Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Religion

Robert Gressis, a contributor over at The Prosblogion, a philosophy of religion blog, has posted a couple of very interesting articles about recent developments in the field of philosophy of religion. The first is entitled, "Atheist Burnout and the Direction of Philosophy of Religion." It discusses philosopher Keith Parsons and his recent public decision to quit the philosophy of religion because he no longer finds theism respectable, let alone tenable or presentable. Parsons writes, "I just cannot take their [theistic philosophers'] arguments seriously anymore, and if you cannot take something seriously, you should not try to devote serious academic attention to it." As soon as Parsons said this several others philosophers admitted that they had reached the same conclusion. Gressis' three brief reflections on this situation are, in my opinion, worth reading.

The second article is entitled, "Philosophy of Religion as Seen by Atheists." It follows up on the subsequent comments and discussion generated by Parsons' announcement, and summarizes the two main opinions floating around this issue.

What are your thoughts on these recent developments in the philosophy of religion? Do you think they could they be part of some larger movement within philosophy or Western society (e.g., university politics, academic freedom, the "New Atheism")? If more atheists quit or discredit the philosophy of religion, what ripple effects might it have on the discipline in the future?


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that some of these atheists who are philosophers of religion are starting to finally act a little consistently. In the light of the (no longer) New Atheism, the traditional respect for the religious (i.e. Christians) is being lost and atheists are realizing that they no longer have to be polite to ideas that they think are idiotic, or at least unworkable.

In my head, it's akin to being a PETA member and yet haveing a career doing medical research with animals. There SHOULD be some level of rational consistency alarm that goes off.

I wish the Biblical studies departments and theology departments at all the universities would get rid of THEIR atheists so we could send our kids to university without fear than ANY religion class they'll take will be a "Why Christianity is Stupid 101". That would sure make my life a whole lot easier. If I had a dime for the amount of times I've explained to people that the Bible wasn't formed at the Council of Nicea, I'd at least be able to buy myself a nice lunch...maybe a Rueben with some fries. No, I'm in the mood for chicken fingers, but still with fries.