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Displaying: 1-10 of 20 documents

1. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Craig J. Hazen Editor’s Introduction
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2. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Paul Copan Is Yahweh a Moral Monster?: The New Atheists and Old Testament Ethics
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The new atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens) level arguments against Old Testament morality as primitive and barbaric, presumably undercutting belief in the biblical God (Yahweh). Yet the Old Testament presents creational moral ideals in Genesis 1–2. Because of Israel’s embeddedness in the ancient Near East’s harsh, morally-problematic social milieu, Old Testament legislation is in places still morally inferior, though offering dramatic, incremental improvements upon such conditions. Mosaic Law attempts to regulate and limit tolerated structures (warfare, polygamy, patriarchalism, slavery), permitting various social structures because of human hardheartedness. Though falling short of the divine ideal, Mosaic laws often point to it.
3. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Gregory E. Ganssle Dawkins’s Best Argument: The Case against God in The God Delusion
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Richard Dawkins’s best argument against the existence of God aims to show that the universe fits better with atheism than with theism. The fact that complex life developed gradually over a long period of time is required by an atheistic view but is not required by a theistic view. This fact, then, supports the atheistic view. This argument does raise the probability of atheism. I discuss four analogous arguments that point towards theism. I conclude that Dawkins’s argument lends some support for atheism, but his strategy suggests sufficient arguments to see that the total case points in the opposite direction.
4. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Richard Davis God and Modal Concretism
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In this paper I examine Graham Oppy’s claim that all modal theistic arguments “must be question-begging,” since they presuppose a particular account of the nature of possible worlds “which can only be supported by the further claim that God actually exists.” I argue that Oppy is mistaken here. For even if theism implies the falsity of (say) David Lewis’s concretist account of worlds, a proof for God that starts from this assumption is not thereby ensnared in a vicious circularity. I go on to present some materials for a modal theistic proof immune to all of Oppy’s criticisms.
5. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
James Beilby Externalism, Skepticism, and Knowledge: An Argument against Internalism
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Debates between internalists and externalists hinge not only on different construals of justification and warrant, but also on different construals of the nature of the skeptical challenge, different intuitions regarding what constitutes an adequate answer to the skeptic, and, most fundamentally, the purpose for which theories of knowledge are articulated. In this paper, I defend externalist accounts of justification, arguing both that appropriately nuanced versions of externalism avoid the most pressing objections raised by internalists and that internalism is either conceptually flawed or fares no better than externalism.
6. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Walter Hopp Minimalist Truth and Realist Truth
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I examine and reject Alston’s minimalist realism. According to minimalist realism, anyone who grasps the “conceptual necessity” of any arbitrary instance of the schema “The proposition that p is true if and only if p” will thereby have acquired a realist conception of truth. After clarifying the sense in which Alston’s theory is “minimal,” I argue that, given plausible constraints on a realist theory of truth, grasping the necessity of any instance of the T-schema is far from sufficient to qualify as an alethic realist. I conclude with a discussion of the motivations behind and desirability of a minimalist theory of truth.
7. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Richard Langer Humans, Commodities, and Humans-in-a-sense
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Biotechnology is blurring the metaphysical boundaries between humanity and commodity and many fear the moral consequences. Though the blurring is substantial, this article argues that there is still a long distance between humanity and commodity. Furthermore, the language of commoditization may blind us to certain more immediate moral concerns. When Aristotle discovered naturally occurring hybrids that blurred the boundaries of living substances, he coined the phrase “substances-in-a-sense.” The analogous phrase, “humans-in-a-sense,” might sensitize us to aspects of moral discourse that the language of commoditization tends to obscure and might also alert us to dangers that are already at hand.
8. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Angus Menuge Intelligent Design, Darwinism, and Psychological Unity
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Folk psychology affirms the existence of a persistent, unitary self at the center of each individual’s mental life. Darwinian psychologists have challenged this view with the selfish gene and selfish meme theories of the mind. Both theories claim that cognition arises from the interaction of blind, selfish replicators (genes or memes) and that the enduring self is an illusion. I argue that both theories suffer from an implausible atomism and an inability to explain human reasoning, subjectivity, points of view, and psychological unity. By contrast, a psychology premised on Intelligent Design is able to account for all these problems.
9. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Travis Dumsday Neuroscience and the Evidential Force of Religious Experience
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The claim that religious experience provides evidence for the existence of God or the supernatural has come under heavy criticism, with the most compelling critique arising from neuroscience of the last half century. The work of Michael Persinger has been particularly significant in this context. He argues that religious experiences can be generated via stimulation of the temporal lobe, and consequently that they are best interpreted naturalistically. I argue that this interpretation is inadequate for a large and significant class of these experiences. Moreover, Aquinas’s theory of religious visions not only allows for these recent scientific findings but actually foreshadows them.
10. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Thomas Wayne Smythe Intersubjective Evidence and Religious Experience
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This paper critically examines the claim that supposed religious experiences of God are not based on “intersubjective evidence.” I examine how “intersubjective evidence” has been construed in the literature, and argue that those specifications do not succeed in marking off a way in which supposed experiences of God are not based on “intersubjective evidence.” I then specify a sense of “intersubjective evidence” that I think successfully shows how such experiences are not based on intersubjective evidence. I also show that “intersubjective evidence” does not mean the same thing as “public” but that God can be an object of “public” knowledge.