Around the Blogosphere 3-30-05

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I've only had one interesting search in the past week, although a few people don't know how to spell T'Pol's name, and somehow they find me because of it. I suppose I should also mention that I'm getting scores of hits from people looking for an answer to why slavery is wrong, which is pretty funny given which posts they're turning up.

This other one that just leaves my scratching my head:

genesis sun close blacks

The first season of the new Battlestar Galactica show is coming to an end this Friday, but in case weren't aware of it, head writer and re-envisioner Ron Moore has a blog, which has his reflections throughout the season, and I'm sure he'll have things to say as the work on the next season continues. I know they've started filming, because Gateworld has pictures up already. I'm expecting even better things in the next season. The one spoiler I found out about the final episode sounds like it really has some excellent openings for some really interesting storytelling.

The 63rd Christian Carnival is at Weapon of Mass Distraction. As I say in every roundup, my highlights post for the carnival will come once I've had the time to look through it all. I'm hoping that will be quicker this week due to my not having to teach tomorrow.

Vox Apologia, the apologetics carnival, now has its own blog. The next one will be about the ontological argument. If I have the time, I'm going to contribute something, because I have things to say about that argument. Submission instructions are here.

I was suprised to see an Associated Press article on Alvin Plantinga. [Hat tip: Matthew Mullins] He's not really in the circle of influential philosophers anymore, at least on issues I know a lot about, but in his heyday he really transformed the scene for analytic philosophers. Together with Saul Kripke, David Lewis, and a handful of others, he helped make metaphysics not just a legitimate field of study again but a crucial part of the core of analytic philosophy. Equally significant is the work he did in philosophy of religion that paved the way for a similar revival. Unfortunately, his trilogy on warrant didn't catch a lot of support among the movers and shakers, even though he has his loyal fans, and he hasn't really published anything else recently in philosophy of religion besides volume three of that series, and nothing at all in metaphysics, so he's not having the impact he once did when it comes to those who are beginning to shape the future of the field. The article has inspired two criticisms of Plantinga's defense of religious belief with evidence. My response appears in the comments of the second one. The first one doesn't allow comments.

Apparently, I've already finished my Ph.D. Sam will be happy to hear. If only I'd known, I could have gone out on the job market this year.

Marla Swoffer (formerly Proverbial Wife) raises some excellent theological questions about people's assumptions regarding Terri Schiavo. I saw the post earlier, and I basically agree with almost everything Dogwood Blue, the first commenter, says, so I didn't leave any comment. She emailed me and asked my feedback, but I didn't have anything to add myself without just posting a redundant comment, so instead I'll refer readers of this post to what she has to say.

Right Reason post #1: Max Goss takes on Don Herzog of Left2Right, who claims that Scalia made a blooper when mentioning that government authority derives from God, as if that somehow undermines the idea that God gave human beings the authority to form governments in the way the Constitution says we have the authority to govern ourselves. When I first read that post, I thought I must have missed something, because I couldn't see the problem either, but I didn't have time to look at his arguments in depth. It turns out that it's just as well, because he didn't have any, and the comments on Max's post don't reveal anything further that Max missed but more irrelevant points.

Right Reason post #2: Francis Beckwith gives an argument I've given before, but I like his way of putting it. Judith Jarvis Thomson argues for the moral justifiability of abortion by arguing that it's justifiable in cases when someone has no responsibility for being pregnant, i.e. rape cases. In those cases, she says, a woman has the right to rid herself of a fetus. She then argues that lesser but positive degrees of responsibility can also allow for a justifiable abortion, e.g. when someone uses contraception, but it fails anyway. This assumes that one can gain an obligation only if one is responsible for the situation that would give rise to the obligation. In other words, one can give oneself obligations, but one cannot find oneself obligated without having done something first to gain the responsibility. Frank's example shows that this premise is simply false.

I'm trying to revive some discussions on God's foreknowledge, logical fatalism, and atemporality from last year at Prosblogion. I think the problem of God's foreknowledge reduces to logical fatalism if God is atemporal. Jon Kvanvig disagreed with two things I said, but looking over the discussion again made me question whether he was right. I have another post on the idea that God doesn't know the future coming soon.

Pseudo-Polymath is calling for posts on vision for the next few generations of Christianity and of individual congregations.

Blogger News Network has a report on the University of Colorado's official response to Ward Churchill. It's what I predicted. He's probably going to lose his job, but it's not because of what he said that got so many people mad. It's because of all the academic dishonesty he's engaged in over the years, including things that got him some of the positions he occupies right now.

Strange Justice is a new blog dedicated to reporting miscarriages of justice. Check it out.

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