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articles
1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Mark Murphy From the Editor
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2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Michael L. Peterson In Memoriam: William J. Wainwright
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3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Ted Poston The Intrinsic Probability of Grand Explanatory Theories
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This paper articulates a way to ground a relatively high prior probability for grand explanatory theories apart from an appeal to simplicity. I explore the possibility of enumerating the space of plausible grand theories of the universe by using the explanatory properties of possible views to limit the number of plausible theories. I motivate this alternative grounding by showing that Swinburne’s appeal to simplicity is problematic along several dimensions. I then argue that there are three plausible grand views—theism, atheism, and axiarchism—which satisfy explanatory requirements for plau­sibility. Other possible views lack the explanatory virtue of these three theo­ries. Consequently, this explanatory grounding provides a way of securing a nontrivial prior probability for theism, atheism, and axiarchism. An important upshot of my approach is that a modest amount of empirical evidence can bear significantly on the posterior probability of grand theories of the universe.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Blake McAlister The Perspectival Problem of Evil
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Whether evil provides evidence against the existence of God, and to what degree, depends on how things seem to the subject—i.e., on one’s perspective. I explain three ways in which adopting an atheistic perspective can increase support for atheism via considerations of evil. The first is by intensifying the common sense problem of evil by making evil seem gratuitous or intrinsically wrong to allow. The second is by diminishing the apparent fit between theism and our observations of evil. The third is by lowering the initial plausibility of theism. I call this “the perspectival problem of evil” and argue that skeptical theism does not fully address it.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Felipe Miguel The Epistemic Significance of Agreement with Exceptional Theistic Philosophers
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Suppose that you realize that a substantial majority of the most important philosophers of all time agreed with you on some proposition p. Intuitively, you have gained additional evidence in favor of p and you should increase your confidence that p is true. It turns out that a large number of the most important philosophers of all time (in fact, the vast majority, if we consider, as we will, a recent poll conducted with contemporary philosophers) were the­ists. In this paper, I explore the epistemic significance of agreement with these philosophers with respect to their theistic beliefs. I argue that agreement with such philosophers does provide evidence in favor of theism.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
A. G. Holdier Is Heaven a Zoopolis?
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The concept of service found in Christian theism and related religious per­spectives offers robust support for a political defense of nonhuman animal rights, both in the eschaton and in the present state. By adapting the political theory defended by Donaldson and Kymlicka to contemporary theological models of the afterlife and of human agency, I defend a picture of heaven as a harmoniously structured society where humans are the functional lead­ers of a multifaceted, interspecies citizenry. Consequently, orthodox religious believers (concerned with promoting God’s will “on Earth as it is in Heaven”) have a duty to promote and protect the interests of nonhuman creatures in the present, premortem state.
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Tien-Chun Lo F-Duplicates and Trivialization: A Reply to Speaks
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In this paper, I will defend a strategy for employing perfect being theology that Jeff Speaks calls “restriction strategy.” In Section I, I will outline what the restriction strategy is and explicate Speaks’s objection to it. In Section II, I will propose a response to Speaks’s objection. In Section III, the response will be refined to avoid objections. My contention will be that this refined version of perfect being theology avoids Speaks’s objection, and therefore can help theists find what divine attributes God has.
review essay
8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Joshua Thurow, Jada Twedt Strabbing Entwining Thomistic and Anselmian Interpretations of the Atonement
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In Atonement, Eleonore Stump develops a novel and compelling Thomistic account of the atonement and argues that Anselmian interpretations must be rejected. In this review essay, after summarizing her account, we raise wor­ries about some aspects of it. First, we respond to her primary objection to Anselmian interpretations by arguing that, contrary to Stump, love does not require unilateral and unconditional forgiveness. Second, we suggest that the heart of Anselmian interpretations—that reconciliation with God requires rep­aration/restitution/satisfaction—is plausible and well-supported by some of her own arguments. Third, we raise doubts about her views of the role of sur­render in justification and the nature of justification itself. Finally, we question whether Stump’s account can successfully explain how the atonement deals with pre-justification sin. A central theme of our comments is that Stump’s Thomistic interpretation can be entwined with Anselmian interpretations to make a stronger account of the atonement.
