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articles
1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Mark C. Murphy From the Editor
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2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Timothy G. McCarthy Essence and Realization in the Ontological Argument
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A persistent complaint about modal forms of the ontological argument is that the characteristic modalized existence assumptions of these arguments are simply too close to the conclusion to be of much probative value in establish­ing it. I present an abstract form of the ontological argument in which the properties imputed to the divine nature by these assumptions are replaced by any of a wide class of properties of a sort I call “actualizing.” These include basic theistic attributes such as authorship, sovereignty and omniscience. The import of these arguments is to show that the metaphysical coherence of some of the most familiar conceptions of the divine nature ensures their actual realization.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Daniel S. Murphy Divine Knowledge and Qualitative Indiscernibility
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This paper is about the nature of God’s pre-creation knowledge of possible creatures. I distinguish three theories: non-qualitative singularism, qualitative singularism, and qualitative generalism, which differ in terms of whether the relevant knowledge is qualitative or non-qualitative, and whether God has singular or merely general knowledge of creatures. My main aim is to argue that qualitative singularism does not depend on a version of the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles to the effect that, necessarily, qualitatively indiscernible individuals are identical. It follows that qualitative singularism does not depend on the view that possible creatures categorically have qualitative individual essences.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Christian B. Miller Should Christians be Worried about Situationist Claims in Psychology and Philosophy?
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The situationist movement in psychology and, more recently, in philosophy has been associated with a number of striking claims, including that most people do not have the moral virtues and vices, that any ethical theory that is wedded to such character traits is empirically inadequate, and that much of our behavior is causally influenced to significant degrees by psychological influences about which we are often unaware. Yet Christian philosophers have had virtually nothing to say about situationist claims. The goal of this paper is to consider whether Christians should start to be worried about them.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
David Diekema, Patrick McDonald In Defense of Simonian Science
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In his recent book Where the Conflict Really Lies, Alvin Plantinga articulates a number of arguments about the conceptual relationship between science and faith, especially Christian faith. He uses Herbert Simon’s evolutionary account of altruism and David Sloan Wilson’s evolutionary account of religion as exemplars of theories that are in genuine but superficial conflict with Christian faith. This paper argues that any conflict between Christian faith and evolutionary psychology or Simonian science is even more superficial than Plantinga himself admits. We argue that apparent conflicts between Christian control beliefs and social scientific theorizing are due predominantly to (1) misunderstanding the scope of a theory (or the terms used in a theory) or (2) metatheoretical overreaching on the part of one side or the other. Specifically, the apparent conflict between Simon’s account and Christian faith is rooted in a misunderstanding of Simon’s limited definitions of rationality and altruism. The apparent conflict between Wilson’s account and Christian faith is a result of failing to distinguish Wilson’s broader metatheoretical commitments from the more limited scope of his scientific theory of religion.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Kenneth Einar Himma The Ethics of Subjecting a Child to the Risk of Eternal Torment: A Reply to Shawn Bawulski
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In “Birth as a Grave Misfortune,” I argue that it is morally wrong, given ordinary moral intuitions about child-bearing decisions together with the traditional Christian doctrines of hell and salvific exclusivism, to bring a child into the world when the probability that she will spend an eternal afterlife suffering the torments of hell is as high as it would be if these two doctrines are true. In a paper published by this journal, Shawn Bawulski responds to my arguments, offering a number of philosophical and theological objections to my arguments. In this essay, I reply to those objections and counterarguments.
book reviews
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Bruno Niederbacher, SJ Jeffrey E. Brower: Aquinas’s Ontology of the Material World: Change, Hylomorphism, and Material Objects
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8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Samuel Murray Randolph Clarke: Omissions: Responsibility, Agency, and Metaphysics
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9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Johannes Grössl Craig S. Keener: Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Account, Volumes 1 and 2
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10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Beth Seacord Nicola Hoggard Creegan: Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil
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