Friday, March 21, 2014
I was wrong about Keith Parsons
Longtime readers know that Prof. Keith Parsons and I have not always gotten along. Some years ago he famously expressed the view that the arguments of natural theology are a “fraud” that do not rise to the level of a “respectable philosophical position” worthy of “serious academic attention.” I hit back pretty hard at the time, and our subsequent remarks about each other over the years have not been kind. I had come to the conclusion that Prof. Parsons was unwilling to engage seriously with the best arguments of natural theology. But I am delighted to say that I was wrong. Prof. Parsons has said that his earlier remarks about the field were “unfortunate” and “intemperate and inappropriate, however qualified.” He has shown admirable grace and good sportsmanship in his willingness to bury the hatchet despite how heated things had been between us. And he has most definitely engaged seriously with the arguments of traditional natural theology in our recent exchange. I take back the unkind remarks I have made about him in the past. He is a good guy.
Keith is now wrapping up his side in our initial exchange. If you have not done so already, give it a read. In the near future we will have an exchange on the subject of atheism and morality. I look forward to it. Keith has also expressed to me his admiration for the quality of the comments readers have been making on our exchange. I agree, and I thank the readers both of my blog and of Keith’s blog over at Secular Outpost.