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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2013

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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents

1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Yujin Nagasawa, Models of Anselmian Theism
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The so-called Anselmian thesis says that God is that than which no greater can be thought. This thesis has been widely accepted among traditional theists and it has for several hundred years been a central notion whenever philosophers debate the existence and nature of God. Proponents of the thesis are often silent, however, about exactly what it means to say that God is that than which no greater can be thought. The aim of this paper is to offer an answer to this question by providing rigorous, systematic models of the Anselmian thesis. The most straightforward model, which I call the “Linear Model,” says that God is that than which no greater can be thought by virtue of occupying the top link in the “great chain of being,” a universal linear ranking of all possible beings. Most contemporary philosophers believe, however, that the Linear Model does not succeed because the notion of the great chain of being is untenable. I therefore explore alternatives to the Linear Model. I argue that what I call the “Extended Radial Model” characterizes the Anselmian thesis correctly, even though the model faces a powerful objection. I argue further that the Linear Model should be taken seriously as a backup option for Anselmian theists because (i) it is not vulnerable to the objection that the Extended Radial Model faces and (ii) what is widely regarded as a knock-down objection to the Linear Model is not as compelling as some have claimed.
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
John T. Mullen, Looking through Pascal's Window
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This paper is an attempt to draw a time-honored insight from Blaise Pascal, generalize it for contemporary use, and apply it to two topics of general concern to contemporary philosophers of religion. The two topics are the status of evolutionary biology as evidence for Philosophical Naturalism, and biological versions of the problem of evil (I focus specifically on the problem of long ages of animal suffering). The “Pascalian” insight is that God wants human beings to be in a state of epistemic ambiguity when we consider important, life-altering claims. I call this state of epistemic ambiguity “Pascal’s Window,” and argue that God’s desire to place human beings into Pascal’s Window with respect to important, life-altering claims generates the important constraint on His creative activity that He must create gradually. This constraint is then employed to argue that evolutionary biology supplies very little evidential support for Philosophical Naturalism, and that appeals to “divine hiddenness” can become effective responses to the problem of “biological evil.”
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
William Lane Craig, David P. Hunt, Perils of the Open Road
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Open theists deny that God knows future contingents. Most open theists justify this denial by adopting the position that there are no future contingent truths to be known. In this paper we examine some of the arguments put forward for this position in two recent articles in this journal, one by Dale Tuggy and one by Alan Rhoda, Gregory Boyd, and Thomas Belt. The arguments concern time, modality, and the semantics of ‘will’ statements. We explain why we find none of these arguments persuasive. This wide road leads only to destruction.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Joseph Corabi, Rebecca Germino, Prophecy, Foreknowledge, and Middle Knowledge
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Largely following on the heels of Thomas Flint’s book-length defense of Molinism a number of years ago, a debate has emerged about the ability of Molinism to explain God’s purported ability to successfully prophesy the occurrence of human free choices, as well as about the merits of other theories of divine providence and foreknowledge in this respect. After introducing the relevant issues, we criticize Alexander Pruss’s recent attempt to show that non-Molinist views which countenance only simple foreknowledge fare as well as Molinism in explaining prophecy. We locate two serious problems with Pruss’s proposal, and in the process clarify the theoretical costs and benefits of an adequate Molinist account in this sphere.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Shawn Graves, The Self-undermining Objection to the Epistemology of Disagreement
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Disagreements about, within, and between religions are widespread. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s an enormous philosophical literature on religious diversity. But in recent years, philosophers working in mainstream epistemology have done a lot of work on disagreement in general. This work has focused in particular upon the epistemology of peer disagreement, i.e., disagreements between parties who are justifiably believed to be epistemic equals regarding the matter at hand. In this paper, I intend to defend a thesis in the epistemology of peer disagreement from a significant objection. The thesis I intend to defend is the Equal Weight View (EWV). The objection, pressed by philosophers such as Alvin Plantinga, Timothy O’Connor, Charles Taliaferro, Brian Weatherson, and Adam Elga, is that EWV is self-undermining. In short, I argue two things. First, I argue that EWV is not self-undermining. Second, I argue that even if it were, this would give us no reason to think that EWV is false since there are obviously true epistemic principles that self-undermine (or at least do so potentially). The self-undermining objection to EWV fails.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Stewart Goetz, Free Will: A Guide for the Perplexed, by T. J. Mawson
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7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Nicholas Wolterstorff, The Image in Mind: Theism, Naturalism, and the Imagination, by Charles Taliaferro and Jil Evans
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8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Paul Copan, Divine Evil? The Moral Character of the God of Abraham, edited by Michael Bergmann, Michael J. Murray, and Michael C. Rea
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9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Ulrich Schmidt, Consciousness and the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument, by J. P. Moreland
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