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Philo

Volume 4, Issue 1, Spring-Summer 2001

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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents


editorial
1. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Keith M. Parsons Greetings and Farewell
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papers
2. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Wes Morriston Omnipotence and the Anselmian God
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Can God be both omnipotent and essentially good? Working with the Anselmian conception of God as the greatest possible being, a number of philosophers have tried to show that omnipotence should be understood in such a way that these properties are compatible. In the present paper, I argue that we can, without inconsistency or other obvious absurdity, conceive of a being more powerful than the Anselmian God. I conclude that contemporary Anselmian philosophers have conflated two logically distinct questions: (1) How much power would be possessed by the best possible God? and (2) How much power is required for omnipotence? When these questions are distinguished, it can be seen that the Anselmian God does not have maximal power and is not omnipotent.
3. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Brian Zamulinski Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law in the Light of Evolution
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The main claim here is that Aquinas’s theory of natural law is false because it is incompatible with the occurrence of evolution by variation and natural selection. This contradicts the Thomist opinion that there is no conflict between the two. The conflict is deep and pervasive, involving the core elements of Aquinas’s theory. The problematic elements include: 1) the fundamental precept that good should be done and pursued, and evil avoided; 2) the claim that every organism aims at the good and that it is wrong to frustrate nature; 3) the Aristotelian preconception that everything has a single preeminent end; 4) the putative natural inclinations attributed to human beings; 5) the assumption that species essentialism is true; and 6) the notion that God’s intentions are discernible in the natural world. It is concluded that the problems are so extensive that Aquinas’s theory is beyond rescue.
4. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
William A. Rottschaefer No Messages Without a Sender: A Critique of Holmes Rolston’s Information-Based Argument for the Existence of God
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In his recent Gifford Lectures, Holmes Rolston argues that the informational character of biological phenomena is better explained by a theistic God of the process variety than by appealing to naturalistic biological explanations. In this paper, I assess Rolston’s argument by examining current biological and philosophical interpretations of the role of the theoretical concept of information in the description and explanation of biological phenomena. I find that none of these understandings of the concept allow Rolston’s conclusion. Natural selection explanations are in principle sufficient for accounting for the informational character of biological phenomena.
5. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Niall Shanks, Karl Joplin Behe, Biochemistry, and the Invisible Hand
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In this essay we take creationist biochemist Michael Behe to task for failing to make an evidentially grounded case for the supernatural intelligent design of biochemical systems. In our earlier work on Behe we showed that there were dimensions to biochemical complexity---redundant complexity---that he appeared to have ignored. Behe has recently replied to that work. We show here that his latest arguments contain fundamental flaws.
6. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Owen McLeod Science, Religion, and Hyper-Humeanism
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According to hyper-Humeanism, the world of “fact” is utterly distinct from the realm of “value”-that is, the realm of morality and religion.This is a well-known philosophical position, and it more or less follows from some well-known philosophical doctrines (e.g., logical positivism, and neo-Wittgensteinianism), but its appeal is not limited to philosophers. Indeed, an acceptance of hyper-Humeanism seems to be at the root of Stephen Jay Gould’s recent defense of the thesis that science and religion are utterly distinct. Gould’s stated aim in defending this thesis is to settle, or perhaps reveal as illusory, various conflicts between science and religion. However, I arguenot only that Gould’s version of this thesis is defective, but also that hyper-Humeanism itself is false. If I am right, then “facts” and “values”-science and religion in particular-can overlap in philosophically interesting ways.
7. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Aaron Holland Consistency in Presuming Agnosticism
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According to the presumption of atheism, we are to presume disbelief unless agnosticism or theism can be adequately defended. In this paper I will defend the presumption of atheism against a popular objection made by Thomas Morris and elucidate an insuperable difficulty for any attempt to argue for a presumption of agnosticism.
book reviews
8. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
John Beaudoin Another Beating for a Resilient Horse
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9. Philo: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
James Stacey Taylor Human Freedom and God’s Foreknowledge
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