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Stephen Maitzen
Acadia University
  1. The Moral Skepticism Objection to Skeptical Theism.Stephen Maitzen - 2013 - In Justin McBrayer & Daniel Howard-Snyder (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 444--457.
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  2. Atheism and the Basis of Morality.Stephen Maitzen - 2013 - In A. W. Musschenga & Anton van Harskamp (eds.), What Makes Us Moral? Springer. pp. 257-269.
    People in many parts of the world link morality with God and see good ethical values as an important benefit of theistic belief. A recent survey showed that Americans, for example, distrust atheists more than any other group listed in the survey, this distrust stemming mainly from the conviction that only believers in God can be counted on to respect morality. I argue against this widespread tendency to see theism as the friend of morality. I argue that our most serious (...)
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  3. Ordinary Morality Implies Atheism.Stephen Maitzen - 2009 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):107 - 126.
    I present a "moral argument" for the nonexistence of God. Theism, I argue, can’t accommodate an ordinary and fundamental moral obligation acknowledged by many people, including many theists. My argument turns on a principle that a number of philosophers already accept as a constraint on God’s treatment of human beings. I defend the principle against objections from those inclined to reject it.
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  4. Questioning the Question.Stephen Maitzen - 2013 - In Tyron Goldschmidt (ed.), The Puzzle of Existence: Why is There Something Rather than Nothing? Routledge. pp. 252-271.
    Why is there something rather than nothing? Apparently many people regard that question as a challenge to naturalism because they think it’s too fundamental or too sweeping for natural science to answer, even in principle. I argue, on the contrary, that the question has a simple and adequate naturalistic answer: ‘Because there are penguins.’ I then diagnose various confusions underlying the suspicion that the question can’t have such an answer and, more generally, that the question, or else some variant of (...)
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  5. Review of Paul K. Moser’s The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008, 292 + Xi Pp., ISBN 978-0-521-88903-2, Hb. [REVIEW]Stephen Maitzen - 2010 - Sophia 49 (1):149-151.
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  6. A Dilemma for Skeptics.Stephen Maitzen - 2010 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):23-34.
    Some of the most enduring skeptical arguments invoke stories of deception -- the evil demon, convincing dreams, an envatted brain, the Matrix -- in order to show that we have no first-order knowledge of the external world. I confront such arguments with a dilemma: either (1) they establish no more than the logical possibility of error, in which case they fail to threaten fallible knowledge, the only kind of knowledge of the external world most of us think we have anyway; (...)
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  7. Agnosticism, Skeptical Theism, and Moral Obligation.Stephen Maitzen - forthcoming - In Trent G. Dougherty & Justin P. McBrayer (eds.), Skeptical Theism: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Skeptical theism combines theism with skepticism about our capacity to discern God’s morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil. Proponents have claimed that skeptical theism defeats the evidential argument from evil. Many opponents have objected that it implies untenable moral skepticism, induces appalling moral paralysis, and the like. Recently Daniel Howard-Snyder has tried to rebut this prevalent objection to skeptical theism by rebutting it as an objection to the skeptical part of skeptical theism, which part he labels “Agnosticism” (with an intentionally (...)
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  8. The Impossibility of Local Skepticism.Stephen Maitzen - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (4):453-464.
    According to global skepticism, we know nothing. According to local skepticism, we know nothing in some particular area or domain of discourse. Unlike their global counterparts, local skeptics think they can contain our invincible ignorance within limited bounds. I argue that they are mistaken. Local skepticism, particularly the kinds that most often get defended, cannot stay local: if there are domains whose truths we cannot know, then there must be claims outside those domains that we cannot know even if they (...)
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  9. How Not to Argue From Science to Skepticism.Stephen Maitzen - 2014 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 4 (1):21-35.
    For at least several decades, and arguably since the time of Descartes, it has been fashionable to offer scientific or quasi-scientific arguments for skepticism about human knowledge. I critique five attempts to argue for skeptical conclusions from the findings of science and scientifically informed common sense.
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  10.  63
    On Gellman's Attempted Rescue.Stephen Maitzen - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):193 - 198.
    In "Ordinary Morality Implies Atheism" (2009), I argued that traditional theism threatens ordinary morality by relieving us of any moral obligation to prevent horrific suffering by innocent people even when we easily can. In the current issue of this journal, Jerome Gellman attempts to rescue that moral obligation from my charge that theism destroys it. In this reply, I argue that his attempted rescue fails.
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