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Volume 16, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2013

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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents

1. Philo: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Loren Meierding, Evidential Arguments from Ignorance and Knowledge
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In his Dialogues and Natural Religion, David Hume offered an inductive argument claiming that the observed mixture of good and evil in the world inductively justifies belief in indifferent first causes. The existence of a benevolent, omniscient God is rejected because it is much less probable. I show that a more comprehensive analysis of Hume’s argument applying Bayes’s Theorem indicates that if the good in our world greatly outweighs the evil, theists can then claim the inductive evidence actually provides confirmation for classical theism. I provide some reasons for believing that good greatly exceeds evil. Views that good modestly exceeds evil or is balanced by evil are also considered.
2. Philo: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Lawrence Cahoone, Physicalism, the Natural Sciences, and Naturalism
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The most common definitions of the physical lead to a problem for physicalism. If the physical is the objects of physics, then unique objects of other sciences are not physical and, if the causal closure of the physical is accepted, cannot cause changes in the physical. That means unique objects of chemistry, the Earth sciences, and biology cannot causally affect physical states. But physicalism’s most reliable claim, the nomological dependence of nonphysical entities and properties on the physical, can be accepted by a naturalism that avoids such problems.
3. Philo: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
John Mizzoni, Birds Trust Their Wings, Sharks Their Teeth, and Humans Their Minds: A Critique of Haught’s Critical Intelligence Argument against Naturalism
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John Haught offers a “critical intelligence” argument against naturalism. In this article, I outline Haught’s version of theistic evolution. Then I discuss the case he makes against naturalism with his critical intelligence argument. He uses two versions of the argument to make his case: a trustworthiness of critical intelligence argument and an ineffectiveness of naturalistic theories of the mind argument. I evaluate both versions of his critical intelligence argument against naturalism and find that they contain false premises. They thus come up short in making a strong case against naturalism.
4. Philo: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Ben Cordry, The Argument from Unjust Hiddennesss
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In this article, I argue that if God existed as an absolute, cosmic sovereign, there would be a right to know this, which God would fulfill either by giving people such knowledge or positioning them so that they can achieve it. I then argue that there are many cases of different types in which this right, were it to exist, would be unfulfilled. Therefore, there is no God in this sense. While I focus on the right to know, my argument generalizes that no being or force oversees the world in such a way as to ensure the achievability of spiritual fulfillment.
5. Philo: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Richard Brian Davis, W. Paul Franks, Layman’s Lapse: On an Incomplete Moral Argument for Theism
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C. Stephen Layman contends that an argument supporting theism over naturalism can be constructed based on three defensible, non–question-begging premises about the moral order. Previous critics of Layman’s argument have challenged the truth of these premises. We stipulate them arguendo but go on to show that there is a deeper problem: a fourth premise introduced to complete the argument—the “completion premise,” as we call it—is true only if we assume that God exists (begging the question about naturalism) or we concede that there is no afterlife (contrary to theism). We close with suggestions for how Layman’s argument must be strengthened to meet with dialectical success.
6. Philo: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
John Lemos, Hard-heartedness and Libertarianism
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Richard Double argues that (1) libertarians believe we should hold people morally responsible for their actions and we must possess libertarian free will (LFW) to be morally responsible for our actions; (2) most libertarians believe there is scant epistemic justification for the belief that any of us possess LFW; and (3) morally conscientious persons hold people responsible for their actions only if they have epistemic justification for their guilt. Thus, he concludes most libertarians are not being morally conscientious when they hold people responsible for their actions. Double considers a possible pragmatic, moral argument against his position, but in so doing he only considers a consequentialist version of the pragmatic response. I show that there is a plausible nonconsequentialist way of responding to Double’s argument, and I defend it in the article.
7. Philo: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
J. Edward Hackett, The Lived-Experience of Humanism in Husserl and James
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In this paper, I will argue that the experiential-based approaches of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and William James’s radical empiricism can help inform an account of humanism more rooted in concrete experience. Specifically, I will outline a form of humanism closely connected to the conceptual similarities between James’s radical empiricism and the general character of Husserl’s phenomenology of experience. Whereas many forms of humanism are underscored by an eliminativist impulse, I sketch a humanism of lived-experience more motivated by the restrictive and experiential impetus closer to pragmatism and phenomenology than humanism defended on metaphysically eliminativist grounds.This paper is organized in the following way. In the first section, I explain the general character of Husserl’s phenomenology and explain the methodological commitments that underscore his concept of experience. In the second section, I outline the conceptual similarities between James’s later radical empiricism and Husserl’s thought. Finally, in the third section, James’s critique of metaphysics and his radical empiricism allow for a limited acceptability of religious interests in experience as well as scientific interests. These interests result from how we experience the world and affirm freedom and individuality of every person’s lived-experience.
book review
8. Philo: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Raphael Lataster, Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto by Kevin Schilbrack
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