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1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
John Hick The Epistemological Challenge of Religious Pluralism
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A critique of responses to the problem posed to Christian philosophy by the fact of religious plurality by Alvin Plantinga, Peter van lnwagen, and George Mavrodes in the recent Festschrift dedicated to William Alston, and of Alston’s own response to the challenge of religious diversity to his epistemology of religion. His argument that religious experience is a generally reliable basis for belief-formation is by implication transformed by his response to this problem into the principle that Christianity constitutes the sole exception to the general rule that religious experience is an unreliable basis for belief-formation, thus undermining his central thesis. Plantinga’s and van Inwagen’s defenses of the logical and moral permissability of Christian exclusivism fail to address the problem posed by the existence of other equally well-based religious belief-systems with equally valuable fruits in human life. Mavrodes’ discussion of polytheism, and his clarifying questions about religious pluralism, are also discussed.
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
William P. Alston Response to Hick
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This is a response to Hick’s comments on my approach to the problem of religious diversity in Perceiving God. Before unearthing the bones I have to pick with him, let me fully acknowledge that I have not provided a fully satisfactory solution to the problem. At most I have done the best that can be done given the constraints within which I was working. But this best, if such it be, is not as bad as Hick makes it appear. To show this I need to make several corrections in Hick’s depiction of the situation.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
George I. Mavrodes A Response to John Hick
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Hick professes now to be a “poly-something” and a “mono-something.” Most of my response is directed to these claims. I suggest that (contrary to my earlier assumption) Hick does not take any of the gods of the actual religions to be real. They are much more like fictional characters than like Kantian phenomena. He is “poly” about these insubstantia.I argue that Hick is not “mono” about anything at all of religious significance. In particular, he is not a mono-Realist.I conclude by arguing that Hick has no satisfactory support for the sort of ineffability which he attributes to the Real.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Alvin Plantinga Ad Hick
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5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Peter van Inwagen A Reply to Professor Hick
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6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Kelly James Clark Perils of Pluralism
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Two pressures toward religious pluralism are the variety of religious traditions which seem equally successful in the transformation of human lives and that apparently sincere and equally capable truth-seekers reach divergent conclusions about the nature of ultimate reality. I discuss Hick’s Kantian explanation of these phenomena. I argue that his account is: neither the only nor the best account; furthermore that more reasonable accounts allow for the members of competing traditions to affirm the truth of their religious beliefs; and if Hick’s explanation were accepted it would undermine the salvific power of the respective religious traditions.
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Adriaan Theodoor Peperzak Philosophia
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Since the modern faith in Reason has died, the way is reopened for a thorough discussion of the relations between philosophy and theology. Being metaphilosophical as well as meta theological, such a discussion presupposes solid acquaintance with the concrete praxis of philosophy and theology as existentially rooted enterprises developed in the history of particular cultures and individual persons. This article defends the thesis that philosophy in the modern sense of the word never has been and cannot be autarkic because it cannot demonstrate the truth of the faith from which it draws its basic stance and orientation. If this faith is the faith of a Christian, it is impossible to draw a sharp distinction between the philosophical and the theological activities of such a philosopher. The stubborn attempt to restrict one’s thought to autonomous philosophy wounds and paralyzes the thinking of Christians and destroys most of its relevance. The old synthetic conception of philosophia, upheld by Plato and the Stoics no less than by the Fathers of the Church, deserves a reevaluation. Despite the profound differences between unscientific premodernity and modern scientificity, that old conception is a more adequate description of the philosophical practice performed in real human lives.
8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Dale Eric Brant On Plantinga’s Way Out
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The foreknowledge problem involves two assumptions. First, that “God once believed that an event would occur now” is about the past. Second that it is equivalent to “God once existed and the event is occurring now.” These, Plantinga argues, are incompatible. But he (implicitly) makes assumptions. First, that equivalent propositions are both about a given time, or neither are. Second, that if a proposition is (is not) about a given time, so is (neither is) its negation. Third, that if two propositions are (are not) about a given time, so is (neither is) their conjunction. These, though plausible, are incompatible.
9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Nicholas Everitt Quasi-Berkeleyan Idealism as Perspicuous Theism
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In this paper, I argue that the kind of idealism defended by Berkeley is a natural and almost unavoidable expression of his theism. Two main arguments are deployed, both starting from a theistic premise and having an idealist conclusion. The first likens the dependence of the physical world on the will of God to the dependence of mental states on a mind. The second likens divine omniscience to the kind of knowledge which it has often been supposed we have of the contents of our own minds. After rebutting objections to these arguments, I conclude that both theists and non-idealists should be surprised and discomforted by my contentions.
10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Charles T. Hughes Belief, Foreknowledge, and Theological Fatalism
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David Hunt has recently developed a new strategy, called the “dispositional omniscience scenario,” or (OOS), which is designed to defeat theological fatalism by showing the compatibility of divine foreknowledge and human (libertarian) free agency. But I argue that Hunt fails to establish his compatibility claim because (DOS) is based on a defective analysis of dispositional belief that is too weak to sustain any divine foreknowledge of future free actions.