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Volume 15, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2012

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Displaying: 1-7 of 7 documents

1. Philo: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Paul C. Maxwell, Is Reformed Orthodoxy a Possible Exception to Matt McCormick’s Critique of Classical Theism? An Exploration of God’s Presenceand Consciousness
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Matt McCormick argues that because a thinking mind must be able to make subject-object distinctions with objects outside of itself, and God is everywhere immediately present to all objects (according to a classical conception of omniscience), he cannot truly make this distinction and therefore cannot think. Here, I probe McCormick’s Kantian notions of psychological representations and metaphysics and explore a version of classical theism that may evade his critique.
2. Philo: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Gregory W. Dawes, Jonathan Jong, Defeating the Christian’s Claim to Warrant
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Alvin Plantinga notes that if what Christians believe is true, their beliefs are warranted. It follows, he argues, that the only decisive objection to Christian belief is a de facto one: an argument that shows that what Christians believe is false. We disagree. A critic could mount a direct attack on the Christian’s claim to warrant by offering a more plausible account of the causal mechanism giving rise to belief, one that shows that mechanism to be unreliable. This would represent a powerful de jure argument against Christian belief.
3. Philo: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
David Kyle Johnson, The Failure of Plantinga’s Solution to the Logical Problem of Natural Evil
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The logical threat natural evil poses to theistic belief has been primarily ignored in the literature because Alvin Plantinga’s solution to the logical problem of natural evil is considered by most to be definitive. I will argue that it is not; Plantinga misunderstands the logical problem of natural evil and thus fails utterly in responding to it. This failure is significant because once the problem of natural evil is properly understood, it is clear that no existing solution to any version of the problem of evil can be adapted to solve it. Consequently, more attention needs to be paid by theists to the logical problem of natural evil.
4. Philo: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Lawrence Pasternack, The Many Gods Objection to Pascal’s Wager: A Decision Theoretic Response
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The Many Gods Objection (MGO) is widely viewed as a decisive criticism of Pascal’s Wager. Some have attempted to rebut it by employing criteria drawn from the theological tradition. This paper will offer a different sort of defense of the Wager, one more suited to its apologetic aim as well as to its status as a decision under ignorance. It will be shown that there are characteristics already built into the Wager’s decision theoretic structure that can block many categories of theological hypotheses including MGO’s more outrageous “cooked-up” hypotheses and “philosophers’ fictions.”
5. Philo: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Jerome Popp, Philosophy of Society
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John Searle holds that social reality is created by the deontology of institutions, the understanding of which requires an account of prelinguistic-intentionality.A tentative explanation is presented as to how the recognition of rudimentary rights and obligations developed from genetic preparedness and the conditions of survival for minimally-linguistic hominids. Searle’s rationality explanation of why people fulfill their obligations is contrasted with an alternative instrumentalist view. It is suggested that respect for the positive deontic powers of institutions contributes a sense of belonging that increases social cohesiveness and lowers social viscosity.
6. Philo: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Morgan Luck, Nathan Ellerby, Should We Want God Not to Exist?
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In his book, The Last Word, Thomas Nagel expresses the hope that there exists no God. Guy Kahane, in his paper ‘Should We Want God to Exist?’, attempts to defend Nagel from an argument that concludes such a hope may be impermissible. In this paper we present a new defense for the hope that God does not exist.
7. Philo: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Richard Carrier, On the Facts as We Know Them, Ethical Naturalism Is All There Is: A Reply to Matthew Flannagan
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In responding to Matthew Flannagan’s rebuttal to Walter Sinnott-Armstrong’s argument that ethical naturalism is more plausible than William Lane Craig’s Divine Command Theory of moral obligation (DCT), this author finds Flannagan incorrect on almost every point. Any defense of DCT is fallaciously circular and empirically untestable, whereas neither is the case for ethical naturalism. Accordingly, all four of Armstrong’s objections stand against Flannagan’s attempts to rebut them, and Flannagan’s case is impotent against a properly-formed naturalist metaethic.