and each instance casts us onto some of the steepest ethical terrain we ever cross”(80), Harris commend that you “can be honest and kind, because your purpose in telling the truth is not to offend people: You simply want them to have the information you have, and would want to have if you were in their position.”(100).

Harris showed that:

“Honest people are a refuge: You know they mean what they say; you know they will not say one thing to your face and another behind your back; you know they will tell you when they think you have failed—and for this reason their praise cannot be mistaken for mere flattery.

Honesty is a gift we can give to others. It is also a source of power and an engine of simplicity. Knowing that we will attempt to tell the truth, whatever the circumstances, leaves us with little to prepare for. We can simply be ourselves.”(94)

Major Issue: Ontological Wrongness Of Lying

Harris is a bit unclear and(or) perhaps takes for granted the existence of “objective moral values, duties and human dignity”.  For instant he argued:

“After all, children do not learn to tell white lies until around the age of four, after they have achieved a hard-won awareness of the mental states of others. But there is no reason to believe that the social conventions that happen to stabilize in primates like us around the age of eleven will lead to optimal human relationships. In fact, there are many reasons to believe that lying is precisely the sort of behavior we need to outgrow in order to build a better world”(163)

What is the ontological ground of our social conventions? Lying could indeed be disadvantages to primates well being, but that does not make it intrinsic wrong. Granting a naturalistic worldview, as observed by Michael Ruse; “[m]orality is just an aid to survival and reproduction”(Ruse 1989:268) and Richard Dawkins; “We are machines for propagating DNA”(Dawkins 1991: n.p) or better “no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”(Dawkins 1995: 85), then truth telling or lying is simply an aid to survival and reproduction. Claiming that lying  is “ethical transgression” is simply a “pitiless indifference.”

I believe, Sam Harris, who subscribes to a naturalistic worldview, unconsciously borrows moral objectivism from a non-naturalistic worldview. As  J. L. Mackie correctly expounded that:

[I]f we adopted moral objectivism, we should have to regard the relations of supervenience which connect values and obligations with their natural grounds as synthetic; they would then be in principle something that a god might conceivably create; and since they would otherwise be a very odd sort of thing, the admitting of them would be an inductive ground for admitting also a god to create them.(Mackie 1982: 118)

Non-naturalistic argument for the ontological ground of moral objectivism could be formulated as follows:

  1. Moral normativity is best explained through the existence of authoritative moral rules.
  2. Authoritative moral rules must be promulgated and enforced by an appropriate moral authority.
  3. The only appropriate moral authority is a being that has maximal greatness.
  4. Thus, given that there is moral normativity, there is a being that has maximal greatness.

Minor Issue: Hypothetical Deception is A Lie

In “Lies in Extremis”, Harris, contrary to Kant, who “believed that lying was unethical in all cases-even in an attempt to stop the murder of an innocent person”(325), thinks that even though lying is not easily justified “[i]n those circumstances[as that of protecting an innocent life] where we deem it obviously necessary to lie, we have generally determined that the person to be deceived is both dangerous and unreachable by any recourse to the truth”.(337)

In this situation I believe Harris is correct in deeming that “[t]he temptation to lie is perfectly understandable –but merely lying might produce other outcomes you do not intend” but errs in thinking that “[t]he truth in this case could well be, “I wouldn’t tell you even if I knew.[…]”(337).

It is simply lying to claim, “If you knew” if you know. When I say if “I knew x I would do y,” then I conveyed a notion of not  knowing x at the moment. Example: If I knew you would visit, I would have stayed. This means that I did not know that you would visit, that is why I did not stay.

Conclusion: It is my hope that this book will also be available in Christian’s books stores. It is a book that will change the way you think about lying. Harris did a great services of showing why lying is an “ethical transgression”.

Lies are the social equivalent of toxic waste-everyone is potentially harmed by their spread.

– Sam Harris

Bibliography:

Dawkin, Richard  (1991);  Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, ‘The Ultraviolet Garden’, (No. 4, 1991)

______________  (1995). “God’s Utility Function”, in Scientific American, November 1995,

Mackie, J.L. (1982). The Miracle of Theism. Oxford University Press.

Ruse, Michael (1989) “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm . London: Routledge.

Worth pondering the relationship between Ethics, Theism and Atheism: Peter Byrne’s “Moral Arguments for the Existence of God” at Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.