Edward Feser is a professional philosopher and Roman Catholic hailed has "One of the best contemporary writers on philosophy" . He has authored many academic articles and has written on politics from a conservative perspective. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is Associate Professor of philosophy at Pasadena City College. His academic research interests are primarily in the philosophy of mind, moral and political philosophy, and the philosophy of religion.
Criticism of Atheism
Feser authored the book The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism (2008) where he criticizes atheistic beliefs and convictions grounded upon a mechanical view of the world. He criticizes claims that science and religion are at war with each other, or that religion has lost out to science, as often argued by notable public atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and others. He argues that the purported conflict has taken place on philosophical grounds between those who hold to a teleological philosophy and a mechanistic philosophy. The latter view, argues Feser, holds to an unwarranted belief that the physical world is comprised of nothing more than purposeless, meaningless particles in motion. He then argues that the "teleological" vision is rationally justified and the superior conceptions of reality.
Conversion From Atheism
Feser is a convert to Christian belief from atheism  . His conversion was gradual as opposed to a single moment or event in time. Despite being reared in a Catholic home he turned away from Christianity during his adolescent years. While studying at university he developed an interest existential philosophy and engaged in a perusal of important existenlisist philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Walter Kaufmann. He enjoyed the works of several atheist philosophers, one of whom was J. L. Mackie and his book The Miracle of Theism (1982). Feser reminisces that atheists akin to Mackie are far superior to anything that has been produced by the “New Atheists,” as they are called.
|“||“What really impressed me was the evidentialist challenge to religious belief. If God really exists there should be solid arguments to that effect, and there just aren’t, or so I then supposed… Atheism was like belief in a spherical earth — something everyone in possession of the relevant facts knows to be true, and therefore not worth getting too worked up over or devoting too much philosophical attention to.”||”|
Feser soon noted problems with naturalistic explanations of the world, which led him to doubt his atheism. He discovered that naturalistic explanations for language and logic were constructed upon shaky foundations. During this period Feser studied the ideas of Aristotle, particularly Aristotelian ethics, and Platonic realism. He purports that the ideas produced by these Greek philosophers undermine naturalism despite him deciding to remain a atheist-naturalist for some time.
Feser’s transition to an acceptance of religious belief occurred when he was teaching philosophy of religion and other philosophy courses. This required he teach students the arguments for and against God’s existence alongside the intellectual giants of Anselm and Thomas Aquinas. He did not agree with their arguments but he found them interesting. This changed, however, when he begun to feel their rational and compelling nature,
|“||“As I taught and thought about the arguments for God’s existence, and in particular the cosmological argument, I went from thinking “These arguments are no good” to thinking “These arguments are a little better than they are given credit for” and then to “These arguments are actually kind of interesting.” Eventually it hit me: “Oh my goodness, these arguments are right after all!”||”|
Feser felt that he could no longer sustain a commitment to his naturalism, and recalls how at one stage he tried to convert his wife’s skeptical physicist brother-in-law of the truth of philosophical theism while on vacation. Feser concludes,
|“||“When I was an undergrad I came across the saying that learning a little philosophy leads you away from God, but learning a lot of philosophy leads you back. As a young man who had learned a little philosophy, I scoffed. But in later years and at least in my own case, I would come to see that it’s true.”||”|
Several other important writings produced by Feser include Philosophy of Mind (A Beginner's Guide) (2007), Aquinas (A Beginner's Guide) (2009), Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (2014), and Five Proofs of the Existence of God (2017).
- Edward Feser. Books by Edward Feser: Five Proofs of the Existence of God (English). Retrieved on 05/07/2019.
- Edward Feser. Edward Feser Blog (English). Retrieved on 23/06/2019.
- James Bishop (21/12/2018). Former Atheist & Philosophy Professor Edward Feser On How Studying Philosophy Convinced Him of God’s Existence (English). Retrieved on 23/06/2019.
- Edward Feser (17/07/2012). Road From Atheism (English). Retrieved on 23/06/2019.