book reviews
9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Alan J. Pihringer H. E. Baber, The Trinity: A Philosophical Investigation
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10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Greg Peterson Joshua Rasmussen and Kevin Vallier, eds., A New Theist Response to the New Atheists
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11. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Andrew M. Bailey Richard Swinburne, Are We Bodies or Souls?
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12. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Louise Williams Evan Thompson, Why I Am Not a Buddhist
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13. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Mark S. McLeod-Harrison Clifford Williams, Religion and the Meaning of Life: An Existential Approach
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articles
14. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Mark Schroeder Sins of Thought
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According to the Book of Common Prayer, we have sinned against God “in thought, word, and deed.” In this paper I’ll explore one way of understanding what it might mean to sin against God in thought—the idea that we can at least potentially wrong God by what we believe. I will be interested in the philosophical tenability of this idea, and particularly in its potential consequences for the epistemology of religious belief and the problem of evil.
15. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Andrew Law The Dependence Response and Explanatory Loops
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There is an old and powerful argument for the claim that divine foreknowledge is incompatible with the freedom to do otherwise. A recent response to this argument, sometimes called the “dependence response,” centers around the claim that God’s relevant past beliefs depend on the relevant agent’s current or future behavior in a certain way. This paper offers a new argument for the dependence response, one that revolves around different cases of time travel. Somewhat serendipitously, the argument also paves the way for a new reply to a compelling objection to the dependence response, the challenge from prepunishment. But perhaps not so serendipitously, the argument also renders the dependence response incompatible with certain views of providence.
16. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Katherin A. Rogers An Anselmian Approach to Divine Simplicity
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The doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS) is an important aspect of the classical theism of philosophers like Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas. Recently the doctrine has been defended in a Thomist mode using the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction. I argue that this approach entails problems which can be avoided by taking Anselm’s more Neoplatonic line. This does involve accepting some controversial claims: for example, that time is isotemporal and that God inevitably does the best. The most difficult problem involves trying to reconcile created libertarian free will with the Anselmian DDS. But for those attracted to DDS the Anselmian approach is worth considering.
17. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Todd DeRose Empirically Skeptical Theism
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Inspired by Peter van Inwagen’s “simulacra model” of the resurrection, I investigate whether it could be reasonable to adopt an analogous approach to the problem of evil. Empirically Skeptical Theism, as I call it, is the hypothesis that God shields our lives from irredeemable evils surreptitiously (just as van Inwagen proposes that God shields our bodies from destruction surreptitiously). I argue that EST compares favorably with traditional skeptical theism and with eschatological theodicies, and that EST does not have the negative moral consequences we might suppose.
18. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Ben Page Arguing to Theism from Consciousness
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I provide an argument from consciousness for God’s existence. I first consider a version of the argument which is ultimately difficult to evaluate. I then consider a stronger argument, on which consciousness, given our worldly laws of nature, is rather substantial evidence for God’s existence. It is this latter argument the paper largely focuses on, both in setting it out and defending it from various objections.
19. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Elijah Hess, Alan Rhoda Is an Open Infinite Future Impossible? A Reply to Pruss
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Alexander Pruss has recently argued on probabilistic grounds that Christian philosophers should reject Open Futurism—roughly, the thesis that there are no true future contingents—on account of this view’s alleged inability to handle certain statements about infinite futures in a mathematically or religiously adequate manner. We argue that, once the distinction between being true and becoming true is applied to such statements, it is evident that they pose no problem for Open Futurists.
reviews
20. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
W. Matthews Grant Peter Furlong, The Challenges of Divine Determinism: A Philosophical Analysis
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