A Failed Demonstration of God’s Existence

Interested in arguments from contingency and change, the Kalam, causal finitism, the gap problem, existential inertia, and more? I’ve got just the rebuttal for you. In this video, I respond to Trent Horn’s defense of his case for God.


0:00 Intro, Prelims, & Outline
1:47 Argument from Contingency
42:57 Argument from Change
1:44:56 Existential Inertia
1:58:04 Models of God
2:04:39 Kalam, Causal Finitism, and UPD
3:02:52 Gap Problem
3:37:36 Moral Argument
3:43:18 Conclusion

Author: Joe

Feser’s Argument from Change for the Act-Potency Distinction

As Feser (2014, pp. 34-35) reads it, Parmenides’s argument against change runs:

  1. Change would require being to arise out of non-being or nothingness.
  2. But from non-being or nothingness, nothing can arise.
  3. So, change is impossible.

Where does the argument go wrong? Here’s Feser’s answer:

Continue reading

A Step-by-step Argument for Causal Finitism [Pre-Print!]

My article, “A Step-by-step Argument for Causal Finitism”, has recently been accepted for publication in the journal Erkenntnis. For those interested, you can find the pre-print version here.

Some notes about the article:

(1) I’m still not 100% convinced by the argument I develop in the article. I think it’s fascinating and nicely adds to the cumulative case in Pruss (2018), but as an individual argument, I’m still thinking on it. I honestly wrote this paper to explore the argument, not so much to stake my own position in the debate. I have lots of reservations, e.g., about one of my appeals to a patchwork principle. But reservations notwithstanding, I think it contributes nicely to the causal finitism debate. (In my EXTREMELY unbiased opinion as the article’s author, that is…)

(2) For those interested in checking out the work I’ve done on the Kalam, check out this playlist here.

(3) Happy philosophizing!

Author: Joe

Comments on Feser on Oppy on Thomistic Cosmological Arguments

In this post, I’ll comment on Feser’s recent Religious Studies article responding to Graham Oppy. Whether Oppy’s criticisms succeed does not matter to me; what matters to me is whether Feser says anything that might salvage the Aristotelian proof (and, potentially, other Thomistic cosmological arguments) from the various criticisms I’ve leveled towards them.

I will not, of course, fault Feser for not taking into account my various criticisms, as Feser is only responding to Oppy. Instead, I will simply evaluate whether the Aristotelian proof survives the criticisms I’ve leveled towards it in light of what Feser says in his article. (On occasion, though, I’ll also be commenting on Feser’s responses to Oppy. So my purposes in this post are multifaceted.)

For those curious, here’s the chapter on the Aristotelian proof from my unpublished-but-in-talks-with-academic-presses book. Here’s my systematic and comprehensive investigation into existential inertia and the various objections to it (including all of Feser’s) in the literature. And here are my two responses (one, two) to Feser’s engagement with my published articles criticizing the Aristotelian proof.

So let’s dig in!

Continue reading

So you think you understand Existential Inertia?

What is existential inertia? Is it a thesis? A phenomenon? Why would anyone believe it? Why would anyone disbelieve it? Does it explain persistence, or merely describe it? Does it render persistence inexplicable or brute?

This post will answer all these questions and more. It’s a comprehensive guide to existential inertia. I’ll discuss (i) common mistakes people make when discussing existential inertia, (ii) what existential inertia is, (iii) motivations for existential inertia, (iv) arguments against existential inertia, and (v) resources on existential inertia. Buckle up.

The Beauty of Pi - The Flerlage Twins: Analytics, Data Visualization, and  Tableau


1 Common mistakes
2 The basics of existential inertia
3 Clarifying the Existential Inertia Thesis (EIT)
—–3.1 Scope
—–3.2 Persistence and Relativity Theory*
—–3.3 Modal Register
—–3.4 Dependence and Destruction
—–3.5 Metaphysical Accounts
4 A rigorous articulation of EIT*
—–4.1 Temporal Ontology*
—–4.2 Taxonomic questions: Summary
5 The metaphysics of EIT
—–5.1 Tendency-disposition Accounts
—–5.2 Transtemporal Accounts
—–5.3 Law-based Accounts*
—–5.4 Necessity Accounts
—–5.5 No-change Accounts
6 Motivating EIT
—–6.1 Theoretical Virtues
—–6.2 Aristotelian proof argument
—–6.3 Divine Temporality
—–6.4 Bayesian argument
—–6.5 Moorean argument
7 Arguments against EIT
—–7.1 Alleged Counterexamples
—–7.2 Red Chairs
—–7.3 Hsiao and Sanders
———-7.3.1 Counterexamples to EIT
———-7.3.2 First Metaphysical Argument
———-7.3.4 Third Metaphysical Argument
—–7.4 Proportionate Causality
—–7.5 Form-matter Interdependence
—–7.6 Contingent Natures
—–7.7 Vicious Circularity
—–7.8 Aristotelian proof causal principle
—–7.9 Neo-Platonic proof causal principle
—–7.10 Thomistic proof causal principle
—–7.11 Rationalist proof causal principle
—–7.12 Nemes’ argument
—–7.13 De Ente argument
—–7.14 Nemes and Kerr on the De Ente argument
8 Resources
—–8.1 Articles
—–8.2 YouTube videos
—–8.3 Blog posts

Continue reading

Article on the Neo-Platonic proof accepted at EJPR

Hey y’all!

I’m ecstatic to announce that my article, “Simply Unsuccessful: The Neo-Platonic Proof of God’s Existence”, has been accepted for publication at the European Journal for Philosophy of Religion.

Now all I need to do is is create 13 sock accounts and start spamming Feser’s inbox. This will be in addition to the 37 sock accounts I already use to spam Feser.

(I kid! I’m just poking fun at people who take this conspiracy seriously.)

In any case, here’s my video on the Neo-Platonic proof:

The EJPR article is a proper part of Chapter 9 of my book. Here’s that chapter! [I’m currently speaking with various editors at different presses regarding this book, so I can’t share the whole book. 🙂 ]

Author: Joe

Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia | A Comprehensive Response

This post is my comprehensive response to Feser’s response to my IJPR article. The purpose of this post is to include each post from my seven-part response to Feser in one place. There’s nothing in this post over and above what’s contained in that seven-part series. Except, of course, the following series index:

  1. Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia: On Length | Part 1
  2. Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia: On Presupposing EIT’s Falsity and Explaining Inertial Persistence | Part 2
  3. Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia: EIT, Entailment, and Extrinsic Explanation | Part 3
  4. Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia: The Prior Probability of EIT | Part 4
  5. Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia: Vicious Circularity and the Metaphysics of EIT | Part 5
  6. Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia: Theoretical Virtues and Vices | Part 6
  7. Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia: An Argument Against EIT + More Demonstrable Misrepresentation | Part 7

Again, I just want all the posts in one place. So let’s get to it!

Continue reading

Feser on Schmid on Existential Inertia: An Argument Against EIT + More Demonstrable Misrepresentation | Part 7

Feser has recently responded to my IJPR article. I will respond to his post in a series of blog posts. Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6. This post is Part 7, which deals with everything Feser says in his section ‘An argument against EIT’. In my next post, I’ll collect all the parts together into a single post.

Continue reading